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Clues sought in cats’ deaths

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Salt Lake County Animal Services is investigating the deaths of a pair of cats whose bodies were found stuffed inside two cat carriers and left at the Magna cemetery.

Someone came upon the dead cats inside the carriers late Tuesday night. A necropsy performed on the cats on Wednesday revealed they had been shot to death.

"Both had been shot as many as five times each," animal services spokeswoman Temma Martin said Thursday.

Salt Lake County Animal Services believes the animals were shot somewhere else and put in the carriers. Martin said investigators believe the cat killer placed the animals in the cemetery, intending for them to be found.

"It could potentially have been some sort of act of retaliation, possibly a domestic violence case. The pets often get in the middle," she said. "It's also possible there was a neighbor dispute where someone's tired of having cats in their yard."

Martin said they have had no reports of anyone missing a pair of long-haired, fluffy cats.

Investigators were trying to pull fingerprints from the pet carriers. Martin said whoever killed the cats could face charges of aggravated animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Anyone with information about the cat killings is asked to call 801-269-7499.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com