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Cat-killer in Colona has some residents worried

Since May 12, four cats have been found with bullets wounds at one Colona trailer park. All four succumbed to their injuries.

COLONA, Ill. — Colona Police are investigating a mysterious case involving a cat killer.

"It's not normal," Quad Cities Animal Recovery Team Volunteer Shallin Williams told News 8's Collin Riviello.

According to Williams, last weekend, the nonprofit group got a call about a cat suffering from a bullet wound in the Colona Park trailer home community. 

She says the bullets were similar to those used in pellet guns, but can't say for sure whether the other wounded cats, which were found later on, were also injured by the same type of bullet.

"I've been volunteering for three years here with QC Animal Recovery Team, and I've never had a call for an animal coming in that's been shot," Williams said. "It's been pretty stressful and hard on our team. It's sad."

Since that initial call, four cats have been found with bullet wounds. Two of the cats were already dead. Two others were taken to a local veterinary clinic where after several attempts to save their lives, they died.

According to Tracey Demarco, a Saratoga district manager, which is the company that owns Colona Park, the community has been plagued by a feral cat problem for years. She says it's tried to catch them and give them to an animal shelter in Moline, but did not hear back from that shelter after first contact.

But not all of the wounded cats were strays. 

The second wounded cat found by the recovery team was the pet of Colona Park resident Brittney Thomas. She says her own 2-year-old daughter found their cat Georgiana Mae in front of their yard, half-paralyzed from a bullet wound. 

Thomas said in a Facebook Message to News 8, that she moved to Colona Park in 2020 and there used to be many cats, but recently hasn't seen any.

"Something is going on out there and we have no idea [what]," Thomas said. "I've been there since 2020 and nothing like this has happened. It's sad and just wrong."

Another person who grew up in Colona Park, and is now a volunteer with the QC Recovery Team, told News 8 that dozens of cats have been around there since she was a kid.

"They're gonna stay here because these feral colonies have been here for so long that they usually won't go anywhere else, Deidra Tatge said. "A lot of these residents have fed them for a very long time."

So much so that Tatge says she used to be able to open up a can of food and dozens of cats would come out from every direction.

A seemingly simple solution to the feral cat problem is to stop feeding them, but Tatge says it's more complicated than that.

"[Residents] don't want to see animals suffering because they have big hearts," Tatge said. "The way [some residents] feel is 'How can we watch God's creations starving?' So when you have a mom with little kittens come out, how do you turn them away?"

The Colona Police Department is asking anyone with information to contact them at 309-792-1511.

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