York Regional Police are investigating a suspected case of animal cruelty after six cat heads were placed at public locations in Stouffville, Ont., about 45 kilometres northeast of Toronto.
The heads were put in places within a one-kilometre radius of Tenth Line and Main Street, according to police.
They say the incidents, which occurred between Aug. 12 and Sept. 13, aren't believed to be accidental or the result of a predatory animal.
At a news conference Thursday, Const. Andy Pattenden told reporters it appears that the severed heads were placed in the locations they were found.
"In each of the incidents, it appears at this time that it was intentional dismemberment," he said.
In five of the six cases, the severed heads were found without any other cat remains.
None of the corresponding torsos have been found.
Pattenden said that in all six cases, the heads were left in residential areas — in one case a homeowner found her own cat’s head on a curb outside of her residence.
Stoufville resident Gerri Robertson found another one of the six heads next to the road where she was riding her bike.
"I stopped here thinking, 'I didn't just see that,'" she told CBC News. "The head was facing up so the mouth was agape."
The incidents are being investigated by York Regional Police, in conjunction with the Ontario SPCA.
For now, Pattenden said police are advising those with pets to keep them indoors while the investigation continues.
"Keep your eyes open for signs of any sort of foul play that may have occurred with an animal…if you see any signs of blood, or any sort of dismemberment of an animal, please contact police right away," he said.