|Korea Times file|
According to a KBS report on Monday, the cats had been poisoned with pieces of chicken left out as bait. A cat was found dead in the residential area only a few steps from a heap of trash where two pieces of chicken were covered in a blue powder.
Police took the carcass and the contaminated meat to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency for analysis. The results showed that they all contained signs of rodenticide.
One of the community residents said a stray cat she used to take care of had died suddenly. For several days, she said she could not eat due to grief, the report says.
A local activist group for stray cats in Daejeon has been seeking out and collecting the poisoned meat. Despite their efforts, two cats were found dead in April and three the previous month. Blue-powdered chicken chunks were found in close proximity to all those dead cats.
One of the group members said they found over 30 poisoned pieces of meat every day and have seen more than 1,000 dead cats over the past 13 years or so in the area.
Police said that they are watching footage from security cameras installed around the area. They also said they are searching for a person who bought rodenticide about a month ago from a local drugstore.
A petition calling for authorities to find and punish the "cat killer" on the Cheong Wa Dae website has garnered more than 43,000 signatures.
"I want to ask police, prosecutors, city offices and district offices. Do you find this persistent cat killing not serious?" the petitioner asked. "Would you like to live near a person who keeps spreading poisoned chicken around your neighborhood?"