At least seven cats have been killed in the Thurston County area by a serial cat mutilator, according to police.

Animal cruelty investigator Erika Johnson said cats that have been brutally killed and mutilated have been found on display in public spaces, such as parks or front yards.

“As far as the numbers, it’s probably the worst I’ve seen in my career,” said Johnson.

Johnson first saw a cat killed in such a way in October, recently, however, there’s been an uptick in dead cats found in the area.

Cats have been found in Tumwater, Lacey and Olympia. One cat was found killed in a similar way in Port Angeles but it is being looked into whether or not it was related.

Johnson said the crimes seem to be happening overnight, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Several police agencies are working with Thurston County Animal Services. There have not been any solid leads but Johnson said they’re following every tip that comes in. She’s urging everyone in the county to be vigilant and report suspicious behavior.

There’s a $3,000 reward for information that leads to the person or people behind these brutal killings.

Police are asking that all pets in Thurston County be kept inside until a suspect is found.

If you would like to report a tip, call Animal Services at 360-352-2510.