It's the type of paranoia reserved for human killers on the loose -- mutilated corpses, alerts to stay inside, money rewards -- but in Miami it's all for a sick serial cat butcher who cops can't find.
The number sits at nearly 20 dead cats, all maimed in one way or another, their mutilated bodies left throughout the streets of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay.
And now, just days after Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn warned residents to keep their cats in their homes until the case is solved, the Humane Society has offered a $2,500 reward for any info on the killings.
"Anyone capable of mutilating a cat -- let alone 18 cats -- is certainly capable of hurting people," said Jennifer Hobgood, The Humane Society's Florida state director. "While we hope our reward helps smoke out the cats' killer or killers, the HSUS urges South Florida residents to keep their cats safe indoors."
The killings, which started on May 13, quickly garnered the attention of the Miami-Dade Police Department, though no arrests have been made yet.
Mayor Flinn's warning, issued Monday, spoke to the dire situation cat owners are facing.
"Residents should keep their cats inside their homes until it has been determined who or what has caused these deaths and there is no longer a threat to the feline population of the village," it read.
Owners who have found the bodies of their precious pets simply want answers as to who could be carrying out these gruesome slayings.
"We have two other cats," said Alicia Glatzer, a Palmetto Bay resident who told the Miami Herald she found one of her cats dead in her yard, with part of her face missing, her belly skinned and her intestines scattered on the lawn. "My concern is every day when I walk out whether I'll find another dead cat outside."