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A cat's head skewered on a plastic bar found Tuesday inside a trash can in the affluent community of Kfar Shmaryahu has led police to suspect that an unknown resident has been killing and possibly torturing hundreds of animals over several years.

The severed head was found by volunteers for Ahava, a nonprofit for animal welfare. The volunteer was in the area to investigate dozens of complaints that have been piling up over several years about missing cats. Volunteers and residents have also reported finding dozens of cat carcasses.

She found the head and the decapitated body inside a metal cage that was placed inside a receptacle intended for the disposal of foliage and branches. The contraption was located on a sidewalk in one of the community's main streets.

The finding prompted the Glilot police station to start investigating the possibility that a resident was responsible for the gruesome killing.

Volunteers took the cat's carcass, the head and the cage to the Glilot station to try and recover finger prints. "It's a shocking sight, but it's not as shocking as the thought the person who did it - and not for the first time - is living here," one town resident said.