Woman is touched by community concern over horrific deaths of 16 cats

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A customer walked in to Dude’s Hot Biscuits Monday with more admiration for the restaurant’s owner than a hankering for breakfast.

Dinki Davis

Dinki Davis

Belinda “Dinki” Davis missed meeting her unidentified admirer because she was running an errand and wasn’t at the restaurant when he stopped by Monday.

“He just wanted to come in to say he admired what I do,” she said.

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“He didn’t come for any other reason but to show his support,” she said.

Davis has received dozens of messages on Facebook offering encouragement after she posted about dogs breaking into one of the kennels in her backyard and mauling to death 15 of her rescue cats.

Davis came home from the restaurant Thursday morning to check on the heat lamps she’d left on to keep her pets warm and found two of her neighbors’ dogs ­— a German shepherd and a pit bull — in the kennel and cats’ remains “ripped to shreds” and scattered about.

Fifteen cats were killed in the kennel and a 16th, a kitten named Lanie Bug, died at the vet later that morning.

“I’ve seriously been overwhelmed by the people who have shown their support,” she said.

Davis hasn’t been able to go to the kennel since the incident. Her husband, Jimmy, covered it with tarp to block her view, but she said she can still see it when she closes her eyes.

“It’s still not real to me that they’re not there anymore,” she said.

Davis was so devastated by the incident that she couldn’t help with the burial. The cats’ remains were placed in bags and buried in a nice area behind the kennels with other pets they’ve lost through the years.

She wants to do something for them to mark their graves, possibly replacing the solar-powered angel markers she’d placed in the pet cemetery in the past, but she’s not ready to face their graves yet.

She also cancelled the restaurant’s annual staff Christmas party Saturday. Her employees told her they didn’t want to do it considering the trauma their boss had gone through. “They know me. They know what these cats meant to me,” she said. “One neglectful event can destroy somebody’s whole world. I don’t know how to feel.”

Davis said she’s been advised by many friends and relatives to sue the neighbors who own the dogs.

“I don’t want to take something from somebody,” she said. “I just want someone to be responsible for what they did. I want them to realize that this could have been a child,” she said.

Davis spent Monday gathering records from various veterinarians about her cats’ visits.

She plans to bring her records to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors soon to request they vote to strengthen the vicious dog ordinance in the county.

Currently there is no leash law in Lincoln County, but claims can be filed in Justice Court after an attack.

Davis filed a complaint Monday.

She said she is traumatized because she thought that by building a $10,000 covered enclosure, she’d be able to keep the rescue cats safe.

“This is not something I take lightly,” she said. “I thought they were safe. With no laws, what good is it going to be for me to try to save these animals?”

When she comes before the Board of Supervisors, she feels she should bring the photographs that her husband took of the carnage.

But she can’t bear to print them.

“I’ll never be able to look at those pictures. I never want to see those,” she said.

Even now, Davis bristles when she hears a dog barking in the distance.

“It makes you uneasy,” she said. “You don’t know what they might do.”