Pet owners became suspicious when hundreds of neighborhood cats recently began to come up missing in Danyang, China, in the Jiangsu Province.
After talking among themselves via an online pet lovers website, some of the owners noticed men creeping around the city at night. They followed the men to their base and called police to inform them of the discovery.
Police officers responded and busted the snatching ring, arresting six people. It appears they had been preparing to sell the animals for their fur and meat, as it is still culturally acceptable to eat cat and even considered a delicacy in some parts of the country. According to Xinhua, a state news agency, over 4 million cats are eaten in China annually.
The stolen cats had been stuffed inside rusty, crowded cages, though they were alive. Although any identifying collars had been removed from all animals, over 300 cats have been reunited with their owners so far.