(Warning: Story is graphic)
RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Members of an animal rights group are alerting Canyon Lake residents about the imminent release from prison of a man twice-convicted of mutilating and killing cats.
Timothy Arie Kooyman will be paroled next month from Avenal State Prison, apparently returning to Canyon Lake to live with his parents.
In January 2011, Kooyman was sentenced to two years, eight months for torturing and killing three cats in a Corona motel room. After serving just more than half of his sentence, the 28-year-old convicted felon is being released based on good behavior.
“Many, many house pets and young children live in Canyon Lake. We’re not advocating vigilantism, but people need to be aware that he will be among them,” Contra Costa County-based Voices for Pets founder Leroy Moyer told City News Service.
This week, Moyer and other members of the group began emailing, snail-mailing and hand-distributing more than 500 fliers about the Kooyman case and advising residents to keep their animals safe and secure. Canyon Lake is a gated community with a population of 11,000.
The flier notes that the majority of serial killers “have a background of cruelty to animals.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not disclose what date Kooyman will be released from prison, saying only it would be sometime in the latter part of June.
Kooyman was already serving the last few months of a five-year prison term in 2010 for animal cruelty and arson in Rancho Cucamonga when Riverside County prosecutors — after repeated requests from Voices for Pets and other animal rights advocates — filed charges against him in connection with the Corona case.
According to trial testimony, while staying at the National Inn just off the Riverside (91) Freeway, Kooyman took possession of three cats — a calico, a black-and-white tabby and a Siamese — he lured to his motel room with food.
Kooyman bragged about snapping the calico’s legs and running over it with his truck, a detective testified. He said Kooyman became mad when the black-and-white cat “wouldn’t love him” and reportedly sliced hit the cat’s stomach and torso with two hacks from an axe, then decapitated the dying animal.
Kooyman killed the Siamese last, first attempting to drown it and later cutting her open with a scalpel.
“He’s a sociopath. He cannot stop,” Moyer says. “He is addicted to the power of inflicting suffering. He actually gets off on it. What he did — it’s the worst of the worst.”
In the San Bernardino County case, Kooyman cut off several cats’ tails with scissors and set one ablaze while it was still alive, tossing the animal into a bush, igniting a small brush fire, according to investigators.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)