Jonathan Evans thought he had adopted the perfect cat a little more than a year ago.
“He thought he was a dog basically," Evans said. "He liked to go on leash walks. He would ride in the front of the car on the dashboard. He liked to play with other dogs.”
Evans named his cat "Kylo Ren" after the popular Star Wars character. When the black-and-white cat went missing, Evans wasted no time hanging dozens of posters all over town.
“We had a little ritual every time I came home from work, I would hear his little bell, he’d come out from behind the bushes and kind of jump up," Evans said. "And then one day he didn’t.”
Evans said he got several tips from putting his phone number on the posters; someone even found Kylo's collar a few blocks away from his apartment near Bacon Street and Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach.
“They found his collar down here on the beach and it has his phone number," Evans said.
Evans says he then got a phone call late at night from a man claiming to be a veterinarian in Tijuana who found his cat.
“And then it kind of got garbled and I was trying to answer some questions and the response was like ‘Oh, it’s not your cat,’” Evans said. "'Unfortunately it’s going to be euthanized tomorrow.' And then it’s like 'Haha you got pranked.' And my heart dropped at that point.”
Evans discovered it was a prank call from a website.
“Where anybody can go on, plug in somebody else’s phone number, make the call,” Evans said. “I called the number that dialed me and it was some grandma in Colorado that had no idea."
The next day, Evans says animal control found Kylo.
"They found his body five miles north of here," Evans said. “It’s not even a funny joke when you’re calling people and saying a member of your family is going to die tomorrow.”
He believes the prankster either got his number off the posters, or kidnapped Kylo and got it off his collar before they killed him
“[His collar] would have had to be taken off by a person," Evans said. "So I kind of wondered if there was something nefarious going on.”
10News contacted the company that creates the prank calls. They said anyone can block their number from receiving a call on their website at any time. A company spokesperson also said the following:
"The vast majority of calls placed . . . are in the spirit of good humor and fun and comply with our terms of service. It is considered a violation of our Terms of Service to use [the] services for the purpose of defrauding, harassing, or harming anyone, or to wrongly obtain anything of value.
In an instance where an individual does not have a blocked number and would like information (i.e. the actual phone number) about the person that pranked them using an anonymous phone number, we comply with a validly submitted subpoena (we make this clear to anyone that inquires).
Evans is hoping his warning helps others avoid the heartache the prank caused him.
“I don’t know what’s worse That there’s an individual that’s that cruel, that thinks that’s funny, or that there’s an entire company that’s built a business around creating these type of apps where they’re basically enabling kind of deranged individuals to go out and harass people," he said. “Not just being cruel, but it’s almost evil if you think about it.”