BROOKLYN - A mutilated cat was found hanging in a historic church cemetery in Flatlands.

The animal was found by 17-year-old Miranda Mendez, who was strolling through the Flatlands Reformed Church Cemetery with a friend on Sunday. She saw the kitten, gutted and hanging by its own entrails from a tree, and ran home to tell her father.

Her father alerted the church's pastor, who lives on the property. Pastor Paul Glover says the church does not attract many visitors this time of year, and that the cat could have been hanging for days.

A red candle was found near the cat, which prompted Glover to be believe the killing has some sort of religious intent behind it.

Glover says he will be stepping up security at the church and will ensure the gate is locked at night. Police are also monitoring the area.

The church has seen other acts of vandalism this summer, Glover says, including a broken window and offensive graffiti scrawled on the building. It's not known if the incidents are connected.