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For Immediate Release: April 28, 2014
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, media@alleycat.org or (240) 482-3895

ALLEY CAT ALLIES OFFERS $750 REWARD IN LAKELAND, FL ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATION
Disturbing string of cat killings continues

BETHESDA, MD–Alley Cat Allies is offering a cash reward of $750 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the confirmed killing of two cats, and a third whose death looks suspicious in Lakeland, FL. Two additional cats are reported missing. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.

“This is a shocking and disturbing case of animal cruelty, and whoever is responsible needs to be found,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Intentionally killing a cat—pet, stray or feral—is against the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We are hopeful that authorities will take this seriously, and we offer our full support throughout the investigation.”

The first cat was discovered on March 5, 2014 and the most recent victim was found on April 23, 2014. A veterinarian has confirmed that the injuries of the first cat were consistent with a knife. The cat was cut in half behind the front legs, with additional evident mutilation. The most recent cat’s injuries are yet to be attributed to a weapon, but it is assumed the injuries were inflicted by a person.

This gruesome incident is cause for alarm for the community’s safety. Psychiatric and criminological research has established a relationship between cruelty to animals and a host of other violent behaviors towards people—animal cruelty must be taken seriously. Cats are now the number one pet in America, with over 82 million cats in homes, but caring for cats extends beyond pets. According to Alley Cat Allies’ research, 25 percent of Americans have fed an outdoor cat.

“No matter where a cat lives—indoors or outdoors—they are cared about and valued,” says Robinson. “There is something inherently American about loving cats and wanting to protect them. The fact that people are actively spaying or neutering and vaccinating their cats is evidence that we are an animal loving society.”

Research shows that over 80 percent of cats in homes are neutered, and many cities have started Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs to spay or neuter and vaccinate outdoor cats.

Trap-Neuter-Return is an established, mainstream program designed to care for community cats and keep them out of shelters. Over 430 cities and counties endorse TNR as policy for community cats. Nationally there are over 600 nonprofits dedicated to the care of stray and feral cats, and millions of people who care for outdoor cats daily.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has over half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.