By Daniel Suddeath, News and Tribune
Cat was allegedly purposely let loose in room full of dogs
The New Albany-Floyd County Animal Control and Shelter is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the individual or individuals involved in the alleged inhumane killing of a cat in April.
According to NA-FC Animal Control Director David Hall, the shelter was contacted by a New Albany resident who alleged his cat was stolen about April 22 in the 1700 Block of East Oak Street.
Though the accounts have not been officially substantiated, Hall said the individual was later told by residents in the neighborhood the cat was stolen by people living in the area who then placed the animal in a room of dogs where it was mauled. It was a solid black cat named Shadow, according to Hall. He said the cat was allowed to roam outside, which was how it was likely abducted.
“Evidently, it was picked up by unknown individuals, then the individuals, I don’t know for what reason, decided it would be fun to toss it in a room with a bunch of dogs,” he said.
While the pet owner was alerted to the fate of the cat “through several different ways,” including conversations with people in the neighborhood, Hall said a witness has yet to come forward with enough information to pursue charges.
“That’s our downfall. We said this has happened but nobody has really come forward with anything positive,” Hall said. “Until we have somebody like that, it’s going to be very difficult for us to move forward.”
Police have investigated the claim but have run into the same issues as the shelter, Hall said. The shelter and police have leads and the pet owner has a good idea of who committed the crime, Hall said, but he added evidence is needed.
The shelter is putting up $500 for the reward, and the remainder has been committed by the Indiana chapter of the National Humane Society. It’s unusual for the shelter to offer a reward, but Hall said this situation needs to be rectified.
“Yes, it probably did happen, and yes it’s a heinous situation, but we have to have something to back it up with,” Hall said. “We wouldn’t have gone further if we didn’t think there’s someone who can help us.”
Reports from the pet owner and the shelter’s investigation tabbed pit bulls as the dogs that were likely involved in the incident, Hall said. He added harassment of the pet owner by the suspected parties involved may also have been a factor in the alleged crime.
Due to safety concerns, the News and Tribune declined to include the pet owner’s name in the story. The individual was contacted about the story and asked to comment, but had not returned the message as of press time.
If the allegations are true, Hall faults the people involved, not the breed of dog for the incident. He cautioned that letting pets roam outdoors has consequences.
“It makes an opportunity available for people to do something like this,” Hall said. “We really feel bad about this, and we don’t want to think there are people in New Albany like this but there are.”
Contact the animal shelter with information by phone at 812-948-5355.
Update July 6, 2011 - The following article is by Valerie Chinn, WDRB:
$2,000 offered for arrest of cat killer
The reward is even larger now for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of a violent cat killing in New Albany.
The pet owner has an idea of who killed his cat, but he doesn't have the evidence to prove it.
At the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter, there are many cats that need good homes. But what may have happened to one black cat has the shelter in shock.
Shelter Director David Hall says, "Our community is a very animal friendly community and it's very disappointing something like this would occur in our community."
A New Albany resident on East Oak Street says his black cat who was roaming outside was taken in late April and locked in a room with a pit bull, while people watched the dog maul his cat to death. Then he says his cat was thrown in the trash. He says the people who did this bragged about it to his neighbors.
Hall says, "Someone has to come forward. Right now, it's an unwitnessed crime. It's a crime that we know about it, but can't prove that anyone actually did it."
The reward posters are up all over the neighborhood. It was $1000 for information leading to an arrest and prosecution, but now the reward is $2000.
The money is coming from the New Albany-Floyd County shelter, the Humane Society of the U.S., and a private donor.
A pit bull owner lives on the street and says his dog always stays in a kennel, calling the mauling "evil." He's not sure who would've have hurt the cat.
Hall says, "Was this done to keep everyone else at bay? If you report it, similar things will happen to you... and that's scary."
Anyone with information can call police or the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter.
Update July 12, 2011 - The following article is from WDRB:
Reward increase for cat killer suspect
With no leads on a violent cat killing in New Albany, the Floyd County Humane Society has added another $500 to the reward money being offered.
That makes the reward is $2500 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of a suspect.
A New Albany resident on East Oak Street says his black cat was taken in late April and locked in a room with a pit bull while people watched the dog maul his cat to death.
He says he has an idea of who is responsible, but lacks the evidence to prove it.