Last weekend, a Spokane couple came across a heartbreaking discovery while walking through their North Side neighborhood: a deceased kitten lying in the street, with what appeared to be a USB-charging cord wrapped around her neck.
Now, PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest and animal-cruelty conviction of the person responsible for the act. Anyone with information on the incident, such as how the kitten died and if the cords around its neck were a factor in its death, are asked to contact Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service
(SCRAPS), at 509-477-2532.
"These situations are difficult because we have this couple that found the deceased kitten with the USB cords wrapped around it... but nobody saw how it got there or who it belongs to," Hill says. "That's why we're really looking for tips — we're hoping someone saw something."
The kitten, estimated to be around 8 weeks old, was discovered on Saturday, Aug. 7, by Wesley O'Dell and his wife in an area a few blocks south of Corbin Park, near the intersection of West Jackson Ave. and North Calispel St. Hill says that SCRAPS was already investigating the case before being contacted by PETA to offer an award for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction.
Other than where the kitten was found and the physical evidence — Hill says there were some wounds on its body, possibly injuries from being hit by a car, though no one can be sure — it's not known if the kitten was feral, a stray, belonged to someone or had been abandoned.
"These are frustrating [cases], because we want to solve all the cases, and we hope in the case of this kitten it wasn't strangled by the cords, that someone just did something odd after they maybe found the kitten that had died from other trauma, like a car or something," Hill says.
SCRAPS takes any potential cases of animal cruelty very seriously, she says, adding that the organization hears of more animal cruelty incidents now than it ever has, a trend she attributes to society's growing belief that animal cruelty is a completely unacceptable crime.
"If it was an act of animal cruelty we want to find them, and it should be prosecuted because animal cruelty could lead to more serious crimes," she says.
In Washington state, first degree animal cruelty is a felony
Hill says SCRAPS is also currently investigating a string of apparent dog poisonings in the Millwood area.
"We're still developing it, and we're not sure if we'll have a suspect," she says of that case.
"If no one sees anything, and you don't have any evidence like a tainted meatball... it becomes difficult."
Anyone with information on either of these incidents should immediately contact SCRAPS, Hill says. The agency's direct phone number is 509-477-2532. Emails can be sent to email@example.com