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Editor's note: The Alley Cat Allies are offering a reward for information on the recent deaths and disappearances of scores of cats in Martinsville, Indiana. The following press release provides more detail:
BETHESDA, MD—Today, Alley Cat Allies offers a cash reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the recent deaths and disappearances of up to 30 cats in Martinsville, Indiana. Cats have been found dead in the neighborhood near Home Avenue and South Street. Anyone with any information is asked to contact crime stoppers at (317) 262–TIPS (8477).
"This is a disturbing and horrific case of animal cruelty, and we need to find whomever is responsible," 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."
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."
The Morgan County Humane Society has an active Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program and authorities say the majority of the cats that have been killed or disappeared were stray or outdoor cats.
"A lot of residents feed and care for the cats—we help by getting the cats spayed or neutered and vaccinated—then the cats are returned to the location where they were trapped," says Alicia Fouty, TNR coordinator at Morgan County Humane Society. "Over 500 cats have gone through our TNR program so far."
TNR is an established, mainstream program designed to care for community cats and to keep them out of shelters. Over 430 cities and counties endorse TNR as policy for community cats, and nationally, there are over 600 nonprofits with TNR programs for the care of stray and feral cats. Millions of people care for outdoor cats daily.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact crime stoppers at (317) 262–TIPS (8477).
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.