$5,000 reward in Great Bend decapitated cat case

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) -- An out-of-state animal rights group is offering a reward in the case of a decapitated cat in Great Bend.

The cat was found Oct. 26 and the local humane society is certain it was a case of intentional cruelty.

"Animal cruelty is animal cruelty, but this is an intent," said Heather Acheson, executive director of the Golden Belt Humane Society.

Acheson says she reached out to the Humane Society of the U.S.. to offer a $5,000 reward for information that leads police to whoever cut off the cat's head.

"This crime is not going to be tolerated here in Great Bend or anywhere and people really should take it upon themselves to report if they see any acts of cruelty," Acheson said.

Both Acheson and the humane society animal control officer who was called to the scene are confident the cat was not killed by another animal.

"It looks like it had clearly been cut intentionally with a knife," said Seth Orebaugh, an animal control officer for the Golden Belt Humane Society.

Acheson said if anybody is arrested, the crime will likely qualify for prosecution under Magnum's Law, a 2006 Kansas law that made animal cruelty a felony.

"One of the definitions is, 'intentionally killing, injuring, maiming, torturing or mutilating any animal' and it does pose a hefty fine of up to $5,000 and a year in jail," she said.

Orebaugh said getting anywhere close to prosecution -- or even an arrest -- will require the public's help. That is why the reward is being offered.

"We're really looking for some help," he said. "As far as now, we have nothing to go off of and we're really hoping the public will step up and let us know if they have any information."

Anybody with information that can help solve the case is asked to call the Great Bend Police Department at (620) 793-4120.


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