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Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011County: Ulster
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
It's a mean and cruel act, and Linda Kennedy wants to find the person who did it.
So much that she's offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible party.
Kennedy said that while she was out walking her dog about a week ago, she discovered a cat in her back yard that had been burned to death on a pile of wood.
"It still haunts me," Kennedy said. "I'm a very big animal lover, and I just can't believe that somebody could take a living thing, set it on fire and watch it suffer and die."
The animal's singed carcass is still intact on the wood pile, Kennedy said. She said it's about the size of a stray that had been hanging around the neighborhood.
"Its claws were curled up really tight, so I knew that something traumatic and painful had happened to it," she said. "That poor thing must have suffered.
"I was extremely traumatized about it. I cried all night," she added.
Kennedy said she called the New Paltz Police Department soon after she made the discovery and that two officers came to check it out and talk with neighbors.
But she hasn't heard from police since, she said.
Kennedy has a hunch it could have been a vengeful act, because she had called police a couple of weeks ago to report noise from a nearby party.
"It could be some sort of payback," she said.
She also wondered if it could have been an occult activity.
Since her initial outreach to police, Kennedy said she's contacted the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The SPCA's executive director, Brian Shapiro, said although the agency has an investigative arm, it is up to law-enforcement officers to pursue criminal charges.
"We enforce animal cruelty laws, which in New York state are found under Agriculture and Markets law. It's not under criminal laws," he said.
"It is up to law enforcement to enforce these laws. We're a backup," Shapiro said.
An investigator from the SPCA already has tried to connect with Kennedy, Shapiro said, adding his agency will do all it can to assist with the investigation if one is launched.
Kennedy, meanwhile, wants to get rid of the carcass. She said she'd like to bury it because she can't bear to look at it anymore and because she's leery about its proximity to her three dogs.
"My back yard is fenced in, and I let them out to run around, but now I'm constantly watching them," she said.
Kennedy said she won't rest till the perpetrator is caught.
"That ($1,000 reward) offer is still good," she said. "I would love to find out who did this. Anybody who could burn an animal alive and watch it suffer deserves whatever they get."
- dailyfreeman.com - Mar 30, 2011
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