Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19182
Classification: Stabbing
Animal: cat, other wildlife
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Reward: $2,500
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Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012


Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Rewards totalling $2500 have been offered for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for killing a hedgehog and a family cat in Timaru this week.

Timaru Herald readers quickly responded to a story yesterday about Smudge, a 17-year-old cat found deliberately cut up outside her Waimataitai home on Tuesday morning.

A beheaded hedgehog was found nearby and police consider the deaths premeditated and sadistic.

Constable Tig Payne said police had received a few calls yesterday but had no new information about the attack.

"There will be someone out there who knows or has a good hunch," he said.

The killings happened in the Newman St hill area.

Like many, Waimate woman Andrea Baikie was horrified when she read about the killings. She hoped putting $500 up as a reward would be incentive for someone to come forward with information leading to the apprehension of the culprit."There's no sense ranting and raving unless I do something about it," she said.

When animal advocacy group PawJustice posted a $1000 reward for information leading to a prosecution, a Temuka woman said she would match it with $1008 - money raised in December when another case of suspected cruelty was reported.

Janie Stoakes said she and Megan Wilson, the owner of Lily, a cat who crawled home after losing a back leg, decided the money left over from Lily's medical treatment should go to a reward for information about the attacks on Lily or Smudge.

Both women suspected a link between the attacks, she said.

Many readers yesterday highlighted concerns about future problems.

Louise Haley wrote: "If this person isn't caught and dealt with, they will be a serious problem in the not too distant future. I really do hope someone comes forward with information."

However, others doubted a reward would prompt people to come forward with information.

Facebook reader Jess Reeve said: "I think it's good people want justice but to be honest I think it's a waste of time. The person will most likely get a slap on the wrist from the courts and then think it is okay to do again if not worse. And it happened at night, if anyone was with this person I doubt they or this person will come forward."

Mr Payne said police took all crime seriously "but this sort of thing, not only do the police get involved but also MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) ��" but it depends on the degree of cruelty."

The maximum penalty for charges of cruelty or ill-treatment of animals was three years in prison or a $50,000 fine, he said.

"It's not a common occurrence and the penalties are quite high penalties, which I think is more a reflection of the fact [there's potential for] people who do that sort of thing to do other things."

References

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