PORT ANGELES — The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who killed a 7-year-old house cat, Tarot, in Port Angeles earlier this month.
“Violence against companion animals is one of the strongest predictors for other crimes and violent acts,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The perpetrator of this heinous crime poses a threat to all members of the Port Angeles community — both human and nonhuman.”
When police arrived at Shane Park on July 8, they found the cat had been cut in half and placed by the playground and picnic area at the park, police said.
Police described the cut as a “clean cut” and said there were no teeth or claw marks on the pet.
“Hopefully something comes of the reward money,” said Officer JJ Smith, who responded to the call.
Smith said she talked to neighbors near the park in hopes of finding anyone with a video camera, but had no luck. Neighbors said there’s so much traffic at the park at night it’s difficult to know what’s suspicious.
Without any leads as to who many have killed Tarot, police are hoping someone with information about what happened will call them.
Tarot lived in Port Angeles and was “a beloved member” of his family, his distraught guardian wrote on Facebook after his killing. Tarot’s body was discovered near a children’s playground, where it had been placed after being cut in half in another location.
In Washington, it is a Class C felony to intentionally kill an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or while manifesting an extreme indifference to life. The maximum penalty is up to five years imprisonment or a $10,000 fine, or both; along with an additional $1,000 fine to be paid to the county to prevent animal cruelty.
Anyone who has information about this case is urged to call the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.