Politically-motivated cat killing suspected in Arkansas

There are far too many individual acts of animal cruelty across the United States every day to highlight each and every one. For updates on new incidents of animal abuse - and to find details on older cases - we recommend the comprehensive database maintained by www.petabuse.com.

But there was on case this week that was too heinous to go unnoticed.

A staff member for a Democratic Congressional candidate in Arkansas found his beaten cat's body on his doorstep on Sunday.

Jacob Burris, campaign manager for U.S. House candidate Ken Aden was returning home with his children when he found his cat "Gato" outside his Russellville house with the word "liberal" scrawled in spray paint across his body, according to news reports.

The adult Siamese-mix cat had been viciously beaten to death. 

The cat had one side of its head bashed in to "the point the cat's eyeball was barely hanging from its socket," the release from the Aden campaign said.

The Humane Society of the United States and PETA are offering a rewards totaling $7,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing the cat  to send a political message.

"Viciously killing a cat to send a political message is shockingly cruel and is a crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Ann Chynoweth, senior director of the Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response Team for The Humane Society of the United States. "Our sympathies go out to the Burris family for the loss of their pet and we hope our reward helps catch whoever committed this heinous act of animal cruelty."

Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

The Russellville Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 479-968-3232.