$2,500 reward offered in cat mutilations case

A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for recent cat mutilations in Lawrence, the Humane Society of the United States announced Monday morning.

On Sept. 29, Mark McCanon said he found his 13-year-old Manx cat laid out, cut open with a knife and gutted; its hind legs and tail were nearby. He said three of his neighbors, in the 3200 block of West Ninth Street, also found their cats mutilated in their yards on different occasions.

Lawrence Police said there were several reports of possible animal cruelty in the area during the last part of September.

A cat’s severed head was also found in nearby Centennial Park, according to Midge Grinstead, Lawrence Humane Society executive director, who is participating in the police department’s investigation.

Grinstead and McCanon said another animal could not have been responsible for the cat mutilations, because there was no blood nearby, no teeth tears and no puncture wounds.

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, in conjunction with the Lawrence Humane Society, is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone with information leading to the conviction of those responsible for any of the cat killings, a Humane Society news release said.

Crimestoppers also offers a reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to felony arrests, said Pepper Ballard, a national Humane Society spokeswoman. Anyone with information regarding animal cruelty can contact Lawrence police at 832-7509.

At least 18 animal cruelty cases have been reported in Douglas County this year, compared with three or four cases in a typical year, Grinstead said.