Reward offered after cat found hanging in backyard of local home

SEATTLE -- A couple found a dead cat hanging in the backyard of their south Seattle home last weekend, and now the Seattle Animal Shelter is offering a $5,000 to help figure out who's responsible for the animal cruelty.

"When our officer got there she found the cat, indeed, hanging dead over the fence," said Ann Graves, who is the Manager of Field Services at the Seattle Animal Shelter. "It appears to be a deliberate act of brutal animal cruelty."

The cat was found hanging on a wooden fence last Saturday morning on the 4200 block of South Bateman Street. The cat had a chain link around its neck -- like a collar -- and string material attached.

A necropsy shows the cat struggled before dying from its wounds.

"It was determined the cat was alive at the point it went over the fence, so this cat suffered tremendously before it died by being hung on that fence," said Graves.

Investigators tracked down the cat's owners through a microchip. The owners told officers the cat escaped from home a couple days before it was found hanging on the fence.

"It's wonderful that the cat had identification -- had that microchip -- because they would have been left never knowing what happened to their cat, but it's also awful for them to find out that this is how their cat met its end," said Graves.

"That's just sickening to resort to something like that," said neighbor Ricarda Nieva. "I can't believe that people would do that."

Nieva didn't hear or see anything suspicious in the neighborhood and, like many, considers the crime 'heinous'.

"That is so horrible," he said. "Those animals are innocent and there's other ways to deal with it."

If you have any information that may lead to the identification of the suspects, arrest and conviction call the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-4288.