For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Johnson City, Tenn. – PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty charges of the person(s) responsible for restraining, beating, and running over a cat whose body was found in the parking lot of the Appalachian Funeral Home on Sunday.
The cat’s body wasn’t in the parking lot when a funeral home worker arrived at 10:30 a.m., but the employee made the horrifying discovery at around 1 p.m. and called the police. Someone had bound the male orange-and-white cat’s rear legs with duct tape and inflicted severe head trauma, possibly with a screwdriver that was found nearby, and bloody tire tracks indicate that his head was run over.
Photos from the case are too gruesome to share. A police investigation has not yet turned up any leads, and PETA is hoping for help from the public to solve the case before other cats are hurt or killed.
“This cat should have been safe indoors with a loving family and instead endured a terrifying and agonizing death at the hands of someone who must be caught before hurting anyone else,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA urges anyone with information to come forward—and possibly save a life.”
PETA notes that some people consider free-roaming cats to be “pests.” Across the country, these cats are shot, poisoned, and taken by angry residents. They’re also mutilated, drowned, beaten, set on fire, used in ritual sacrifice, or used by dogfighters as “bait.” Cats can live happily indoors and should be given opportunities to explore the outdoors only under the watchful eyes of their guardians.
Anyone with tips should contact the Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter at 423-926-8769 or the Johnson City Police Department at 423-434-6000.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.