WAUKEGAN, IL -- After a dead cat was found hanging from a tree in a Chicago suburb, an animal rescue group hopes a reward will lead to an arrest.
Waukegan Police confirm they are investigating this case as a possible act of animal cruelty. Whoever's responsible clearly intended for people to find the cat.
The disturbing image has been blurred, but shows a dead cat hanging from a tree with a cord wrapped around its neck.
"It just took my breath away, literally," said Mary Kaye Larsen, Fat Cat Rescue. "How could you wrap a rope or a nylon strap around this kitten, hoist her up there, knowing that children are going to see that?"
Larsen runs a shelter in North Chicago that is now offering a reward of more than $1,000 for information leading to the perpetrator.
The gruesome discovery made Friday morning on a quiet Waukegan block protected by a neighborhood watch and not far from a school.
"I never stop thinking about that cat... suffering," Larsen said.
Why someone would harm the cat and display it in such a public manner is now being investigated.
Police say it's unclear whether the cat was dead before it was hanged. Regardless, the person responsible could face animal cruelty charges.
"Our investigations division has taken over the case so that we can get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what is going on and find out if there's any ulterior motive or ulterior meanings to this," said Cmdr. Joe Florip, Waukegan Police Dept.
"Help us find whoever did this. For whatever reason they did it, they need help. If you can hurt an animal, you can simply hurt a person," Larsen said.
Larsen says there have been other recent cases of dogs and other animals being harmed in the area, but police say this particular incident - at this time - appears isolated.
Chicago-area police investigating dead cat found hanging in tree