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Reward offered in case of kitten thrown from car

A spokeswoman for the Animal Legal Defense Fund says the organization is offering a reward for information in the case of a kitten that was fatally injured when thrown from a car toward a group of animal rights activists in uptown Charlotte earlier this month.

Megan Backus says the nonprofit organization will pay $2,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for throwing the kitten.

Melissa Knicely of Charlotte Animal Care & Control, a division of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, said a veterinarian determined the kitten, a short-haired tabby, was 6 to 8 weeks old. It died in the arms of an animal rights activist about 10 minutes after being thrown from the car.

The incident was reported about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 1.

A member of the Charlotte Dolphin Day organization said a Hyundai Sonata pulled up to a traffic signal at Trade and Tryon streets and then threw the kitten to the road. Knicely says a veterinarian determined the animal died of blood loss due to internal injuries.

Dolphin Day is observed around the world annually on or about Sept. 1, the date when the Japanese hunting season for dolphins begins.

Police used surveillance video from uptown cameras to get a photo of the car allegedly involved in the incident. But there was no description of the driver.

Burton Pinckney, a member of the Dolphin Day group, says several members of the group believe the person responsible for the act targeted the organization because of its support of animal rights.

Knicely says the person responsible for the incident could be charged with felony animal cruelty. That carries a jail sentence of up to 6 months.

“Horrific abuse like this indicates that an extremely dangerous personality is at large,” says Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “For the safety of animals, and of our communities, we call on anyone with knowledge of this abuse to come forward.

“Abusers almost always repeat violence against helpless animals and victimize humans as well.”

Anyone with information in the case can contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund at 707-795-2533, ext. 1010. Or information can be left with the local Crime Stoppers hot line, 704-334-1600.

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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