CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Police are looking for information after several animals were found dead and appeared to have been killed by the same person or persons.
According to the Caruthersville Police Department, Caruthersville Animal Control and Caruthersville Humane Society, at least eight more animals have been found dead in the town since the $250 reward was posted.
Thanks to donors, the humane society is increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons to $1,000.
Investigators say several leads and tips have been received and each and every lead is being followed up on.
“We continue to take this very seriously,” animal control officer Chris Thacker said. “We are asking the public to be vigilant and report any situation involving deceased animals, no matter how small you think it may be.”
Several animals were found dead in the city in the last couple of months. The animal deaths are being investigated as a criminal matter because of specific findings.
The Caruthersville Humane Society originally offered a $250 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths.
Caruthersville animal control officer Chris Thacker said the cause of death leads them to believe the animals were killed by the same person or persons.
If you have found a dead animal in the last couple of months and disposed of it, authorities are asking you to contact the Humane Society at 573-333-9977 so they can see if the incident could be connected to the investigation.
Anyone who finds a dead animal should contact the city Animal Control or police department.
“This has been a very difficult situation for the staff and people working this case,” humane society director Karol Wilcox said. “Just the nature of dealing with this is hard on the staff and volunteers. We certainly are grateful for our city animal control officer and police department.”
“People dump animals in ditches but not this methodical, not this horrific and not this often,” Wilcox said.
She said the incidents started in early June they found few dead dogs and then cats. They started seeing similarities in how they were killed.
The dogs and cats were found in different locations, but Wilcox said they all have one thing in common: a plastic bag.
“It’s almost like they’re trying to hide the animal at first or maybe that’s their way of disposing of it," Wilcox said. "Some of them have a bag on them maybe a bag near them but that is a common denominator”
Police Chief Tony Jones said they’re treating the animal deaths as a criminal case and he believes they’re all connected.
“We haven’t had that problem just recently some sick individual or individuals that’s doing this to the animals,” he said. “We’re asking the public to watch out for anything like that if you see somebody throwing something on side of the road check it out if you find an animal in there try to get a license plate or description of the person.”
Police Chief Tony Jones said they are taking this situation very seriously.
“This is a criminal matter, and any form of animal abuse is not acceptable. We are continuing to work on bringing the person or persons to justice,” he said.
Tips can be made by calling Caruthersville police at 573-333-2121 or the Caruthersville Animal Shelter at 573-333-9977. Reports of dead animals should be made to animal control at 573-333-9977 during business hours or reported to the Caruthersville Police Department.