The Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for shooting three cats that belong to Janelle Mills, who lives in the 400 block of Luna Street in Monroe.

Mills contacted HSLA last month and reported that three of her cats had been shot on three separate occasions with a .22 caliber rifle.

Mills’ black and white cat was shot on Feb. 12 and had to undergo immediate surgery to remove its front left leg.

Her second cat, a grey and white short-haired feline, was shot in the neck, and fragments still remain lodged near its throat. A third cat was shot in the stomach and didn’t survive. Mills found her beloved cat sitting in a chair in her garage, dead from a bullet wound.

The cost to examine and treat the three cats has exceeded $1,000, and Mills is still making payments on the balance due.

Mills contacted the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office after each shooting, but no arrests have been made. Mills worries that the crimes will never be solved. Mills feels that the sheriff’s department isn’t taking her reports or these crimes seriously and that all three officers seemed dismissive of her reports. According to Ms. Mills, the three deputies were discourteous and inconsiderate. When Mills showed one officer where she felt one of the shots came from, she walked on her neighbor’s property, which prompted the officer to issue her a citation for trespassing.

“My husband is deceased, and I live alone, and these cats are like children to me,” Mills said. “What is extremely painful is both the loss of my cats and how rude and discourteous the deputies treated me. They almost ridiculed me when I simply tried to report a crime. They cited me for trespassing when I showed them where my cats usually roam. The entire experience has been a terrible ordeal.”

“We are equally concerned and disturbed to hear of these shootings and the apparent dismissive attitude of the responding officers,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “These are serious crimes. Shooting an animal with malicious intent is a felony, plus someone discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood is a separate, serious crime.”

“These reports need to be taken seriously. There is a clear link between the intentional injuring or killing of an animal and violence directed against humans. Deliberately hurting an animal is often a precursor of future violence. Virtually every violent offender often has a history of violence against animals. To take these reports lightly does a great disservice to the community and Ms. Mills. We plan to ask Sheriff Russell to review the action and attitudes of these three deputies. Victims have the right to report crimes and to be treated respectfully. These deputies are sworn to protect and serve their community, and we want their actions to reflect that oath.” Dorson added.

Due to the high number of cruelty cases involving the abuse and deliberate killing of cats, The Humane Society of Louisiana, based out of New Orleans, recently launched a ‘Stop Cruelty to Cats’ campaign that is designed to bring attention to the violence directed against cats.

The campaign also intends to educate law enforcement on its responsibility to enforce the laws that protect animals. The campaign is underwritten by a generous grant provided by Alley Cat Allies, an international leader in cat protection and advocacy.

“We hope that the community will support Ms. Mills in her pursuit of justice and help us solve this and other crimes involving the deliberate hurting and killing of cats,” Dorson said.

Anyone with information about this case or other cases involving cruelty to cats is encouraged to call the Humane Society at 1.888.6.HUMANE (486.263).

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