People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are offering separate rewards for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the cruel act.
PETA is offering a $5,000 reward, while HSUS has put up $2,500.
On Sunday, Arkansas Democratic campaign director Jacob Burris and his four children found the body of their cat, Gato, on their front doorstep. Gato was reportedly beaten, and the word "Liberal" was scrawled in spray paint on his side.
"Animal abusers are cowards," says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. "They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them."
PETA believes that other animals in the area might be in danger as long as those responsible for this crime are at large.
PETA says law-enforcement agencies and leading mental-health professionals have documented cases showing that perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals--including humans.
The HSUS says getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community.
"Viciously killing a cat to send a political message is shockingly cruel and is a crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Ann Chynoweth, senior director of the Animal Cruelty, Rescue and Response Team for HSUS. "Our sympathies go out to the Burris family for the loss of their pet and we hope our reward helps catch whoever committed this heinous act of animal cruelty."
The Russellville Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (479) 968-3232.