HONOLULU (KHON2) — An Oahu animal rescue that first reported stray cats being targets of blow darts around Schofield Barracks is adding to the reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved.
Local nonprofit Catopia Hawaii first offered the reward of $500 last week after news of the injured cats became public. The reward is now $1,000.
KAT Charities founder Dr. Karen Tyson said her team of volunteers has seen multiple cats with darts in them and has knowledge of two cats that were found mutilated near the Popeyes on base. The cats were found with their stomachs slit open — their intestines and organs spilling out.
“While extremely graphic, we believe it is important to note that the animals appeared to have been purposefully mutilated as opposed to accidentally hit by a car,” Tyson said last week.
On Thursday, June 2, one of the injured cats was found and taken to a vet to remove a dart. As of Monday, June 6, she is the only cat rescued. Katniss is now recovering with a foster and will be transferred to Popoki + Tea — a cat cafe in Kaimuki — at the end of the month to find her forever home.
KAT Charities told KHON2 they have been going out every night trying to capture the second cat identified as a victim of the cruelty and has a dart in her ear. The animal rescue is advising people not to chase after the cats. They have a team of volunteers with training and experience humanely trapping cats.
Catopia Hawaii is also reminding base residents not to offer the remaining wounded cats a snack because it makes trapping them for veterinary care difficult.
“We are hopeful about several of the leads coming in, and while we can’t comment on developments, we can say that military investigators are taking this seriously and have sent off evidence for analysis,” said Jessica Halvorson, cofounder and vice president of Catopia Hawaii.
U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii has launched an investigation into these reports and is asking witnesses with first-hand information to contact Schofield Barracks Military Police at (808) 655-5555.
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To claim Catopia Hawaii’s $1,000 reward, email firstname.lastname@example.org.