A Calgary group is capping its reward fund for information on who abused two animals in the city's southeast.
The bodies of a dog and a kitten were found recently in an alley in Willow Park with their mouths taped shut.
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The crime sparked outrage and contributions to a reward fund organized by Vets to Go began pouring in.
"Our original plan with this fundraising campaign was to be able to post a $10,000 reward for the conviction of those responsible for this vicious crime," said Vets To Go founder Dr. Wendy McClelland in a release.
"The overwhelming response we’ve received will not only allow us to meet that original goal, but to significantly exceed it.”
Capped at $20,000
That reward fund now stands at more than $75,000, but will be capped at $20,000.
“This is double our original goal, and to our knowledge is the highest reward ever offered in an animal abuse and cruelty case,” said McClelland.
Vets To Go says the decision to cap the reward was made partly because there was a growing concern that someone who may have a key piece of information wouldn't bring it forward in the hopes the reward will grow bigger.
The rest of the money will be used to establish a national animal abuse registry and a training program for Crown prosecutors dealing with animal abuse cases.
"We believe that that's one of the solutions because as much as the laws in Canada around animals need strengthening, we do have laws that could be applied," said Vets to Go president Greg Habstritt.
"Unfortunately they are not being used very effectively and we believe knowledge in the hands of the Crown prosecutor is one of the greatest ways that we can affect change quickly."
Memorial walk planned
The group says if the reward is not claimed within a year that the funds would be donated to the Calgary Humane Society's investigation unit to improve tools, training and technology to help prosecute animal abuse cases.
Meanwhile, the Willow Park Paws Justice Memorial is planned for Nosehill Park in northwest Calgary on Saturday at 2 p.m.
"Now more than ever we need to band together and be the voice for these poor pets," said a post on the group's Facebook page.
WARNING: The photos below may be disturbing for some. Do not click through unless you want to view images of the animals.