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Democratic director's cat slain, with 'Liberal' painted on the pet

By Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 7:35 PM EST, Mon January 23, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. House candidate says cat of his campaign director was "slaughtered"
  • Democratic hopeful Ken Aden says director Jacob Burris, with his four kids, found dead pet
  • Aden reports the word "Liberal" was spray painted on the side of cat
  • Russellville, Arkansas, Police Department seeks tips from public in case

(CNN) -- The cat of an Arkansas Democratic campaign director was "slaughtered" and found on Sunday with the word "Liberal" scrawled in spray paint on its side, Democratic congressional candidate Ken Aden told CNN on Monday.

The cat of Jacob Burris, who works for Aden in his bid for Arkansas' 3rd Congressional District, was found on Burris' doorstep on Sunday in Russellville, according to Aden.

Burris was with his four children when they found their dead pet, a mixed-breed Siamese cat, on their front doorstep.

"What's unsettling to me is that it doesn't matter what your political beliefs are, as grown adults we should be able to sit down and have a good discussion about the issues," Aden said. "This is a great district. There are so many great folks here, but there are also some disturbed people in the world, too," he added.

The cat was found with its "head bashed in to the point the cat's eyeball was barely hanging from its socket," according to a news release on Aden's website.

Aden announced his bid for Congress against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack on September 1. Burris joined the campaign exactly one month later as its director, Aden said.

The Russellville Police Department was investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty, and a report was made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday morning, Aden's website said.

Joshua McMillian, public information officer for Russellville Police Department, said there are no eyewitness statements or evidence at the scene.

"We're asking the public if they know anything about it," McMillian said.

The U.S. Animal Humane Society is offering a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

The Burris family has no history of death threats against them, McMillian said. "We've increased patrols in the area as well. Right now this is only an isolated event," he said.

Aden said, "We've always been vigilant. You always have to watch out, but we haven't taken any added security precautions [because of the incident]. I honestly think it's someone being crazy."

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