Two national animal protection organizations are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed Ella, the deer that lived in Kansas City’s Elmwood Cemetery.
Ella had been living at the cemetery since she was born there on Memorial Day weekend in 2011. She had become a familiar and comforting presence to visitors to the cemetery. But she was found shot to death there on Aug. 4.
People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Monday said it is offering up to $5,000 and In Defense of Animals is offering $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
“The cold-bloodedness of this senseless killing indicates what a danger this person is to all of us,” Eric Phelps of In Defense of Animals said in a statement announcing the reward. “Someone knows who did this, and he or she will be serving the entire community by stepping forward.”
PETA Director Martin Mersereau said animal abusers are cowards.
“They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them,” Mersereau said in a statement announcing his organization’s reward. “Kansas City residents have good reason to be concerned. According to law-enforcement agencies and leading mental health professionals, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals — including humans.”
It is not clear what a person accused of killing Ella would be charged with. Shooting deer out of season is a state offense and discharge of a firearm within the city is a municipal offense.
Elmwood Cemetery officials are considering some way to memorialize Ella but no decisions have yet been made, said John Weilert, president of the Elmwood Cemetery Board of Trustees.