|Updated: 1/23/2012 9:44 pm
||Published: 1/23/2012 1:39 pm
RUSSELLVILLE, AR - The campaign manager for a congressional candidate found his family's cat dead with the word "liberal" written on it.
Jake Burris, who manages Democrat Ken Aden's campaign, says his children found the cat dead on their porch Sunday. Russellville police are investigating this as an animal cruelty case.
Burris is taking time away from his duties as Ken Aden's campaign manager to comfort his children after a gruesome discovery. "My son said Daddy I think the cat's dead. I came around the corner and saw the cat was dead so I told him to get inside the house and got the other children away before they saw anything. Then I saw "liberal" written on it."
Aden is running for the 3rd District congressional seat and says this is no way to express a particular political view. "It's just someone who decided to act out and be crazy. I hope people realize actions like this are not the way to go. We want to sit down and talk about the real issues at hand."
Russellville Police say this type of animal cruelty is rare. Burris agrees this doesn't fit the community. "It's disgusting what this person did, but you can't judge this community. This is a great place to bring up a family. This isn't indicative of the way people are around here."
Burris is fearful for his family, and police are increasing patrols in the area. "People who do silly stuff like this, gross stuff like that, they're reaching out. There is something wrong with this person's mind."
Cruelty to animals is a felony crime. There is a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in this case. Police say there's no indication this is the work of anyone from any political campaign, and Burris says he hasn't received any threats from anyone who may have done this.
Aden is the only Democrat running against Republican Rep. Steve Woman. Womack's campaign condemned the act.
"The thought of brutalizing any animal for the sake of making a political statement, no matter what that statement is, is beyond any standard of decency and the person or people who are responsible for this should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," said Beau Walker, Womack's campaign manager. "There should be no tolerance in this nation's political discussion for this kind of behavior."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report