WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) — A criminal investigation is underway after four kittens were found dead and a litter of cats was dumped outside a Wilson Zoo foster home.
Netitia Jones, 53, admitted to dumping a total of 15 kittens Tuesday (June 18) at the zoo's foster home. Police confirmed that three kittens died when severe thunderstorms hit the area.
The helpless animals were packed into two cages with no cover from the storms.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office is trying to track down who is responsible for leaving the animals behind.
While no arrest has been made at this time, according to Arkansas state law a person commits cruelty to an animal when he or she abandons an animal at a location without providing for the animals continued care.
The Wilson Zoo is offering a $500 reward the person who can identify the individual responsible for the animals' deaths.
Local animal advocate Jenny Tuz says she believes the person who did this should be held accountable.
"100 percent they should. There is no reason there are so many resources," Tuz said. "They could have waited until the morning and brought them to the shelter, they could have done anything. It seems to me they got themselves into this situation to have so many animals and they should take responsibility."
In a Facebook post, Wilson Zoo said "We are beyond furious and heartbroken right now, we have 11 cats we don't have foster rooms for. We are asking for adopters and Fosters ASAP."
Since the investigation is ongoing, the cats involved will not be available for adoption until an arrest is made. The Zoo says adoption of animals currently in their care will help free up some space for the cats though.
Jones is free on a $2,500 bond. She has a hearing set for July 23 in Prairie Grove District Court.