10/08/2013 12:55 pm ET

Spray-Painted Cat Dies: $800 Reward Offered In Animal Cruelty Case (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

An $800 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a shocking case of animal cruelty in Pennsylvania.

In late September, pranksters in Hermitage, Pa., who apparently thought it would be funny to spray-paint a kitten bright orange, ended up killing the animal when fumes from the paint damaged its lungs, according to the Sharon Herald. Humane officers also believe the cat may have ingested chemicals from the paint.

“It’s sad to say but I think people think it’s cute,” Sandi Drabick, executive director of the Humane Society of Mercer County, told the paper.

"It's just awful that someone could even think about doing that to a poor cat," Mara Redmond, who reported the incident to humane investigators, told NBC Pittsburgh. Redmond's family had been feeding the stray cat for the past few months, and were shocked when it showed up at their door covered in paint.

The Humane Society of Mercer County initially offered a $100 reward for information about the case, but that was increased to $800 thanks to private donations, according to WPXI.

According to Hermitage police, the crime is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.



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