$5,000 Reward offered for information on Howard Frankland cat killer

At least 6 cats found dead in area since May
Posted at 2:41 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 05:38:23-04

It is a disturbing trend that Dan Hester wants to stop.  Cats being thrown out of a truck on the Howard Frankland Bridge to a certain death, unless they can be rescued.

Hester said he can’t stand to think if another animal is next or even a human being.

“It's someone who has got some issues, enjoys animal cruelty, and watching these animals be run over by vehicles,” Hester said.  “Anybody that is abusing an animal is ultimately going to end up abusing a child, a spouse, a human being and we just can't tolerate that.”

Hester is one of the founders of MEOW Now, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “implement an effective trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) program for community cats in Pinellas County.”

Hester is personally putting up the money, separate from the non-profit.

“I can’t handle it,” Hester said.  “This bounty, as I call it, will hopefully lead to an arrest.”

On Aug. 7 ABC Action News spoke to Claudette Zoll.  She said she was driving on the Howard Frankland Bridge on Sunday morning when she saw a black and white ball of fur flying toward her vehicle.
"Out of the corner of my eye I see something flying out  of this person's vehicle, I'm not sure what I thought it was, but it appeared to be a cat," said Zoll.
She stopped her vehicle and walked over to the cat.  
"I went to pick it up and the cat got scared and ran," said Zoll.
She said the cat ran into her vehicle's wheel well. FHP and F-DOT responded to help get the cat out of the car. Zoll said the cat seem to be in good health. Her family plans on keeping the kitten.
"We actually thought about calling it miracle. It's a miracle it's alive and the fact that it somehow knew to stay close to the edge and not run back out onto the highway," said Zoll.
FHP has reports of six cats being found on the bridge this summer. Troopers said most of the cats were already dead when they responded.  
Zoll wasn't able to get a good description of the truck that was in front of her. FHP is investigating the incidents.