By Syma Chowdhry

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J., (CBS) — A disturbing case of animal cruelty discovered a few feet from an elementary school in Pleasantville.

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A janitor found the charred remains of a cat and three kittens in the staff parking lot of Washington Avenue Elementary School Tuesday morning.

“Everybody is upset and outraged and disturbed, hoping they get to the bottom of it soon,” teacher Marc Wassernman said.

Faculty members say they noticed a foul order for the past week or so.

What they discovered was heartbreaking.

Police believe the animals were burned alive on the spot.

“A cat is trying to care for her liter and this is what you do? It’s horrific,” Pleasantville Police Chief Jose Ruiz said. “I’m an animal lover. It’s terrible that somebody would have the mentality to do something like this.”

Last year a similar incident took place near the same area.

Chief Ruiz says people who commit animal cruelty may commit other serious acts of violence.

“What other crimes have taken place in this area, violent crimes that we haven’t solved that we may be able to attribute to this individual,” Chief Ruiz said.

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Police are also working with the Atlantic County SPCA.

The school is now looking at surveillance video from the past few weeks.

“Animals have feelings too and I take it very personal and serious,” Chief Ruiz said.

A reward is being offered in this case.

If you have any information call Pleasantville Police at (609) 641-6100 or the Atlantic County SPCA at (609) 927-9059.

 

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