DAVENPORT, Iowa (WHBF) — Over the past nine days, nearly $10,000 has been raised as reward to help find a cat killer.
Ashley Downing, who works for King’s Harvest No-Kill Shelter in Davenport started the online GoFundMe campaign to raise money as a reward for the arrest and conviction of the person who carried out “these horrific crimes against poor Milo,” the page says. It’s raised $6,452 as of noon Thursday, May 12.
On April 28th, the former stray tuxedo cat Milo was found 40 yards from his Rock Island home — killed, gutted, and skinned.
King’s Harvest (2504 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport) is a nonprofit charitable organization that both helps homeless and surrendered pets and helps them find them homes. Milo’s owner, Steve Havercamp of Rock Island, approached them about helping support the reward and the nonprofit.
“We had all known about it prior to when it happened. I was actually the one to send it to everybody when I first saw it on Facebook,” Downing said Thursday about the cat being missing the day before being found.
“And so he came in and obviously explained what was going on, what happened, what his goal was, and wanted to partner with us and then asked, if we could set that up,” she said of the GoFundMe. “I just kind of took it upon myself and said, I’d never done it before but I figured it out.”
For Havercamp to go out of his way to help King’s Harvest “is really amazing to us,” Downing said. “We’ll take whatever donations we can get. But I’m more than happy to help him and help mediate the situation to find whoever did this. I’m more happy to figure out how we can resolve this and get the person caught. I don’t think it should necessarily take money. People should just do the right thing, but sometimes it does obviously help.”
When she heard about the criminal acts against Milo, “I was devastated,” Downing said. “I was in complete disbelief. I had sent it to my co-workers and they’ve actually shed a few tears. Obviously, we didn’t know him personally, but just the simple horrific act of the whole thing – we were appalled, to say the least. And I’m still in disbelief about it.”
While Downing set a $10,000 fundraising goal, she’s thrilled to see how much has been donated already.
“It’s insane,” she said Thursday. “To raise that much money for something like this is incredible and like I told Steve, I said, I’m happy to help with this and I’m glad that the community — even with the horrific situation — it’s nice to see that a lot of people can kind of come together to figure out who did this and put forth money towards this to get it figured out.”
In the event the criminal is caught, the GoFundMe funds would be paid to the individual who provided information leading to the arrest and conviction. If the offender is not caught, the funds would be donated to King’s Harvest, Havercamp said. Its website is https://kingsharvestpetrescue.org.
A few people have come in person with donations for the “Justice for Milo” fund, Downing said. Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities has offered a $2,500 reward HERE. You can submit a tip online, call 309-762-9500 or use the app P3 Tips.
Havercamp’s family has donated $1,000 (beyond the online campaign) for a reward, as well as giving $500 for King’s Harvest, and $525 for the GoFundMe. To donate, visit the GoFundMe HERE.