The body of a third cat has been found in East Patchogue, prompting animal rights officials to increase the reward for information on several feline deaths in the area to $9,000.

The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the body of the cat, disemboweled and apparently thrown over a fence, was reported in a residential neighborhood on Nov. 2. A necropsy will provide cause of death.

The find was about 450 feet away from where two feral cats were discovered on a resident's lawn, near Corbin Avenue, on Oct. 10. A necropsy revealed that an adult cat was killed by blunt force trauma, while the other, a 6- to 8-week-old-kitten, was cut in half.

"This is a vicious, heinous act of animal cruelty and how anyone could do this to these innocent cats is beyond reason," said Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

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The reward for information in the deaths of the cats is growing. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of $5,000 for information that leads to arrest. With a conviction, the Suffolk County SPCA is offering $2,000, the New York State Humane Association is pledging $1,000 and an anonymous donor is putting up $1,000.

Cats are companion animals, according to the SPCA, and those arrested will face felony animal cruelty charges.

Anyone with information should call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.