WOODLAWN - The animal rights group PETA is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of animal abusers who?ve tortured nearly half a dozen cats over the past several weeks.

The money kicked in by PETA brings the total reward amount to $6,000.

The abused felines were discovered with broken bones and severe burns. One of them was so gravely injured, it had to be put down.

Police say the first reported case of animal abuse was made by a resident in July, when she found a gray cat with a large gash across its back. Later, a teenager found another kitten that had a fractured skull and burns covering its body.

Other organizations that offered money to help catch the cat abusers include the Woodlawn Taxpayers Association and Animal Nation, which contributed $500 each, and the Humane Society, which gave $2,500.

According to a state law that deals with crimes involving animal abuse, perpetrators could land in prison for up to two years.

The Woodlawn Taxpayers Association will hold its general public meeting on Sept. 8 at St. Barnabas Hospital. One of the main topics on the agenda will be the cat abuse cases.