A cat belonging to an Arkansas Democratic campaign manager was found dead on Sunday night with the word "Liberal" spray-painted across its side, the campaign manager said.
The cat was a pet of Jake Burris, who manages Democrat Ken Aden's bid for Arkansas' 3rd Congressional District. Aden is running against incumbent Republican Representative Steve Womack.
Burris was returning to his Russellville, Arkansas home with his four children when he found the cat on his doorstep, the Aden campaign said in a press release on Monday.
The mixed-breed Siamese cat had one side of its head bashed in to "the point the cat's eyeball was barely hanging from its socket," the release said.
Aden told Reuters that the event was "horrible, to say the least."
"Thankfully, there are not that many people who want to do something like this," Aden said. "The majority of people in this district are hard-working folks, but you get the occasional crazy individual out there."
The Russellville Police Department is investigating the incident as an animal cruelty case, according to a police official. Russellville is 80 miles west of Little Rock.
Aden and Burris said they did not believe Womack or his re-election campaign were involved in the incident.
Arkansas' 3rd District is heavily conservative Republican and has been held by a Republican since the 1966 election. Womack first won the congressional seat in 2010 with 72 percent of the vote.
The Womack campaign denounced the violence on Monday.
"The thought of brutalizing any animal for the sake of making a political statement is beyond any standard of decency and the person or people responsible for this act should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," said Beau Walker, Womack's chief of staff.