New Advocacy Group Emerges from Tragedy
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New Advocacy Group Emerges from Tragedy

FROM ADOW
July 18, 2014

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A $22,500 reward for the cat killer’s identity is still being offered.

A new council has been formed to address animal cruelty in Westchester County.

n April, 2014 the worst case of animal cruelty in Westchester history was discovered in Yonkers, when – initially – one dead animal was found dangling from a tree branch in Yonkers. This animal had been eviscerated and it was hard to make out what it was at first, but was subsequently determined to be a white cat that had been strung up from a branch of a crooked tree. Next to it hung a black bag with another dead cat, and it was determined that 25 other cats suffered the same fate.

These cats were beaten to death, and forensics would disclose that some had died a year ago, while others were slaughtered within the week. The sheer numbers and brutality of this case were profoundly upsetting and reported on all over the U.S. and the world.

This case remains unsolved despite a massive public outcry and the offer of a reward for almost $25,000 for information leading to an arrest.

As a result of this incident, a group of concerned citizens have organized The Cat Protection Council of Westchester, with its stated mission: “To better the lives of cats in Westchester County, N.Y., through advocacy, education and community outreach; the 12-member council will work together as a united team for at least one year to open lines of communication with the SPCA of Westchester and local humane and other law enfor cement agencies throughout the county to assist with gathering and reporting information related to crimes against cats to ensure that charges are brought and cases won against any person who commits such acts.

“The council will also work with these and other entities to educate the people of Westchester County about the benefits of spaying and neutering cats (owned, stray or homeless, and feral) and assist in facilitating the development of low- and no-cost spay/neuter programs.”

The council, initiated by national organization Alley Cat Allies, has already met with SPCA management and law enforcement representatives to discuss improved methods of reporting and stopping animal cruelty, as well as other issues to facilitate SPCA responsiveness to the community. The council has also met with members of the Yonkers City Council to discuss, among other things, an upcoming cleanup and restoration of the site where the cats were killed, to then turn it into a place of peace and memorial.

The City Council has allotted $15,000 toward a trap, neuter and release program there, which will be an enormous help in reducing the number of homeless and vulnerable cats, said the council.

Council spokesperson Kiley Blackman says, “We will not let this case go cold,” said council spokeswoman Kiley Blackman.

“We expect it to be solved. This is the second incident of a similar nature here, where several cats previously were poisoned, which makes a total of almost 35 animals. The savage, alarming murder of those helpless little innocents and the numbers involved showed that special attention had to be paid on their behalf. We don’t want the world to think animal cruelty is tolerated here.

“Cats unfortunately are still some of the most misunderstood and ignored of the group considered ‘companion animals’ – because of this the sicker bullying element feels freer to torture and harm them with impunity,” she continued. “But cats are sentient, intelligent beings that don’t deserve to be mistreated. We thank the mayor and the City of Yonkers for the kind and considerate help they’ve provided for this heartbreaking cause.”

To contact the Cat Protection Council of Westchester, email Catprotectionwestchester@gmail.com.  

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