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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2013
SPCA DROPS THE BALL, BIRDS AND ANIMALS DIE; SENATOR, LEGISLATOR, CITY COUNCIL REQUESTED TO INTERVENE
Westchester County, NY August
28, 2013 Serious questions are being raised regarding the Westchester
SPCA's handling of suspected animal poisoning cases in the City of
In early March we received information about
stray cats dying of unknown causes in the northwest area of Yonkers, NY.
Distressed residents, who had sought assistance with neutering the
feral population they cared for and were concerned about, contacted us
and these deaths were reported to the Westchester SPCA, who told us this
was under investigation. The SPCA stated, after preliminary toxicology
tests, that the cats were likely poisoned. At that time we
also announced we were offering a $1000 reward for information leading
to the arrest of whomever was responsible for killing cats. No one ever
claimed the reward money, and the deaths stopped at that time.
However, we now have reports of another six cats, birds and a racoon
dying under suspicious circumstances, to the extreme dismay of the
residents - and the SPCA, with wealthy donors in one of the richest
counties in the country, has delayed the necropsy report while they shop
around from vet to vet to vet, looking for who will perform it at the
cheapest rate! They also instructed a Yonkers resident, a poor woman
already 'afraid to come home due to what she might see' re dead animals,
to get a cooler and put one of the dead cats on ice till they could get
around to retrieving it!...and then the vet they ultimately brought the
cat to said he could not conduct a much-needed necropsy exam due to the
cat being frozen, that he, Dr. Jiao of Mt Vernon, cannot proceed with
any necropsy exam - and he would instead have to determine the cause of
death by ruling out other things! Why is correct procedure
in a suspected cruelty case so foreign to Westchester HLE? And why
don't they have a vet on call for cases of this nature, which are not
uncommon in cruelty complaints?
Kiley Blackman, founder of
Animal Defenders of Westchester, said, ''This is a decent, working-class
neighborhood that cares about the animals who are a welcome sight in the
area...and to just abandon them to essentially deal with such a tragic
problem by themselves is questionable at best - and dangerous at worst.
If poison is being deliberately left around, as it appears to be, what
if a child gets hold of it? And a person who does something so vicious
and heartless to helpless beings is capable of anything - the neighbors
have every right to be concerned, both for animals and wildlife in the
area AND the safety of their children as well. Why is the SPCA
instructing residents who are already upset, to go through the trauma of
handling dead animals - and store them no less! - , when it is unknown
if there are contagion issues, etc. We have requested the
immediate intervention of Yonkers Legislator Bernice Spreckman, City
Council President Chuck Lesnick and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
(D-35th District). We want them to know about how this is being handled
- or mishandled - by the agency mandated to investigate animal cruelty
in Westchester, and to insist that they vastly improve their efficiency
and method of operation, which is currently severely deficient.'
ADOW member Kim Gold adds, '"For the past week and a half dead bodies of
animals have been showing up around this small neighborhood. Many dead
cats and kittens, as well as dead birds and a raccoon. This is the same
area where someone was poisoning cats this past spring and we fear that
this could be another mass poisoning. This is a horrifying and unsafe
situation that needs to be addressed immediately to find out a
definitive cause of death so that appropriate action can be taken."
ADOW is an adjunct of Westchester4Geese