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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2014
Westchester County, NY
Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) is pleased to announce that, after
months of negotiations, the City of Yonkers has kindly allotted $15,000 into
their budget for the express purpose of providing trap, neuter and release
(TNR) efforts in Yonkers, which will help stop the proliferation of homeless
and helpless cats there.
This comes after the worst case of animal cruelty in Westchester history was discovered in Yonkers in April: A eviscerated cat was found dangling from a tree branch; black bags containing 25 others were strung from trees. These cats were beaten to death; some had died a year ago, others were newly-killed kittens. The sheer numbers and sickening brutality of this case were profoundly upsetting and were reported all over the U.S. and all over the world; nothing like it has happened in Westchester County - or any other parts of NYS. This case remains unsolved despite a massive public outcry and the offer of a reward of almost $25,000 for information leading to an arrest. As a result of this horrendous incident a new advocacy group has been formed, the Cat Protection Council of Westchester. Their stated mission: 'To better the lives of cats in Westchester County, NY, through advocacy, education and community outreach.'
ADOW had begun requesting TNR assistance from Yonkers several months prior to this incident, after the huge amount of homeless cats was revealed during a previous case of cat poisonings there. TNR works: Millions of healthy, lovable cats are killed in shelters each year for want of a good home. Numerous studies - and in-state experience - show TNR effectively stabilizes and reduces cat colonies through natural attrition and adoption of socialized cats. Cats left to fend for themselves in the streets are also the easy targets and scapegoats of sick bullies who prey on those who can't protect themselves, as demonstrated by this heartbreaking case.
TNR also benefits both the animals and the community: In addition to stabilizing the population, spaying/ neutering the cats ends behaviors associated with mating including fighting and roaming, TNR cats are also vaccinated and healthier, making this a win-win for the community. See Trap-Neuter-Return Effectively Stabilizes and Reduces Feral Cat Populations from Alley Cat Allies.
Kiley Blackman, founder of ADOW, said, 'This is a milestone chapter in the history of humane treatment. It's an acknowledgement by Yonkers of the aid needed for its resident cats, a statement that Yonkers does not tolerate cruelty and strives for respect and kindness toward all its citizens. We have had a relationship with Mr. Spano, who has been a friend to animals (and dolphins!) for years. Thank you, Mayor Spano for compassionately sending a message that Yonkers cares about its' tiniest helpless victims who cannot speak but want to keep their lives and suffer pain and fear just as we do. No one has a right to hurt them - no one.'
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