Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Press Release


August 28, 2013

Kiley Blackman  
[email protected]   

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 Yonkers, NY.  
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

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