Westchester 4 GeesePress Releases
From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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

'Gimme Shelter' Protest Rally for Ossining Homeless Cats


December 2, 2017

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]
Deborah Pangle

Gimme Shelter" protest rally for Ossining homeless cats forced out into the cold.

Sunday, December 3, 1pm – 3pm

Main Street and Brandreth Street in Ossining, NY

Speakers, music, chanting, marching to bring attention to cruel decision by village

Westchester County, NY Animal advocates will rally and protest Ossining's recent unannounced decision to deliberately throw a managed cat colony out into the cold.

Five years ago, animal advocate Annie Rodriquez was given permission by the former Village Manager to set up a managed cat colony in specified areas in Ossining. This has worked successfully since, with spay/neuter,
shots and maintenance regularly provided.

Unfortunately a new village regime suddenly announced the colony was “violating a village code” and removed every single shelter, a total of 12 in all, without even notifying the caregiver.

When Rodriquez spoke up she was told she'd be criminally charged.

The ensuing public outcry helped cause village officials to return four of the shelters, while telling the public that “all” shelters had been returned. Eleven homeless cats are still outside in the cold. A proposed trustee meeting on November 29 to discuss this issue was abruptly cancelled.

Deborah Pangle, founder of The Cat Squad, said, "The Village Officials lied about the shelters because they wanted the media and public to disappear. The code they're citing refers to the feeding of wildlife; but outdoor cats aren't legally considered as wildlife. Twelve cat shelters were removed without warning or notice on Veterans Day on the coldest day of the year, temperatures reached 23 degrees that day.

We have reached out many many times to the Mayor, requesting emergency meetings to work together to reach resolution.

We asked that “temporary” shelters be returned, so the cats do not suffer, until a permanent solution could be reached. The answer was “Wait” and wait and wait.

Hundreds of village residents called and wrote to the Mayor asking for mercy for the cats.

Letters arrived from a reporter in Canada and an international group including the UK is writing, and watching.

Animal Cruelty violations have been committed by Ossining Officials.

My organization, The Cat Squad, currently has Legal Counsel looking into this matter.

We want swift action. We want justice for the cats, and Annie and residents.

Village officials, you work for us.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, said, “This is heartbreaking, totally needless cruelty. The village acted improperly and capriciously and needs to correct this. All over the world people are caring for homeless animals; even children are learning about how to care for cat colonies. This negligent, callous action is not a proud moment for the village."

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