Violence against animals has long been recognized as a trademark among criminals who commit serious violence against people. That’s why it’s imperative that police find the person or persons responsible for bashing in the heads of dozens of cats then bagging their bodies and displaying them like ornaments in a tree in a NYC suburb.
The bagged remains of approximately 25 cats, some just skeletons and others killed as recently as three days prior, were discovered by a public works crew last week. The Westchester County SPCA performed necropsies on some of the most recently killed cats and determined that blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death. A baseball bat, a metal pipe and two shovels were found near the scene and investigators are working to determine if they are connected to the killings.
One possible motive being considered:
[Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement at the Westchester County SPCA] said there are many feral cats in the area and there has been some tension over feeding stations that some residents have established.
“Some people get frustrated with the people who feed them,” he said. He said it was possible the dead cats were put in the trees “to taunt the people that are feeding the cats.”
Investigators have yet to determine whether the cats were feral or owned pets. Alley Cat Allies has nonetheless posted a reward for information on the case:
Alley Cat Allies is offering a cash reward of $750 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of at least 25 cats found in Yonkers, NY. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the SPCA of Westchester confidential hotline at 914-941-7797.
In the meantime, I think it’s generally good practice for colony caretakers to carry a cell phone, to feed by the full light of day, and to attend to colonies with at least one other person whenever possible. No one wants to feel bullied into changing their routines because of some sick individual(s) but taking reasonable precautions in the face of such extreme violence seems sound to my mind. I wouldn’t want anyone – colony caretaker or otherwise – to run into this person (or persons) all alone.
(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)