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Feral cat neutering backed in Yonkers, N.Y.

Dead cats were found hanging from trees in Yonkers, N.Y.
Dead cats were found hanging from trees in Yonkers, N.Y.SPCA of Westchester

Officials in Yonkers, N.Y., where more than two dozen cats were found dead several months ago, have agreed to allocate $15,000 to boost efforts to trap-neuter-return (TNR) feral cats in the city, according to a local animal welfare group.

The money will help stop the proliferation and abuse of outdoor cats in the New York City suburb, said Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW), which pushed for the funding.

“Numerous studies -- and in-state experience -- show TNR effectively stabilizes and reduces cat colonies through natural attrition and adoption of socialized cats,” ADOW said in a July 20 press release. “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.”

The announcement comes about three months after 26 dead cats, all but one of them in bags, were found hanging from trees in what ADOW called “the worst case of animal cruelty in Westchester [County] history.” ADOW said the cats were beaten to death. Some of the cats are believed to have died a year ago, while others were newly killed kittens, according to the group.

The case remains unsolved, but the SPCA of Westchester’s humane law enforcement unit is investigating. A total of $25,000 in reward money is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the SPCA at 914-941-7797.

ADOW said the cat killings have prompted the formation of the Cat Protection Council of Westchester, which will try to better the lives of cats in the county through advocacy, education and community outreach.