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Feral cats vanish in New York

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Caregivers of a New York City feral cat colony are trying to determine why seven of their eight outdoor felines mysteriously disappeared in a span of about two weeks.

The caregivers launched an extensive search for the missing cats, to no avail. They suspect the cats, who lived in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, were victims of foul play.

“Prior to their disappearance, we learned neighbors discovered evidence of attempted poisoning (open tuna fish cans laced with antifreeze),” the caregivers wrote on their new “Astoria7” website. “Shortly after their disappearance, we discovered evidence of trapping. Since we did not find the remains of any of the cats, we can only assume the worst -- they were trapped and destroyed.”

The caregivers said they reported the situation to law enforcement but were told there was not enough evidence to pursue an investigation.

The caregivers said the cats had no reason to leave their neighborhood, as they were fed several times a day, had winter shelter and were spayed/neutered.

“This small colony was well cared for -- even doted on -- by local residents who came to know each and every one of them,” the website says.

The caregivers are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the cats’ disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to call or text (917) 627-4950 or e-mail astoria7@earthlink.net.

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