The number of feral cats missing from a New York City neighborhood has mushroomed from seven to more than 70 over the past few months, spurring fears that a mass killing of the outdoor felines may have taken place, according to a local cat welfare advocate.
Frustrated that police say there is not enough evidence to investigate the disappearances, feral cat caregivers in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens are organizing a March 27 meeting to learn how to conduct their own investigations and gather evidence that could be used for animal cruelty prosecutions, said Tamara Bedic, a cat rescuer and longtime Astoria resident. The caregivers will hear from three lawyers from the Queens District Attorney’s office.
“The speakers will explain what could be deemed suspicious behavior, and how that behavior should be recorded and thereafter brought to the DA for use at trial,” Bedic told Examiner.com. “Local residents will become the eyes and ears for their beloved felines.”
Twenty to 30 caregivers are expected to attend the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at Enigma bookstore at 33-17 Crescent Street, off Broadway, in Astoria.
Astoria caregivers launched a website, Astoria7, when the original seven went missing in December. They conducted an extensive search for the missing cats, to no avail, and found evidence of trapping and attempted poisoning.