Yonkers, NEW YORK — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) along with Alley Cat Allies are offering a total $5,750 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) responsible for killing more than 25 cats in Yonkers, New York. Just last week, a public works crew doing an annual cleanup discovered the bodies of more than 25 cats tied in plastic bags hanging from trees. According to investigators, necropsies on three of the cats revealed blunt trauma to their skulls. The dead cats were found in various stages of decay in a wooded area off Overlook Terrace, which indicates that they were assaulted over the course of the past year or more—some bodies were fully decomposed while some cats were probably killed within the past week.
Under New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law § 353-a, the perpetrator(s) could face felony charges of up to two years imprisonment, as well as a $5,000 fine under New York Penal Code § 80.00(1)(a). Intentionally killing a cat is against the law in all 50 states.
Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement at the SPCA of Westchester indicated that a baseball bat, two shovels, and a metal pipe were found near the scene, though investigators were not sure those items had been used in the killings. Investigators have not confirmed whether or not the cats belong to a large local feral population, but there may have been neighborhood tension over local feeding stations set up by neighbors to feed feral cats.
“We are appalled by the extent of this cruelty to cats and hope that local law enforcement takes this case seriously,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “This community should be on the alert—as studies have conclusively shown a link between violence against animals and violence against humans. If anyone has information about the individual responsible we urge you to come forward.”
Anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the killing of these cats should contact the SPCA of Westchester’s Confidential Hotline at 914-941-7797.