Hardly a day goes by when my email box isn’t filled with news items about animal cruelty. While these stories are always shocking and greatly disturbing; an article published on April 26 in the New York Times was blood curdling.
However, a word of warning to our readers. This material is gruesome, so discretion is advised before reading further. There are monsters who may still be roaming the streets of Yonkers, New York!
His or her horrifying acts of cruelty to cats were uncovered on April 25, by a crew of workers from the Yonkers Department of Public Works while clearing debris from an area of the county overlooking the Hudson River. Glenn Stefanik, a member of the crew all suddenly spied something that appeared to be extremely puzzling.
Initially it was hard to determine what the object was; but on closer inspection he saw a white cat hanging from a branch of a tree. The cat had been eviscerated making it difficult to identify the object. Alongside the dead cat there hung a black bag.
“We pulled on the bag and a little black kitten fell out. It was a day or two old.”
But as they were thoroughly searching the area, much to their horror and dismay, they discovered more than two dozen identical bags hanging from tree branches amongst the beer bottles and entangled vines.
The crew quickly contacted the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,(SPCA). The agency’s Director of Humane Law Enforcement, Ernest Lungaro arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. He said,
“We have never been confronted by a scene like this.”
More than twenty five dead cats were found at the grizzly scene; all in different stages of decay. Every cat was stuffed into plastic shopping bags. According to authorities, after examining the skeletal remains they determined that these cat killings may have started as long as a year ago, and have been continuing through the present.
The results of the necropsies performed on the more recently deceased cats indicated that blunt force trauma to the head was used to kill them. Also recovered from the area was a metal pipe, two shovels and a wooden baseball bat. The police were notified immediately. Both the SPCA and the police are working together to find the people responsible for these killings. According to Lt. Patrick McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department, the motive for these cat killings remains a mystery, nor have any suspects been identified.
In New York State, killing a cat in a “depraved and sadistic” fashion is a felony. This crime is punishable with a fine up to $5,000, with a jail term of up to five years.
According to the S.P.C.A, Westchester County is home to a large feral cat population and there is a colony of cats living in an area close to the location where the dead cats were found.
McCormack said that due to the fact that the crime scene was so bizarre, local residents have been wondering if these murders had a ritualistic tone. But other than the amount of work that went into hanging the remains, McCormack claimed that they didn’t appear ritualistic. While no reports of missing cats have been called into the police, recently, authorities are questioning people living in close-by neighbourhoods.
A woman who regularly feeds over thirty stray cats commented that she had noticed something strange. She said, “There was a smell on this block for a while. We were thinking it was trash.”
Alley Cat Allies, the leading cat advocacy group in the United States is taking action. Becky Robinson, its founder and president commented that it’s well known that animal cruelty is wide spread in the United States. Robinson said, “But this is the most horrific case we have ever heard of, and it is very disturbing.” The organization is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for these horrendous crimes.
As far as the consequences of these crimes is concerned, this writer feels strongly that a fine of up to $5,000 and five years’ imprisonment is only a “slap on the wrist”. Penalties for such brutal acts of animal cruelty should be far more rigorous and stringent. What punishment would serve to fit these crimes and get the message across that any acts of cruelty to animals will not be tolerated? What do you think? Tell us in a comment.
Source: the New York Times