A 24-year-old Northern Irishman, Declan Garrity, was working for Barclay’s Bank in New York on a work visa. He had a good job and lived in a stimulating place to work with prospects of career advancement. Garrity is an honours graduate from a good university: Queens University in Belfast. He had it all. He professed to be a vegan on Facebook and a person concerned with the welfare of farm livestock. In short, he appeared to be an animal lover.
He shared an Upper East Side apartment with a cat owner and her cat, Lucy. Soon after moving in Lucy’s owner (we don’t know her name) became gravely concerned about Lucy’s appearance and behaviour. Lucy began hiding and lost her appetite. She licked her paw indicating an injury. On Jan 25th 2016 Garrity told her “an iron had fell on the cat”. As it happened Lucy’s pelvis was broken. This may not have been apparent until later.
Around a month later on Feb 20th Lucy’s owner arrived home from work to the sight of Lucy’s rear paw pointing in the wrong direction. There was cat hair and blood on towels in the bathroom.
It transpired that Lucy had been systematically and viscously abused and was suffering from a series of injuries including a broken leg, teeth, ribs and claws and burns.
Garrity was interviewed by the police. He told them that he was alone with Lucy during the previous night. He was arrested and charged with animal torture and cruelty and released on $5,000 bail with an order that he stay away from the apartment. He was allowed to return to the apartment supervised by the police to pick up his belongings.
He was soon in contempt of this court order as he returned to the apartment unsupervised and was therefore arrested again and released on bail of $1,000.
Clearly Garrity has a disregard for the law and a viscous streak (on the basis that the charges are proved to be true in a criminal court which seems very likely).
Barclays Bank said euphemistically:
“Mr.Garrity is no longer with Barclays.”
Translation: he was sacked. It would seem – and I am speculating – the second arrest and charge of contempt of court was the last straw for Barclays and there was no need to await the outcome of the animal cruelty charges.
For me the interesting aspect of this case is that Garrity does not look like your typical cat abuser and torturer. He is educated and had an excellent job and a future. We’d have to speculate some more and say that he has a problem. He has an anger and personality problem and is a danger to people, I suspect.
The kind of abuse he allegedly dished out to Lucy is very grave. A grand jury had decided to indict him on eight felony charges concerning the cat abuse and his contempt of court.
As for Lucy she has been under veterinary care since late February. Her broken leg is due to be operated on this week. Lucy’s owner had her home for two days only, otherwise she full-time in the care of medical staff. The funding for this appears to have come from an online crowd-funding campaign which has raised an astonishing $11,700 from 425 donators. It is probably higher than this already. There is a lot of sympathy amongst the public and rightly so.
Is there a moral to this story? Yes; be very wary of letting a person share an apartment with you and your cat unless you know him/her extremely well. You never can tell. Animal abusers are good liars you know.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.