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article imageDead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers, New York

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 28, 2014 in Crime
Yonkers - Reports vary, but between 25 and 30 cats were found hanging from trees, most in plastic bags, in a vacant lot in Yonkers, N.Y. It appears the cats were bludgeoned to death before placed in the bags and hung on trees.
City sanitation workers made the grisly discovery Thursday morning as they were cleaning up the vacant lot. They came across between 25 and 30 dead cats in various stages of decomposition. Each cat was wrapped in its own bag although some cats were lying on the ground, presumably after wildlife ripped open the bags.
The workers clean the lot once a year and the cats appeared to have been killed at various times throughout the year. Some were skeletal remains while others looked like that had been dead for only three or four days.
Edward Lungaro, director of enforcement at the Westchester County SPCA, said necropsies were performed on three of the cats and it was determined they were killed by blunt force trauma to the skull. Lungaro said, "Pretty disturbing, smashing their heads in and displaying them like that. We have found, in the past, cases where cats were poisoned, but we've never seen anything where they're killing them this violently."
But Brett Pisano, of the Department of Public Works said a similar discovery was made last year. He said, "Not as many, maybe two or three, but hanging in bags like this. They were skeletons last year. I said to myself, 'Why did they do it again? '"
A baseball bat, a metal pipe and two shovels, possibly used to kill the felines, were recovered at the scene. As most of the bags were not ripped, it is believed the cats were dead before being placed inside the bags.
Neighbours did not notice anything unusual because the vacant lot is used as a dumping ground. Said Guy John, 49, "The place is always dirty so when you see a bag there, it's nothing new. You see rats running out of there. It looks like a race...Sometimes you confuse the rats for the cats."
There are feral cat colonies in the area although one neighbour said there doesn't seem to be as many of the felines as there were before. Examinations are being conducted to see if all the cats were indeed feral.
Police are looking for the person or persons who killed the cats. Killing a cat in a "depraved and sadistic manner" is a felony in New York state. It carries a maximum punishment of a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.
According to Lt. Patrick McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department, other than the way the cats were hung on the trees, the killings did not appear to be ritualistic.
Examination of the dead cats and the investigation is continuing. Police currently have no suspects.
More about dead cats hanging from trees, Cruelty to animals, cats bludgeoned to death, Spca
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