Roughly 25 dead cats were found hanging from trees in plastic bags during a routine open-space cleanup in Yonkers, New York, just a few dozen miles north of Manhattan.
The Associated Press reports that all of the cats were killed violently
with blunt-force blows to the head. Shovels, a baseball bat, and metal pipe were also found at the grisly scene.
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"Pretty disturbing, smashing their heads in and displaying them like that," said Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement at the Westchester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). "We have found, in the past, cases where cats were poisoned, but we've never seen anything where they're killing them this violently."
Lungaro said they don't know much at this point, like whether the killings were perpetrated by one person or more, or exactly how long some of them have been dead. Some cats were skeletons, he said, while others appeared to be killed in the last week.
"We assume there were probably more than that because raccoons or whatever wildlife probably got to a couple of them," he said, according to the AP.
The department has ordered necropsies be performed on the cats to find out more.
"The sheer number of cats that were killed with blunt trauma to the head, it's pretty violent," he said. The link between those who are violent toward animals and those who are violent toward humans is troubling, he expressed.
The area is known for having a lot of feral cats, however it is unclear how many were feral or kept by local owners. Lungaro said the SPCA has already begun fielding calls from owners of lost cats.
"Some people get frustrated with the people who feed them," he said, and speculated they might have been placed in the trees "to taunt the people that are feeding the cats."
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