Police Investigate Cat Massacre

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This area of Garden City has been the site where someone has been killing cats with a small caliber weapon.

The Garden City Police Department is in the middle of investigating a recent spate of deceased cat corpses that have been found in a couple of different areas. Reports reveal the dead felines have been found between Stewart and North Avenue and also between Kensington and Brixton Roads.

Early forensic exams of the corpses by the Garden City Detective Division revealed that the cats were shot with a small caliber bullet. The public is being asked to report any information that would lead to the person(s) responsible. This would include anyone who may have heard anything sounding like a gun shot or anything else that might assist in the investigation.

In addition, the Nassau County SPCA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties responsible for the shooting of these cats. The number to call is 516-843-7722.

So far, roughly seven dead cats have been found dating back to April, according to SPCA Detective Gary Rogers. His agency was brought into the investigation by the Garden City Police Department and since then, both law enforcement agencies have been working together. It’s a situation Rogers feels is rather grave, given the fact that this kind of behavior in the past has been part of a pattern for a number of sociopaths including Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and Albert Desalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler.

“It’s also very disturbing because violent crime towards animals is a precursor to other violent crimes. Son of Sam, the Columbine shooters, you can go on and on. All these incidents started off with animals being killed first,” Rogers pointed out. “The community can’t just disregard this. It could be more than someone that just doesn’t like cats. It could be someone who’s working on something else. I’m sure somebody heard something and didn’t know what they heard. Or someone is friends with him or her and doesn’t want to come forward. That person should come forward no matter what, but hopefully the $5,000 will get them to come forward.”

Rogers explained that a neighborhood woman had found a couple of dead cats back in April and what seemed odd was the fact that there were no signs of trauma. None appeared to have been hit by a car and there was nothing coming out of their mouths that would indicate they had been poisoned. Local police reached out to the SPCA, who came in and sent the bodies up to Cornell University so that a forensic necropsy could be conducted. The results revealed projectiles in the corpses and pointed to someone systemically killing these animals with a firearm. And while the killings had stopped for a number of months, they’ve started up again within the past couple of weeks. It’s something Rogers hasn’t really come across in 35 years of working for the SPCA in this capacity.

“I’ve never seen multiple cats killed in one neighborhood,” he said. “We see pellet guns or sometimes it is a .22-caliber round where someone is trying to scare them away from their neighborhood. But this is bothering everyone in our agency. This is a serial cat killer but more importantly, let’s hope it stays a serial cat killer. That’s why the community has to be aware. A firearm in your own neighborhood? I wouldn’t be too happy if someone shot a firearm in my neighborhood.”

The perpetrator behind this can face a number of charges ranging from depraved indifference and animal cruelty right up through discharging a firearm and reckless endangerment. But for Rogers, discussing the penalties comes secondary to catching the person or people responsible for killing these cats.

“People really shouldn’t be shooting cats. We have this mentality that it’s OK to let our cats outside but it really isn’t, because these things can happen. It’s disconcerting, because someone is discharging a firearm in a residential area, which means you can be sitting inside and something can happen to you if he or she misses,” he said. “Which is why it’s crucial to find the person. We’re very fortunate that we have a really great district attorney’s office. District Attorney [Madeline] Singas is very pro fighting animal cruelty. Determining what to charge the person with is going to be a conversation we have after finding them, but we have to find them first.”

Anyone who has any information about these serial cat killings is asked to contact the Garden City Detective Division at 516 465-4150. All callers will remain anonymous.

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In addition to being editor of Garden City Life and Syosset-Jericho Tribune, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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