It was a horrifying discovery in a Queens neighborhood over the weekend, as more than a dozen dead cats were found in an empty stretch of land full of brush and trees.
Rescuers called it one of the most heartbreaking things they’ve ever seen, as 14 cats were found on the other side of a chain-link fence on 102nd Street in Howard Beach. Each one of the felines was dead, and images of the animals were so disturbing that NBC New York is blurring the images of what was discovered.
“The little baby that was hanging was right here,” said Meagan Licari of Puppy Kitty New York City, who was called to check out the scene over the weekend. “It’s head was kind of stuck in the branches. That’s why I think people were throwing them over and that one just didn’t make it.”
Her theory is someone was throwing cats over the fence, but what actually happened is a mystery. Licari called the police and the ASPCA, and both are now investigating.
The cats were different ages, according to Licari, different breeds and appeared to be in different states of decomposition.
“This is just what we found — who knows if they have another spot, how they’re getting these cats, what they’re doing to them,” Licari said. “It’s one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen, especially little innocent babies. I don’t know how you do something like that. These are tiny innocent little things, just to see them thrown out like garbage is sad.”
Stunned neighbors are also trying to help.
“We were trying to figure it out. Nobody seen anything. I even tried to look at my cameras at night … it’s hard to see that far up the block,” said neighbor Dominick DeVito.
The ASPCA will performing necropsies on all 14 cats to determine how they died. Licari is hoping that will reveal crucial information that will help police put an end to what has been happening.
It’s the second gruesome case of animal abuse and cruelty in Queens in less than a week. Stray cats have been turning up with horrific and life-threatening injuries in Richmond Hill, and rescuers said the felines may have been tortured.
Rescuers said that the felines suffered injuries so gruesome, they might have been tortured. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.
One of the tiny cats is a stray usually seen on 102nd Avenue. At the end of February, local rescuers noticed the animal’s leg shaking and paw bleeding while on the sidewalk one night. A closer look revealed all four paws had devastating injuries — some of them so severe the bones were completely exposed.
Things got even more disturbing and mysterious when two more cats were discovered with identical injuries — a huge red flag that showed the injuries were no accident.
Licari said at the time that she reached out to police and she’s been in touch with a detective. So far, no leads, but the veterinarian treating the cats believes they suffered chemical burns.
One of the cats brought to the anima hospital could not be saved.