Yonkers Budgets $15K For Curbing Feral Cat Population

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Animal Defenders of Westchester has announced that the city of Yonkers has allotted $15,000 to trap, neuter and release feral cats after the worst case of animal cruelty occurred in Yonkers.
Animal Defenders of Westchester has announced that the city of Yonkers has allotted $15,000 to trap, neuter and release feral cats after the worst case of animal cruelty occurred in Yonkers. Photo Credit: File

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Animal Defenders of Westchester has announced that, after months of negotiations, the city of Yonkers has allotted $15,000 into its budget for trap, neuter and release, or TNR, efforts, which will help stop the proliferation of homeless and helpless cats.

This comes after the worst case of animal cruelty in Westchester history was discovered in Yonkers in April: An eviscerated cat was found dangling from a tree branch; black bags containing 25 others were strung from trees.

These cats were beaten to death; some had died a year ago, others were newly killed kittens. The sheer numbers and brutality of this case were reported all over the U.S. and the world. This case remains unsolved despite a massive public outcry and the offer of a reward of almost $25,000 for information leading to an arrest.

ADOW had begun requesting TNR assistance from Yonkers several months before this incident, after the huge amount of homeless cats was revealed during a previous case of cat poisonings there.

Numerous studies -- and in-state experience -- show TNR effectively stabilizes and reduces cat colonies through natural attrition and adoption of socialized cats. 

'This is a milestone chapter in the history of humane treatment. It's an acknowledgement by Yonkers of the aid needed for its resident cats, a statement that Yonkers does not tolerate cruelty and strives for respect and kindness toward all its citizens," said Kiley Blackman, founder of ADOW. 

"We have had a relationship with (Mike) Spano, who has been a friend to animals for years. Thank you, Mayor Spano, for compassionately sending a message that Yonkers cares about its tiniest helpless victims who cannot speak but want to keep their lives and suffer pain and fear just as we do. No one has a right to hurt them."

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Comments (17)

Please do not release these vermin.

yankee.ron: How sad that you classify feral cats as vermin . Flies, lice, ticks, roaches and rats are vermin.

Thank you to the city of Yonkers for addressing this issue. And thank you for animal activists from ADOW who work tirelessly on behalf of those who have no voice. I know for a fact that they do this out of love and compassion, and make zero money or donations from this. The poor discarded cats need all the help they can get.

I have practiced TNR for 15 years and it is humane and the only solution that works.

I have practiced TNR for 15 years and it is humane and the only solution that works.

What happened to these innocent animals is a reflection of the cruel society in which we live. It's awful that anyone would dare blame these innocent animals. People are solely responsible for not spaying and neutering their pets and creating a situation of overpopulation. The monster who tortured these animals is the only one who should be criticized here, not the organizations who work endlessly to help end animal suffering.

Great that the city is alotting this desperately needed money to help wih spay and neuter program. Big thanks to Mayor Spano and a huge thanks to ADOW. this will make a difference to help innocent cats.

Huge thanks to Yonkers and ADOW! In our present societal culture of killing - people killing people, people killing animals - it is encouraging to know that there are cities and individuals who have compassionate reverence for life.

Nature Lover: What evidence do you have that the 25 cats hung in trees were killed by cars? Why wouldn’t a “good Samaritan” simply call the sanitation department? I get that you hate cats, loud and clear. But if we are going to kill every living thing that you don’t like and that you see as a threat to humans and wildlife, what other animals should we add to the list? You don’t know, because you obviously don’t do any research. I'm tempted to engage you in a philosophical debate about this, but I don't think you could handle it. I suggest you educate yourself on this subject before spreading more of your hatred. You have so much anger in your heart—please get some therapy. And while you’re at it, change your ID on this site—you are no nature lover. (Get a proofreader, too.)

Nature Advocate?? What a joke.....Thank You Treehugger, for the intelligent response.....couldn't have said it better myself

@Treehugger: Great reply to Nature Lover. (I was writing my reply - along the same train of thought as yours. )

Why should the solution to the feral cat population be euthanization? These animals have a right to live and should be left in peace. It seems that it is becoming increasingly evident that when a particular species or population is deemed a "nuisance" or "inconvenient", the solution becomes killing, culling, euthanizing, etc. I don't feel that we have the right to make these decisions regarding life or death for any living creature. Where does it stop? Perhaps some day, a particular type of human being might be deemed unnecessary, a nuisance, inconvenient, etc. Already certain dog breeds are felt to be "undesirable." Should they all be euthanized or sterilized? Will we have become so inured to doing away with the "offensive" living being that ending their life becomes the preferred solution? Humans have been given a reasoning, thinking brain. There are other more humane solutions to dealing with overpopulation. Killing is not one of them.

@ annemariemarx: intelligent- and humane, compassionate comments. Thank you!

Nature Lover : What does this mean? "Guess who got all that money for the reward last time? You know, that $25,000..." the reward has gone unclaimed!

Too funny. All those dead cats in trees were road-kill cats that some good samaritan made visible to bring them to the attention of the sanitation department. Put in bags so that all the deadly diseases that these invasive-species vermin transmit to all other life on earth won't go on to harm even more of our native wildlife and humans -- even after their deaths. And now you want to spend more money to dump MORE cats in the streets so even MORE get ran over by cars or attacked by other cats and animals as they fight for their very survival? (A highly punishable criminal offense, I might add -- to pit ANY domesticated animals against one another to fight for their very survival. You ALL belong in prison for animal abuse.)

Are you all just brain-dead cat-torturing morons? Or what?

Oh wait, that's right. I forgot. If you don't have an endless supply of cats dying in the streets then how can you parade suffering and dead animals in the media for donations to line your own pockets.

My mistake. Carry on.

(Guess who got all that money for the reward last time? You know, that $25,000 that you conned out of people by exploiting dead cats. You people all belong in prison for torturing cats to death for money.)

Nature Advocate, you are seriously misguided and disturbed. Most of us who do rescue work pay out of our own pockets. I don't think you have the slightest clue. We are helping innocent animals who are dumped out on the streets by lazy, ignorant people.

Come over to Crestwood and trap these cats, but don't sell ease them.