• September 21, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

Justice sought for missing feral cats

Astoria 7 group looks to mayor to help

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:13 am, Thu Mar 27, 2014.

Astoria 7, an activist group, is seeking justice for the recent trend of feral cats going missing.

Mary Witty, an Astoria resident and cat caretaker, spoke at Community Board 1 a few weeks ago, begging the members to support Astoria 7’s quest to get the NYPD to form a solid animal task force.

Two months after Witty’s first appeal to the ASPCA and NYPD, the group has not gotten any closer to finding out what is happening to the feral cats of Astoria.

Now Witty is going a step further by sending letters to Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

“The letter was accompanied by a lengthy report documenting all of the cases of missing and poisoned animals,” Astoria 7 wrote in an email. “We are not making the content of the report public because it includes various posts and emails from those ... who lost their animals. Hopefully this gets someone’s attention.”

The group is named after the seven cats in a colony cared for by Witty that went missing. It is not clear if the cats were killed or picked up by someone though Witty fears it may be the former.

Since forming the group, scores of people from all over the borough came forward claiming their own colonies were shrinking in number as well.

Recently, the ASPCA transferred responsibility for investigating animal cruelty cases to the NYPD, yet there is no established team solely dedicated to handling these cases.

As a result, Witty said her concerns have been buried underneath the numerous other complaints the NYPD gets hit with on a daily basis.

“I want the city to respond to animal cruelty and respond to reports and complaints,” Witty previously told the Chronicle. “I shouldn’t be told that they can’t respond to these kind of situations.”

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