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Queens Chronicle

Petition to save feral cats goes international

Activists demand NYPD take action

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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:30 am

As cats continue to disappear, people from around the world are demanding something be done.

Astoria7 was founded by Mary Witty, an Astoria resident and cat caretaker after seven of the feral cats she had been feeding disappeared.

Since then, dozens have joined her in informing the public and the group has repeatedly asked the NYPD to create a group exclusively dedicated to humane law enforcement.

Witty and members of her group send tips and other information to the police regularly, but no arrests have been made.

According to Astoria7, dozens of cats have gone missing in Queens alone. It is unclear whether the cats were killed or turned in to animal control, though Witty heard reports of possibly toxic cans of cat food left in the open to poison the animals.

A petition was started and to date, more than 2,000 people from more than 70 countries signed on.

“Admittedly, these aren’t human victims, your usual subjects, but nonetheless this is most likely a crime and the NYPD should take action to enforce the law here as anywhere,” one petition-signer wrote. “At a slightly larger level ... feral cats are the clear responsibility of the human community they inhabit, the community that created them. Let’s make sure these little co-city dwellers don’t just disappear without us doing anything to find the perpetrators of the injustice.”

Witty and the rest of Astoria7 have spoken before Community Board 1, who said they would look into the issue.

The activists have also reached out to local precincts, the ASPCA, Public Advocate Letitia James and many other city agencies and representatives but say they have not heard anything since May 30.

Originally, animal abuse was overseen by the ASPCA, but power was recently turned over to the Police Department and now cat caretakers worry the issue will be low on the priority list for law enforcement.

Welcome to the discussion.