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Police: Dead Pets Dumped Near HRP Were Euthanized

Police are also tracking a shoebox containing the remains of a cat found at the scene in an effort to find the pets owner.

Shavings and marks consistent with a professional euthanization have police thinking that an animal hospital or veterinarians office could be involved with the dumping of 35 cats and dogs and an exotic lizard on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Harrison.

Police say necropsies of some of the animals indicate a professional had euthanized the animals before they were dumped near an entrance ramp to the parkway.

"It appears that—at least the ones that we had the necropsies done—that those animals were euthanized in an appropriate manner," said Captain Thomas Gleason of the Westchester County Police. "That's kind of what we are thinking right now, that they were euthanized in an appropriate manner but then, unfortunately, the disposal process went awry."

Since the story broke Thursday afternoon police say they have received several tips from pet owners in the area, most recently someone who had brought a pet in for euthanization.

Police are also hopeful that a shoebox found containing one of the dead cats could lead them to the pet's owner. Gleason said they are using the bar code from the Fitzwell shoebox to track down where the shoes were purchased. Fitzwell shoes are only sold in one or two shoes in the area and police are hoping the box provides a link in the case.

"Hopefully the owner of (the shoebox) is the owner of that animal, where the cat passed away and they brought it in for disposal," Gleason said.

The dead animals were discovered by transportation maintenance officials at about 9:15 a.m on the northbound entrance to the parkway from Westchester Avenue's westbound lane. Police said today they found a total of 25 garbage bags containing 35 bodies, mostly dogs and cats. The body of a rare South American Tegu lizard was also found.

It is likely the animals were dumped at different times, as the remains had various levels of decomposition. The placement of the bags also varied, leaving police to believe whoever dumped the animals did so on several different occasions.

"It could have been anywhere from up to a year to today," said Sergeant Edward Reich of the Westchester County General Investigations Unit. "Some had been in that location for a long time because they already had over brush."

Each of the bags was found only a few feet from the ramp in an 80-foot area.

Police have treated the area as a crime scene. Gleason said although police are early in their investigation, someone caught dumping animals improperly would face criminal charges. Additional charges could be added if whoever dumped the animals accepted money to dispose of the pets.

Westchester County Police are investigating the incident along with the SPCA. Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to call 1-800-898-8477 or e-mail tips@wccops.com.

Gleason said the unusual case is unlike any he can remember in Westchester County.

"From time to time you will come across an animal or two," he said. "But never something like this."

Local Tax-Paying Resident April 06, 2012 at 04:24 PM
so sad and so strange
nancy April 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
i hope that at least one of the animals has a microchip that can be traced back. if these animals were "euthanized" by a professional then maybe a local vet didn't want to pay for cremation and dumped them over time.
Concerned April 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Or the animals were picked up from a vet clinic for proper disposal & mishandled there after.
Angela April 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I hope who ever did this is disposed of the same way when they pass!!
Naomi April 06, 2012 at 10:48 PM
None of the pets were microchipped which was reported yesterday. This is why the pictures are so important. How is an owner going to know if there animal was affected if no pictures are published and how will the Police find these people if no pictures are published?
Concerned April 07, 2012 at 02:13 AM
There are only so many facilities in the NY Metro area that deal with disposal of animal remains. One is all of 10 miles away from the crime scene & it services as far south as Nassau & Suffolk counties. But, it would be advisable to investigate all these facilities, specifically those pick up drivers whose employment corresponds with the animals' period of decomposing remains. Because although anyone could have committed this crime, drivers whom perform pick up from veterinary, dog pounds etc have the ways & means to had dumped these animals at this location & at anytime as they are on the road from early in the morning to late at night. This doesn't rule out automatically rule out a veterinary clinic. But, If that were the case I would be more inclined to look at a vet tech or kennel person, than a veterinarian. As a veterinarian has a lot more to lose than the above by engaging in such unlawful behavior (loss of licensing to practice, as DEA licensing, damage reputation, fines jail time) All of the of which took time, hard work & money to establish. Although anything is possible.
Concerned April 07, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Additionally, the drivers of such facilities in my experience are young, uneducated low paid kids. The location in a way meshes with a rash (just off the highway) dumping. Not to well thought out. Something that a young kid in a rush might be inclined to do. Hope this helps.
Stet April 07, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Saddened-- Pets love their owners unconditionally without prejudice.....pure love which isn't Found easily when you head up the food chain. It's hard enough to make difficult Euthanasia decisions for beloved family members, but to find out later that your family member was just dumped inappropriately is plain disrespectful for the dead And PAINFUL to the mourning . DISGUSTINGLY REPUGNANT MORALLY and throw the book at these jerks...they should be dumped the same way
Bea Rhodes April 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I had to have one of my pets euthanized a few weeks ago, she was very ill, and this makes me sick. I know it's going to make my vet sick too, she is one of the most wonderful vets I have ever had. She might be able to help figure this out.
MJC April 07, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I am sickened that loved & treasured family members were tossed away like garbage. Whoever did this, would you like it if we threw your family away like garbage? May these babies finally rest in peace & find their way to the Rainbow Bridge knowing that we are seeking them justice.
tonimacaroni April 07, 2012 at 04:11 PM
An absolute dispicable act by the most dispicable type of individual/s. Animals depend on humans to care for them. They don't ask for much, yet give back so much more in return. They certainly don't ask to be placed in the situations they find themselves in, and put their trust in humans to do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances. To the person or persons who did this..you know who you are and I wish you sleepless nights from this day forward....rest assured you will get caught because there are WAY TOO MANY animal lovers in Westchester County and beyond to allow this to go unsolved and not push for your punishment to the full extent that the law allows.
V. Furnari April 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM
OMG this makesa me sick. Please continue to find woh ever did this this horrible thing to these poor animals.If you can't trust your vet, hopefully this is not the case. You trust that your cat or dog is left in good hands and buried,or creamated in the proper fashion. And also you have paid for this service.Who ever did this has no concious.U desereve to die the same way u heartless *********.
Freddie April 07, 2012 at 11:05 PM
No animal owner/lover wants to see the decomposed remains of their pet on the internet or in a newspaper. Come on Naomi . How would you like your child to see such a picture. The police have many investigative tools that they use to try to solve this crime. Let's leave it to the professionals. People who have information can contact the police.
Naomi April 07, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Freddie, the pictures that were released are not pictures of decomposed animals. The animals have no bruising and their eyes appear to be closed-they look like they are asleep. Go look at news 12 or the other channels that showed the pictures . The pictures are very tasteful and were released by the Police-it was not a rogue reporter trying to put picture in the National Enquirer. So before you go and make a mountain out of a molehill, you may want to do your research. The television reports which showed the animals indicated that they are looking for public help to identify the animals.
Freddie April 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I am not making a mountain out of a molehill. I am an animal lover just like you. Everyone has a right to their opinion.
Bob Ogden April 08, 2012 at 12:32 AM
One would think that their best lead is the Monitor Lizard. How many of those can there possibly be in Westchester?

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