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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."

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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