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Saturday, Jul 9, 2011County: Orleans
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
James McAllister was driving behind two pickup trucks traveling side by side Saturday on Interstate 10 when he saw an arm extend from each of the trucks and simultaneously drop objects onto the pavement in eastern New Orleans.
"All of a sudden, there were kittens all over the highway," he said. "You really couldn't help but run over them at that speed. It made me sick to my stomach."
McAllister said passengers in the pickups apparently dropped the kittens in bags or sacks near the Bullard Avenue exit.
"Looking down, there were two, three, four to the right of me. There were more to the left. They were all around me," said McAllister, a teacher who was driving home from Mississippi. "It was like a horror movie."
An animal lover who recently adopted two unwanted dogs, McAllister called 911 and gave the dispatcher a description and license plate number for each of the pickup trucks.
"I told myself that I was not going to just let this happen," he said.
But McAllister was dismayed when he called police the next day and was told his report had been classified as unfounded.
"I've been trying to get an explanation, but they still haven't called me back," he said Monday afternoon in Marrero at a news conference held by the Humane Society of Louisiana.
Shereese Harper, a New Orleans police spokeswoman, said McAllister's report was initially deemed unfounded because police could not immediately locate the pickup trucks.
"If you are dispatched to a call on the interstate, unless you're right there, that vehicle is going to be gone in a second," Harper said. "So it was initially classified as unfounded."
But she said police are conducting an investigation based on the license plate numbers McAllister provided.
"Because this gentleman was so gracious and smart enough to get the license plate numbers, we are able to do a follow-up investigation," Harper said.
Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, said his organization has received a rash of reports about kittens being tossed onto roadways.
"People think these kittens are disposable, as if they're a cigarette butt or an empty soda can," he said.
Juliana Ackil said she found two dead kittens and one that was seriously injured on Ames Boulevard in Marrero in separate incidents within a week in May.
Ackil didn't see the kittens being dropped on the roadway, but she said they would have been too frightened by the traffic to venture onto the street on their own.
She plans to keep the surviving kitten, an orange tabby she named Hoppy that will have to have a leg amputated and gets around by hopping.
Ackil said people who drop kittens from moving vehicles have darker motives than simply wanting to get rid of the animals.
"If you want to get rid of a kitten, you can just let it go in the woods," she said. "These people are choosing to throw them in the street for the shock value."
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