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Saturday, Sep 14, 2002County: Allegheny
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
There were an estimated ten feral cats killed on Sept 14 at the Warhola Scrap Metals yard in Elizabeth Township. Janet Grossi, manager, arrived on Saturday morning to feed the cats and she found large pools of blood and bloody cat paw prints.
There were cardboard boxes and 55-gallon drums that had been shot with buckshot.
A $500 reward is being offered by the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those responsible. The killer would be charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor that could result in a $1,000 fine and imprisonment of up to two years.
Grossi had worked out an agreement with Rise Chontos, who runs a cat sanctuary called In Care of Cats. Chontos said, "Whether you like cats or not is beside the point. How could anyone do this? These poor creatures had had it rough enough, and their lives were about to get better."
Chontos had worked out a plan with Grossi to catch the cats, get them neutered and spayed, build them new shelters and return them to Warhola's. The idea was to keep the colony from growing and making it easier for Grossi to feed and monitor the cats.
When one cat showed up a couple days after the killings, it had been shot in an elbow and it died from the injury. Four more survivors have been found. Chontos took in two and two more are still at large in the scrap yard hiding in the piles of material - one appears to be injured.
From a colony of 15 cats, 10 are unaccounted for.
Grossi said, "They were not really very friendly. They'd come out to be fed in the morning and you wouldn't see them again until the next morning."
"They never bothered anybody. If anything, they kept the place clean. There are no rats here." Grossi said no one ever complained about the cats.
The pools of blood were found right where the cats were fed every day.
It is thought the killers knew exactly when and where the cats were fed. He knew that Warhola's was closed on Saturdays and he knew when the trains that rumbled through there would cover the sound of gunshots.
"Somebody took a lot of pains to remove the cats and the shell casings. My guess is somebody didn't want Janet to see the bodies. I think it was somebody who knows her."
If you have information on this case, please contact:
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Sept 28, 2002
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