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Cats Vanish in Ditmars, Resident Calls for Investigation

Missing cats taking it easy in Witty’s yard

Jan. 21, 2014 By Michael Florio

Cats have been disappearing in the Ditmars section of Astoria and one resident wants answers.

Seven out of a colony of eight feral cats have vanished and Mary Witty, the primary caretaker of the cats that have gone missing, is suspicious and is calling on authorities to investigate.

She believes the cats—which went missing in early December– are the victims of foul play.

Witty, who said the cats would lounge around her property, is upset by the lack of response by authorities.

“The NYPD has provided no help,” she said.

Witty said she tried calling 911, 311 and her local precinct and all redirected her to one another. Witty called 911 multiple times and despite being told that they would send someone to check it out, no officer ever showed up.

“That was our experience with the NYPD, which as you can imagine was very frustrating, disappointing and disheartening,” Witty said.

While the authorities have been of little help, Witty said the community has been behind her and a new feline organization that she founded, Astoria 7.

“The community has been great,” she said. “There has been such an incredible outreach of support.”

Since the cats disappeared, Witty has launched a campaign, putting up posters and blasting out messages on social media.

Witty and other community members are suspicious that a nearby resident is behind their disappearance.

“We had neighbors telling us that they found cans of tuna fish laced with antifreeze around the proximity of this person’s home,” Witty said.

According to Witty, the same neighbor has threatened to poison the cats in the past and was apparently caught by a neighbor spraying a substance in the alley on 24th street and 23rd avenue, where the cats lived.

The neighbor has denied any involvement in the cats’ disappearance, but Witty is still suspicious.

While Witty holds onto hope that the cats are alive, she is not optimistic

“The thing that pains me the most is not knowing,” she said.

“This is a terrible fate and I would hope that… they [the cats] have found a way to survive or even that they are on their way home right now. But that would be my hope, I’m not optimistic.”

Witty contacted the shelters and the cats have not been brought in.

Witty and community members reached out to the ASPCA, but they could not investigate without any proof.

“We just want there to be an official investigation so we could find out who is responsible and they could be held accountable,” said Witty.

Astoria 7 is offering a $5,000 reward for the missing cats.

If you have any information on the missing cats please visit, Astoria7.org.

email the author: [email protected]

4 Comments

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Tamara Bedic

This coming Thursday, March 27th, the the Queens DAs office will send 3 attorneys to address the Astoria community regarding these missing–and presumed abducted–cats.

At last count, over 70 cats are missing in the Astoria area. Clearly there is a very sick individual or individuals that is abducting and probably murdering these cats. This individual must be apprehended. It is a travesty that the police are so passive.

In light of police inactivity the community is taking matters into your own hands. On Thursday, March 27th at Enigma bookstore at 6:30pm the DA’s office is sending 3 attourneys who prosecute animal cruelty cases to discuss investigating and evidence gathering. We, the residents of Astoria and animal lovers, must become the eyes and ears of these vulnerable cats.

The event at Enigma bookstore is free, but please consider donating a can of cat food and 1 gently used book.

For more information please contact: http://www.Astoria7.org or call: (718) 359-6424.

Thank you.

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May

I am an animal lover. I heard some people hate cats. They are under knowledge. Having cats around the neighborhood will keep the RAT away from their houses. I hope the police will catch the person/people who did this and bring him to justice

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Frances Koutroumanos

please keep me updated.I love cats.I hope they catch this person.I can’t understand anyone not loving cats.Do they like rats?Keep up the good work and keep me updated.i love all animals.

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