MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The posh Dasmariñas Village in Makati City has expressed its alarm over the mysterious deaths of at least 14 feral cats inside the subdivision last month in the span of just 12 days.
According to a circular dated Jan. 25, 2016 issued by the Dasmariñas Village Association Inc., to the subdivision residents, some of the cats went missing at first before they were all found dead later.
According to the circular, which has since gone viral over social media, a total of three cats have disappeared from the village’s park cattery (shelter for homeless cats) which were later found dead. Eight cats that were usually seen at the village’s Calumpang, Avocado and Paraiso streets also went missing and were later also found dead.
Three other park cats also disappeared and were later found dead. None of the cats succumbed to natural causes, said the circular.
One of the dead cats, said the circular, bore signs of having been tortured severely before death.
“In the latest horrific instance, paint thinner was cruelly poured over the cat who (sic) died a slow and painful death from chemical burns,” said the circular.
In addition to the dead cats, the circular also warned residents to be careful of their security as an elderly family retainer (servant) who has fed neutered cats for the past 40 years, had received a second handwritten threat in the form of a note. The note which was left on the retainer’s parked car on Paraiso St. last January 18 read: “You stop feeding cats!! Our village is no cat sanctuary. Or else…”
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the community cats in Dasmariñas Village have all been spayed and neutered through CARA (Community Animal Rescue and Adoption) Welfare’s Trap-Neuter-Return program and are fed by residents of the village.
PETA is now offering a P50,000, $2,000, reward for any information leading to the arrest of the cat-killer.
“It’s imperative that any community faced with a violent act such as the vicious killing of the community cats of Dasmariñas Village take measures to find the culprit or culprits and bring them to justice,” said PETA Asia Vice President for International Operations Jason Baker.
“Animal abusers are a danger to everyone: They take their issues out on whomever is available to them, human or nonhuman, and must be caught before they act again. We’re appealing to anyone with information about those responsible for these cruel crimes to come forward now so that the perpetrator or perpetrators can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.
According to PETA, aggravated cruelty to animals legally carries a penalty of up to P250,000 and three years’ imprisonment under the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 as amended by Republic Act 10631. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the PETA Asia hotline at 0999-888-7382.