No new leads in cat poisoning investigation, in which 12 cats have died, says SPCA

June 19, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

A total of twelve cats have died as a result of what the SPCA of Tompkins County calls "intentional" poisoning, says SPCA executive director Jim Bouderau. "We have no new leads in the case, and the investigation is ongoing," he tells us.

A member of Collegetown's cat population. 14850 file photo.A member of Collegetown's cat population. 14850 file photo.

Animal control officers "found a plastic container of dry cat food mixed with a liquid later identified as ethylene glycol" in a Collegetown parking lot where one cat was found dead, and three others very sick, on May 31st. Several more cats later succumbed to the effects of the poisoning.

Bouderau says two more adult cats were brought in earlier in June but haven't shown symptoms, and are going to be adopted into barn homes "rather than sending them back to the area." A dozen kittens that were recovered at the scene are "doing great" in foster homes, and "will go up for adoption in the next three or four weeks."

No family pets appear to have been affected by the poisoned food, Bouderau tells 14850 Today, just members of "a known colony living in the Collegetown area," many of whom have been spayed or neutered through the SPCA's TNR program. This "Trap, Neuter, Return" program allows the SPCA's animal control officers to help keep feral cat populations down by humanely trapping cats and taking them to a veterinary clinic before they're released back to their home environment. This colony had been partially cared for by residents in the neighborhood.

Ethylene glycol, more commonly known as antifreeze, "is highly toxic to cats," according to Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, Director of Shelter Medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Berliner, who helped to care for the affected cats, says a teaspoonful is toxic to the average cat.

The SPCA urges anyone with information about the poisonings or those who might be behind them to contact humane investigators at 607-319-5067. Anyone who sees a cat they think might have been poisoned should call the SPCA emergency phone at 607-592-6773.

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