Brooklyn community left with questions after NYPD wraps up investigation into feral cat colony

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BROOKLYN — For two months, the NYPD’s Animal Abuse Investigations Squad has been looking into the forced removal of 20 cats from Industry City.

They were a registered feral cat colony for five years. They’d been neutered and spayed.  Tenants and employees of Industry City, a renovated 18 building commercial and industrial complex in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, provided the cats with food and water. The cats lived in the basements of several buildings.

Then, in mid September, because of a flea problem in some of the basements, Andrew Kimball, Industry City’s CEO, contracted with Squash Exterminating of Brooklyn. He says he asked the exterminator to “appropriately handle” the cats. He says Squash should have taken the cats to an animal care center to be treated for fleas and then returned to Industry City.    But Kimball says “what the contractor told the NYPD is they were released into a park. That obviously is not appropriate and that contractor has been terminated.”

The exterminator allegedly dumped the cats into two Brooklyn parks. At one of them, Gerritsen Creek, seven cats in plastic bags were found dead three weeks ago by a group of Girl Scouts on a beach cleanup. It’s not clear if those cats were part of the colony.

The caretakers of the feral cats, upset that they had not been asked to handle the flea problem before an exterminator was called, hoped the police investigation would result in Squash Exterminating and Industry City officials being charged with abandoning animals in a public place. That’s a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

But PIX11 has learned the NYPD investigation has been concluded and the results presented to the Brooklyn District Attorney.

A spokesman for Acting D.A. Eric Gonzales said “There was insufficient evidence to sustain criminal charges in this case.”

“I think it’s a disgrace,” said caretaker Robert Stevens, an Industry City security guard. “We’re very, very dismayed and disgusted.”

Mariana Nuziale, who registered the colony five years ago, said “You can’t just take animals anywhere and dump them. You’re supposed to take them to Animal Care and Control. That wasn’t done, so how is that legal? How are we not getting justice for that, for the cats.”

What a Shame!

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