Chester County PA residents warned to keep cats inside as killings continue
In the aftermath of the most recent in a spate of area cat killings over the last few months, the Chester County SPCA has issued a warning to people to keep their cats inside so they can avoid becoming statistics. The SPCA has asked residents to keep their cats indoors since these incidents began, and has renewed the plea with a warning.
In the first two videos below, Petmom Sabah Qasim, of Malvern, speaks about Furball, the latest known victim from the area. Furball was adopted by the Qasim family 10 years ago, as a kitten, and was a beloved member of the family. He went missing on November 11, and within a couple of days the family was passing out flyers in their search for him. On Nov. 15, the family heard Furball meowing and found him hiding under their deck and in obvious pain and distress. The vet discovered a pellet lodged in Furball’s spine; the cat had been shot. Furball’s prognosis was so poor that the family agreed, with much sadness, to allow him to be euthanized.
Sabah says, “He was just like a family member, just like a little kid. He was with us all the time.” Her son Asad, adds, “There’s always violence in this world, but I’m grieved to know that it is affecting us, and the inhumanity of it is striking.”
Earlier incidents occurred in September and October, leaving several cats and kittens dead and their caregivers and families traumatized. CSPCA continues to investigate all of the cases, and says there is no evidence at present that the cases are directly related.
According to CSPCA spokesman Rich Britton, in such crimes against animals, each count carries a minimum penalty of a $1,000 fine and a maximum of two years in prison. Anyone with information is asked to call 610-692-6113, Ext. 213. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
Sabah Qasim speaks about Furball and her family’s attachment to him.
In this video the Qasim family speaks, as does Rich Britton of the CSPCA; and an SPCa investigator canvasses the Qasim’s neighborhood, where it is found that several children have the type of air rifle which caused Furball’s death.
The first of this series of killings occurred in East Fallowfield in September, at the home of feral caretaker Nancy Simes and her husband. Nancy has her own few pet housecats, but also manages a feral cat colony and tries to socialize and adopt the cats out. Nancy began her work with cats when a nearby farm was sold for the land, leaving the farm cats homeless. She provides spay and neutering for the cats and feeds them, along with trying to prepare them to be pets, and finally rehoming them.
While all of the Chester County incidents are terrible, the East Fallowfield murders are especially gruesome and cruel. The Simes’ found several little kittens, numbering six or seven, one after another over several weeks, brutally killed. Nancy believes someone in her neighborhood is responsible for the killings.
Nancy commented on the killings, saying “I’m sad. I’m here trying to get these cats adopted out, I’m socializing them and someone is coming along and doing this to them. They’re innocent animals. They never hurt anyone. They didn’t ask to be born, they didn’t ask to be treated unkind and here they are coming up to a safe haven and they’re being destroyed … It’s horrible.”
The Simes’ have installed extra security measures at their property since the killings, and Ms. Simes has said that at least some of the cats are willing to go inside.
The video below includes footage of Nancy talking about her work with the cats, along with commentary from CSPCA’s Rih Britton.
A few weeks after the East Fallowfield killings, an East Pikeland couple found two of their cats dead in the space of a week, and contacted authorities. The first cats was thought to have been shot with a bow and arrow, but no arrow was found. the second cat suffered facial trauma and internal injuries.
Later in October, tragedy struck in North Coventry Township, where a family was caring for two cats and three kittens. One cat was found dead, apparently shot with a bow and arrow. an arrow with fur stuck on it was recovered nearby. The other cat and her kittens were missing. The missing mama and her kittens are included in CSPCA’s investigation of the incidents.
Given the numerous killings, whether they are related killings, copycat killings, or completely separate, residents would be well advised to heed CSPCA’s warning. Unfortunately, many feral cats will remain outside and vulnerable.