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Alleged Yonkers Cat Killer Arrested and Cats Honored Posthumously

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The heinous killing of 25 cats in Yonkers, N.Y. last April sparked a groundswell of outrage but only part of the mystery is solved. Police arrested Rene Carcamo, 60, of 25 Overlook Terrace, Yonkers on Tuesday. Arraigned the same day, he is free on $5,000 bail and charged with illegally disposing of dead cats but not killing the cats which were found hanging from plastic garbage bags neatly tied to low lying tree branches in a vacant wooded lot at 14 Overlook Terrace. Several of the cats were killed with blunt force trauma according to investigators. The cats were in different stages of decomposition including skeletal. Carcamo told investigators he’d been disposing of dead cats for five years, both his own and those found in the area but denies killing them. It’s a mystery why he hung the bags instead of burying them. Perhaps a psychiatrist might provide deeper insights.

Rene Carcamo. Photo credit: Yonkers police
Rene Carcamo at time of booking. Photo credit: Yonkers police.
During the investigation, in July, the SPCA found two neglected kittens in Carcamo’s care who refused to bring them to a vet. After his arrest for illegal disposal and animal cruelty, five more neglected cats were found in his home and removed.  If found guilty, the charges bring a maximum of one year in jail, a $500 fine or three years probation on the animal cruelty charges. The charge of illegal disposal brings a maximum of six months jail time. It begs the question: is this justice and where do we go from here?

When news of the killings spread, animal rights advocates, local citizens, myself included, rallied. Black Sabbath bassist and cat lover, Gerard” Geezer” Butler offered a $25,000 reward for an arrest of the cat killer. However because Carcamo is not charged with the killings, it’s not clear what will happen to the reward money. I can think of many local groups like the Cat Protection Council of Westchester and all our local shelters who could use extra funds to fight injustice. Animal cruelty never sleeps.

We love our cats here in Westchester County and most are well cared for. The Yonkers 25, as the dead cats are called, were honored in a tribute at the annual Westchester County Cat Show on the weekend. The Westchester Feline Club who produce the show decided to present the prestigious “Cat of the Year” award to the 25 slain cats posthumously. They wanted to send a clear message. Cats, all cats whether show cats or alley cats deserve respect and kindness. By honoring these cats our global community can grow in awareness of animal cruelty and make a difference in the future. Every society is shaped and defined by how we treat our animals. A memorial to the cats was displayed during the show all weekend and there are plans for a permanent memorial in Yonkers.

I believe good can and must come out of bad. The 25 cats were part of a semi-feral colony in a rundown lot. Many of the surviving cats were rescued by the SPCA in Briarcliff and are available for adoption. The city of Yonkers provided $15,000  for a trap, neuter and release program for stray cats in the city. In terms of justice, we can’t restore life to dead cats but we can lobby for stiffer penalties for animal cruelty. We can educate and be a voice for those who can’t speak. It begins in our backyard. In my backyard there is Animal Defenders in Westchester.See Humane Society where your state stands on public policies dealing with animal cruelty and fighting, pets, wildlife, equines, animals in research, and farm animals. Text RANKING to 30644 to get mobile alerts on upcoming legislation in your state. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Meade

Our weekly adoption spotlight will be a short #AdorableAdoptable in honor of Adopt A Senior pet Month #Seniorpets with our Merlin as poster boy.

ASPCA Adopt a Senior Pet Twitter chat-merlin-cat wisdom 101

Noodles, senior boy was adopted from the New Rochelle Human Society but returned when his owner had a baby and didn’t want him anymore. He’s nine-years-young and has been at the shelter since 2006! You do the math. More info at his shareable Petfinder profile. As soon as I spotted him last week, he made a beeline off his perch for some snuggle time. He’s a friendly, healthy and dapper Tuxie who just needs a lucky break.

Noodles #seniorpets cat adoption

 

25 Comments

  • William Lewis

    Many thanks for writing about this. There are many people who cannot bear the cat…Even they cannot tolerate any creature. They cannot even tolerate their children. Not everyone has this feeling of love for animals. But we have to be careful. We have to love other animals. The nature will be good…

  • Lilp

    It is sad that most people don’t do critical thinking and automatically go into persecutory mode without first really trying to investigate if a person is guilty. Automatically go into kill the monster. I hope that this never happens to anyone. However I have learned from personal experience that the news lies and exagerates information for ratings. I feel bad for this man, I have actually known him since a child and he may been a bit ecentric but never in a negative or mean spirited way. This article itself makes clear that he is not being charged for killing the cats and that he actually had kittens in his home. This man actually fed cats in the community as I do. Now I am scared of feeding stray cats because someone may accuse me of poisoning them. He also took some of the kittens in because he loved cats and may not have had money to take them to a vet but I guess denying medical care is more cruel than leaving them out in the street in the cold to die naturally. I also pose this question to anyone that has a cat, cats are as loyal as dogs, they don’t love blindly, you earn their love with respect and care. You think a man known to be followed by cats in the street would be one to kill them, you think cats would follow a cat killer? Critical thinking. Also the police that arrested him is the same one that accused another innocent person last year at around this exact same time and I believe there is a bonus you get for making big arrest. The arrest made last year actually cost the lives of four beautiful dogs that were loved because they just removed them from the home and placed them in shelter and put four out of five to sleep without first proving the allegations. So just because it’s a police or the news does not mean that they are lawful. Question everything before condeming a person. Again, the man being accused I have been familiar with since a child. He is not family and I have absolutely no personal reason to defend aside from knowing the truth. Unfortunatley for him, he has no family here in the US, is poor and does not speak english so he’s an easy target.

    • Layla Morgan Wilde

      Thanks so much for posting. I welcome all views and comments. This is a hot button topic and it’s difficult to stay neutral. I hope you are in touch with the TNR group in Yonkers who will help you with feeding etc. There are many resources available. If someone cannot afford to provide veterinary, they can bring them to a shelter. I volunteer at one and it happens all the time. That is humane.

    • A Voice for Canada Geese

      @LILP GOOD FOR YOU!!
      Would you PLEASE testify for Rene Carmodo or anonymously send the above comment to SPCA/YRs police….I have been very upset that the media has distorted the charges (unlawful disposal and allegedly failing to get vet care) and that the vast majority of commenters have tried/convicted/and found guilty of the KILLING of the cats.
      Also could you give me the background (maybe a date, name for last year’s dogs arrest and subsequent death of four beautiful dogs…

      • Layla Morgan Wilde

        There is nothing distorted about the charges. Mr. Carmodo will receive a fair trial and remember, he was not charged with the killings. He didn’t allegedly fail to provide vet care, he did not provide needed care. The ASPCA does not remove animals from a home for no reason.

  • Darlene Arden, C.A.B.C.

    Thank you for writing about this. That man needs to be permanently locked away from society. If not in prison, then in a mental facility. You’re right about stronger laws in your State. Every State needs to do that. Animal abuse (and this is truly hideous) leads to abuse of people. There is documentation and the law should reflect it.

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    The sadness of this whole situation is immense. We are glad that good things often are accomplished in the aftermath of such horrible events. We only wish that more good things would be accomplished without the drama of such horrible events and these things would never be allowed to happen. We just have to work harder and harder to make this happen! We have to understand that stopping the animal cruelty/abuse will also help stop the human kind too. These are very often one and the same people.
    I also cannot understand anyone returning a cat to the shelter. I know that there are situations where this is a much better soulution than some but I still cannot imagine “returning” someone I love.

    Lets all work together to STOP the abuse, neglect ,torture, cruelty,neglect and death of all living beings.

    Luvs,
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  • Crepes

    Oh dear. I don’ tknow why nothing said on the kitties deaths…. So sad for the neglected kitties, but glad they were rescued. Good luck to Noodles. 8 years is too long!! – Crepes.

  • Anonymous

    de veree best oh fishes two ewe noodle that ya find & R IN…yur forevers by thanx be giving ♥♥♥♥ yea for pie ~~~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    as for the mo foe “person” …termed loosely…above; may you be cast into a boat without a paddle and sail upon the river styx, may your only visitor be cerebus who gnaws upon your flesh, may you enter the kingdom of hell to be spat upon by Satan himself, who is also so disgusted with your behavior, that he banishes you back to the river…where this scenario plays out again, and again and again and again and again……

    doodz….tell yur mom if her does knot want thiz type oh comment on her blog, she may delete; we understand ♥♥♥

    • da tabbies o trout towne

      N we iz knot anonymous; we bee THAT pizzed off we forgot ta log on bee fore we hit post

      de veree best oh fishes two ewe noodle that ya find & R IN…yur forevers by thanx be giving ♥♥♥♥ yea for pie ~~~

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      as for the mo foe “person” …termed loosely…above; may you be cast into a boat without a paddle and sail upon the river styx, may your only visitor be cerebus who gnaws upon your flesh, may you enter the kingdom of hell to be spat upon by Satan himself, who is also so disgusted with your behavior, that he banishes you back to the river…where this scenario plays out again, and again and again and again and again……

      doodz….tell yur mom if her does knot want thiz type oh comment on her blog, she may delete; we understand ♥♥♥

  • Angel AbbyGrace

    I hope that this man will not slip through the cracks and be punished for his heinous crimes. I will (and gladly so) never understand the sheer madness and cruelty one must have to make innocent animals suffer. If only we could make him feel the same thing he made his victims feel. That would be justice.

  • Summer

    There definitely need to be much, much stiffer laws regarding animal cruelty. I can’t believe this creepy guy can get off so easy!

    BTW, did you get my human’s email?

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