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New York man charged for 25 cats hanging in trees

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Plastic bags containing the remains of about 25 cats were discovered hanging from a tree in a wooded area in Yonkers, N.Y., in April, according to the SPCA of Westchester's Humane Law Enforcement Division.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. >> A 60-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the discovery last spring of 25 dead cats hanging from trees in plastic bags, a grisly find that prompted animal lovers to post $25,000 in reward money.

Westchester County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Rene Carcamo of Yonkers was charged with illegally disposing of the dead cats. He was not charged with killing the cats.

The charge is a violation of environmental law. Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement for the SPCA, said, "That’s what we’re able to prove, that he was hanging them."

He would not say if officials believe Carcamo also killed the cats. He said in April that tests on three cats’ bodies showed the animals were killed with blows to the head at various times over the previous year and were already dead when they were put in the bags.

The cats were discovered in April by a public works crew doing an annual cleanup in a wooded area just off Overlook Terrace in Yonkers, about a mile and a half north of the Bronx. Carcamo lives nearby.

Animal welfare groups and private citizens, including Geezer Butler of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, posted $25,000 in reward money. The SPCA did not immediately return messages asking what would become of the money.

In addition to the charge related to the dead cats, Carcamo was charged with animal cruelty. The SPCA said that during the investigation, Lungaro found two sick kittens in Carcamo’s possession and told him to take them to a veterinarian, but he did not. Lungaro later took the kittens away and a vet found them to be severely neglected, the SPCA said.

Lungaro said Carcamo’s arrest was still being processed. He had no information on an arraignment or a defense lawyer. Calls to Yonkers police were not immediately returned.

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