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Exclusive: Nearly A Dozen Dead Cats Found In Hammocks Neighborhood

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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South Florida Crime

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Residents in The Hammocks want to know who killed nearly a dozen neighborhood cats.

Miami-Dade Animal Control says it appears someone poisoned them.

The cats were strays, but Concetta Ciaccio and her daughters them by name. For years, they came to Ciaccio’s house on 147th place for food. Ciaccio says she started feeding the cats after people moved away and abandoned them following Hurricane Andrew.

She noticed on Sunday that something was wrong. Ciaccio says there were dead cats in her yard and on the street others were dying.

“It’s terrible,” said Ciaccio, “I’m not going have such a nice Thanksgiving now because somebody did something like this.”

Her daughter, Denise Betancourt, wiped away tears as she watched the cats struggling to stay alive.

“I can’t believe it. It’s awful. It’s awful to see them convulse like this. The situation is terrible I can’t believe that someone doesn’t have a heart,” Betancourt said.

Ciaccio moved the cat’s bodies out of the street and put them in her garage to keep them from being run over. She thinks someone purposely poisoned them.

“It’s terrible it’s like a massacre to me and that someone could do something like that it’s awful,” she told CBS4’s Maggie Newland.

Animal Control officer Michael Garateix took away 10 dead cats and three cats that seemed to be dying.

He said this, “most definitely sounds like a poisoning case,” but said those cases can be difficult to solve.

“It might be something that a neighbor might know who it is but they might not want to get involved might not want to rat on a neighbor,” said Garateix.

Animal Control will perform a necropsy on one of the cats to determine what killed them.  They also plan to return Tuesday and trap three additional cats that appeared healthy. If they are healthy those cats will be put up for adoption.

Ciaccio also plans on putting her pet cat up for adoption as well because she says she’s too afraid to keep him after what happened.

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