NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — More than three hundred people showed up to a protest against the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter Saturday. Many animals activists brought along their pets as they waved banners demanding changes in practices and policies at the shelter.
The rally, organized by the group Hope for Hempstead Shelter, was in part sparked by a Youtube video released earlier this week. The video, said to be several years old, allegedly shows a shelter official, Patricia Horan, saying “kill the kitty, kill the kitty,” before a kitten was euthanized.
Hope for Hempstead Shelter described the cat in the video as a “seemingly healthy, domestic kitten.”
The protesters said they wanted to see reform at the shelter, where they contend many animals were being euthanized and people were being prevented from rescuing them.
“That’s why we’re here now because we have no voice for the animals anymore, we have no eyes to help us to help the animals,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney.
Others said they’d seen firsthand evidence of abuse at the facility.
“All I can tell you…that I saw is that more than 50 percent of the dogs had raw, red feet. Now that doesn’t happen by chance for 50 percent of the dogs, that’s from bleach,” another woman at the rally said.
In a news release, The Town of Hempstead addressed the Youtube video along with the allegations of abuse and said town officials were “shocked” by it. They also called the video “appalling” and pointed out that the acting shelter director seen in the video was reassigned pending an investigation.
One woman at the rally said that the shelter was prohibiting animal rescuers from entering and trying to help.
“There’s people in the community that are begging to go in there to help. Even if it is to walk the dogs,” she said.
Mike Deary, the Director of Communications for the Town of Hempstead, said officials were committed to ensuring the humane treatment and care of the animals at the shelter.
“The Town of Hempstead is looking to give the absolute, best care and treatment to animals at its shelter and we’re looking to find them loving homes and that’s what we’re focused on,” he told 1010 WINS on Saturday.