Animal shelter head under fire after Web video

The viral video shows employees abusing a cat before it is euthanized.

A Long Island shelter director was reassigned yesterday after a YouTube video surfaced Sunday showing her mocking a cat before it was euthanized.

Patricia Horan, former director of the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter, was reassigned to a “general services” job, Hempstead Town spokesman Mike Deery said, and will continue to collect a nearly six-figure salary.

The 17-year-old video shows Horan and employees laughing, making obscene gestures and sticking a cat with a pole while someone shouts, “Kill the kitty!”  

“It’s horrific treatment of animals,” fumed Derek Donnelly, director of Hope For Hempstead Shelter. “Patricia Horan should be fired, not reassigned and collecting a fat paycheck that taxpayers are paying.”

In December, three shelter volunteers filed a lawsuit against the shelter after they were banned from the facility. They said they were punished for complaining about animals’ mistreatment, and they want money — and to be allowed back on shelter property.

“The shelter has a lot of problems, and instead of addressing them, they ban the people from the premises who question why despicable things are going on there,” said Steve Morelli, a Garden City lawyer representing the three volunteers.

Deery told Metro they are investigating the video and searching for a new director.

No plans to prosecute

The Nassau County District Attorney’s office said the video is too old to prompt prosecution. 

The office released a statement urging Long Islanders to report animal abuse early, to avoid situations like the video of animal abuse at the shelter, where “criminal prosecution is entirely barred by a statute of limitations.”


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