Animal programs

2 Long Island women face animal cruelty charges for dumping 3 cats in Tanner Park

Two Long Island women are facing animal cruelty charges for dumping three cats in Tanner Park in Copiague, according to the Suffolk SPCA.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the cats are still missing after they were abandoned in August by Crystal Cahill, 39, of Amityville, and Catherine Gropper, 32, of Massapequa.

Detectives say the two women were doing animal rescue work for the Trap, Neuter and Return program, but instead abandoned the cats.

The program aims to reduce the population of feral cats. The SPCA says the cats were trapped in East Islip and then allegedly dumped in Copiague.

“The right way is to trap them, have them spayed by a licensed veterinarian and return them to where they were trapped or have them adopted,” says Suffolk County SPCA chief Roy Gross.

Bay Shore’s Kathleen Leslie does TNR, or Trap, Neuter and Return, work. She travels the island to give stray cats a better life.

On Friday, she trapped a pregnant cat in Wyandanch. The goal of TNR is that trapping cats is just the beginning of their recovery process.

“The idea is that all the cats will be trapped, spayed and neutered and given the medical care they need and then sent back to their site because if you don’t send them back and abandon them it puts them in a very dangerous,” Leslie said.

Leslie tells News 12 that other local animal advocates are still coming to Tanner Park to search for the three missing cats.

Cahill and Gropper are due back in court on Oct. 13.

If found guilty, they risk prison terms and fines.