Trapped cat sparks fight, arrest on LI

September 28, 2009 2:58:43 PM PDT
A Westhampton Beach man says he was just trying to save cats. But some homeowners say his love of felines is hurting their neighborhood. So they had him arrested.Tom Young says the first conversation he ever had with his neighbors was eight years ago, when they hit a sour note over some stray cats. The Jacobis didn't like the idea of Young feeding the cats on Dune Road.

But the already strained relationship hit a crescendo in July, when Young heard a cat wailing in pain for two straight days. He walked over to his neighbors to check it out. He says he found five traps, one of which contained a cat. He let that cat go, saying he was relieved to rescue the cat from a horrible death.

"It's a spring that comes down," Young said. "It's very popwerful."

What he didn't know was that the neighbors had video surveillance and caught him going back the next day to spray cat repellant on the traps.

The neighbors, Deanne and Herb, were so outraged that they had Young charged with criminal trespassing. They say they too are animal lovers, but hired a licensed trapper to deal with a raccoon problem. They say Young had no business spraying repellant on their property.

"The fumes were so intense, we couldn't use house for days," Deanne said.

As for Young, he insists he was just trying to save the cat's life, and then some.

"I wanted to make sure other cats don't get snatched in the trap, that's all," he said.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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