Disturbing animal cruelty trend on Long Island

July 27, 2011 3:18:29 PM PDT
Montauk is teeming with visitors this summer season. Vacationers are enjoying sun, sand and surf. Sadly, this casual vibe has become the setting for an act of abject animal cruelty.

Over the weekend, authorities say a group of guests at the Royal Atlantic Hotel targeted a defenseless bird. Investigators say the guests used bread to lure the seagull. They then took a rock the size of a brick and bashed the bird's head in.

Roy Gross runs the Suffolk County SPCA, which is now on the hunt for whoever killed that bird.

What's even worse is that it's the third similar act of animal cruelty on the East End, in only a month.

Earlier this month, someone shot a hunting arrow a swan, which was found clinging to life in Riverhead.

Two weeks earlier, a turtle turned up in Sag Harbor after someone pounded a nail right through its body.

Volunteers are nursing both animals back to life at the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, where they simply can't fathom this sudden rash of torture.

"I don't know what would ever possess anybody to do something so terrible to an animal," said Virginia Frati of the Wildlife Rescue Center.

Now, authorities are offering thousands of dollars for information in all three cases. In Montauk, they want to find a mysterious woman in a red bathing suit, seen yelling at the torturers. She might even have taken their picture, which would be a key piece of evidence in the quest for justice for an innocent bird.

If you have information on any of the cases, authorities are urging you to contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-SPCA.