Police say about 40 dead cats were found in two freezers inside of a Long Island City, Queens storage unit on Monday.
The American Self-Storage unit, located at 49-30 29th St, had been a part of an auction of abandoned units. The cats were discovered when the winner went to see the space, police say.
According to CBS News, police also say it is hard to tell exactly how many cats were found because some were frozen together. Some cats were wrapped in bags, while others were found in a serving tray.
One cat, in particular, was found skinned inside of an aluminum serving tray. The Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is waiting for the cats to thaw out so they can determine the cause of death. In addition to the dead cats, books, trash, and papers were also found at the scene.
American Self-Storage released the following statement on the company’s behalf:
“Saddened deeply by the death of the forty cats, American self Storage has made significant financial contributions to ASPCA shelters in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and three NJ counties where American Self-Storage facilities are located,” said the statement.
“Self-Storage companies do not examine the items which tenants store in their rented units, the way apartment landlords do not study each item which tenants bring into their rented rooms.”
“But we join in feeling the shock at the mistreatment of animals, and by this gesture of support for a leading animal rights organization, we encourage all human beings to be gentle and loving in their treatment of all creatures with whom we share this earth.
The NYPD Animal Cruelty Squad is currently investigating the case. An ASPCA manager said the ASPCA is providing forensic support for the NYPD in this investigation.