As an increasing number of animals in the Easthampton region suffer at the hands of really awful people, concerned citizens and the SPCA are offering tens of thousands of dollars in reward money to find out who's responsible. In addition to a seagull with a dart shot through its head that was spotted in Sag Harbor, a box turtle was found with a nail hammered through its shell, a swan that was impaled with an arrow was picked up in Riverhead, and a seagull was crushed to death with a rock the size of a brick near the Royal Atlantic Beach Motel in Montauk. The bird with a dart through its head flew away before it could be rescued, but the swan and the turtle are both recuperating.
CBS reports that citizens along with the Suffolk Country SPCA have put up rewards of $12,500 and $11,000 for information leading to the arrest of the people who harmed the turtle and the swan. A woman in a red bathing suit reportedly witnessed people near the hotel attacking the seagull with a rock, and allegedly took pictures of the incident while attempting to stop the aggressors. Authorities are still trying to track her down to obtain what may be valuable evidence in catching the people responsible.
"Talk about premeditated acts of animal abuse," Ray Gross, the head of the Suffolk SPCA told Patch. "This was a cowardly, deliberate act, against an innocent bird." Harming an animal that's not a "companion animal" is a misdemeanor that carries up to $1,000 in fines, but they may also face prosecution from the Department of Environmental Conservation or the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Anyone with information regarding the incidents of animal cruelty is urged to contact the Suffolk SPCA at 631-382-7722, and tips may be submitted anonymously.