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Possible animal poisoning investigated at Beecher Terrace construction site

Several animals in Louisville were left to fend for themselves after Beecher Terrace neighbors had to find new homes when theirs became a construction site.
Published: Sep. 26, 2019 at 8:40 PM EDT
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Animal volunteer Pam Whitfield said that on Tuesday, she noticed what appeared to be the sweet...
Animal volunteer Pam Whitfield said that on Tuesday, she noticed what appeared to be the sweet tasting, but deadly liquid in one of her animal bowls behind a closed construction gate.(WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Several animals in Louisville were left to fend for themselves after Beecher Terrace neighbors had to find new homes when theirs became a construction site.

It’s believed some of those residents had no place to take their pets, so they abandoned them.

For about a year, people have been feeding the community cats, even a dog.

Now, Louisville Metro Animal Services is investigating the possibility that someone is trying to poison them.

Thursday, WAVE 3 News was at the Beecher Terrace construction site when LMAS investigators spoke with workers and discovered a container of green liquid inside an empty building.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” animal volunteer Pam Whitfield said.

For more than 20 years, Whitfield has been going to church next door to the construction site.

“I had a cat come up to my car and the cat tried to get in,” she said.

About a year ago, Whitfield said she noticed a lot of community cats, and even a dog running around hungry there.

“So I went to a local Kroger and got food and fed them,” she said.

Whitfield said she started making the drive from the east end to South 11th Street after working with other community caregivers, providing daily food for the animals. Even police officers in the area have pitched in to help, rescuing cats off the roofs or in the construction mess, when one had been in trouble.

It’s a sweet story that got a lot sweeter this week, but not for good reason.

“I saw one of my bowls half filled with antifreeze,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield said that on Tuesday, she noticed what appeared to be the sweet tasting, but deadly liquid in one of her animal bowls behind a closed construction gate.

“Oh my gosh,” she said. “How am I going to climb the fence? I have to get in. I don’t want to get arrested for trespassing.”

Whitfield said she called officers who were able to get in and identify the antifreeze, then Metro Animal Services came to check out any animals still there.

The next day, Whitfield went onto the construction site and said she spoke with a man she thought was a supervisor.

“He said he would check into it and he would call me back, but I have yet to hear back from him,” Whitfield said, adding that another worker told her Wednesday to leave the cats alone and go feed some homeless people.

While a WAVE 3 News crew was there, no animals were there, but an investigator was seen pointing out to a construction worker a camera right across from the area where the green substance was found.

“How could anyone want to take the life of a harmless cat?” Whitfield asked.

Because a lot of people can come and go from the site, Metro Animal Services is requesting the Real Time Crime Center pull the video to try and figure out who’s behind the act. A second substance found Thursday was also taken to be tested. More than one contractor is working for the city’s housing authority along with several sub-contractors on the project.

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