‘Disturbing’ Hempstead Town Animal Shelter Video Released

Town employees shown on YouTube video handling a cat in an “ugly and unacceptable” manner.

A nearly 20-year old video has been posted on YouTube that depicts Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter employees making obscene gestures, handling a kitten and saying "kill the kitty."

Hempstead Town Press Secretary Susan Trenkle-Pokalsky called the video “disturbing” and the comments on it “ugly and unacceptable.”

“The video shows a former private animal hospital employee handling a cat and a town kennel worker who has not worked for the town in over 16 years,” she added. “An interview with Acting Shelter Director Pat Horan, titled as the source of the off-camera phrase, has been met with an emphatic denial that her voice was on the video. Clearly, Ms. Horan can be seen walking out of the room, while the voice on camera seems to be in very close proximity to the camera's microphone.”

“The town finds the actions contained in the video offensive and is investigating the circumstances surrounding the video,” Pokalsky continued.

Derek Donnelly, director of the Hope for Hempstead Shelter organization has been outspoken about reform at the shelter.

“I understand when there are times when an animal has to be put down, but not that way,” he said. “There are so many things wrong with the video. I don't see why we are putting down a domesticated kitten and not adopting it out. That was a calm kitten. The use of the pole is wrong, the celebrating the killing of an animal is wrong and the method is wrong. It is unbelievable.”

The Animal Shelter has been plagued by a lawsuit involving alleged abuse and recently underwent changes to improve pet care.

The lawsuit was filed last year by three former volunteer animal rescue workers and states that they were banned from the shelter after “speaking out to shelter employees and town officials about the cruel and inhumane instances of animal abuse and neglect they observed at the shelter.”

In January, concerned residents, rescue workers and pet lovers also staged a protest outside the Wantagh facility.

(Editor's Note: The material in this video may be offensive.)

Andrew Coen and Emily Cappiello also contributed to this article.

A Vaccaro March 14, 2011 at 04:22 PM
That is horrible.........anyone who mistreats any animal should be treated in the same way they mistreated the animal.
Janet Weeks March 14, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Well, let's just make sure this hideous video goes viral on social networking sites. This is totally unacceptable! Whoever said, "Kill the kitty," ought to be exposed.
Janet Weeks March 14, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Please sign and share! http://apps.facebook.com/petitions/1/remove-shelter-director-pat-horan-and-charge-her-with-animal-cruelty/
Gla March 14, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Regardless if is her voice or not, she was there and should have stopped the inhumane way this kitten was treated.
Derek Donnelly March 14, 2011 at 07:45 PM
The age of the "Kill The Kiity" video is irrelevant. The fact that the supervisor in the room at the time was recently promoted to Shelter Director is a relevant fact today. I just called the town and the new story is that Pat Horan was in the room. Voice identification technology is so good today that Pat Horan should think long and ...hard about disputing the facts. Derek Donnelly Director Hope For Hempstead Shelter
Danielle March 14, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Please attend a peaceful protest on Saturday March 19th at 3320 beltagh in Wantagh (parking lot across from shelter). Come out and support the ethical and compassionate treatment of animals. Abuse happens behind closed doors...Be the eyes and ears for these helpless animals. Stand up against abuse of animals and stand up for the custodianship of our taxpayer money. Teach your children that when they see wrong being done, than we all have a responsibility to speak up... whether we do it protesting, asking questions, signing petitions or demanding accountability by our elected officials, when we go to the polls. For more details click on patch's volunteer tab. It sickens me what these people are getting away with...Please help put a stop to it once and for all!
deborah March 14, 2011 at 09:57 PM
Simply disgusting! I agree with previous comments....the age of the video is irrelevant. These people need to be held accountable in a court of law. I'm sure there were more horrific acts committed by these POS than we will ever know about. They are deeply disturbed.
stacey March 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM
this is inexcusable and all of them should lose their jobs. absolutely horrifying!
Frank P. March 14, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Never mind just losing their jobs - - - - they should be investigated and arrested for animal cruelty, just as ordinary citizens would be. Indictments from a grand jury should help to reduce future incidents. Also, it's time the Nassau County Executive should step in and order the shelter to be taken over by the ASPCA or the Humane Society, and fire all the TOH employees who presently work there and "look the other way".
Derek Donnelly March 15, 2011 at 12:29 AM
NEWS RELEASE HOPE FOR HEMPSTEAD ANIMAL SHELTER ISSUES RESPONSE TO VIDEO FOOTAGE https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B3tO7JZpzWq4MmE2Y2YxOTktM2Q4ZC00OWM4LTgzMGItZDU2MTgwYjQ3Y2Q4&hl=en
Derek Donnelly March 15, 2011 at 12:30 AM
NEWS RELEASE HOPE FOR HEMPSTEAD ANIMAL SHELTER ISSUES RESPONSE TO VIDEO FOOTAGE.. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B3tO7JZpzWq4MmE2Y2YxOTktM2Q4ZC00OWM4LTgzMGItZDU2MTgwYjQ3Y2Q4&hl=en
Captain Kirk March 15, 2011 at 05:02 PM
So why aren't charges being filed? If I did that to an animal the ASPC would be all over me.
SoMo March 15, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Has Horan been fired yet or is she still collecting a comfy salary?
l nardi March 16, 2011 at 12:01 AM
With a budget of 7 million dollars this facility should be a NO KILL facility! There seems to be abuse of power, abuse of funds and abuse of animals! Please help the animals that have no voice! Where is the transparency? Audits , new staff , more volunteers and criminal charges should be brought up. The least is that these cruel people should not be working with animals!
kathy March 17, 2011 at 12:59 AM
This is disgusting behavior and should not be tolerted. She should of been fired then along with the rest of the uncaring jerks that where with her. How was this able to go without being seen and known about earlier? Fire her sorry butt.
Derek Donnelly March 17, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Pat Horan claims it's not her. Watch the video again. Above the right hand shirt pocket it appears to read "Pat".
nnnnnnnn March 18, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Pat doesn't claim that it isn't her in the video - that is clearly her - she claims that the "kill the kitty" voice is not hers as she left the room seconds before it was spoken.
Derek Donnelly March 24, 2011 at 03:06 AM
If you missed the protest you will want to watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ooKanVgs4
larry May 11, 2011 at 11:30 PM
we sure could use this wasted 2-3 million for the county budget..and a couple more from each agency of the county and we would have a surplus,,,maybe one day we will stop the patronage jobs and the waste and get the politicians under control and then we can lower taxes....we are suffocating as these guys goof off on the job,,they like killing animals too much to work at a shelter..and the gal putting rabbit ears or a peace sign over her head wasnt fired?i wonder who she knows! theres so much waste,,if we just had the millions the county and town waste giving money to theyre lawyer buddies in frivilous lawsuits,,like NIFA..we wasted 500,000,,then we ended the suit..after theyre friends made money,,they said NIFA would foce tax increases,,well wheres the tax increase,,,Patronage jobs are killing this county
charlie May 13, 2011 at 11:47 PM
larry May 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM
maybe the town and county has another 100g to give another buddys law firm to defend this case as its got lawsuit written allover it,,and the lawyers will make money,,if you know the right guy,,or if the politicians making the decisions are friends or worked for the firm,,
larry May 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM
its obvious . theres no debate she abused her position.Its also obvious the shelter is way over the required dollars to run this type of facility.while we eliminate teachers jobs,,or school programs or .while we eliminate handicapped buses for our needy and senior residents..we still have politicians playing patronage games with our dollars..and we cant stop it,,we cant get a county or town employee knocked out of a job when she is redhandedly caught.Do we have to look any further then the 500g the county paid Manganos ex law firm to lose ..not only lose,,but to present an awful case...How much money do you think we waste in situations like these,,I think its well over 50 million annually..We need a strong look into the job appointments made when the county supervisor won the election<Look into the OTB managment team,,a bunch of politicians that never ran a buisness..look into the lawsuits the town wages and the county wages...its a money pit!..7 million to run this small shelter..140g a week,,it can be done for 50g a week,,and done better...we need to clean up the patronage jobs and the pension padding...Its outright disgusting.
charlie May 19, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Diane Madden, Lucille Defina & Frances Lucivero-Pelletier from reports were in the business of selling animals, period!! finding good homes for animals is an applaudable thing to do, make money doing it, not so bad, but when you walk into an animal shelter like you own the damn place and walking out with animals to sell for profit on my dime and that of other tax payers without giving anything back to the shelter which is affording you a nice living is not right, our tax dollars pay for the feeding and medical care for the animals and no one should be making money on that without paying something back to the shelter. Oh my guess is there was something paid back in the direction of the shelter but not to the shelter. One more thing, since when did the shelter deliver animals occross town, county and state lines, Madden or her cronies claims. currupion?? she has no further to go than the end of her nose. Oh and by the way WHERE IS REGINA THORNE AND CHARLIE MILONE ?????? Oh and lets not forget VIDEO TERRY???????? It's going to get interesting folks.
charlie May 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM
NARDI: Your definately right, the rescuers should be brought up on charges of abusing town funds,, who paid for all the out of town animals deliveries and accross state lines no less, i wonder if that could be Madden and Thorne????? Nardi, shut your mouth, you don't know what your talking, be gone with you and while your at it take that political wanna-be Donnelly with you. OH, by the way, have you all heard that Pat Horan has been vindicated by one of the local papers, the writer claims it was Debbie another worker at the shelter and is in a supervisory position as i speak, why has Debbie been not terminated from her position at the shelter and ask yourself what may sue Jacobs a town attorney assigned to the shelter to eversee the situation have to do with Debbie and for that matter Guy another shelter supervisor and Richie, could it be that they are part of the Seaford Republican Party who hates anyone that is'nt in there cirle and it goes deeper and beyond all that, watch for Jacobs to be removed, there as bad as Madden and her bunch. Now see if you can find some truth to comment on next time instead of following Maddens lead of lies and fraud. Lets see if Madden sends off an appology to Pat Horan, i doubt it, she has'nt the decency, not one decent bone in her body. Now be gone with you, your boring, fiction always is.
charlie May 20, 2011 at 11:03 PM
And above your shirt pocket is says "real moron"
Kiki June 24, 2011 at 01:41 PM
I just saw this while lookng for an article on a new animal shelter in Long Beach. And this is where our animals went when our shelter shut down? Horrible! I just can't even imagine this. I didn't watch the video after reading the description. I know it's a bit late, but I'm spreading the news of this.


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