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 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.