Fur flies in Kiryat Tivon over pet poisonings

Animal rights watchdog blasts police inaction.

kitten 298.88 (photo credit: Alon Ron/AHAVA)
kitten 298.88
(photo credit: Alon Ron/AHAVA)
The AHAVA foundation has been filling in for Sherlock Holmes over the past two months, trying to uncover the identity of what it describes as a serial pet killer in Kiryat Tivon. But after two months of fruitless efforts, the organization blasted police, claiming that local law enforcement officials were ignoring a clear and present danger to local residents. In May, AHAVA members claim, a series of mass poisonings in the northern town led to the deaths of at least 60 dogs and cats. Residents of Rehov Sharet were the first to discover a number of dogs and cats that had been poisoned, some of them still in death throes. A few days later, the incident occurred again on the same street, and a week later more animals were poisoned in another neighborhood in the city. While many of the animals found dead were feral cats, others included pets that were poisoned in the yards of their own houses. In one instance, the poisoner allegedly struck in a local playground. AHAVA representatives said volunteers from the organization, which works to prevent animal abuse, submitted at least four separate complaints to the local police. The Kiryat Tivon Local Council's veterinarian submitted a fifth complaint on May 20. But in at least one instance, when a journalist called the local police to ask about the cases, police responded that no complaints had ever been filed about the poisonings. Later, according to AHAVA members, the Zebulon Station police chief acknowledged that one complaint had been filed. AHAVA volunteers said police told them that "there was no mass poisoning in Kiryat Tivon," even though the local veterinary official argued otherwise. In June, the organization submitted a complaint to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter against a senior police officer in Kiryat Tivon who allegedly refused to accept a complaint about the poisoning, offering the justification that "if there is no suspect, you can't submit a complaint." Ultimately, however, volunteers insisted, and the complaint was filed, although the volunteers said he refused to acknowledge that the complaint had been filed, claiming that such an acknowledgement was forbidden according to the law. "The organization demands the dismissal of those parties responsible for the series of blatant lies which it is difficult to believe came from those who are supposed to investigate crime and defend the public from criminals," said AHAVA representatives. "Instead, AHAVA is acting in the place of the Israel Police, who aren't doing anything." The organization emphasized that people who kill animals are far more likely to display sociopathic behavior, and that beyond the health risks of poison used in an urban environment, police should consider this an "alarm bell." "The screen of lies from the police ignores the mass killings of dogs and cats and disregards the public danger drawing from a person who is spreading poison in streets and parks," added AHAVA representatives. In addition to striking out against police, the organization is also seeking to continue their own detective work into the case. They are seeking funds to issue a cash prize for anyone offering information leading to the identification of the poisoner, and are also raising money to hire a private detective to probe the incidents. If you have information about the Kiryat Tivon animal poisonings please contact AHAVA at (09) 958-8833.