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May 25, 2012

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Angry neighbors confront woman they accuse of killing cats for years

A local woman who was accused of abusing and slaying adopted cats for 10 years packed up and left her rented apartment yesterday after angry cat owners surrounded it.

The 38-year-old woman, Zhou Ying, had to seek police protection as she stayed at a police station throughout the night because she dare not confront the crowd of angry cat owners waiting outside, wanting to beat her, on Wednesday evening.

Zhou walked out of the station yesterday evening and returned home for a short time to pack up her things before leaving in a rush, said an animal welfare volunteer who waited at her rented apartment.

On Wednesday night, over 50 cat owners, most of whom had given kittens to the woman in the past two years but learned that she actually killed them all, gathered at her apartment in a complex on Jiaocheng Road, Zhabei District, demanding an explanation.

Caphy Yang, 24, one of the cat owners, told Shanghai Daily they gathered after a middle-aged woman complained that Zhou adopted a cat from her but its body was later found thrown onto the lawn in front of her apartment.

Zhou wrapped the cat in plastic bags, choking it half-dead, then stepped on it to break its bones. Finally she threw the cat in the bag out the window from the sixth floor, the cat owner told others. The cat owners said the woman has been doing this for about 10 years.

"It's so sickening as I still remember the day in November last year when Zhou came to my apartment to adopt the cat," said Yang.

"She held the cat in her arms to kiss it in front me, wearing such a kind-hearted face and kept calling it 'my dearest baby,'" said Yang. "When I wanted to pay a visit to my kitty, I called her 20 times but she never picked up the phone."

Yang and the other 50-plus cat owners rushed to Zhou's apartment about 6pm yesterday, kicked the door open and searched for their kittens, but no one found any. All they found was that the woman lived in a rather small rented apartment, despite her claims that she lived in a luxury villa.

Cleaning staff workers at the complex told the cat owners that they often found the bodies of cats, many of which didn't even have their heads, in the garbage bins.

Some other cats with broken bones after being thrown to the ground were often seen dying, the workers said.

Some neighbors of the woman told the cat owners that they sometimes heard screaming of the cats late at night, Yang said.

"How can she do this! I've lived with the cats for many years and treat them more like relatives. What if the woman abused your relative to death?" asked a man among the cat owners.

Zhou and all the cat owners were taken to a police station for investigation. Zhou denied that she abused the cats to death, Yang said.

But in China where cats and dogs are not protected by any laws, the woman would not receive any punishment in any case.

Police told the cat owners they won't do anything about the incident.


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