Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Help Me Howard: Cat Killer
If you love animals, this story will probably upset you. We are hearing more and more often about cats being killed in South Florida neighborhoods. In one case 13 poisoned, in another 20 cats. It's easy to get away with, but is it legal to do? Which is why one man called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Anyone can call themselves an artist. Everyone would call Omar Ali an artist.
Omar Ali, Cares for Animals: "The bird is made from titanium entirely from engine aircraft parts."
Omar is a metal sculptor using titanium aircraft parts and medical equipment at his Bayfront studio in Miami to make everything from fish to fruit baskets, from lamps to lawn chairs.
Omar Ali: "And you have the table here for your wine, this is indestructible, impossible to destroy that."
Someone asked him to make an outrageous gun. No problem.
Omar Ali: "This is real gun parts that I put together."
Omar has great skill and a great heart.
Omar Ali: "Every night at this time I go out with some food and water and just feed them."
When Omar steps outside his studio the cats come running. Technically the cats belong to no one, but they don't know that.
Omar Ali: "This is Big Head and his brother is named Quinkie. I give them names."
At one time Omar was feeding and giving medical care to 35 cats, then someone decided to eliminate them.
Omar Ali: "And one week, I remember in 10 days they poison over 20 cats."
Omar wasn't the first to find the dead cats, vultures were.
Omar Ali: "I find three or four vultures dead there."
He found the poisoned vultures, then found a pregnant cat who was about to have kittens.
Omar Ali: "Almost like a week before she make her baby I find her dead here poisoned in the street. I mean, this is not nice."
Omar is not alone in watching cats killed. I have recently received two emails. This fellow said cats were being eradicated in his neighborhood, and this woman told me 13 cats were recently killed near her house. It doesn't surprise Omar.
Omar Ali: "It's easy to poison a cat. Just get a can of tuna fish for animals and mix it with rat poison. Cats will eat tuna, they go crazy for tuna."
Omar thinks he knows who is killing the cats, but he can't be sure.
Omar Ali: "That is Bella (tuxedo cat) how can somebody kill animals like that. I don't understand that. It's a gift of God for us."
Omar considers the cats a gift. A neighbor considers them a pain. So Howard, does that give them the legal right to kill the animals?
Howard Finkelstein: "It is a crime to put poison out and it is a crime to kill a cat, a dog, almost any animal, whether it's a pet or a stray, and if your neighbors or police can prove you did it, you could go to jail."
Omar Ali: "They go out to meet the other cats to see where the cousin, the grandmother."
Patrick Fraser: "That's why we have that American expression "catting around."
Omar is planning to put up a camera to try to catch the cat killer to put his mind at ease as he is turning airplane parts into pieces of art.
Patrick Fraser: "How long does it take to make something like that from flaps?"
Omar Ali: "Depends on the wine and the mood."
How he does it.
Omar Ali: "Because you know, when you start to make something you fall in love with it, you close your eyes, your hand work along and after I finish I say I did this, how amazing. How beautiful."
Now, how do you prove who is killing animals in your neighborhood? Video. Whether it's from a hidden surveillance camera or if you spot them use your phone, even a witness to the crime will work. If you get that call the police.
Strayed into territory that feels dangerous? Ready to feed the urge for a solution? Contact us. We don't have the antidote for everything, but we will try to be purfect.
Omar Ali Website