HOLLYWOOD, Florida. – Cat after cat goes missing in an area of Hollywood while neighbors fight over the missing cats.
Leaflets that Eda Lourdes Amador has put up around her neighborhood urge cat owners to be careful.
“I put up posters all over the trees and block so people know that if their cat goes missing they need to check on their house in the trap,” Amador told Local 10.
Amador said she rescued two community cats from her neighbor’s trap, but two other cats named Toby and Kiwi are still missing.
She’s not the only one looking for lost cats, either.
“This guy needs to be stopped because he’s a bad guy. All cats in this neighborhood are in danger. These are community cats!” said Amador.
Amador claims that her neighbor a few doors down, David Capozzi, catches cats in his front yard, and she has cellphone video to prove it.
“They’re trying to catch cats,” Amador tells Capozzi in the video.
“That’s me,” he replies. “Any cat that comes onto my property, I catch it and it disappears.”
After those alarming words were caught on camera, Local 10 animal rights activist Jacey Birch went to Capozzi’s home to speak to him about the cat trap allegations.
He denied to Birch that he had caught cats.
“You’ve shown me pictures of traps and videos of you saying you’re disposing of them or going to get rid of them – so?” Birch asked.
“Okay, bye,” Capozzi said before closing his front door.
Besides Amador, other neighbors also went to Birch with stories of missing cats.
“Yes, he’s lying,” said Erick Marino. “I can tell you personally, he made my daughter cry every night, I will never forget that.”
Marino’s cat Chloe has been missing for months since she went missing in September. In November she was at home and Marino blames Capozzi for Chloe’s disappearance.
“He did it to our cat and I said to him, ‘My cat is in your pen.’ I don’t care what you do, just let him out,” Marino said.
Chloe made it home, but others didn’t, which is why Amador and her husband Richard Lothian went to war with Capozzi.
“Cats are free-roaming animals, don’t you know that?” Lothian Capozzi can be heard speaking about it on a video.
“Yes, if you have a free hand on my property, you will disappear. Just so you know, you’ll never see her again.”
In addition to the leaflets that were posted, the police were called to the neighborhood several times, there were requests for temporary injunctions and threats from neighbors.
“I went to court today to respond as a defendant to the injunction and Mr. Capozzi did not appear, so the case was dismissed with prejudice,” Lothian said.
Half a dozen police and incident reports were recorded from Hollywood in April and May. Broward County Animal Care’s Code compliance reports and correspondence indicate that state agencies are aware of this ongoing problem.
And Broward County ordinance is clear, too: A property owner has the right to humanely capture or capture an annoying cat and bring the animal to Broward County Animal Care and Adoption.
BCAC confirms Capozzi did not bring any cats to the shelter.
“These poor souls have now lost everything – they have lost their homes, they have lost their food security, they have lost the care and love of their family members,” Lothian said.
Birch reached out to the Hollywood animal control officer overseeing this case, but their calls went unanswered.
Since there is no record of Capozzi giving up cats to the shelter, it remains unclear what happened to the missing cats.
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