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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Myriad of Cruel and Unforgivable Abandonments, a Chinese Puzzle, and Finally the Handing Down and Carrying Out of a Death Sentence Spell the End for Long-Suffering and Peripatetic Tigger


"Some pieces of his tale remain unanswered but to us Ozzie will always be our Australian traveler who came to our care for a reason."
-- Cats Protection's Armagh Branch

There are numerous missing chapters in his all-too-brief life but even so it is difficult to come to any other conclusion than that the fifteen years that Tigger spent upon this earth could not possibly have been anything other than abject misery. The mere fact that the large and affectionate ginger-colored tom was able to persevere for as long as he did is a testament to both his indomitable spirit and tenacious will to live.

As best it could be determined, he was born in Sydney in 1999 and a microchip was implanted in him a year later. In 2004, he inexplicably turned up as a stray at an unidentified veterinary clinic in London but the practitioners were either unwilling or unable to identify and thus contact his owners.

What happened to him after that is a closely guarded secret owing to the surgery's unwillingness to disclose what it did with him. Presumably, the practitioners either fobbed him off on another owner or surrendered him to a shelter but even that is at best conjecture.

Regardless of the denouement at the surgery, Tigger somehow managed to live for another eleven years until an unidentified woman in Laurelvale, fifty-six kilometers south of Belfast, telephoned the Armagh Branch of Cats Protection on June 7th in order to rat him out for loitering in her precious little patch of weeds. Quite obviously, she possessed neither the compassion to offer him some food nor the common decency to provide him with shelter and emergency veterinary care.

Even more appallingly, she did not even care that in telephoning Cats Protection she was initialing his death warrant. It is even conceivable that doing him in may have been her ulterior motive right from the start. (See Cat Defender posts of July 31, 2015 and August 19, 2010 entitled, respectively, "The Cold-Blooded Murder of Spitz Once Again Exposes the Horrifying, Ugly, and Utter Appalling Truth about Not Only Shelters but Callous Owners and Phony-Baloney Animal Rights Groups as Well" and "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

True to its calling, Cats Protection arrived johnny-on-the-spot and immediately took Tigger into custody just as if he were nothing more than a convicted felon on the lam. It then transported him in a cage to the Willow Veterinary Clinic in Portatown, thirty-seven kilometers southwest of Belfast, where he was diagnosed to be suffering from malnutrition. If he was suffering from any other maladies at that time they certainly were not divulged by either Cats Protection or the surgery.

Rather, the public debate that followed focused solely upon the information disclosed by the microchip and as a consequence it did not take long before his past life was pieced together in higgledy-piggledy fashion albeit with numerous apertures, omissions, and inaccuracies. Most glaring of all, the charity at first claimed that he had been born in 1989 which would have made him an astounding twenty-six years old.

Secondly, even though it knew from the very outset that he had been christened as Tigger, Cats Protection nevertheless stubbornly insisted upon calling him Ozzie in a jeu de mots deliberately designed to constantly rub his tiny nose in the humiliating fact that he had suffered the galling misfortune to have been born in a feline hellhole such as Australia. (See Cats Protection's press release of June 17, 2015, "Australian Cat Found in Northern Ireland.")

The organization then launched an international appeal on its web site, social media, and through the capitalist press in order to locate his longtime derelict owners in Sydney. "How we wish he could talk," it declared to The Daily Telegraph of Surry Hills in New South Wales on June 18th. (See "Cat Born in Sydney Turns Up in Northern Ireland Animal Shelter.") "Please share...we would love to solve this puzzle and maybe find his owners."

The organization even ventured so far afield as to contact the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales which maintains an animal registry. "We are desperate to unravel the rest of this cat's past and hopefully reunite him with his owners," Gillian McMullen of the Armagh Branch told London's Independent on June 18th. (See "The Mystery of the Twenty-Five-Year-Old Australian Cat Which Turned Up in Northern Ireland.") "We have been in touch with the Australian Animal Register (sic) and have our fingers and paws crossed on word from them on this cat."

Press reports are contradictory as the amount of cooperation that Cats Protection was able to get out of the RAS. For example, The Daily Telegraph claims that the agency was able to locate Tigger's original owners and that it left a telephone message for them.

Meanwhile, Ulster Television (UTV) of Belfast reported on June 19th that Tigger's owners had been identified as world travelers and that they definitely wanted him back. That information is of dubious veracity, however, in that the station also ludicrously claimed that they had left him with friends in either Armagh city or County Armagh and that he later had done a runner. (See "Globetrotting Cat Mystery Solved.")

Such slipshod, slapdash reporting in no way accounts for either how Tigger made it across the Irish Sea from London to Armagh or what, if any, efforts his owners undertook in order to locate him over the course of the intervening eleven years. It also is exceedingly odd that Cats Protection and the RAS were able to accomplish at this late date in Tigger's life what the London surgery was unable to pull off in 2004. Quite obviously, someone is being considerably less than truthful.

It additionally is nothing short of reprehensible that Cats Protection would squander so much valuable time and resources in Australia when Tigger had not only been living in the United Kingdom for such an extended period of time but until apparently fairly recently also had a known, but not publicly identified, guardian somewhere in County Armagh. "The poor cat was starving but obviously had been cared for in the past because it was wearing a collar," McMullen conceded to The Daily Telegraph in the article cited supra.

Most outrageous and unforgiving of all was the charity's utterly insane decision to attempt to send him back to Australia where the authorities are in the midst of eradicating more than two million cats over the course of the next five years. If Tigger had been sent back to the killing fields and so much as ventured out of doors he surely would have been felled on the spot by any one of the dozens of barbaric, sadistic, cunning, and underhanded means that the bloodthirsty Australians have conjured up in order to rid the land that they stole from the aborigines of cats. (See the London Telegraph, July 22, 2015, "Brigitte Bardot Condemns Australia's Plan to Kill Two-Million Feral Cats" and Bardot's July 21st letter to Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt entitled "Le gouvernment australien prévoit de tuer deux million de chats: Brigitte Bardot réagit.")

As things eventually turned out, UTV had it all wrong in that Tigger's original owners never made good on their pledge to come to Armagh and collect him. Plus, nothing further ever was reported concerning either the identity or the intentions of his recent owner in Armagh.

That left him at the mercy of Cats Protection and it certainly did not waste any time in lowering the boom on him. "Sadly his health has deteriorated and he is in kidney failure," the charity confirmed to the Daily Mail on July 1st. (See "Globetrotting Aussie Cat Found in Ireland (sic) Is Spending His Last Days in a Cat Shelter after Being Diagnosed with Kidney Failure.") "He is spending his last days with us and when the time comes it will end in dignity surrounded by love."

When it comes to killing cats the charity certainly means what it says and is not to be trifled with and as a direct consequence Tigger was dead by July 6th. "We were really hoping for a happy end to his story, but he had developed serious and untreatable kidney failure. In the end it proved too much for him and he was very weak and ill," McMullen claimed in a July 6th press release. (See "Dignified End for Globetrotting Puss Ozzie.") "It was heartbreaking when the vet said the only thing we could do was to have him put to sleep. In the end, he died peacefully and quietly in my arms."

Tigger Certainly Looked Healthy Enough on Death Row

For starters, only a homicidal maniac ever could find any dignity in the cold-blooded murder of a cat. Secondly, although Cats Protection has not disclosed what was done with his remains, it more than likely casually tossed them out in the trash and it likewise is utterly impossible to find any dignity in such rank callousness.

"He was fifteen and had clearly led a very colorful and eventful life," McMullen further declared as an additional rationale for snuffing out his life. Like her argument about dignity, this is simply more self-serving sottise.

As if all of that palaver were not dishonest enough, either she or one of her colleagues had the unmitigated gall to slyly invoke divine providence as yet still another justification for killing Tigger. "Some pieces of his tale remain unanswered but to us Ozzie will always be our Australian traveler who came to our care for a reason," the charity pontificated to the Daily Mail in the article cited supra.

First of all, Tigger did not come to Cats Protection voluntarily but rather was forcibly abducted from the street and shanghaied onto death row. Most important of all, it is extremely doubtful that either the gods or The Fates authorized his death and gave Cats Protection the right to kill him.

To engage in such patently bogus rationalizations is not only dishonest but insufferable as well. Like all cat killers, Cats Protection must accept responsibility for its own actions and stop fobbing off the blame for its despicable crimes on supernatural powers.

On a more practical level, it is strikingly peculiar that Tigger was able to somehow persevere for so long on his own but once Cats Protection got its hands on him he suddenly was deemed to no longer be fit to go on living. A very similar set of circumstances befell a sixteen-year-old homeless cat named Marvin from Half Moon Bay, California, in August of 2011.

Like Cats Protection, Ken White of the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo engaged in pretty much the same nonsense in order to justify his killing of Marvin. (See Cat Defender post of September 28, 2011 entitled "Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor.")

In that light it would be helpful to know exactly when Willow Veterinary Clinic arrived at its conclusion that he was suffering from irreversible kidney failure and what, if any, measures were undertaken in order to treat him. As for the malady itself, its onset has been attributed to almost anything and everything excluding the kitchen sink.

For instance, it has been linked to, inter alia, the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLv), the Immunosuppression Virus (FIV), abdominal trauma, genetic defects, urinary tract obstructions, hypertension, Feline Hyperthyroidism caused by exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other toxins in the home, diabetes, and inbreeding. Researchers at Colorado State University have found a troubling link between it and the vaccinations for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes), Feline Calcivirus (pneumonia), and Panleukopenia (distemper).

Veterinarian Karen Baker even blames the disease on a steady diet of dry food. (See "Why Do So Many Domestic Cats Have Chronic Kidney Failure?", August 6, 2012, at www.healthypets.mercole.com.)

In an undated article posted on about.home.com, Mary Marlowe Leverette claims to have uncovered a link between kidney failure in cats and laundry dryer sheets that are sometimes used in order to remove loose hairs and static electricity from their fur. Consumption of them also can be lethal. (See "Dryer Sheets Are Harmful to Cats and Dogs.")

Botched sterilization also have been known to rob cats of the use of their kidneys. (See Cat Defender post of October 11, 2013 entitled "Heroic Hermione Is Holding Her Own Despite Tragically Losing a Kidney to a Botched Sterilization Two Years Ago.")

Although any one of those factors could have prompted Tigger's kidneys to fail, it additionally is conceivable that conditions at Cats Protection's shelter in Armagh could have exacerbated some underlying health issue that he may have had prior to his unjust arrest and incarceration. Regardless of the cause, the organization's terse announcement on July 1st that it was planning on killing him came as a coup de foudre.

It also cannot be completely ruled out that he was liquidated, not because he was too sick to go on living, but rather due to financial considerations. That is because Cats Protection was not about to pony up for either his extended care or his treatment and, presumably, the same was true for his unidentified guardian in Armagh.

By default that left matters in the hands of his original owners in Australia who, because of their ability to travel the big, wide world, quite obviously have money to burn. When they, predictably, refused to come to Tigger's rescue, Cats Protection wasted no time in getting rid of him.

Although that analysis of events is, admittedly, pure supposition, it at least has the advantage of being buttressed by the well-known fact that kidney failure in cats is no longer a coup de grâce. Au contraire, it quite often can be successfully treated with dialysis, diuresis, renal replacement therapy, and chemotherapy but doing so is not only expensive but labor intensive as well.

Although prohibitively expensive for most guardians, kidney transplants are available for cats residing in both England and the United States but not Deutschland. (See the Hannover Allgemeine, October 27, 2010, "Kater aus Hannover bekommt US -- Niere für 7000 Euro.")

The best news, however, is that many cats do not need to go through all of that torture but rather their lives can be saved through the daily administration of subcutaneous fluids and by placing them on special diets. "I've seen even very sick cats, cats who need hospitalization in the beginning, do really well on home care with an owner who was willing to give it a try," Miami veterinarian Patty Khuly told the San Francisco Chronicle on August 18, 2009. (See "Caring for a Cat Whose Kidneys Have Failed.") "What makes the difference in how well a cat with kidney failure does is not how sick they (sic) are, or how bad their kidney values are on a blood test. It is the attitude of the owner."

The M1 Kitten

The benefits to be derived from home care are not necessarily of a transitory nature either. "Many of these cats who are on the brink of death can be brought back with supportive care at home," Khuly added to the Chronicle. "Not only brought back for days or weeks or months, but years. You just don't know unless you try."

Although the specifics of Tigger's disease have not been made public, he undoubtedly was killed because he did not have anyone in his corner who cared enough about him to even so much as to attempt to save his life. Otherwise, he very well might still be alive today.

It is a subject that is not discussed all that much but caring for a large number of felines, as Cats Protection does every day of the year, invariably leads to certain amount of institutionalized callousness whereby saving individual lives is more often than not sacrificed upon the utilitarian altar of doing the most good for the greatest number. Under such harried and parsimonious circumstances, it is difficult for questions of morality and compassion to receive anything other than short shrift, that is, if they receive any consideration whatsoever.

Regrettably, shelters make dozens, if not indeed hundreds, of these life and death decisions every day of the week. The only difference is that the tens of thousands of cats that they so callously sell down the river in the name of expediency and with hardly so much as a second thought never find their way, like Tigger, into public consciousness.

The operate under such a philosophy is not only morally indefensible but dishonest as well in that Cats Protection sans doute reaped a windfall in terms of the donations that poured in from the public in order to relieve Tigger's plight. By killing him off while simultaneously holding on to those donations the charity is guilty of defrauding the public and as such should be held accountable under the consumer fraud statutes.

Far from being an isolated case, shelters and animal rescue groups all over the world practice the same leger de main, especially when it comes to how that they deal with cases of animal cruelty. Specifically, instead of keeping alive the victims and apprehending their abusers, they kill off the former, turn blind eyes to the latter, and pocket the donations. (See Cat Defender post of January 6, 2010 entitled "Large Reward Fails to Lead to the Capture of the Archer Who Shot an Arrow Through Brownie's Head.")

Furthermore, the killing of Tigger is far from being the only skeleton in Cats Protection's commodious and spidery closet. For example, in 2005 it got greedy and began depositing its money in an Icelandic bank known as Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (KSF).

The heady times and high interest rates that KSF promised the charity came to a crashing halt in 2008 when it went bankrupt. As a result, Cats Protection lost £11.2 million and that resulted in eighty of its employees losing their jobs.

Much more importantly, the organization's recklessness undoubtedly ended up costing the lives of innumerable cats that it otherwise could have saved with those funds. (See the Daily Mail, October 10, 2008, "Cats Protection Set to Loose £11.2 Million as Biggest Charity Victim of Iceland Bank Crisis.")

In 2013, the charity's branch in Moray flimflammed twenty-nine-year-old Suzi Gallacher of Elgin, two-hundred-eighty kilometers north of Edinburgh, out of a cat named Bramble that she earlier had adopted from it. In particular, representatives of the organization seized it under the pretense of taking it to a veterinarian only to later leave Gallacher a message stating that Bramble had been reclaimed because she had allowed it out into her garden.

The Moray branch later was forced to concede that deceiving Gallacher had been "an error in judgment." (See the Aberdeen Evening Express, July 25, 2013, "Animal Charity Admits 'Error of Judgment' to Reclaim Cat from North-East Family.")

In January of this year the charity presented to Parliament its Manifesto for Cats and although eight of its proposals are rather commendable the remaining two, if adopted by the legislators, would be disastrous for the species. In particular, the organization's call for the establishment of a national database in order to keep track of all cats would undoubtedly lead to the senseless killing of thousands of foreign cats who illegally enter the United Kingdom each year.

The authorities already kill an undisclosed number of them due to a lack of shelter space. "Our holding facility on the docks is designed for keeping a cat now not much longer than a day," PC David Palmer of the Port of Dover Police disclosed in 2013 after a cat named Poussey entered the country illegally from La Havre. "After that, if a home hasn't been found for it, the animal is usually put to sleep." (See Cat Defender post of July 25, 2014 entitled "Poussey Overcomes a Surprise Boat Rode to Dover, a Stint on Death Row, and Being Bandied About Like a Flying Dutchman in Order to Finally Make It Home to La Havre.")

Secondly, the six-month quarantine period that countries such as England, Canada, France, and the United States subject undocumented cats to is unduly lengthy in that caging a cat for ten days is usually sufficient in order to make a rabies determination. Besides, required vaccinations for that and other diseases can be administered on the spot and in a matter of minutes. (See www. petmd.com, "Rabies in Cats.")

Thirdly, the quarantine fees that these nations charge are not only exorbitant but end up costing many wayward felines their lives unless saviors can be promptly found in order to ransom their lives. (See Cat Defender posts of August 11, 2008, August 18, 2008, September 8, 2010, December 9, 2005, and May 17, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Trapped Inside a Crate, Ginger Licks Up Condensation in Order to Survive a Nightmarish Sea Voyage from China to Nottinghamshire," "Ronaldo Escapes Deaths after a Retailer Coughs Up the Exorbitant Bounty That Quarantine Officials Had Placed on His Head," "Mandarin Survives a Long and Harrowing Sea Voyage from China to Canada Only to Wind Up in Hock to the Calgary Humane Society," "Adventurous Wisconsin Cat Named Emily Makes an Unscheduled Trip to France in the Hold of a Cargo Ship," and "A North Carolina Shelter Is Plotting to Kill a Cat That Survived Being Trapped for Thirty-Five Days in the Cargo Hold of a Ship from China.")

Cats who through absolutely no fault of their own are stolen, become lost in transit, and wind up trapped inside vehicles and shipments of merchandise are all the time finding themselves in dutch with immigration authorities and instead of placing bounties on their tiny heads and issuing death sentences they should be accorded all the prevailing rights and privileges that are enjoyed by their counterparts who are legal residents. Any other approach is cruel and utterly barbaric.

It is by no means clear how this proposal would have affected Tigger if it had been in situ in either 2004 or 2015. Nevertheless, it does not take a genius to realize that a cat without a loving and caring guardian in order to shelter and protect it is already up the spout and to have immigration officials aligned against it as well makes for a totally unwinnable situation that, barring a miracle, can only lead to its demise.

Moreover, if Cats Protection and its flatheaded allies within the political establishment are allowed to prevail, pretty soon no cat will be able to take so much as a bleeding piss without first receiving written permission from the queen, MI5, and the local water commissioner! The mere fact that such bureaucratic and veterinary chicanery is being used in order to make money and to kill innocent cats makes it all the more deplorable.


The charity' second ludicrous proposal calls for the mandatory microchipping of all cats. "It is only because of a microchip that we were able to identify Ozzie," McMullen caroled in the Armagh Branch's July 6th press release cited supra. "But as his case highlights, it's really important to keep the details up-to-date."

Au contraire, Tigger carried around inside of him a microchip for fourteen long and trying years and there is not so much as a solitary shred of evidence that he in any way benefited from its presence. Other than piquing Cats Protection's undying lust for money, the only thing of value that it revealed was the callousness of his Australian owners and the careless and irresponsible practices of the London surgery.

On a much more broader level, microchips offer cats absolutely no protection whatsoever against the machinations of both animals and individuals intent upon doing them harm. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

They also have been shown to cause cancer. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is time for Digital Angel® and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law," plus The Chronicle of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, February 18, 2014, "Consett Cat Sassie Paralyzed in Microchipping Bungle.")

As if all of that were not horrendous enough, Katherine Moseby and her colleagues at the University of Adelaide are in the process of developing toxic microchips that are designed to kill cats. The chips are to be implanted, not in cats, but rather in those species fawned on by the eggheads and their political paymasters.

Specifically, the chips are designed to break open upon attack and to kill the cats while leaving the host species unharmed. (See Takepart of Beverly Hills, August 14, 2015, "Australia Targets Wildlife-Killing Cats with Toxic Microchips.")

As Jean-Jacques Rousseau pointed out in his 1750 treatise, Discours sur les sciences et les arts, precious little good ever has been derived from the advancement of knowledge and technology. That is due principally to the fact that the benefits of such advancements are almost always monopolized by the evil people in this world and used primarily to augment their power at the expense of others, the animals, Mother Earth and, above all, the truth.

"Progress is the destruction of the real world in favor of a technology that creates a comfortable way of life for a few fortunately situated people," is how Native American scholar Vine Deloria Jr. would later put it. The remainder of creation accordingly would have been far better off if man had remained relegated to the pre-Promethean state described by Aeschylus in his play, Prometheus Bound, where he was without arts and hope and knew only that death was before him.

If even could be argued with some force that things might very well have turned out for the better if Prometheus had allowed Zeus to destroy the entire human race. Whereas that is a debatable point, there cannot be any denying that man has grown too big for his breeches and that Zeus may yet be forced to intervene and, as Aristophanes maintains in Plato's Symposium, once again chop him in two.

Due to all those considerations but especially the killing of Tigger, it initially was feared that Cats Protection's Midsomer Norton and Radstock shelter near Bath in Somerset was greasing the skids for a nineteen-year-old, nearly blind, tortoiseshell named Pops. (See Cat Defender post of August 6, 2015 entitled "Elderly, Frail and on Death Row, Lovely Pops Desperately Needs a New Home Before Time Finally Runs Out of Her.")

Apparently those fears were groundless in that the charity announced August 12th on its web site that it at long last had placed her in a new home. (See "Blind Cat Pops Finally Finds a New Home.")

No additional details have been provided, however, and that makes it all but impossible to corroborate the charity's claim. The best therefore that can be hoped for is that she has not received the same "dignified end" that it gave Tigger.

About the same time that Pops was exiting its Midsomer Norton and Radstock branch, the charity's shelter in Armagh was welcoming a nameless young kitten that had been rescued in early August from the M1 in Lurgan, twenty-nine kilometers south of Belfast, by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Diagnosed at Willow Veterinary Clinic to be suffering from a cut lip and shock, it has been put up for adoption and time alone will tell what Cats Protection ultimately elects to do with it. (See UTV, August 14, 2015, "Kitten Rescued from M1 'Waiting for New Home'.")

Looking back over the course of Tigger's turbulent and distressful life it is impossible to find anything even remotely constructive to say about any of the dozens of individuals and institutions that sashayed into and out of his world. His life and, especially, his death therefore constitute a staggering indictment of both the callousness and malfeasance of the entire god-rotten lot of them.

Most inexcusable of all was the shameless behavior of Cats Protection which had at its disposal the veterinary expertise, manpower, and money in order to have saved his life but instead voluntarily chose to commit the cardinal sin of doing the exact opposite. Considering all the trials and tribulations that he had been put through, he richly deserved every chance in the world to have gone on living but the only things that he received in return from the charity were perfidy, a feast of self-serving sophistry and, finally, a lethal jab of sodium pentobarbital.

It also never must be overlooked that Cats Protection, whether for either financial or xenophobic reasons, wanted to deport him to his doom when it would have been much easier for it to have found him a sugar daddy in Armagh. That was, after all, the only way that his life could have been spared because the only morality that the charity recognizes is the folding kind that fits neatly into its wallet.

Secondly, the London surgery that failed to contact his owners, to update his microchip database, and to disclose to the public what it ultimately did with him, should not only be publicly identified but selected as well as the poster clinic for the entire veterinary medical profession. Once the huge number of cats that practitioners all over the globe deliberately kill each year, their outrageous incompetence, and the incalculable number of sick and injured animals that they send to their premature graves because of the exorbitant fees that they demand is taken into consideration, the picture of them that emerges is that of a thoroughly unprincipled criminal gang of cutthroat mercenaries who, outrageously, have appropriated for themselves the exclusive right to determine which animals are going to be allowed to continue living and at what price.

Unsuspecting Tigger Never Knew What Hit Him

To put the matter succinctly, they look down their crooked noses at cats as being little more than the expensive playthings of the bourgeoisie and the rich. At no time are any considerations of either morality or compassion allowed to enter into the desiccated recesses of their shriveled gourds.

Even more disturbing, since few, if any, complaints are ever voiced against the profession and how it conducts business, the general public surely must be every bit as morally bankrupt as it is. Notwithstanding all of that, affordable pet care is every bit as fundamental to the proper functioning of a civilized and compassionate society as is health care and for those individuals and groups who supposedly care about cats to allow veterinarians to continue to get away unscathed with their multitude of crimes speaks volumes for their lack of commitment to those whose cause they proclaim to defend.

Ever once in a blue moon a practitioner will make headlines by treating an impecunious cat but it is all for show and donations; worst still, absolutely nobody on the planet cares enough in order to investigate and disclose the thousands of suffering animals whose desperate plight they turn deaf ears and hardened hearts. To put the entire sorry matter in a neat little nutshell, the practice of veterinary medicine is on a par with that of operating either an animal research laboratory or an abattoir.

Besides the uncaring and irresponsible conduct of his recent guardian in Armagh and the downright hostile reception that he received from the woman in Laurelvale, Tigger suffered the greatest amount of abuse at the hands of his original caretakers in Sydney. Not only did they shamelessly run out on him in 2004 but they left him marooned in a foreign land to boot.

There is absolutely nothing in the public record that would even hint at the remote possibility that they either cared so much as one whit about his welfare or that they undertook any efforts whatsoever to locate him. Having failed to learn a bloody thing from their past mistakes, they likewise gave him the cold shoulder back in June when he needed them the most.

Their errors of both omission and commission predate all of those offenses, however, and actually began when they initially decided to drag him all around the world. As an old Sprichwort stipulates, dogs belong to people but cats belong to places and as such traveling with them is, under most circumstances, not a good idea.

First of all, traveling is not only traumatic for them but extremely dangerous as well. For instance, some of them freeze to death in the cargo holds of airliners. (See Cat Defender post of April 7, 2009 entitled "Pregnant Minskin Arrives in Oregon Frozen as Solid as a Block of Ice Following a Fatal Cross-Country Flight in the Cargo Hold of an Airliner.")

Airliners also loose a far greater number of them than either they or the industry's regulatory bodies are willing to acknowledge. Airports, such as JFK in Queens, then turn around and systematically exterminate these lost pets whereas others, such as Manchester International in Ringway, cruelly give them the bum's rush. (See Cat Defender posts of November 5, 2007 and May 28, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Port Authority Gives JFK's Long-Term Resident Felines the Boot and Rescue Groups Are Too Impotent to Save Them" and "Abandoned, Homeless on the Street, Expelled by the Ingrates at Manchester International Airport, and Finally Whacked by Her Last Guardian, So Ran the Course of Ollie's Sad and Turbulent Life.")

On top of all of that, the legal restrictions placed upon cats that unwittingly venture across international frontiers are simply too onerous, expensive, and unwieldy, not to mention dangerous, as to make traveling with them worthwhile. All of those factors combine to severely limit the options of owners who also like to see the world.

The only real solution is to leave them in their own houses with a family member who has graciously elected not to travel. Pet sitters are, generally speaking, not a good idea because cats require almost constant supervision. Boarding kennels are rife with disease and cat hotels are just too expensive.

For those adventurous souls not crossing international lines, recreational vehicles (RVs) are an option so long as strict security precautions are implemented and meticulously followed. Even under those circumstances disaster can strike at almost any moment as sixty-two-year-old Henriette Henault of 100 Mile House in British Columbia found out on September 29, 2010 when she lost her cat, Precious, when she was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for drinking while behind the wheel of her parked RV. (See The Province of Vancouver, October 2, 2010, "Woman Loses 'Parked' Motor Home, Cat, Misses Court Date in Divorce.")

Private yachts and jets are possible alternatives for those who want to take their cats along with them as they see the world but even they need to be wary of the machinations of immigration and customs officials. The vast majority of individuals soon realize, however, that owing cats, like having children, changes everything and as a consequence prior foreign adventures are destined to become only fond memories that never are to be repeated.

In spite of that myriad of daunting impediments, some individuals stubbornly insist upon leaving their beloved companions behind and hitting the road. For instance in May of 2013, Alex McAllaster of Fort Walton Beach went on a six-week sailing trip and in doing so left behind her beloved cat, Dante, with an unidentified roommate. She did that in spite of the fact that Dante, whom she had owned for eight years, is afflicted with a bladder condition that prevents him from consuming dry food.

When she returned home in late June she was horrified to learn that almost as soon as she was out the door her roommate had fobbed off Dante on a stranger that she had met in the parking lot of Sam's Club. Thanks to a fortunate tip from a public-spirited citizen, McAllaster finally was able to relocate Dante on June 29th.

He had lost eight of his sixteen pounds and had suffered unspecified liver damage but, thankfully, was expected to live. Although Dante's and McAllaster's misadventures ended happily, the episode demonstrates the risk of entrusting the care of a cat to anyone other than a reliable family member. (See the Northwest Florida Daily News of Fort Walton Beach, articles dated June 7, 2013 and July 3, 2013 and entitled, respectively, "Roommate Gives Cat Away; Owner Searching" and "Cat Given Away by Roommate Found: 'As Soon as He Meowed, I Knew It Was Him'.")

In conclusion, it is difficult to fully comprehend the depth of the fears and deprivations that Tigger experienced as he was bandied about from Sydney to London and on to Armagh. All that can be said with any degree of certainly is that no cat ever should be so continuously uprooted, deserted, betrayed, and left to fend for himself in a world that even on its best days most often closely resembles a nest of wipers as far as members of the species are concerned.

The mud and manure on the cake was, however, Cats Protection's unforgivable decision to kill, as opposed to treating, him. Things could have turned out so very differently for him if only one person had cared just a tiny bit about him but not so much as an ounce of love was to be found anywhere along the wide expanse that separates southeast Asia from northern Europe.

All that is left of him now are the photographs and the memories. It is difficult, however, to refrain from speculating as to what it was that sustained him throughout all of his lonely and utterly terrifying perambulations.

Perhaps it was the memories of his happier days that kept him going. Charles Dickens, who was intimately acquainted with the abject cruelty that man is capable of inflicting upon others and cats, penned this memorable passage on the subject in his 1844 novel, Martin Chuzzlewit:

"Oh, weary, weary hour! Oh haggard mind, groping darkly through the past; incapable of detaching itself from the miserable present, dragging its heavy chain of care through imaginary feasts and revels, and scenes of awful pomp; seeking but a moment's rest among the long-forgotten haunts of childhood, and the resorts of yesterday; and dimly finding fear and horror everywhere! Oh, weary, weary hour! What were the wanderings of Cain to these!"

So, too, was the case with noble Tigger, the cat who, sadly, never counted for very much of anything with anyone.

Photos: Cats Protection (Tigger), PSNI (kitten), and the Northwest Florida Daily News (Dante).

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Elderly, Frail, and on Death Row, Lovely Pops Desperately Needs a New Home Before Time Finally Runs Out on Her


"If only cats could talk I feel Pops probably has a very sad story to tell. It would be lovely to give her the happy ending she deserves."
-- Belinda Dark of Cats Protection

The complexities and difficulties that accompany the sacred gift of life are, at times, so overwhelming as to almost negate the value of the bequest itself and that is especially the case when it comes to coping with the frailties and insecurities that bedevil the twilight years. Elderly men and women at least have their families, pensions, and health care plans in order to help them navigate through their last days but very old cats seldom have any of those advantages.

Abandoned to their own devices, penniless, and with their health rapidly on the decline, they are totally dependent upon the kindness of strangers for their continued existence. Revoltingly, the only consideration that the overwhelming majority of them ever receive from the hoi polloi is benign neglect and just about all shelters and veterinarians kill them on sight.

Nevertheless, in spite of the odds being stacked so heavily against them a few of these senior felines not only manage to persevere but to find a measure of both meaning and happiness in their final years. "For every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life and the human race come to an end," Joe Conrad observed in his 1915 novel, Victory, and perhaps cats also have unfathomable illusions of their own that keep them going and thus prevent them from throwing in the towel early.

In the final analysis, it really does not make any difference what it is that motivates them to cling so tenaciously to life as long as their inalienable right to it is respected. That pretty much defines the precarious predicament that a lovely nineteen-year-old tortoiseshell erroneously dubbed Pops now finds herself in as her fragile life hangs in the balance at Cats Protection's Midsomer Norton and Radstock shelter near Bath in Somerset.

She was found dazed and stumbling alongside a road, presumably somewhere near Bath, back in May by a Good Samaritan who, mistakenly believing her to be ill, rushed her to a veterinarian. Thankfully, that was not the case but the ravages of old age have left her almost completely blind in both eyes, unsteady on her feet, and with fur that easily becomes matted.

Pops Is Able to Feed Herself and to Use a Litter Box

Every bit as heartbreaking and disgusting at the same time, the supposedly cat-loving English public does not want any part of her and for that reason she has been cruelly left to languish at Cats Protection's penitentiary for nearly three months. Her profile has been viewed more than five-hundred times on the charity's Facebook page and an undisclosed number of times on Animal Search UK but all those gawkers apparently have hearts that are even colder than those alleged to belong to whores.

The holdup seems to be that the light has all but gone out of her eyes and that in turn gives her a disquieting countenance. "I think because of her sight and health problems she isn't everyone's first choice," Belinda Dark of Cats Protection told the Western Daily Press of Bristol on July 14th. (See "United Kingdom's Oldest Rescue Cat Pops, Nineteen, Can't Find Home Due to Terrifying Eyes.") "Her appearance isn't as favorable as some of the younger kittens. I think people are put off (by her) eyes or how frail she is."

For so many fans of the species to turn up their dirty noses at an elderly feline in extremis does not reflect favorably upon the cat-owning fraternity. Aside from their appalling lack of compassion, such callous behavior additionally reveals their abysmal lack of intelligence. That is because an elderly cat is every bit as valuable and has just as much to give as a young one.

"She was very confused when she came to us," Dark added to the Western Daily Press. "Her sight is very poor and she is a weak old cat but she loves being close to you and being petted. She's incredibly friendly and doing well for her age."

Although in all likelihood Pops is not going to be around very much longer, every moment spent with her would be something to be treasured and that alone would more than compensate for both her adoption fee and the minimal cost of caring for her. Plus, once again having a loving home would mean so much to her.

Pops Is Still Capable of Getting Around on Her Own

"If only cats could talk I feel Pops probably has a very sad story to tell," Dark speculated to the Western Daily Press. "It would be lovely to give her the happy ending she deserves."

In that light, absolutely nothing about Pops' past life has come to light so far and it accordingly is not known how that she ultimately wound up on the street. For her part, Dark is of the opinion that she previously was owned by an elderly individual who either died or became incapacitated in some fashion and therefore could no longer care for her.

The fact that no one so far has come forward in order to reclaim her tends to lend a certain amount of credence to that supposition. It also is conceivable that she was deliberately abandoned.

Another possible explanation is that the surviving members of her deceased owner's family were unwilling to take care of her. That, no matter how callous and appalling, is an all-too-common occurrence on the part of both individuals and institutions alike. (See Cat Defender post of June 9, 2008 entitled "Pennsylvania College Greedily Snatches Up Alumnus' Multimillion-Dollar Bequest but Turns Away His Cat, Princess.")

For example, a Ragdoll-Siamese-mix of undetermined age named Isabelle was left all alone in an unoccupied house in Stockbridge, thirty-five kilometers south of Atlanta, for an astounding two years after her unidentified guardian died. The shameless relatives gladly took in the dogs that had been left behind but they wanted no part of Isabelle.


They did stop by on a regular basis in order to feed and water her but even that heartless and cruel arrangement came to an abrupt end earlier this spring when they elected to cash in once again by selling the house right out from underneath her. (See The Examiner, June 3, 2015, "Heartbreaking Story of a Cat Living Alone in Deceased Owner's Home for Two Years.")

The future looked rather bleak for Isabelle until she was taken in by Furkids of Atlanta which claims to have placed her in a new home during the first week of July. Inexplicably, no mention of either her or her new guardian could be found on either the organization's web site or its Facebook page.

As far as it could be determined, none of the relatives ever was charged with either abandonment or animal cruelty. There cannot be any denying, however, that the past two years must have been an exceedingly difficult and harrowing time for Isabelle.

At least she survived both home arrest and solitary confinement and that is considerably more than can be said for a nine-year-old white Persian named Tavia who was left all alone for two months in an unheated house in Kissimmee, Florida, during the fall of 2010 by a holy roller who bills herself as Prophetess Royal Poinciana Sprewell. Although Tavia was periodically supplied with food and water, she nevertheless was found dead on December 6th and a necropsy later revealed that she had died of hepatitis and kidney failure.

Even though Sprewell makes a mint at the expense of those in search of an eternal home upon high, she inexplicably had fallen behind on both her rent and the electrical bill and for that reason she elected to skip out on Tavia. She she did retain the keys to the house, however, and thus was able to continue feeding her. Even more outrageously, although Osceola County Animal Control (OCAS), the Kissimmee Police, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, neighbor Santiago Sandoval, and likely the landlord as well were fully cognizant of Tavia's rapidly deteriorating health, all of them categorically refused to come to her aid and instead stood idly by like rubberneckers at a train wreck and watched her die by degrees a slow and agonizing death.


Afterwards, Sprewell had the audacity to claim that Tavia had died of loneliness and Lee Radevaugh of OCAC, desperate for any excuse to absolve his agency's malfeasance, opportunistically concurred with her. As a consequence she, like Isabelle's caretakers, never was charged with animal cruelty.

Instead of taking responsibility for her own dereliction of duty, Sprewell placed the blame squarely upon the shoulders of unnamed others who had refused to give her money. "To be honest with you, I feel it's the responsibility of a lot of individuals who didn't help us," she replied defiantly and without so much as a scintilla of remorse. (See Cat Defender post of December 23, 2010 entitled "Tavia's Desperate Pleas for Help Fall Upon the Deaf Ears of the Evangelical Who Abandoned Her and the Heartless Officials and Citizens of Kissimmee.")

Although feline homelessness is well documented, it might surprise some to learn that nearly ten per cent of the cats currently incarcerated at the thirty-one shelters operated by Cats Protection throughout the United Kingdom are at least eleven years old. Even more troubling, it takes the charity five times longer on the average to find homes for them than it does for kittens to be adopted.

During kitten season, which runs from April to September, that differential grows to six and one-half times. "During the spring-summer months we see a dramatic rise in kittens being adopted instead of older cats (and) it can be horribly sad to see them left behind," Dark confessed to the Western Daily Press. "I think often older cats get a little overlooked, much like secondhand items, but ultimately there is just as much joy in rehoming an older cat as there is a kitten."

Hobo Cat

The wholesale neglect and abuse visited upon elderly cats is perhaps nowhere more vividly demonstrated than in Dark's offhand admission that before the arrival of Pops she never had taken in a cat that was older than fourteen. That would tend to imply that other than those that die natural deaths, the remainder are either whacked by unscrupulous veterinarians at the behest of their equally culpable owners or are unconscionably abandoned, like Pops, to fend for themselves in an extremely hostile world.

There certainly is not any shortage of extremely old and footloose cats. For instance, in May of last year a twenty-year-old brown and white male was found by another Good Samaritan in Prescott, thirteen kilometers east of Liverpool, in Merseyside.

Dubbed the Hobo Cat, he was taken to the RSPCA where an implanted microchip revealed not only his age but that he had been adopted from Cats Protection way back in 1994. He also had apparently resided for an unspecified period of time in St. Helens, six kilometers removed from Prescott, and also in Merseyside.

"Unfortunately he is a bit poorly at the moment so he is being treated in one of our clinics but his issues all relate to old age," Derek Hampson of the RSPCA acknowledged to The St. Helens Reporter on May 16, 2014. (See "The Oldest Hobo? Cat Aged Twenty Living as Stray.") "He is such an old chap we would love to be able to reunite him with his owner and to get him home where he belongs."

Harry and Nicola Zelent of Lothian Cat Rescue

Regrettably, it has not been possible to determine what eventually became of him. His only obvious hope of salvation rested in his previous owner coming forward and reclaiming him in that it would be out of character for the RSPCA to be willing to foot the bill for his extended care.

Many of the same fears pertain to Pops in that if she is not adopted soon Cats Protection will eventually decide to snuff out her life also. The organization will never admit to committing such an atrocity but instead it will dredge up some nonexistent malady in order to justify getting rid of her.

It also is a bit disconcerting that the charity would commit the glaring faux pas of mistaking Pops to be a male when 99.96 per cent of all tortoiseshells are females. That equates to only one out of every four-hundred-thousand of them being males.

Despite their rarity, about two male tortoiseshells are born in England each year. For instance, a twelve-week-old kitten named Harry was unwittingly surrendered to Lothian Cat Rescue in Bonnyrigg, thirteen kilometers southeast of Edinburgh, on November 14th of last year because his owners were allergic to his fur.

Even the veterinarian who first examined him committed the same mistake as Cats Protection did with Pops. "When I heard the cat was called Harry, I said to the owners (sic), 'I think that might have to be Harriet'," Margaret Riddell of ICR Veterinary Surgery in Gorebridge, three kilometers to the south of Bonnyrigg, told the Edinburgh Evening News on November 19, 2014. (See "One of the World's Rarest Cats Given to Rescue Center.") "I had to change my words when I discovered it was male. I've never seen one before and I've been a vet for more than thirty years."

Pops Is Still Waiting for Her Knight on a White Horse

That is a rather unflattering revelation for her to make in that the practice of veterinary medicine should be based upon knowledge, observation, and diagnostic testing as opposed to prejudice, false assumptions, and guess work. It also is an additional piece of evidence in support of the proposition that the only thing that some practitioners care about when it comes to treating cats is how much money that they can get out of their owners.

As far as Pops is concerned, the first order of business is to put pressure on Cats Protection in order to dissuade it from taking the easy and cheap way out by killing her. Secondly, a home must be found for her and as soon as possible.

Thirdly, she needs a proper name. In furtherance of that worthy objective, Grandmother, Dowager, Survivor, and even Lady Hope would do just fine.

Anyone either willing to provide Pops with a loving home or to urge Cats Protection to spare her life is strongly encouraged to do so by contacting the organization's Midsomer Norton and Radstock branch at 44-01761 410594.

Photos: Western Daily Press (Pops), The Examiner (Isabelle), Santiago Sandoval (Tavia), St. Helens Reporter (Hobo Cat), and Gordon Fraser of the Edinburgh Evening News (Harry and Zelent).

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Cold-Blooded Murder of Spitz Once Again Exposes the Horrifying, Ugly, and Utterly Appalling Truth about Not Only Shelters but Callous Owners and Phony-Baloney Animal Rights Groups as Well


"I just don't understand how they could do this to him. He was healthy. He was lovable. They just killed him."
-- Nancy Hornberger

Spitz was only doing what toms normally do but ultimately it was his scrapping and spraying that ended up costing him his life once the knackers at the Oakland County Animal Shelter (OCAS) in Auburn Hills, fifty-three kilometers north of Detroit, got their murderous hands on him. As it later was revealed, they liquidated him less than sixty minutes after he was delivered up to them on a silver platter by his totally unconscionable owner, Nancy Hornberger of Commerce Township, fifty-six kilometers northwest of Detroit.

Other than that he was fighting with her other cats and marking his territory, almost nothing else has been publicly disclosed about him. It is not even known how old he was or when he actually was killed.

"We couldn't have given that cat to another family," the shelter's Mark Newmann told WXYZ-TV of Southfield on July 3rd. (See "What Happened to Spitz the Cat?") "If that animal is adoptable we do everything we can to find that animal a loving home."

As with most things in this world, the devil is always in the details and OCAS clearly states on its web site that animals that demonstrate aggression toward other animals and humans are unadoptable. It also designates those deemed to have "behavioral, temperamental or medical characteristics" that would pose a danger to other animals, themselves, or the public to be unadoptable.

Presumably that latter definition includes spraying which was the official reason given by OCAS for killing Spitz. Even if he was not spraying, the shelter likely would have snuffed out his life for demonstrating aggression toward other cats. Thus, with two strikes against him Spitz never stood so much as a snowball's chance in Hell of making it out of OCAS alive.

For whatever it is worth, Hornberger claims that she was under the mistaken impression that the shelter planned on placing him in a home without any other cats. She apparently continued to operate under that illusion until she recently was disabused of it by the Michigan Political Action Committee for Animals (MI-PACA) of Southfield which has had OCAS in its crosshairs for at least the past two years.

Alerted by several conscientious employees to wholesale illegal killings, widespread dishonesty, and other irregularities, MI-PACA filed two requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in order to obtain data relating to the shelter's kill rate. In particular, it found that OCAS not only was killing cats like Spitz but subsequently recording their deaths as owner requested killings.

MI-PACA's findings are a little bit difficult to decipher but OCAS apparently was doing likewise to some homeless and lost animals as well. For some arcane reason, animals that are surrendered to OCAS in order to be killed are not counted in either its intake data or kill rate.

In effect, the shelter's léger de main not only expunges their cold-blooded murders from the public record but the petit fait that they ever had existed. In that respect OCAS conducts business in much the same fashion as Augusto Pinochet did when he ran Chile in that nothing is ever left behind, not even the corpses and graves of its victims.

Aside from the sheer pleasure of spilling innocent blood and the substantial savings realized in both time and money, such heinous conduct allows OCAS to boast on its web site that during the first six months of this year it released ninety per cent of the dogs that it took in and eighty per cent of the cats. That in turn translates into not only more donations but a marked increase in the number of individuals willing to volunteer their services to a shelter with such outstanding save rates.

"The game of manipulating the numbers to make a shelter's save rate appear higher than it actually is (is) beyond dishonest," MI-PACA stated July 3rd in an untitled article posted on its Facebook page. "It's a fraud upon the public."

Aside from the horrific and totally unforgivable snuffing out of so many lives, everything that OCAS trumpets itself to be now has been exposed as a blatant pack of lies. Most notably, MI-PACA was unable to locate a single document in the wealth of materials that it received under its FOIA requests that had been signed by an owner requesting that either a cat or a dog be killed.

In order to make doubly certain that it had been thorough, the advocacy group then contacted those individuals who had surrendered animals to the shelter and all of them reaffirmed that they had not signed away their companions' right to live. That, by the way, is how Hornberger belatedly found out what had become of Spitz and, since MI-PACA's investigation took time to complete, it would seem logical that Spitz was killed as far back as perhaps one or two years ago.

"I just don't understand how they could do this to him," she complained to WXYZ-TV. "He was healthy. He was lovable. They just killed him."

To be perfectly frank about the matter, her incredulity simply is not believable. Unless she has been living in a vacuum, she is every bit as acutely aware as everyone else on this planet that all shelters are garishly misnomered Auschwitzes and Buchenwalds for companion animals.

She also undoubtedly was aware that with two strikes already against him that Spitz was doomed from the very moment that she surrendered him. At the very least she should have kept her trap shut about his aggressive tendencies and overly active bladder and that way perhaps the shelter would have at least put him up for adoption.

"We never, in any way, requested that (killing)," she further argued to WXYZ-TV. "Why would I pack up all his food, his toys, and a two-page letter for the new owners if I wanted him euthanized?"

That rejoinder is not nearly as convincing as she would have the world to believe. For instance, she could have been so fed up with Spitz that she could not stomach having any reminders of him lying around her house.

Bob Gatt

That line of reasoning is supported by the disturbing fact that she apparently never once checked back with the shelter in order to determine what ultimately had become of him. Also, there is a good chance that she would have received a reply to her letter if Spitz had secured a new home but the absence of such a notification does not seem to have troubled her.

In spite of all of that, Hornberger has the audacity to claim that she would have acted differently if she only had known beforehand of OCAS' underhanded ways. "I would have walked out with him in my arms and he would be alive today," she pledged to WXYZ-TV.

Her cardinal sin was not in failing to walk out with Spitz but rather in walking in with him in the first place. In particular, spraying and fighting are not valid reasons for abandoning a cat.

As per usual, both WXYZ-TV and MI-PACA have disclosed to the public only what they feel it should know and nothing more. For example, although it is not known how many cats that Hornberger owned at that time the circumstantial evidence tends to suggest that she had a clowder of both males and females that had not been sterilized.

Usually it is intact males doing battle over fertile females that causes all the trouble and the simple solution to that dilemma is to sterilize the entire lot of them. If that, for whatever reason, is not a viable option other means then must be improvised.

For instance, females can be segregated in cages when they are in estrus and water guns can sometimes be successfully employed in order to separate males locked in mortal combat. When that does not work, however, they must be forcibly pulled apart and that can be dangerous, especially if an owner is adverse to being inadvertently scratched.

Males additionally can inflict severe damage on females by forcibly pulling out the fur from around their necks. Even if there is not any bloodshed, the noise that mating cats make and the damage that they are capable of doing to a house are enough to drive an individual crazy.

The best reason of all for altering males is that it usually, but not always, curbs their tendency to roam which not only can be dangerous for them but heartbreaking for their owners. Since toms are capable of smelling a female in estrus for miles, that often prompts them to blindly attempt to cross busy thoroughfares and that in turn makes them easy prey for motorists who specialize in deliberately running down and killing them.

Anyone who ever has lost a loving tom to one of those cretins will be more than glad to either neuter or at least confine all other males in the future. The love that they so freely lavish upon their owners is truly something special and irreplaceable.

Cat piss, on the other hand, is rather benign and easily cleaned up. In fact, some individuals can hardly even smell it at all whereas others, cat-haters for sure, claim to be able to detect its presence in an hermetically sealed Prince Albert tin rusting on the floor of the Amazon from as far away as the North Pole!

Needless to say, anyone adverse to occasionally cleaning up a little urine and poop does not have any business owning a cat in the first place. A pet rock would be better suited to the demands of their proboscises, wallets, and energy levels.

It certainly appears that Hornberger had her hands full with Spitz but her decision to fob him off on OCAS was unforgivable. Even if against all odds he had somehow managed to have gotten out alive, incarcerating a cat even for a brief period of time in a cage at a smelly and disease-ridden shelter run by a bloodthirsty gang of ruthless and psychopathic mass murderers is unconscionable.

Worst of all, cats are totally helpless under such no-win circumstances. In Sptiz's case, he sans doute was aware that he was about to be killed and he surely must have been terrified out of his mind. No one but a callous monster like Hornberger ever would subject a defenseless cat to such a hellish death.

"Never take any animal to the Oakland County Pet Adoption Center (shelter) on Brown Road in Auburn Hills," MI-PACA tardily declared in the July 3rd posting on its Facebook page cited supra. "Not ever. Not for any reason."

Surprisingly enough, however, at the top of the very same article it declares that "animal shelters are supposed to be safe havens for lost pets and a second chance for pets being given up by their owners, and some are, but that's sadly not the case in Oakland County." In making such an utterly asinine proclamation as that MI-PACA is guilty of perpetuating the same lies as those uttered by Hornberger.

Animal shelters never have been and, never will be, anything other than death camps and anyone who attempts to pass them off to the gullible as "safe havens" is deserving of a good public thrashing. Cats and dogs continue to be exterminated in the tens of millions each year at these wretched institutions but the charade itself nevertheless continues to have a life of its own thanks to the appalling complicity of individuals like Hornberger and groups like MI-PACA.

The tawdry relationship that exists between them and the public is reminiscent of what goes on at "hitters" bars where men and women on the make engage freely in the rituals of romance when all that they really care about is getting laid. Likewise, cat and dog owners simply want to be free of their solemn moral obligations to their companions and shelter personnel, fully cognizant of that reality, give them reassuring pats on the back and tell them that everything is going to be just fine.

Like fornicators on the prowl for a little slap and tickle, individuals like Hornberger know only too well that it is all a lie; they simply do not care. Above all, the cold, naked truth is the last thing on earth that they ever want to hear.

In a case that bears a striking resemblance to what happened to Spitz, Donna Pruitt of Sugar Land, forty kilometers southwest of Houston, dropped off two kittens and $20 in order to purchase food for them at Animal Control on July 8, 2010. When she returned less than three hours later in order to retrieve her pet carrier she was informed that the kittens had been liquidated almost as soon as she was out the front door.

"They had my phone number, as I had left it when I dropped the kittens off. They had our $20," she related to The Fort Bend Star on July 14, 2010. (See "Baby Kittens Put to Sleep in Error.") "Shouldn't that have bought me an explanation or at least a call before they murdered the kittens?"

As things turned out, her munificence failed to buy her any consideration whatsoever and contributed absolutely nothing toward prolonging the kittens' lives. It is not even known if Animal Control had the decency to return her Andy Jack. In Hornberger's case, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Spitz's food and toys never were returned to her.

Unlike Hornberger, Pruitt had some reason to trust Animal Control in that its own internal procedures call for it not only to hold all animals that it impounds for seventy-two hours but, much more importantly, to give their previous owners an opportunity to reclaim them before killing them. In the end, however, it did not make any difference in that the kittens lasted only slightly less than two hours longer than did Spitz.

Freckles, Singed, Dehydrated, and Hungry, but Alive

By contrast, not only have the atrocities been going on for a very long time at OCAS but, worst still, MI-PACA has been fully cognizant of that fact. "We come to you on the local issue of helpless animals in shelters being killed at an alarming rate," Rick Gladstone of Oakland Animal Advocates, the forerunner of MI-PACA, told The Oakland Press of Pontiac on July 21, 2013. (See "Animal Advocates Criticize Kill Rate at Oakland County Animal Control Shelter.") "All life is precious. I ask that the animal guidelines for these shelters (sic) be enhanced and enforced with more adoptive efforts."

In addition to killing off domesticated cats like Spitz and lying about their foul deeds, OCAS does a wholesale business liquidating en masse homeless ones. "We believe some animals (including homeless cats) are too aggressive to be put in homes...the same goes for suffering (or sick) animals," the shelter's head commandant Bob Gatt declared to The Oakland Press. "Those are humanely euthanized."

Gatt's slaughter of homeless cats is fully supported by George Miller of the county's health department who, not surprisingly, considers himself to be one of PETA's anointed savants. "Even PETA does not support the TNR program," he bellowed with pride to The Oakland Press. "Even they realize that the feral cat population has to be controlled."

That has not deterred Courtney Protz-Sanders of MI-PACA from lobbying Oakland County to adopt TNR. "Research has shown that feral cats do not spread disease, yet that's the excuse given by the shelter to justify their (sic) policy. It's archaic," she told The Oakland Press in response to Gatt's and Miller's outrageous lies. "It's a simple solution: don't accept feral cats into the shelter. Stop using my tax dollars to kill healthy community cats which serve a purpose, keep the rodent population down and it's impossible to eradicate them, anyway."

Although it is not known what private initiatives have been undertaken, Oakland County is yet to endorse TNR and as a result OCAS continues to liquidate hundreds, and more likely thousands, of homeless cats each year. A lack of money is not the problem in that it is one of the most affluent areas of the country with a median household income of $61,607.

Its shabby and bedraggled behemoth to the south, Detroit, may be bankrupt and its denizens smelly and dirty because they are too cheap to pay their $60 per month water bills but Oakland County is rolling in dough. Unfortunately, short arms are known to usually accompany deep pockets and ailurophobia is a plague that recognizes no boundaries, geographical, financial, or otherwise.

The problems associated with shelters and Animal Control officers cooking the books in regard to the number of cats and dogs that they kill each day is far more complex than even MI-PACA is willing to acknowledge. First and foremost, many cats and dogs and killed in the field and therefore never even make it to shelters.

For example, police officers gun down a large number of animals in the street and then casually toss their exsanguinated corpses in the trash. Their murders usually are not recorded anywhere and they certainly are not reflected in the kill rates disclosed by shelters. (See Cat Defender post of September 27, 2014 entitled "Falsely Branded as Being Rabid by a Cat-Hater, an Animal Control Officer, and the Gorham Police Department, Clark Is Hounded Down and Blasted with a Shotgun.")

Animal Control officers, many of whom also double as police officers, commit the same heinous crimes with impunity. (See WTSP-TV of Tampa, July 10, 2013, "Pasco County Kills Family Cat Before It Arrives at Shelter" and The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, June 11, 2013, "North Ridgeville Clears Humane Officer of Wrongdoing for Killing Feral Kittens but Animal Groups Want Action.")

In addition to liquidating close to ninety-eight per cent of the companion animals that it impounds at its shelter in Norfolk, PETA also takes in thousands more from other shelters under the pretense of finding homes for them only to turn around and whack them. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in a North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

As if all of that were not reprehensible enough, the phony-baloney charity has death squads that sour the streets for both homeless cats and domesticated dogs to steal and kill. (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag about Its Criminal and Foul Deed" and The Virginian Pilot of Norfolk, December 1, 2014, "Man Says PETA Took His Dog from Front Porch, Killed Her.")

Some shelters, such as the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia, California, and the Toronto Humane Society, callously allow cats to die in traps and it is doubtful that those deaths are included in their kill rates. (See Cat Defender post of August 23, 2010 entitled "Valley Oak SPCA Kills a Cat by Allowing It to Languish in the Heat in an Unattended Trap for Five Days at the Tulare County Courthouse" and the Toronto Star, November 28, 2009, "Humane Society: 'It Seems Like a House of Horrors'.")

Leaving cats to rot in unattended traps is far from being the only way that shelters thoughtlessly kill them and other animals. For instance during the summer of 2006, Animal Control officer Michelle A. Mulverhill went on a bender and left the animals under her supervision at a shelter in Oxford, Massachusetts, to fend for themselves. Even more shocking, oversight at the shelter was so lax that her dereliction of duty went unnoticed by town officials for more than two weeks! (See Cat Defender post of August 31, 2006 entitled "Animal Control Officer Goes on a Drunken Binge and Leaves Four Cats and a Dog to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Heat at a Massachusetts Shelter.")

It is not well-publicized but in addition to being incubators of disease some shelters also are firetraps. (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2007 entitled "Fires at Private Shelters Claim the Lives of More Than Two Dozen Cats in Connecticut.")

In a gut-wrenching example of the massive toll in lives that fires can take, only four of thirty-seven cats that were incarcerated at the Knox-Whitley County Animal Shelter in Rockholds, Kentucky, made it out alive when an unexplained conflagration broke out at the facility on November 29, 2013. Even more reprehensibly, a one-year-old cat named Freckles who had somehow survived the blaze was not found until a week later and even then it was not by shelter personnel but rather an insurance investigator. Staffers simply had written her off for dead without even bothering to look for her. (See WBIR-TV of Knoxville, articles dated December 2, 2013 and December 6, 2013 and entitled, respectively, "Animal Shelter Looking for Temporary Home after Devastating Fire" and "Cat Found Alive in Rubble One Week after Animal Shelter Fire.")

"Having her here is just wonderful, all of our hearts are filled with joy," Ashley Holder of the Lexington Humane Society (LHS), which took in Freckles, told WKYT-TV of Lexington on December 5, 2013. (See "Cat Pulled from the Rubble of Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter.") "We are so glad that she made it through this devastating time."

As an added bonus, she was adopted in early 2014 by Emily Tolliver of LHS and since then has made a complete recovery with the notable exception of losing all of her claws on both her front and rear legs. Otherwise, she is said to be a happy and loving cat.

It also is doubtful that shelters include in their kill rates the exorbitant number of kittens that they systematically exterminate each spring and autumn. That is because even those facilities that are located in small communities can be inundated with hundreds, if not indeed thousands, of them and yet the public is seldom informed as to their final disposition. (See Cat Defender post of July 7, 2012 entitled "NBC Philadelphia Conspires with a Virulent Cat-Hater and an Exterminator in Order to Have Six Newborn and Totally Innocent Kittens Killed in Southern New Jersey.")

Lewis Brooks Patterson

Topping off this entire sorry matter, some shelters categorically refuse to relinquish custody of condemned animals to individuals and rescue groups that are willing to take them. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")

Although MI-PACA is to be commended for endorsing TNR, its ringing, unqualified endorsement of no-kill on its Facebook page is indefensible. That is because the ruses and deceptions in situ at conventional shelters like OCAS and Sugar Land pale in comparison with the dodges, double-talk, and outright lies that plague the so-called no-kill movement. (See the Akron Beacon-Journal, February 23, 2008, "'No-Kill' Definition Will Vary at Shelters.")

When all is said and done, however, a shelter is still a death house regardless of whatever it chooses to call itself. (See Cat Defender posts of July 29, 2010 and October 23, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter" and "A Supposedly No-Kill Operation in Marblehead Betrays Sally and Snuffs Out Her Life Instead of Providing Her with a Home and Veterinary Care," plus the Alamogordo Daily News, November 7, 2009, "Kitty City Near La Luz Provides Haven for Felines Facing Euthanasia.")

Shelters justifiably receive a lion's share of the blame for slaughtering animals but they are far from being alone in that endeavor in that veterinarians also liquidate their fair share of them as well. Most damning of all, they kill off thousands of companion animals each year at the behest of their unconscionable owners.

The only difference between what they do and what is being done at shelters is that they are compensated for their dastardly deeds by private individuals as opposed to the government which funds the killings that take place at shelters. (See Cat Defender posts of January 11, 2012, December 22, 2011, and July 28, 2011 entitled, respectively, "A Deadly Intrigue Concocted by a Thief, a Shelter, and a Veterinary Chain Costs Ginger the Continued Enjoyment of His Golden Years," "Rogue TNR Practitioner and Three Unscrupulous Veterinarians Kill at Least Sixty-Two Cats with the Complicity of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals," and "Tammy and Maddy Are Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price after Their Owner and an Incompetent Veterinarian Elect to Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives.")

In addition to their contract killings, veterinarians maim and ruin the lives of scores of other animals through their sheer incompetence. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2012, July 2, 2010, and June 17, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Veterinary Watchdog Group Not Only Allows an Incompetent Substitute Practitioner to Get Away with Killing Junior but Scolds His Owner for Complaining," "Lexi Was By No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization," and "Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues.")

The large number of animals that these bloodsuckers kill through both their mercenary practices and incompetence is surpassed only by those that they condemn to premature graves through their steadfast refusal to treat them because they either are homeless or their owners are unwilling to pony up the exorbitant fees that they demand for their services. (See Cat Defender post of March 19, 2014 entitled "Cheap and Greedy Moral Degenerates at PennVet Extend Their Warmest Christmas Greetings to an Impecunious, but Preeminently Treatable, Cat Via a Jab of Sodium Pentobarbital.")

As it should be obvious by now, the current shelter system cannot be reformed to any significant degree that is going to have much of a positive impact upon the lives of companion animals. For its part, MI-PACA nonetheless insists upon continuing to blame the senseless killings and deceptive practices at OCAS on Gatt and he certainly fits the bill of an old political hack to a tee. Not only is he bereft of so much as a jot of experience in the animal welfare field but he is a serial multiple-dipper at the public trough as well.

For example, in addition to his sinecure at OCAS, he also serves as mayor of Novi, a town of fifty-five-thousand souls located forty-six kilometers northwest of Detroit. The record is unclear but he possibly could be collecting a third welfare check from the taxpayers in his role as head of the Novi City Council.

Before coming to OCAS, Gatt spent twenty-seven years as a police officer in Novi and he followed that up with ten years in the county's prison system. Quite obviously he needs to go and since he has been caught falsifying records at OCAS and then submitting them to the state department of agriculture it is conceivable that he could be headed back to the correctional system but this time around it will not be as either a supervisor or a paid employee.

MI-PACA also singles out Gatt's boss, County Executive Lewis Brooks Patterson, for being complicit in his underling's crimes. Having first assumed office in 1992, it likewise is high time that he, too, was given his walking papers by either the courts or the voters. That is not going to be an easy feat to accomplish however in that even the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse might not be capable of ridding Oakland County of him and his buddy Gatt.

Even more distressingly, it is doubtful that conditions would improve all that greatly at OCAS even if they were removed from office. That is because the majority of the top managerial positions in both Animal Control and shelters go to old political hacks who care only about collecting another welfare check and absolutely nothing about the well-being of the animals entrusted to their care.

As such they are not about to make waves by either demanding additional funding or introducing radical policies that would alter the status quo by actually saving lives. Au contraire, the only purpose that they serve is to perpetuate the killings, lies, and deceptions.

The only recent noteworthy development in animal welfare has been the successful début of TNR which is wholly funded and sustained by volunteers. The lesson to be learned from its staggering success is that the only way that the atrocities which take place at shelters can be stopped is through private initiatives. The logical short-cut would be the enactment of a law that outlawed the killing and abuse of all animals under all circumstances but that is not about to happen in a million years.

Therefore in order to stop at least some of the carnage it is imperative that sterilization services be offered to one and all on demand. Penny-ante efforts such as Spay Day, PetSmart's grants, and Andy Kaplan's Toby Project are so woefully inadequate as to be laughable.

Before any of that is even remotely feasible there must be an end once and for all time to the lies and double-talk. Most important of all, shelters not only need to be recognized as death camps but renamed accordingly.

Secondly, no one should be allowed to get away with sugarcoating premeditated murder by using such patented falsehoods as euthanasia, put down, crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and gone to kitty heaven. Thirdly, the term no-kill has been so abused and corrupted that nothing short of striking it from the English lexicon will suffice in order to repair the damage that has been done in its name.

Above all, cat owners like Hornberger and advocacy groups like MI-PACA need to stop lying to both themselves and the public. If they are unwilling to do even that much, they are not all that much of an improvement over the Gatts and Pattersons that they excoriate.

Rather than continuing to waste precious time scrapping with sticks-in-the-mud like Gatt and Patterson, MI-PACA would be better off borrowing a page from the playbook of TNR practitioners and instead purchasing a few acres of land and constructing a legitimate sanctuary that one day, hopefully, would put OCAS out of business. It is strongly suspected, however, that it is too lazy and cheap to do even that much for the tens of thousands of cats and dogs that are destined, like handsome Spitz, to continue to follow the well-trodden cul-de-sac that leads to the door of OCAS's extermination factory.

Photos: WXYZ-TV (Spitz), City of Novi (Gatt), Emily Tolliver of the Lexington Humane Society (Freckles), and Kimberly P. Mitchell of the Detroit Free Press (Patterson).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Blackpudlian Thrill Seeker Who Sicced Her Pit Bull on Regi and Then Laughed Off Her Fat Ass as He Tore Him Apart Receives a Customary Clean Bill of Health from the Courts

The Ill-Fated Regi in Happier Days

"The attack went on for about six-and-a-half minutes and she just stood idly by and watched. It was horrendous, it didn't happen quickly. It happened very, very slowly. Clearly she got a lot of enjoyment out of it, she was laughing."
-- Lesley-Anne Brocklehurst

In addition to having almost unlimited amounts of money, the law enforcement community nowadays also has such technological advances as DNA testing, wiretaps, mobile telephone data, and closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) at its disposal in order to help it identify and apprehend suspects. Malheureusement, when it comes to combating cruelty to cats all of those pricey and newfangled developments are virtually useless because of the moribund thinking of those individuals, groups, and institutions that are charged with enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes.

To put the matter succinctly, not even a mountain of incontrovertible forensic evidence is sufficient in order to convince jurists who have either little or no regard for the sanctity of feline life to punish their abusers and killers. That long-standing and utterly deplorable tenet of jurisprudence was affirmed once again in graphic fashion on April 30th when twenty-four-year-old Stephanie Curwen of Walter Avenue in St. Annes, Lancashire, was let off scot-free by Blackpool Magistrates' Court for intentionally sicking her Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog, Duke, on a six-month-old black Bengal kitten named Regi.

In July of 2014, Regi was sitting atop a fence that surrounded the house that he shared with Lesley-Anne Brocklehurst, her husband, three children, two dogs, and another cat on Baron Road in the South Shore section of Blackpool, six kilometers removed from St. Annes, when Curwen and Duke came upon him. Exactly what they were doling in that neighborhood never has been satisfactorily explained by the press.

Upon spying Regi, Duke immediately started jumping up and yapping at him. He soon tired of that game, however, and fell in behind his mistress as they continued on down the street.

Curwen's perverse tastes could only be slaked with the spilling of feline blood, however, and for that reason she stopped, turned back around, and pointed out Regi to Duke and, like the obedient dog that he is, he immediately resumed his hostilities. Exactly what transpired next is not exactly clear.

Stephanie Curwen

For its part, The Blackpool Gazette reported on May 1st that Regi fell from the fence of his own accord and then was devoured by Duke after Curwen had unleashed him. (See "Video: Cat Death Woman Walks Free.") A video posted on YouTube, however, clearly shows Duke jumping up on the fence and dragging Regi off of it and down to the sidewalk.

The black cat then can clearly be seen scurrying down the street with Curwen and Duke in hot pursuit. It is not possible to determine what happened next because the camera's view is obscured by the fence.

Apparently Regi never realized what he was up against until it was way too late otherwise he could have retreated into the safety of his own garden where several other cats can be seen in the YouTube video sitting on chaises longues. Even after he had been dragged from the safety of his perch he still might have been able to have gotten away if only the opportunistic and devilish Curwen had not seized the golden opportunity presented to her by promptly unleashing Duke. Provided thus with a free-of-charge ringside seat, she then stood idly by laughing off her ugly little face as Duke tore into Regi.

Since apparently the Brocklehursts were either away or if they were at home they were unaware of what was taking place outside their front door, that left matters to their neighbor, forty-five-year-old Craig Hargreaves, who courageously intervened and pulled Duke off of Regi. "I managed to pull the dog away from the cat using one finger," he later told The Blackpool Gazette. "It was as vicious as a playful puppy."

Whereas Hargreaves' extremely charitable description of Duke's attitude toward him may or may not have been accurate, there can be no denying that his behavior toward Regi was an altogether different affair and that is nowhere more vividly demonstrated than by the end result of events. "He (Hargreaves) felt two heartbeats from the cat and then nothing and the cat appeared to be dead," Jonathan Fail, who prosecuted the case for the RSPCA, told The Blackpool Gazette.

Regi Sitting on a Fence as Curwen and Duke Stroll Past

Once again The Blackpool Gazette leaves it to its readers' imagination to fathom what occurred next. In particular, it has not even been disclosed if Regi was rushed to a veterinarian or simply written off on the spot as being dead.

Regardless of whether he died then and there or sometime later, his all-too-brief stay upon this earth not only appeared to have come to an abrupt end on that god-awful day but it did in fact do so and for all time to come. A necropsy later performed by a local veterinarian revealed that Duke had bitten him twice and that one of the bites had fatally ruptured a lung.

It is not known whether the initial investigation was handed by either the RSPCA or the local police but at its conclusion Curwen was charged with one count of causing an animal to fight and another count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Although she ultimately pled guilty to both counts, her lawyer ludicrously maintained at her trial that the killing of Regi had been both unintentional and accidental.

"Clearly this is a very sad and tragic case which couldn't (sic) and shouldn't have happened," David Charnley told the magistrates according to the account rendered in The Blackpool Gazette. "The defendant has learned a very salutary lesson. She said she didn't expect to happen what did happen."

Whereas there is only a very minute chance that she could have been telling the truth when she stated that she did not expect Duke to have been able to have caught Regi, it is beyond dispute that by unleashing and egging him on she made that a distinct possibility. It likewise is beyond contention that once Duke had caught Regi that she reveled in what he did to him.

Curwen Turns Back Around and Sics Duke on Regi

"Throughout the whole of the attack, the female made no attempt to stop it," Fail told The Blackpool Gazette. "In effect she seemed to be encouraging the whole incident."

Hargreaves wholeheartedly endorsed those sentiments. "What makes us the most upset is that she just laughed throughout," he told The Blackpool Gazette. "She didn't have an ounce of respect for that poor animal."

Curwen afterwards informed Hargreaves that the attack had occurred in a "split-second" and that she therefore did not have an opportunity to stop it. Dubious as to the veracity of her claim, Brocklehurst reviewed CCTV footage of the attack taken by a camera on Hargreaves' property and what she saw confirmed her worst suspicions.

"The attack went on for about six-and-a-half minutes and she just stood idly by and watched. It was horrendous, it didn't happen quickly. It happened very, very slowly," she averred to The Blackpool Gazette. "Clearly she got a lot of enjoyment out of it, she was laughing."

In spite of all the evidence being heavily stacked against her, the court chose not to throw the book at her but rather to let her off with a twenty-four-week suspended jail sentence coupled with a ten-year ban on the owning of all animals. Furthermore, the entire sorry affair ended up costing her only £200 in court costs plus a victim's surcharge of £80.

Stephanie Curwen Hides Her Guilty Face as She Leaves Court

Although it is not known how much weight the magistrates assigned to the fact that Curwen has three young children at home, that should not have been a consideration at all. To put the matter rather bluntly, cat killers should not be excused by the courts simply because they have dependents at home. (See Cat Defender posts of March 13, 2012 and August 17, 2011 entitled, respectively, "The Sick Wife Defense Works Like a Charm for Cunning Patrick Doyle after He Traps a Cat and Then Shoots It with an Air Rifle While Still in Its Cage" and "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")

Either she, the taxpayers, or someone else had to pony up for Charnley's services and perhaps she was forced to miss a day or two of work but that was the extent of her punishment. Her reputation may have suffered somewhat as the result of all the bad publicity that she has received but it is doubtful that the damage will be permanent in that cruelty to cats is seldom taken seriously anywhere on the planet.

She might even have succeeded in achieving something akin to cult status within the crowd that she runs with through her cold-blooded, premeditated murder of Regi. That is exactly how ornithologists and wildlife biologists treated James Munn Stevenson in the wake of his unmasking for having gunned down hundreds of cats. (See Cat Defender post of August 7, 2008 entitled "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank.")

Not surprisingly, Brocklehurst's reaction to the court's utterly insane verdict was apoplectic. "I'm happy about the ban but she should have gone to prison for what she did," she declared to The Blackpool Gazette. "Hopefully then it might sink in what she did, and how cruel it was."

She also was denied the justice that she had so desperately wanted for Regi. "It's not about us, it's about our cat," she continued. "I just want justice for him, and sadly I don't feel we've got that."


Curwen's total lack of remorse likewise did not sit well with her. "There has been no attempt at an apology," she related to The Blackpool Gazette on May 4th. (See "'I Don't Want an Apology from Killer Dog Owner'.") "I would not accept any apology now."

The one thing that she is thankful for however is the cameras. "She's probably remorseful for the fact that she chose to walk down a road with cameras all over it. Had we not have had the cameras she would have got away with it," Brocklehurst explained to The Blackpool Gazette in the May 1st article cited supra. "I'm glad that we had the cameras and I'm hoping it will make people think twice about what they are doing."

She nevertheless fears that Curwen possibly could be, like the diabolical monster Stevenson, a serial cat abuser. "She seemed to be getting a lot of pleasure out of it (the killing of Regi) so maybe it's not the first time she's done something like this," she theorized to The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

Although it was Duke who killed Regi, Hargreaves is of the opinion that the responsibility for the attack rests solely upon Curwen's shoulders. "It wasn't interested in the cat, it would have carried on down the street and got home without any problem," he declared to The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

Fail is, apparently, of the same opinion. "There was no growling or suggestion of aggression and he (Hargreaves) indicated to the woman that she should put the dog on a lead," he related to The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

Fred After Having Been Mauled

Like sheep to the slaughter, even Brocklehurst has proven not to be immune to the siren call to completely exonerate Duke. "It was quite clear that it was only doing what it was told to do," she added to The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

Au contraire, all three of them are in error because Duke not only started jumping at Regi apparently of his own volition but he went after him with malice aforethought as soon as Curwen unleashed him. Although both her encouragement and unleashing of him doubtlessly contributed mightily to the outcome of events, there cannot be any getting around the fact that he wanted a piece of Regi from the very first moment that he laid eyes upon him.

It accordingly constitutes the epitome of dishonesty for Hargreaves, Fail, and Brocklehurst to attribute to Duke a magnanimity and benevolence that he never for one moment harbored in his bosom for Regi. It was an entirely different matter back in August of 2009 when a pet python refused to devour a kitten offered to it by twenty-eight-year-old Jeremy Tuffly of Mesa, Arizona.

Not about to be deterred in his evil designs, Tuffly then kicked the defenseless kitten to death. "Congratulations, Phoenix! We have the one guy on the planet who was outclassed by a snake," is how James King of the Phoenix New Times so eloquently summed up the situation. "Hopefully, he can look on the bright side: if he doesn't like jail, at least he has Hell to look forward to." (See Cat Defender post of November 7, 2009 entitled "Jeremy Tuffly Feeds a Kitten to a Pet Python but When It Demurs He Does the Foul Deed Himself by Kicking It to Death.")

Hargreaves' judgment also is called into question because of his rather underdeveloped sense of justice. "I'm glad the whole thing has been sorted and she's (Curwen) been punished for her actions," he mindlessly caroled to The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

Curwen therefore was not the only one to escape justice but Duke also was spared retribution unless being uprooted and rehomed is factored into that equation. Presumably, he was not placed in a home with cats but even so that in no way ensures the safety of others who reside in the same neighborhood with him.

Hamish McHamish Is Treed by a Pair of Dogs

He quite obviously picked up some bad habits from Curwen and it would have been preferable if he had undergone both temperament and behavioral testing and treatment before being allowed back out into society. Every bit as importantly, it is imperative that he was placed not only with a responsible owner but a watchful one as well.

Nevertheless, Brocklehurst was satisfied with that outcome. "I have never wanted the dog to be destroyed," she told The Blackpool Gazette on May 1st.

So, in the end, things turned out as they most always do in cases of this sort. The killers, Curwen and Duke, escaped unscathed and that is just peachy keen with the RSPCA, the courts, Hargreaves, and even Brocklehurst to a certain extent. The only one who came out on the short end of the stick was Regi and he lost it all, including his irreplaceable life.

Regardless of whatever else may be said about this matter, that was not fair and it certainly does not constitute justice in any shape, form, or fashion. Absolutely no one really seems to have much of a problem with that, however, and that in turn speaks volumes for just how little most people value the life of a cat.

An elderly, longhaired black cat named Freeman with only three legs was victimized under almost identical circumstances during the last week of March. Like Regi, he was sitting in his own garden in Tarring, West Sussex, when he was attacked by two large dogs.

They then dragged him into neighbor Terry Rickards' garden where they mauled him to death in a ninety-second attack that was captured on CCTV. Unlike with Regi, however, Freeman never stood a ghost of a chance owing to his handicap. Also since Rickards was away, there was not anyone to intervene on his behalf.

Mayor Stubbs and His Horrific Injuries

After the attack, an unidentified woman was seen on camera driving up in a blue car, calling over the attackers, believed to have been Dobermans, and then casually driving off with them. In doing so, she never gave the mortally injured Freeman so much as a sideways' glance.

"To find out he had been savaged by the dogs and the owners (sic) had done nothing is just completely callous," Freeman's forty-four-year-old owner, Tracy Lynch, exclaimed to the Daily Mail on April 3rd. (See "Shocking Moment Three-Legged Cat Was Mauled to Death by Two Passing Dogs as It Lay in Its Front Garden.") "That's what's most distressing for us that they didn't do anything to check on the cat."

Rickards was in total agreement with that assessment of events. "It amazes and sickens me that no attempt was made either at the time the dogs were recovered, or at a later stage, to check on the state of the cat," he added to the Daily Mail. "As far as I am aware, no attempt has been made since by the dog's owners (sic) to seek the owners of the cat. It's a pretty horrific attack really."

The killing of Freeman, whom Lynch had adopted from an RSPCA shelter way back in 2004, has had a traumatic effect upon her three children who had grown up with him as their constant companion and loyal friend. "My youngest son was completely distraught," she confided to the Daily Mail. "This is the first family pet he's lost and he was in floods of tears."

Over the years Freeman had become well-known in the neighborhood and for that reason his death more than likely has been felt outside of his immediate family. "He would go around the neighborhood and everyone knew him," Lynch told the Daily Mail. "He was a real character. I think the neighbors will miss him out and about."

As best it could be determined, no additional information has appeared online regarding the killing of Freeman and that makes it therefore impossible to know if an arrest ever was made in the case. It would seem likely however that the woman had dropped off the dogs at the house of an acquaintance before later returning to collect them and the fact that she knew exactly where to find them lends credence to that supposition.

Bailey Will Be for ever Seven Months Old

Therefore, either the local police or the RSPCA should have been able to easily identify and arrest her. If that has not occurred, they simply have not been exercising the due diligence that is required of them under the anti-cruelty statutes.

On July 8th of last year, another unleashed Staffordshire Bull Terrier bit into the head of a two-year-old brown and white cat named Fred on Marston Lane in Frome, Somerset, and refused to let go. That surely would have been the end of him if a group of public-spirited construction workers had not courageously intervened at their own peril and forcibly pried open the dog's jaws.

He also was aided immeasurably by an unidentified couple who stayed with him and did what they could for him until help arrived. Even then it was a terribly close call for Fred.

Specifically, staples were required in order to close puncture wounds in his head. He also had to be treated for both a dented skull and shock.

"Fred was at death's door when we got him but he is now on the mend, thank goodness," his owner, identified only by her first name as Ali, told the Frome Standard on July 12, 2014. (See "Cat's Lucky Escape from Dog's Savage Jaws of Death.") "It is so awful what happened but what scares me even more is that it could have been a child in its jaws."

Inexplicably, the woman who owned the dog was allowed to get away without even producing so much as identification, let alone being charged by the authorities. Ali later notified both the police and the local dog catcher but by then it was way too late for either of them to act.

Joshua Varey

"He (Fred) is such a big part of our family. The whole situation is very concerning," Ali added to the Frome Standard. "I just hope the owner does something about the dog's aggression before it is too late."

That is not about to happen and wishing for the best is not going to save feline lives. The woman quite obviously belongs in jail and her dog in obedience training and with a responsible new guardian.

In January of 2014, St. Andrews' world famous resident feline, Hamish McHamish, was chased up a tree by a pair of unleashed dogs. Thankfully, he managed to escape uninjured and was brought down to safety by employees of Dynamic Hair and local students.

Hamish's close brush with disaster prompted Jim Leishman, provost of Fife and Dunfermline, to call upon all dog owners to do a far better job of minding their pets. "We've got to protect the old boy. He's getting on," he said of Hamish on that occasion. "I would ask dog owners to please keep their animals under control and on a leash when around Hamish McHamish." (See Cat Defender post of June 20, 2014 entitled "St. Andrews Honors Hamish McHamish with a Bronze Statue but Does Not Have the Decency, Love, and Compassion in Order to Provide Him with a Warm, Secure, and Permanent Home.")

Shaun Mullens

As things ironically turned out, Hamish had far more to fear from his owner, Marianne Baird, than the did from dogs in that she wasted no time in having him killed off by a mercenary veterinarian later in the summer when he came down with a common cold. (See Cat Defender post of October 18, 2014 entitled "Hamish McHamish's Derelict Owner Reenters His Life after Fourteen Years of Abject Neglect Only to Have Him Killed Off after He Contracts a Preeminently Treatable Common Cold.")

The British Open has returned to the Old Course this week after its customary four-year hiatus but it is doubtful that very many of the thousands of golfing enthusiasts who are on hand for the event either will realize or even care for that matter that the auld grey toon has lost its noblest soul and most iconic resident. All that those coarse souls care about is idolizing a legion of grotesquely overpaid and utterly worthless bums as they whack little white balls down fairways and greens saturated with enough pesticides and herbicides to gag a Brontosaurus. Hamish's statue is still on display of course but it is a rather paltry substitute for the life and blood genuine article.

Not even those cats that hold important public offices are immune from being savaged by dogs that are allowed by their owners to run free. For instance on August 31, 2013, Mayor Stubbs came within an eyelash of being killed when he was severely mauled by a dog on the streets of Talkeetna in Alaska.

In particular, he suffered a long, deep gash in his side that required twelve stitches to close as well as a punctured lung, a fractured sternum, a bruised hip, and several broken ribs. He mercifully lived but was forced to retire from public life. (See Cat Defender posts of October 28, 2013 and September 25, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Slow to Recuperate from Life-Threatening Injuries Sustained in a Savage Mauling by an Unleashed Dog, Stubbs Announces His Intention to Step Down as Mayor of Talkeetna" and "Talkeetna Has Profited Handsomely from Mayor Stubbs' Enlightened Leadership but the Lure of Higher Office Soon Could Be Beckoning Him to Change His Address.")

As was the case with Hamish, it is not known if the attack on Stubbs was a deliberate act on the part of the dog's owner or happenstance. What is known is that either he or she fled the scene and never was arrested.

The scope of the problem is by no means limited to the criminal behavior of private individuals but rather it extends to officers of the law as well. For example on June 4th, the Toronto Police either carelessly or intentionally allowed one of their dogs to maul nearly to death Aidan Moreau-MacLeod's eighteen-year-old cat, McGuire.


Even more appalling, they imitated the cowardly and utterly repulsive behavior of Curwen and the unidentified owners of the canines that mauled Freeman, Fred, Hamish, and Stubbs by leaving him all alone to lick his sounds and without either taking him to a veterinarian or contacting Moreau-MacLeod. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2015 entitled "After Allowing One of Their Dogs to Maul McGuire to Within an Inch of His Life, the Toronto Police Do Not Have Even the Common Decency to Summon Veterinary Help for Him.")

Whereas it sometimes is difficult to determine if individual owners purposefully sic their dogs on cats, the point is essentially moot in that they are responsible under the law for their companions' behavior and accordingly are every bit as guilty regardless of the circumstances. No such nuances enter into the equation, however, when it comes to gangs who purposefully target cats.

That is precisely what occurred on Carlton Drive in Strabane, County Tyrone, on February 22, 2010 when a group of ten teenagers got their hands on a seven-month-old black kitten named Bailey and subsequently fed him to a black greyhound. Left with multiple broken bones and lacerations, she succumbed to her injuries en route to a veterinarian.

"I just don't know how these young people can sleep at night after doing something like this," Bailey's distraught owner said afterwards. "They are nothing but scum!"

As best it could be determined, no arrest ever was made in the case. (See Cat Defender post of March 24, 2010 entitled "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")


Later on August 28th of that same year, a gang of men sicced a dark-brown Staffordshire Bull Terrier-Greyhound-mix on a ginger-colored cat on Kirkgate Street in the Burnley Wood section of Burnley in Lancashire. Under such hellish circumstances, the forever nameless feline never stood a chance of holding its own against such a formidable and bloodthirsty foe.

In the fortnight leading up to the attack, the bodies of four additional cats were found in the backyards of derelict houses on Branch Road. "These are serious offenses which have caused unnecessary harm and distress to animals and their owners," Louise Blackey of the local constabulary told the Lancashire Telegraph on September 8, 2010. (See "Cats Savaged in Burnley.")

Besides reiterating the painfully obvious and prevailing upon the public for assistance, it is doubtful that the authorities in Burnley did very much to apprehend those individuals responsible for these despicable attacks. The story was somewhat different in July of last year when the RSPCA apprehended and prosecuted forty-nine-year-old Paul Ashworth of Hawley Street in Colne, Lancashire, for shaking a cat out of a tree so that the dogs of his accomplices could attack it.

Disgracefully, the boobs who sit on Burnley Magistrates' Court let him off with a minuscule sentence of seventy-six days in jail plus a five-year ban on owning animals. That was in spite of the fact that he is a career criminal who already had two prior convictions for animal cruelty.

Although the RSPCA is to be commended for finally getting off the schneid and going after him, it actually was his and his cohorts' egos and hubris that actually sealed their fates. In particular, they committed to mistake of filming their crimes on their mobile phones which later were seized in raids and subsequently used against them in court.


One of his accomplices, twenty-four-year-old Joshua Varey of Duke Street in Colne can clearly be heard on one of the videos laughing as the cat is shaken from the tree. He was not convicted for that offense, however, but rather for siccing his dogs on a badger.

Even then all that he received was one-hundred-twenty-six days in jail plus a ten-year ban on owning animals. His partner in the attack on the badger, twenty-two-year-old Shaun Mullens of Leach Street in Colne, was given a one-hundred-fourteen-day jail term plus also a ten-year ban on owning animals.

The magistrates let the duo off with light taps on the wrists in spite of the fact that Varey has a long history of breeding and selling fighting dogs whereas Mullens previously had been convicted for poaching rabbits. In the end, the RSPCA did not have an awful lot to show for the £24,000 that it spent prosecuting the trio.

Worst of all, the rescue group never was able to determine the fate of either the cat or the badger. "The case is probably just the tip of the iceberg," Carroll Lamport of the charity told the Lancashire Telegraph on July 12, 2014. (See "East Lancashire Gang Who Filmed Dogs Attacking Badger and Cat Jailed.") "These men are responsible for a vicious, deliberate and vindictive level of animal cruelty."

In addition to training their dogs on cats, some individuals even go so far as to steal domesticated ones right out from underneath the noses of their owners in order to abuse them for sport. For example, a quartet of cats that were destined to be fed to Greyhounds were abandoned outside the Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Ramsbotton, Lancashire, sometime during the Christmas holidays of 2010.


A note attached to their carriers read: "Please help these poor cats. I am a student at Liverpool University. These poor cats were destined to be bait for Greyhounds. Live Bait! On Morecombe Beach (in Lancaster City)."

Subsequently dubbed Holly Berry, Snowflake, Tinsel, and Tiny Tim, all of them were not only in good shape but obviously had been well cared for before they were stolen. Bleakholt attempted to reunite them with their rightful owners but it is not known how successful it was in that endeavor.

"There are people out there who consider it to be good sport to set animals on each other for their sick amusement," the shelter's Neil Martin told the Bury Times of Bolton in Greater Manchester on January 1, 2011. (See "Cats Destined to Be Used as 'Live Bait' for Greyhounds.") "I find this kind of behavior to be horrific. We are supposed to be a nation of animal lovers."

Like people everywhere, the English are a good deal less than what they pretend. As Michael Crichton demonstrated in his 1975 historical novel, The Great Train Robbery, breeding vicious dogs to attack each other, cats, and other animals is every bit as English as tea and crumpets.

Consequently, this type of simply abhorrent animal abuse continues to flourish throughout the country. For example, an unspecified number of domesticated cats were believed to have been stolen from Aspatria in Cumbria during September and October of 2012 in order to be fed to hunting dogs.

Bubba Is Trying to Recover from a Terrible Mauling

"There are cats that have been going missing around the area," thirty-one-year-old Alex Christie of Spring Kell Street who lost his one-year-old cat, Oscar, told the News and Star of Workington on October 9, 2012. (See "Fears Cats Being Stolen in Cumbria to Be Used as Hunting Dogs Bait.") "I've heard there are people with dogs and they have been setting their dogs on the cats."

In an extremely rare victory for the proponents of animal welfare, five individuals were arrested and six Greyhounds and a pair of Labrador Retrievers seized a few weeks later on November 7th in raids conducted by the Durham County Constabulary and the RSPCA in the Firthmoor section of Darlington. The arrests came in response to complaints from the public of cats and other animals being chased by dogs in an apparently organized and systematic fashion. (See The Guardian, November 7, 2012, "Five Arrested over Suspected Cat Hunts.")

As horrific a toll as dogs take on domesticated cats, that pales in comparison with the carnage that they inflict upon those that are homeless. Most disconcerting of all is the destruction that they inflict upon those that belong to managed TNR colonies.

Confined as they are to one geographic location, these cats often are caught off guard when either feeding or reposing in their winterized shelters and as such they make easy pickings for dogs that attack them either of their own volition or at the behest of their supremely evil owners. For instance, between the middle of October and November 13th of last year, a group of vicious dogs killed at least seventeen cats in the Collinwood neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland.

The lion's share of the victims belonged to the Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project at 15 Washington Boulevard and the Waterloo Alley Cat Project located, it is believed, somewhere in the business district of the same name. Among the victims from Waterloo were a brown and white cat named R.J., a black and white one named Sylvester, a tortoiseshell named Bobbi, and a tuxedo named Pippi. Five others are still missing and presumed to be dead.

Two of the Alleged Killers, Presumably Now Dead Themselves

The only cat from either colony known to have survived one of these attacks is an orange tom named Bubba who not only received several severe bite wounds but also lost his tail. He was forced to undergo five surgeries that cost a total of $700 but, at last word, was expected to recover.

"He greets everyone with a meow, hoping to be fussed over," his owner, Laurie Banks, who resides at the Euclid Mobile Home Park, told The Plain Dealer on December 18th. (See "Cat-Killings Cease after Cleveland Man Surrenders His Dogs.")

As things turned out, Bubba owes his salvation neither to Banks nor to Cleveland Animal Control which failed miserably to do its job, but rather to courageous area resident, fifty-two-year-old Katie Nolan. "I heard dogs barking at 7:50 Wednesday (November 12th) morning and ran outside in my pajamas," she related to The Plain Dealer on November 13th. (See "Bubba Is the Sole Survivor of the Cleveland Dog-Pack Attacks on Cats.") "I saw the dogs in my backyard, grabbed a board off my porch and ran up to them shaking my two-by-four and yelling."

The information contained in press reports is rather sketchy but all of the victims were not homeless. For instance, a cat owned by Monica Doyle was killed by the dogs and Andy Kessler lost his cat, Spike, to them while his other cat, Freebie, was maimed.

The derelicts and nincompoops who comprise the ranks of Animal Control set out humane traps in a supposedly serious effort designed to catch the dogs but that was primarily a carefully choreographed public relations charade designed to hoodwink the public into falsely believing that they were doing their jobs. Meanwhile, the slaughter of cats continued unabated.

Finally, on November 13th a group of concerned citizens at an unidentified sausage shop spotted the dogs and telephoned Animal Control which subsequently was able to capture a pair of black Labrador Retrievers on East One-Hundred-Fifty-Six Street near Interstate 90. Four more dogs and nine, two-week-old puppies later were seized from the residence of sixty-eight-year-old Ralph Williams on Darwin Avenue.

Prior to that, four dogs including a pair of Rottweilers, a Doberman, and a Lab-mix had been photographed by a surveillance camera chasing cats on Trafalgar Avenue. Press reports have not delved into this discrepancy but, as far as it is known, the attacks ceased with the seizure of Williams' dogs.

He eventually was charged with allowing his dogs to run free and for failing to purchase licenses for them but Animal Control was all too willing to overlook the carnage that they had inflicted upon the cats and their owners and caretakers. "None of the witnesses to the attacks on the cats were able to positively identify the dogs we impounded," is how Chief Animal Control Officer Ed Jamison excused his utterly reprehensible dereliction of duty to The Plain Dealer on December 18th. "I am confident that they were the dogs killing the cats, as I saw firsthand the areas they were able to cover. But that isn't enough to issue charges in the cats' deaths."

Tess Enjoying a Cold Mug of Her Favorite Tipple

That is pure baloney in that Jamison had surveillance footage of the dogs chasing the cats and that made positive eyewitness identification of them superfluous. Additionally, it likely would have been possible to have collected incriminating DNA evidence from the dogs. All sorts of men and women have been sent to the gas chamber on circumstantial evidence far less compelling than what his agency had assembled against Williams and his dogs.

The point is temporarily moot, however, in that Williams failed to show up in Cleveland Municipal Court on December 18th for a hearing on the charges. Most likely he simply was too cheap in order to pay the minuscule $150 fines that he was liable for under each count lodged against him.

A warrant was issued for his arrest but if the authorities have not apprehended him by now they likely never will bring him to justice. By contrast, if his dogs had mauled, let alone killed, a single individual there would have been a police manhunt for him that would have rivaled the one that the authorities in New York State staged last month for David Sweat and Richard Matt. Since his victims were only cats, however, none of the authorities in the "mistake by the lake" care enough to be bothered with even arresting him.

The abject failure of Animal Control to have apprehended him weeks earlier is all the more inexcusable in that Williams was well-known to them for keeping large vicious dogs that he allowed to run free. Besides, the agency was informed from the very outset that the attackers were domesticated canines and not a pack of homeless mongrels.

"They do not look like mangy dogs. They look like they're well-fed, like they are cared for," Brian Licht of the Euclid Beach Feral Cat Project told Fox-8 of Cleveland on November 1st. (See "Pack of Roaming Dogs Reportedly Targeting Cats in Cleveland Neighborhoods.") "The dogs are not interested in food, they are only interested in killing cats."

Although it is not known what Williams was doing with so many vicious, unsocialized dogs, the strong suspicion is that he was breeding them for sport. "I don't know if they are fighting dogs," Licht added to Fox-8. "It almost seems like they've been trained to kill."

As far as it is known, Williams only turned the dogs loose at night but whether he did so in order to have them protect his property or to intentionally kill cats is not known. It strains credulity however that he did not know what they were doing and yet he did absolutely nothing in order to stop them.

That is one more reason why the authorities should have thrown the book at him. He also cared almost nothing about the dogs' safety in that they easily could have been either run down by motorists or shot by a disgruntled homeowner.

Peter and Tamara

New homes were found for thirteen of Williams' dogs but two of them, presumably the pair captured on November 13th, were killed off by either Animal Control or the Cleveland Protective League. The latter action was both unnecessary and grossly unfair in that the killers could have been either rehabilitated or sent to a sanctuary where they, at worst, could have lived out their lives inside a fenced-in compound. After all, Williams was the one who was responsible for their killing spree and therefore richly deserves to be punished the most severely.

In the aftermath of the killings, the Waterloo Alley Cat Project announced plans to raise $2,000 in order to install a fence around its cats and to purchase sturdier winter shelters for them. "This incident with the dogs was the worst experience we have ever had...and hopefully ever will," the charity's Deborah Gulyes told The Plain Dealer in the December 18th article cited supra.

Whereas both of those initiatives are welcome developments, they do not go nearly far enough. Located as they are in such bad neighborhoods, both TNR colonies also need to add surveillance cameras and, above all, nighttime attendants. If at all possible, it would be better if they were relocated to private properties under the legal control of their caretakers.

The senseless and totally preventable killing of these twenty-two wonderful and long-suffering cats has not only exposed the Achilles heel of all managed colonies but provided the despicable, cat-killing scumbags at PETA with enough ammunition to keep their TNR defamation project going full tilt for the next twenty years. Even more reprehensibly, the managers of both colonies have the cats' blood all over their hands and faces.

Specifically, as soon as they learned that the cats were under assault the volunteers should have immediately inaugurated all-night patrols. Armed with flashlights, noisemakers, and sticks, they should have been able to not only have driven off the intruders but also to have captured photographs of them on their mobile phones which they then could have shared with the authorities.

If they had been willing to have done that, not only could the cats have been saved but perhaps the dogs could have been corralled in short order. If they were expecting either Animal Control or the police to have fulfilled their sacred responsibilities to the cats they were deadly mistaken.

The outcome was far different back in February of 2010 when a pack of coyotes arrived on the scene and began preying upon the Bluffers Park TNR colony in Toronto's Scarborough District. In an effort to save Half Mask and the other cats, the colony's caretakers staged all-night vigils in the biting cold and snow where they used sticks, flashlights, and whistles in order to drive off the coyotes. (See Cat Defender post of September 15, 2011 entitled "Ravenous Coyotes, Cat-Haters, and Old Man Winter All Want Her Dead, Buried, and Gone but Brave Little Half Mask Is Defying All the Odds.")

TNR therefore involves considerably more than merely feeding, watering, sheltering, and desexing homeless cats. Their fragile lives must be safeguarded at all costs from the machinations of dogs, wildlife such as coyotes and raccoons, cat-haters, and governmental officials. If at the end of the day all that their caretakers have to show for their efforts is a colony of dead cats, their brand of TNR has been a miserable failure.

Although dog owners are rather different individuals from ailurophiles, not all of them hate cats and even a few of them have been known to go out of their way in order to assist those in extremis. For example on New Year's Day of 2010, an unidentified man out walking his dog in Swinderby in Lincolnshire stumbled upon an eight-week-old black and white cat named Bess that had been zipped up in a bag and dumped along the side of a road.

He then took her to a veterinarian and she later was adopted by Matthew Walsh to serve as the mascot of The Bugle Horn Inn in Bassingham. "Bess has already used up two of her nine lives, but she's settled in now," he later reported. "She quickly got her paws under the bar, and she's ready to make her debut with the customers." (See Cat Defender post of February 25, 2010 entitled "Bess Twice Survives Attempts Made on Her Life Before Landing on All Four Paws at a Pub in Lincolnshire.")

In early October of 2014, a dog was credited with saving the lives of six cats, aged two to five years old, that had been dumped in a trash can in a remote area of the six-hundred-ten-acre Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire. If the dog had not started barking, its owners never would have thought to have looked inside the receptacle.

"When the dog's owners opened the bin they found six cats staring up at them," Alan Maskell of Blue Cross revealed to the BBC on October 3rd. (See "Barking Dog Saved Cats from Wheelie Bin, Says Charity.") "They were completely shocked."

Best of all, the felines were said to have been in good condition despite their death-defying ordeal. Peter, a black and white tom, Tamara, white with black spots, and brown and white Cleopatra later were put up for adoption along with the other three unidentified cats.

It thus seems clear that large and potentially dangerous dogs, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Dobermans, Greyhounds, and Rottweilers should not be allowed to run free. In addition to posing a significant threat to cats, other animals, and humans, their own lives are imperiled by such behavior.

Secondly, individuals such as Curwen, Ashworth, Varey, and Mullens who intentionally employ dogs in order to attack cats should not be shown any leniency whatsoever under the law. The same applies in spades for individuals who breed dogs for fighting.

Like gun possession and the driving of needlessly large trucks, vans, and Hummers, the keeping of vicious dogs is a form of anti-social behavior that benefits neither the community nor the animals themselves. Rather, it is a prescription for only abuse and death.

Animal welfare groups and the courts could, if they wanted to, put an end to this appalling misuse of dogs but that is not about to happen. As experience as more than abundantly demonstrated, the situation is even more deplorable as far as cats are concerned in that the majority of jurists still would be unwilling to punish their abusers even if the offenses were committed flagrante delicto before their very own eyes.

Photos: The Blackpool Gazette (Regi, Regi on a fence, and Curwen leaving court), the Daily Mail (Curwen by herself,  siccing Duke on Regi, and Freeman), Frome Standard (Fred), Facebook (Hamish and Stubbs), Strabone Chronicle (Bailey), Lancashire Telegraph (Varey and Mullens), Waterloo Alley Cat Project (R.J., Sylvester, Bobbi, and Pippi), Euclid Veterinary Clinic (Bubba), The Plain Dealer (black Labrador Retrievers), the Lincolnshire Echo (Bess), and Blue Cross (Peter, Tamara, and Cleopatra).