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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

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

Spitz

"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, 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."

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 going to be difficult to accomplish, however, in that even the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse might not be any match for that pair of entrenched public freeloaders.

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."

Freeman

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.

R.J. 

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.")

Sylvester

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.

Bobbi

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.

Pippi

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.

Cleopatra
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).

Thursday, July 02, 2015

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

McGuire After Having Been Savaged by a Police Dog

"It's had a huge toll on my whole family, but my main concern is why the police are training dogs in a dense residential neighborhood."
-- Aidan Moreau-MacLeod

As if cops killing cats were not reprehensible enough in its own right, the police in Toronto now have allowed one of their canine partners to join in on the free-for-all. That was the deadly frightening reality brought home firsthand to a black and brown eighteen-year-old tom named McGuire when he was run to the ground and savaged by an unidentified K-9 police dog in an alley behind his house at the intersection of Defferin and West Dundas streets.

Although the brutal assault occurred sometime during the morning hours of June 4th, McGuire was forced to suffer all alone throughout the remainder of the day and well into the evening hours until his desperate plight finally was discovered. "It's unbelievable," his twenty-five-year-old owner Aidan Moreau-MacLeod told the Toronto Star on June 9th. (See "Toronto Police Dog Savages Pet Cat.") "My father came home to find McGuire critically injured."

Considering that McGuire was not admitted to the Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital until 10 p.m., it likely was well past 9 p.m. before he was found by the elder Moreau-MacLeod. That in turn makes its highly probable that he was forced to endure simply horrendous pain for up to as many as twelve hours.

Under such hellish circumstances it is nothing short of a minor miracle that he did not succumb to the large puncture wounds that the dog left in his back. In particular, he very easily could have either bled to death or died from an infection during the course of the day.

On June 7th he was relocated to an unnamed animal hospital in Scarborough but now is believed to be back at home. "The injuries are bad but, thankfully, not fatal," was all that Moreau-MacLeod was willing to divulge to the Star.

At first neither Moreau-MacLeod nor his father had any earthly idea about what had happened to McGuire. On the following day, however, the members of an unidentified landscaping crew who had been working in the neighborhood the previous day and thus had witnessed the attack came forward of their own volition and courageously informed the former of what had transpired.

Whereas most white-collar workers are severely deficient when it comes to standing up for what is right and wrong, there is an awful lot that can be said for the honesty, simple decency, and compassion of their blue-collar counterparts.(See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2011 entitled "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

When contacted by Moreau-MacLeod the Toronto Police belatedly came clean and admitted that it was indeed one of their dogs that had nearly killed McGuire. The attacker, as it turns out, was being trained in a vacant schoolyard across the alley from Moreau-MacLeod's house when it either broke free from its leash or was intentionally released by its unidentified handler.

Since all police officers are not only inveterate liars but involved up to their eyeballs in all sorts of unprofessional and, quite often, totally illegal behavior, it is naïve for anyone to take anything that they say at face value. In this particular instance, for example, it is quite conceivable that the officer had used McGuire as a convenient guinea pig in order to teach his dog how to apprehend a suspect.

McGuire in Happier Days Before the Totally Inexcusable Attack

He additionally could have been operating under the erroneous impression that McGuire was a homeless alley cat and that absolutely no one would miss him if he disappeared. Since various types of individuals, including police officers, commit a litany of wholesale offenses against the species, any attack upon a cat should be regarded until proven otherwise not only as suspicious but as premeditated as well.

To their credit, the police readily consented to pay McGuire's emergency veterinary bill of C$2,000 plus the cost of his recuperation and rehabilitation but that in no way has laid this matter to rest. "It's had a huge toll on my whole family, but my main concern is why the police are training dogs in a dense residential neighborhood," Moreau-MacLeod complained to the Star.

Sergeant James Hung of Police Dog Services quickly responded by arguing that it is necessary to train dogs in the same areas that they are likely to be deployed once they are on the job. "Dogs will potentially be searching residential areas for suspects or missing people," he pointed out to the Star.

That explanation did little or nothing to convince Moreau-MacLeod. "Once a dog enters a residential area like ours, it should already be perfectly trained," he told the CBC on June 11th. (See "Cat Recovering after Brutal Attack by Police Dog.")

By contrast, McGuire's attacker was only about halfway through its fifteen-week training program. Furthermore, cats are not the only potential victims of police dogs that are allowed to roam freely.

"I live near a park, a community center and a daycare center. We live right next to a family with two young kids, and a good friend of mine nearby has a toddler," Moreau-MacLeod pointed out to the Star. "That's really the problem. The police were incredibly lucky this was a cat and not a small child."

Although Hung failed to adequately address Moreau-MacLeod's criticism concerning the level of training his dogs receive before being introduced into residential neighborhoods, he was more than prepared to answer his last salvo. "The first characteristic we look for in a dog is that it's sociable with people. Our dogs are trained to apprehend, not attack," he told the Star. "Our dogs go out all the time to school events where millions (sic) of kids are petting them."

He did candidly admit, however, that it was an entirely different matter as far as cats are concerned. "Unfortunately, it's like the saying goes, they will fight like cats and dogs with animals," is how he nonchalantly shrugged off the attack on McGuire. "They still have certain instincts where they see cats and raccoons as the enemy or prey."

In addition to exhibiting absolutely no regard whatsoever for either the safety of cats or the feelings and interests of their owners, it is totally inexcusable for Hung and the Toronto Police not to train their dogs to lay off of cats and other animals. That certainly is not the way that reputable shelters operate in that they meticulously screen both cats and dogs for aggression toward other animals and children before selling them back to the public for a handsome profit.

Dorian Barton and Some of His Painful Injuries

Under no circumstances would any of them knowingly allow an individual with cats to adopt an aggressive dog that would prey upon them. Such behavior not only would place the cats' lives in grave jeopardy but it possibly might even subject the shelter to legal action.

The Toronto Police, like all such forces around the world, have pretty much unlimited resources at their disposal in a post-nine-eleven world and as such easily could afford to train their dogs not to attack cats. The reason that they do not do so is, doubtlessly, attributable to their ingrained contempt for the species and, most likely, their owners as well.

That point is nowhere better illustrated than in Hong's steadfast refusal to introduce such training into the regimen that the attacker and its canine colleagues are currently undergoing. As a result, future attacks upon other cats are a distinct possibility.

Secondly, American cops, and presumably those north of the border as well, have a long and checkered history of gunning down cats even remotely suspected of being rabid. Once that petit fait has been grasped, it no longer seems all that farfetched that an officer of the law would deliberately sic his dog on a cat. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, September 22, 2011, and September 27, 2014 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo," "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey," "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop," and "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.")

The totally shameful, irresponsible, and unprofessional behavior exhibited by the Toronto Police in the aftermath of the attack on McGuire tends to lend support to the suspicion that it was intentional. First of all, neither the officer in question nor any of his colleagues apparently did anything at all in order to protect McGuire.

Specifically, any halfway decent officer of the law would have run after the dog and immediately pulled it off of McGuire. Based upon the severity of his injuries, however, that quite obviously was not the case.

That in turn left the senior citizen of the feline world to fend off the much larger and stronger canine all by his lonesome. It is not known how that he was able to pull off that stupendous feat, but perhaps he was able to dig his claws into the dog long and deep enough in order to force it to relinquish its hold on his back.

He then perhaps was able to flee into his house, up a tree, or underneath some nearby object. Either way, there cannot be any denying that he had an extremely narrow escape.

It also is not beyond the realm of possibility that the officer and his colleagues stood idly by laughing off their rotten asses all the while that McGuire was being mauled to within an inch of his life. That supposition is further bolstered by the alarming fact that the police never made any attempt whatsoever to either procure life-saving veterinary intervention for McGuire or to contact his owner.

To put the matter succinctly, they behaved exactly like common criminals who had just committed a dastardly offense. Every bit as disgusting, they would have gotten away scot-free with their criminality if it had not been for the forthrightness of the conscientious landscapers.

Glenn Weddell

Like police forces everywhere, the one in Toronto certainly is not adverse to trampling all over the law and civil liberties that it is sworn to uphold. Most notably, its officers engaged in widespread brutality and illegal arrests at the G20 summit back in 2010.

For example, when Dorian Barton stopped in Queen's Park on June 26th in order to photograph the mounted police, a Toronto police officer came up behind him and knocked him to the ground with his riot shield. The officer then proceeded to pummel the peaceful bystander more than five times in the head and shoulders with his night stick.

As a result, Barton suffered a broken arm, a black eye, and an assortment of bruises. Hospital worker Andrew Wallace not only witnessed the unprovoked attack but captured several images of Barton's attacker on his mobile telephone.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit looked into the matter twice but was unable to convince any of the four-hundred officers that had been bivouacked in downtown Toronto for the capitalists' powwow to even come forward and identify the clearly recognizable face in Wallace's photographs. Unlike their bootlicking, lying counterparts within the American capitalist media, the Toronto Star and the CBC refused however to sweep the matter underneath the rug.

As a result, forty-nine-year-old officer Glenn Weddell eventually was identified and charged on June 20, 2011 with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. (See the CBC, June 10, 2011, "Special Investigations Unit Charges Officer in Dorian Barton G20 Case.")

As things eventually turned out, that was destined to be just about all the justice that Barton was ever to receive from the courts. That is because when the case finally was adjudicated on May 31, 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice M. Gregory Ellies chose, in the face of all evidence and logic to the contrary, to believe Weddell's selective amnesia at the expense of Wallace's eyewitness testimony. The hooligan thus walked out of court as free as a bird and likely is still on the job committing additional assaults against innocent members of the public.

Weddell obviously not only was as guilty as sin but had perjured himself as well and that assessment is buttressed by the fact that his employer, the City of Toronto, earlier had settled a civil lawsuit brought against it by Barton for an undisclosed amount. (See the Toronto Star, May 31, 2013, "Toronto Police Officer Glenn Weddell Acquitted of G20 Assault on Dorian Barton.")

The case also convincingly demonstrated that it is virtually impossible for there to be anything even remotely approaching an honest cop. Some of them may very well be decent enough individuals in their own right so long as they are left to their own devices but once they start not only to turn blind eyes to the criminal conduct of their colleagues but to protect them by perjuring themselves that is the end of their integrity. All of them are required to take an oath to uphold the law and lying is the very antithesis of honesty.

Officers of the law additionally should be compelled to observe the laws that they enforce against the remainder of society. That is no longer the case, however, in that they and their supporters have so perverted matters that they now operate above and beyond all political constraint.

For example, the unprovoked attack upon McGuire came, ironically, on the very same day that Toronto announced a citywide crackdown on owners who allow their dogs to roam off-leash. In particular, all dogs must now be leashed except when they are either on their owners' properties or in any of the city's fifty-seven leash-free parks.

 Babycakes

Violators are subject to a C$360 fine and that most assuredly should include the Toronto Police for allowing McGuire's attacker to run free. (See the Toronto Star, June 4, 2015, "Toronto Cracking Down on Off-Leash Dogs.")

Regardless of how egregious the offense, there apparently is not any statute that makes it illegal for a dog to attack a cat. Therefore, the only recourse available to Moreau-MacLeod would be for him to instigate a civil suit for damages against the city. If such an undertaking accomplished nothing else, it would force the police into publicly identifying not only the officer who allowed the dog to get away but also the name of the officer who was in charge of the training session. It also might prompt the force to disclose Hong's whereabouts at the time of the attack.

There additionally exists the outside possibility that the force ultimately would be instructed by either the courts or the politicians to significantly alter the way that it trains both its dogs and the officers who handle them. Like dirty laundry that has been collecting in the corner and stinking up the house for way too long, all of these issues deserve a good public airing.

The Toronto Police's utterly inexcusable mistreatment of McGuire fits into an all-too-familiar pattern of feline abuse that can be seen throughout the worldwide law enforcement community. For example on April 19th, two unidentified constables with the Derbyshire Police ran down and killed a two-year-old ginger and white cat named Harry that was owned by restaurateur Tony Hunt and his family.

Instead of promptly owning up their crime, the officers stole and disposed of his corpse. Worst still, if Hunt's sixteen-year-old neighbor, Ali Nisar, had not witnessed their criminal conduct no one ever would have known what had become of Harry. (See Cat Defender post of June 18, 2015 entitled "Harry Is Run Down and Killed by a Pair of Derbyshire Police Officers Who Then Steal and Dispose of His Body in an Amateurish Attempt to Cover Up Their Heinous Crime.")

Just as McGuire's mauling has exposed multiple problems within Toronto's Police Dog Services, it also has raised eyebrows concerning Moreau-MacLeod guardianship of him. The most alarming of which is his unforgivable habit of abandoning him for such terribly lengthy periods of time.

Although it is conceivable that his dereliction of duty on June 4th was a one-time occurrence, it is every bit as likely that it constitutes the norm. If the latter scenario is true, he is indeed fortunate that McGuire was able to steer clear of disaster for so long.

That likely is attributable to the fact that he, according to the CBC, only rarely ventures out of doors. Nevertheless as his recent misadventures have painfully demonstrated, disaster can strike within the twinkling of an eye and from so many unanticipated sources. Above all, whenever Moreau-MacLeod is away, such as at those times when he is working at Bar Negroni on College Street in Little Italy, there is not anyone to come to his defense or even to transport him to a veterinarian should he be either attacked or suddenly become ill.

If he and the remainder of his family are gong to be away from home for such terribly long intervals, he needs to confine McGuire either indoors or inside a fenced-off yard. Contrary to what an awful lot of derelict owners choose to believe, cats require almost constant supervision. Even those that are cooped up indoors by themselves can unwittingly fall prey to all sorts of unforeseen dangers.

Millie

Secondly, it is disturbing to read that Moreau-MacLeod seems to be of the decided opinion that the life of a cat is somehow worth considerably less than that of a child. Whereas some owners undoubtedly would agree with him, there are others who most assuredly would vociferously disagree.

Although it is impossible to determine what role such an ingrained prejudice plays in his proclivity to abandon McGuire, such behavior clearly demonstrates an utterly appalling lack of concern not only for his well-being but his happiness as well. Much more importantly, McGuire is getting on and if Moreau-MacLeod truly cares about him he would dearly want to spend as much time as is humanly possible with him.

While it is well documented that police officers have little or no regard for cats, their estimation of dogs is not all that much more positive. For instance, in this particular case the dog that was allowed to get loose and savage McGuire easily could have been either injured itself or lost forever.

Speaking more generally, police departments all over the world are guilty of inveigling unsuspecting dogs into doing the dirty and dangerous jobs that they are too cowardly and lazy to do themselves. This in turn has led to countless numbers of the these faithful public servants being shot to death by criminals, run down by motorists, and dying from the inhalation of toxic substances.

Others develop cancers as the result of being confined in squad cars with officers who selfishly insist upon smoking in their presence. The naked abuse and myriad of dangers that they are subjected to make it therefore imperative that their employment in the law enforcement field be outlawed. The same is even more so the case for those canines that are conscripted into sacrificing their lives for imperialist war machines.

Given their naked exploitation of their K-9 partners, it is not the least bit surprising that police officers have so little regard for those dogs that are owned by members of the general public. For example on April 3, 2012, Sergeant Russell Metcalf of the Harrisonburg Police Department shot to death Bryan Ware's eight-month-old collie-mix Sadie when she wandered out into the road as he was pedaling his bicycle through the Clover Hill section of town. (See Cat Defender posts of July 18, 2012 and September 7, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Bloodthirsty and Lawless Harrisonburg Police Follow Up Their Bludgeoning to Death of an Injured Cat by Gunning Down a Collie Named Sadie" and "Peripathetic Helvin Rides to the Rescue of Harrisonburg Police Sergeant Russell Metcalf and in Doing So Puts the Judicial Stamp of Approval on His Gunning Down of Sadie," plus the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, January 10, 2013, "Ex-City Officer Fined.")

On January 31st of this year, Detroit police officer Darrell Dawson pumped two shots into the chest of a French Mastiff named Babycakes even though the dog was secured to a ten-foot steel cable and could not possibly have harmed him in any way. The dog was owned by Darryl Lindsay of the 11000 block of Strathmoor Street and even though the police searched his yard and interrogated him, he never was charged with any infraction.

On June 18th, he justifiably filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. "Indeed defendant Dawson calmly, carefully and cowardly shot and killed Babycakes from a position just beyond the reach of Babycakes' leash," his attorney, Christopher Olson, told the Detroit Free Press on June 19th. (See "Lawsuit: Cop Killed Dog 'Babycakes,' for 'No Reason'.") "Defendant Killed plaintiff's dog for no reason."

On May 24th, an unidentified Detroit police officer shot a six-year-old black and white cattle-mix named Millie in the face after she barked at him while she was off her leash at the site of old Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull avenues in Corktown. The bullet went through the right side of her mouth and lodged in the other side of her jaw.

New York City Cops to Shoot Individuals Caught with New iPhone Case

Along the way it tore out the palate in the roof of her mouth as well as several of her teeth. Rushed into surgery at a local veterinary clinic, she survived but at last word was still experiencing difficulties breathing.

Millie is well-known around Detroit in that she often appears on stage with her owner, Alison Lewis, and her band, String of Ponies. On those occasions she either howls along with Lewis or simply lies down on stage.

"It's not just what happened to my dog. The way I see it, (we) were in a public place in daylight. This is how we are handling it? It's like a concern for the community," Lewis complained to the Detroit Free Press on May 27th. (See "Why Did Detroit Police Shot Millie the Dog in Corktown?") "It's completely out of control. Someone who is that afraid in that situation should not have the power of a gun. I want this guy, at least his gun taken away."

She plans on filing an official complaint with the city and has retained Bill Goodman to explore the possibility of instigating a civil lawsuit. "The willingness and readiness to resort to deadly force is not only regrettable, it's dangerous," he added to the Free Press.

Although under Detroit law all dogs must be leashed while they are in public areas, the unprovoked killing of Babycakes has more than amply demonstrated that neither a leash nor a chain is sufficient in order to protect them from the murderous rages of police officers. There used to be a time when officers of the law first attempted to resolve disputes peaceably before only reluctantly resorting to the use of violence but nowadays they will shoot any cat, dog, or human that so much as dares to look cross-eyed at them.

Letter carriers, delivery personnel, and all sorts of other individuals are barked at every hour of the day by dogs but absolutely none of them ever resort to the use of deadly force. Moreover, if private citizens were allowed to shoot every dog that barked at them there never would be an end to the carnage.

In an utterly mind-boggling example of how far conditions have deteriorated, the police in New York City this week began a propaganda offensive designed to convince the public to casually accept the shooting down of individuals spotted with the new iPhone travel case that is shaped like the grip of a gun. "The money that is earned from the sale of this case is blood money earned from the person who is foolish enough to carry it," Patrick "The Big Stench" Lynch of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association declared to the print edition of the New York Daily News on July 1st. (See "Gunlike Case Could Get You Shot.")

He sans doute means what he says in that experience has shown that he and his colleagues think no more about blowing off a man's head than they do about blowing off the head from a pint of Guinness. Whether the locale is New York City, Toronto, Derbyshire, Harrisonburg, Detroit, or elsewhere, the behavior of police officers toward both animals and individuals alike exposes the terrible truth that most supposedly civilized forces in the western world have devolved into the types of death squads that are so prevalent in Latin America and other backwaters around the globe. With that descent into darkness and death, respect for the sanctity of life has all but evaporated.

Most alarming of all, not too many people seem to really care until either they or their cat or dog has fallen victim to police lawlessness and by that time it is way too late to put the evil genies back into their bottles where they belong. In this latest round of police violence directed at cats, dogs, and individuals, McGuire, Millie, and Barton miraculously survived but all of them possibly could be plagued with lingering health issues for the remainder of their days. Harry, Sadie, and Babycakes are, sadly, pushing up daisies while their ruthless killers are not only still strutting around like lords of the universe but undoubtedly as pleased as punch with all the evil that they have inflicted upon their totally innocent victims.

Photos: Aidan Moreau-MacLeod (McGuire), National Post (Barton), Rene Johnston of the Toronto Star (Weddell), Fox-2 Detroit (Babycakes),  Alison Lewis (Millie), and the New Zealand Herald (iPhone case).