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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, August 26, 2005

Winky Sam, a Cat with Only One Eye and Steadily Going Blind, Finally Finds a Home in Port St. Lucie

Winky Sam's world is going black. He has only one eye and he is rapidly losing the sight in his other eye. After wandering the cruel streets of Port St. Lucie, Florida for an indeterminate amount of time, he spent the past few months at the Dogs and Cats Forever animal shelter before recently being adopted. His new caregivers are Chuck and Chantal Gray and their ten-year old son, Brandon.

At the Gray household, Winky Sam will join Dolly, a five-year old beagle with epilepsy, a loquacious Quaker parrot, two birds, and a fish. For feline company, he will have Jet, a cat which Chuck rescued from Witham Field in Stuart where he works. Oddly enough, Winky Sam will be taking the place of a diabetic cat who was also rescued from the airport and lived with the Grays for six years before dying four months ago.

Shelter officials told the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale that a birth defect was most likely responsible for the enlargement of his right eye. This necessitated its removal and the suturing shut of the eyelids (See Photo) in order to save his life. When it rains it pours, however, and ultrasound has revealed that the playful two-year old buff tabby's left retina is detaching and that he will soon lose the sight in his left eye also. This is one reason why shelter officials were so happy to see him find a new home now. Although it is not known how soon it will be before Winky Sam goes completely blind, hopefully he will have enough time in order to acquaint himself with his new surroundings and housemates while he still has his sight.

An ad placed earlier with petfinder.com by Dogs and Cats Forever stated that Winky Sam does not get along well with other cats and dogs and that he should be the only animal in his new home. If this is so, why did the shelter give him to the Grays? With his vision problems, he has enough troubles without fighting with other cats and dogs. Moreover, there is something inherently suspicious about individuals who collect animals and children. No matter how much money or how many servants a person may have, caregivers nonetheless have only so much time and attention to devote to each animal and child under their care; ergo, the greater the number of dependants, the less time and care there is to go around.

It is hoped that everything will work out for Winky Sam at the Grays but the situation is nonetheless troubling.

Photo: Dogs and Cats Forever

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nine-Week-Old Kitten Nicknamed Archer Recovering After Being Shot With Crossbow Near Tampa

A nine-week old kitten nicknamed Archer was seriously injured on August 17th when he was shot with a bolt fired from a crossbow in the Tampa suburb of Tarpon Springs. The twelve-inch metal and plastic arrow missed his tiny heart by centimeters but broke one of his ribs, punctured a lung, and pierced his liver.

Luckily for the one-pound, black and white male kitten, he was discovered the following morning by Kathy Powers who operates Tropic Sign and Shirts at 720 Wesley Avenue. Powers, who has been feeding Archer since his birth, promptly rushed him to Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists in Largo where surgeon Matt Oakes removed the arrow. He sutured the lung back together and the liver is expected to heal on its own.

Archer, now recovering from surgery (See Photo), is once again eating and drinking. He also has a home waiting for him once he leaves the vet. Powers, who also feeds eight to ten other cats who live near her store, has announced plans to adopt him. "It's a miracle he lived, considering the size of that dart, it's a miracle. He's got a really strong will to live," she said.

On Friday, August 19th, nineteen year old Stephen H. Cockerill of Palm Harbor was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after two of his teenage buddies ratted him out to the Tarpon Springs Police. He was released later that day from the Pinellas County Jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

According to reports in the St. Petersburg Times, Cockerill also shot at a second cat but, fortunately, missed. Built like a bull with a ruddy-complexioned face, short brown hair, and a goatee, Cockerill certainly looks like a prototypical Southern redneck.

No trial date has been announced and when his case does come before a judge he will most likely get off with a fine. The lives and safety of animals do not count for much in the eyes of the law although the petit fait that more than five-hundred people telephoned the authorities offering their assistance with the investigation demonstrates that a sizable percentage of the public at large cares deeply about animals. More importantly, it sends a clear message to all cat abusers in the Tampa area that attacking kittens with crossbows will not be tolerated.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Brave Orange Tabby Cat Dubbed Hopalong Cassidy Loses a Limb to a Leghold Trap in British Columbia

A beautiful orange tabby shorthair cat from Ellison, British Columbia lost his right leg to an old leghold trap earlier this month. The cat, nicknamed Hopalong Cassidy, was discovered dragging along the trap by an employee of a golf course who immediately rushed it to Dr. Marco Veenis of the Okanagan Veterinary Hospital.

Unfortunately, the leg was so damaged that it had to be amputated. The kindhearted groundskeeper was left devastated by the ordeal.

Based upon the severity of the damage to the leg, it is estimated that Hopalong had been dragging around the steel trap with him for two to three days and officials consider it a miracle that he even survived. Although he must have been in excruciating pain, the brave little cat still had enough presence of mind in order to drag himself to a place where he could be found.

The surgery, which normally would have cost around $1,100 was significantly discounted by Veenis and paid for by the SPCA's Biscuit Fund which was set up to cover emergencies such as this. Ellison is a rural community about twenty minutes outside of Kelowna and approximately 112 kilometers north of Seattle.

Hopalong was initially taken to the Casorso Road Shelter while the SPCA attempted to locate his owners. (See photo above of him with the attendants.)

It is believed that the two to five year old cat once had a home but that he had been fending for himself for sometime. Although he is timid and frightens easily, he nonetheless appears to find human voices soothing.

Since his previous owners did not come forward, Hopalong was recently adopted and his new family has changed his name to Tiger Woods since he was found at a golf course. Although he is still getting used to being around people again as well as having to learn to walk on three legs, Hopalong will hopefully now be able to find the happiness that he so richly deserves.

Meanwhile, the SPCA continues to search for the owner of the leghold trap. "I don't understand how someone could put a trap like that out. Whether it's a cat, a raccoon or a gopher, it's hideous, painful, and ugly. I can't believe it could be accidental. It was an old, old trap, but they still had a helluva time getting it off," Kathy Woodward, a constable with the Kelowna SPCA told The Daily Courier.

Leghold traps and their even deadlier cousins, body gripper traps, should be outlawed. Not only are they inhumane but they seldom work properly. Instead of ensuring quick and painless deaths as they are advertised to do, they most often yield agonizingly slow exterminations where their victims eventually succumb to either blood loss, infections, or predation.

These kinds of traps are not fit to be used against even wild animals. Worst still, there is always the chance that someone's companion animal will either be killed or maimed by one of them.

Photo: Kelowna SPCA.

Monday, August 15, 2005

South Koreans Clone World's First Dog; Vivisectors and Stem Cell Proponents See $$$

The race to clone the world's first canine has been won by a team of scientists from Seoul National University who recently announced that they had successfully cloned an Afghan Hound.

The black, tan, and white puppy (pictured alongside his genetic dad) was born back in April and has been named Snuppy, which is an acronym for Seoul National University Puppy. He was cloned from a cell taken from the ear of his three year old genetic father. The embryo was then transplanted into the womb of a Golden Labrador Retriever where it was carried for the normal gestation period of sixty days before being delivered by cesarean section. Although cloned animals are often born with severe birth defects and seldom live for very long, Snuppy so far appears to be completely healthy.

This breakthrough -- if it can be called that? -- was quite a coup for the South Koreans in that Lou Hawthorne's Genetic Savings and Clone of Sausalito, CA has been unsuccessfully attempting to clone a dog for seven years. The obstacles are formidable. For starters, female dogs, or bitches as they are often called, go into heat only twice a year and, unlike women, cannot be made to produce ripe eggs via injections of estrogen. Therefore, researchers must test the bitches on an ongoing basis for increased levels of the hormone progesterone which indicates ovulation. Once the tests confirm that a dog is in heat, she is anesthetized and the eggs are surgically removed. This process, quite obviously, requires the use and abuse of hundreds of dogs. Scientists then use a high-tech microscope called a micromanipulator to extract the DNA from the eggs and to replace it with the donor DNA. This is a tedious and grossly inefficient process which leads to the destruction of many of the eggs. Electrical shock is then used to fuse the donated skin cells to the eggs.

In Snuppy's case, fourteen-hundred embryos were created but only 1,095 of them were deemed suitable for implantation. Scientists then grouped together between five and twelve embryos and surgically implanted them in the wombs of 123 surrogate dogs. This process is made all the more tricky by the fact that the surrogate mothers must be in heat themselves in order for the process to work. It is unclear where these dogs came from and, more importantly, what happened to their eggs. Are they surgically removed or are these the same dogs who donated the eggs in the first place? Sonograms taken after implantation revealed that only three of the embryos were growing into fetuses and one of these later miscarried. Snuppy and one other puppy managed to survive until full-term but the other puppy died of pneumonia twenty-two days after birth. With only one of the 123 pregnancies producing a healthy cloned dog that equates to a success rate of only 0.09 per cent. More importantly, cloning, like transgenics, is excruciatingly painful for the animals involved. In particular, cloned fetuses are usually larger than normal ones and this makes for exceedingly painful -- and often deadly -- deliveries for both the mothers and fetuses.

Back in 1996, Dolly the sheep (named after Dolly Parton) was the first animal to be cloned, but since then cows, goats, pigs, deer, horses, baboons, mice, rabbits, mules, and cats have been genetically reproduced. Wealthy octogenarian John Sperling of the University of Phoenix Online (known for its irritating pop-up ads) lavishly funded a joint effort by Genetic Savings and Clone and Texas A&M University to clone his mixed-breed dog, Missy. When that proved not to be yet feasible the Texas team turned its attention to cats and in 2001 CC, short for Carbon Copy, was born to her surrogate mother Allie from DNA donated by her genetic mother, Rainbow. Today, she is four years old and lives with her cloner, Dr. Duane Kraemer (see picture below), who adopted her at the age of six months. She appears to be healthy but apparently she has been unable to conceive. Since then Genetic Savings and Clone has cloned several other cats and has announced plans to go into the retailing of cloned cats and, later, dogs.

With costs ranging anywhere from $50,000 for a cloned cat to a $100,000 or more for a cloned dog, it is unlikely that the cloning of companion animals will ever be big business although scientific advancements in the future could drive down prices considerably. Moreover, with ten million cats and seven million dogs being exterminated at shelters in the United States each year cloning is not merely absurd but immoral as well.

In the meantime, the Korean team's success has vivisectors in America salivating at the mouth. One group wants to employ canine versions of embryonic stem cells to test human stem cell therapies. Another group is eyeing the more than four-hundred breeds of dogs as incubators in which to study human diseases. They reason that canine clones with specific diseases will aid them in understanding the molecular structure of these ailments and that furthermore this knowledge is applicable to the treatment of similar diseases in humans. In support of their case they argue that insulin was first discovered in dogs and that open-heart surgery was initially practiced on canines. Hundreds of thousands of dogs are already butchered each year by vivisectors so that they can test out new drugs and surgical procedures but the fact that these atrocities are permitted does not mean that they are necessarily useful or that alternative testing procedures are not available. Moreover, no one with an ounce of either morality or compassion would cut up an animal in the name of science.

There cannot be any doubt, however, that biomedical research involving cloned dogs will put untold billions of dollars into the already bulging pockets of vivisectors and lead to millions of defenseless dogs being horribly carved up, tortured, and mutilated by the latter-day Doctor Moreaus of the scientific community. This is after all America: anything and everything is permissible, no matter how immoral, in the pursuit of a buck.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) of Jenkintown, PA, which has unsuccessfully lobbied the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to regulate cloning, was quick to condemn the news from Seoul. "This announcement is bad news for dogs and further demonstrates the significant animal welfare problems associated with cloning," Crystal Miller-Spiegel said in a press release.

The classic understatement of the day belongs, quite appropriately, to the English. Freda Scott-Park of the British Veterinary Association, is quoted in The Independent as saying, "Cloning of animals raises many ethical and moral issues that have still to be properly debated." Seeing as how more than a dozen different species of animals have already been genetically duplicated, cloning looks more and more like a fait accompli than a debate topic.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Virginia Woman Caught Hoarding 105 Cats; Montana Woman Discovered with 75 Cats and 14 Dogs

Between July 13-20, Fairfax County officials removed one-hundred-five cats from a Lorton, Virginia residence. Some of the felines were being held in crates without food and water while others were roaming freely in and out of the house. Litter boxes were overflowing and feces were everywhere.

All of the unfortunate cats were exterminated by officials who lamely attempted to justify their barbarism on the grounds that the felines were either sick (upper respiratory ailments, eye infections, malnutrition, etc.) or feral. Being in poor health and wild should not be a capital offense; the real criminals are the cat killers.

The occupants of the house at 8628 Lorfax Drive, seventy-one year old Margaret Gaffney and forty year old Walter Gaffney have been charged with animal cruelty but they likely will get off with a slap-on-the-wrists fine; the cat exterminators will not even get that.

On July 15th, sixty year old Judith Space of Kalispell, Montana was charged with animal cruelty after the Sheriff's Department discovered seventy-five cats, fourteen dogs, and several rabbits in her Fairmont Road residence. Kalispell is a small town of 15,000 people north of Missoula.

Many of the animals were without food and water. As was the case at the Gaffneys, some of the cats were confined to cages whereas others were able to come and go as they saw fit through an open window. Feces and garbage were six inches deep throughout the house.

Space's case will be heard by the Flathead County Justice Court but in the meantime she has been allowed to retain custody of the animals. Should she be convicted the animals will be taken to shelters where just about all of them will be exterminated. Some of the cats reportedly already suffer from eye infections.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Jeremy Rifkin's Der Spiegel Interview Offers No Real Solutions for Either Europe or the World

Because he has had some kind things to say about animals in the past, Jeremy Rifkin is usually worth reading. However, the best that can be said for his recent six-part interview with Der Spiegel is that his intellectual tour de force was underwhelming.

First of all, he offers absolutely no practicable advice as to how Europe can get out of the constitutional crisis that it now finds itself in. He skirts all of the major issues. Zum Beispiel, what should the scope of the EU be? What nations should be included and which ones should be excluded? Accordingly, how are traditional rivalries and suspicions, such as those which exist between Frankreich and Old Blighty, to be overcome? In discussing economic matters he recommends the Scandinavian model as a halfway house between the Anglo-American model and the French and German socialist systems but he does not offer any details as to how this mixing of diverse systems would work or could even be realized. Tant pis, he is completely silent as to what Europe should do about the current Verfassung. From abroad, it looks as if Europe is going to have to start over from the beginning unless the political and economic elite decide to junk democracy altogether and impose the constitution by legislative fiat.

On matters as diverse as employment, energy, and immigration, Rifkin makes even less sense. In one of the articles he writes that the solution to Arbeitslosigkeit is job-sharing, i. e., instead of one person working forty hours a week, two people would work twenty hours each. This is in itself nonsense in that one reason unemployment is so high in Deutschland and elsewhere is because employers are shedding workers (outsourcing, hiring immigrants, automating, etc.); also, fewer workers mean lower payroll taxes and health care costs for employers. Nonetheless, after having said all of that, Rifkin continues in the next breath to say that Europe needs fifty to one-hundred million new immigrants. If Europe does not have enough jobs for its own people why then does it need more immigrants? In the United States, the capitalists love immigrants because they want cheap labor and the thrill of running a plantation. Also, immigration creates the need for new schools, hospitals, mass transportation, housing, basic necessities, etc., all of which not only stimulate the economy but also substantially increase employment in the public sector. Of course, the money for increased governmental spending has to come from somewhere and in the United States it comes from sky-high property taxes (some people are actually being taxed out of their own homes!) and loans from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. It is therefore difficult to see what Rifkin's pro-immigration policy is going to do for the five million workers unemployed in Deutschland and the ten per cent of the French workforce without jobs.

With regard to his so-called third sector economy, it appears that he is talking about starving artists. If he is proposing that artists should be paid for simply being artists, where is this money to come from? Secondly, although the mass media are growing in size every day because of both increased demand and monopolization, the number of creative jobs ( writing, thinking, performing, etc.) is actually shrinking. Zum Beispiel, in the United States seven conglomerates control a lion's share of all book publishing, four record labels dominate the music business, and Clear Channel owns more than sixteen-hundred radio stations and is the booking agent for just about all popular music concerts. Capitalists and fascists are not in the habit of cultivating divergent views.

As far as cultural integration is concerned, Rifkin offers up the model of the Peace Corps to what he calls the "Erasmus Generation." It is difficult, however, to see how this would ever work since Europeans cannot even get along with themselves let alone with the Muslims. Moreover, the continuing strife between Americans, Angles, Europeans, and Jews on the one side and Muslims on the other side makes this proposal all the more impractical. Besides, who is going to pay the "Erasmus Generation" for their time and trouble?

Rifkin's energy and environmental proposals are also farfetched. First of all, his call for a switch from fossil fuels to a hydrogen economy would only be feasible if some cost efficient method of producing hydrogen from either wind or solar energy could be developed. Under George Bush's plan to develop a hydrogen-powered automobile, ninety per cent of the energy needed to produce the hydrogen would come from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas; the remaining ten per cent would be supplied by nuclear power. Leaving that aside for the moment, it is doubtful that any industrialized economy is going to invest heavily in alternative energies so long as there is a drop of crude left in the ground. Ergo, it looks like wars, terrorism, and the destruction of the environment are going to plague the world for some time to come.

All of the questions confronting Europe and the world today are first and foremost questions of power. It is impossible to change the world's politics, economics, or much of anything else for that matter without radically altering how power is disbursed and this can only be achieved through revolutions. The world today is run by and for the benefit of those in power. Rifkin knows this as well as everybody else; it is merely verboten to admit it. Globalism is the fascism, colonialism, imperialism, and the old plantation system of yesteryear dressed up in new clothes and out on the town is search of the world's cheapest labor and natural resources, the lowest taxes, the least amount of social responsibility, and the weakest environmental and worker safety laws. The capitalists own not merely the means of production but all politicans, journalists and, tant pis, the election processes too. In an article back in May for Die Zeit, Guenter Grass was right on the money when he called "der Macht des Kapitals ... eines neuen Totalitarismus"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Barbaric Australians Come Up with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats

The cat-hating chaps from Down Under have outdone themselves this time around. In a campaign almost surely guaranteed to solidify its position as one of the world's most barbaric and backward nations, Australia has proudly announced that it has come up with a very ingenious new poison to asphyxiate feral cats.

Officials plan to lace kangaroo meat and chicken fat with paraaminopropiophenone (PAPP), a deadly chemical which robs the blood of oxygen. The chemical was originally developed by the military to treat radiation sickness and cyanide poisoning. As clever as a gang of genocidal maniacs and not about to miss a trick, officials plan to inaugurate the poisonings during the winter months when food is scarcest.

These diabolical monsters from Down Under have already tried out their poison on God only knows how many laboratory cats so they are, quite naturally, confident that they have found the silver bullet which will allow them to eradicate all feral cats in Australia. Twenty minutes after eating the poison the cats become lethargic and they are unconscious twenty minutes later and dead within an hour. The only positive thing which can be said for PAPP is that it works considerably faster than the rodenticide known as Compound 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) which the Cobbers have been using on the cats; it, for instance, can take as long as twenty-four hours to kill a cat.

Officials also plan on molding the bait into hard pellets shaped like cocktail sausages (See Top Photo) so as not to harm the native species they are allegedly trying to protect. They are doing this because cats tend to swallow their food whole whereas other animals who carefully chew theirs will spit out the pellets once they discover that they cannot chew them.

The poisonings are expected to commence before the end of the year and plans are already being formulated to extend the mass slaughter to wild dogs and foxes.

The Cobbers and their neighbors to the south, the Kiwis, have been waging a war against feral cats for some years now because they allege that the cats are killing too many native birds and mammals. This may be true to a certain extent but other animals, both native and non-native species, also kill mammals and birds as do men, pollution, and development. As it has so often been the case in the past, cats are being made the scapegoats for a complex problem.

Many Australian ailurophobes attempt to justify their slaughter of cats on the basis that they are an invasive species. This deliberate shortsightedness omits the petit fait that cats were brought to Australia in the 1800s by settlers. Furthermore, it was the Cobbers themselves who began releasing cats into the wild as early as the 1850s in order to control the population of rabbits, mice, rats, and other small animals. So, after hundreds of years of protecting their food stores at home, grain silos, and helping to prevent the spread of disease by controlling the population of mice, birds, and other animals this is the thanks they get.

The cleverly concocted PAPP is not the Cobbers' first attempt at exterminating feral cats. They and the Kiwis already make a sport out of shooting them (See Middle Photo) and monetary prizes and honors are bestowed on those individuals who kill the most cats. They are so proud of their barbarism that they even hang their trophies from trees (See Bottom Photo Taken at William Creek, Australia) as a warning to would-be cat dumpers. Having grown too lazy and cheap to spend their precious shekels on shooting, trapping, and fencing, the Aussies have now embarked upon a sophisticated poisoning campaign as their wickedness du jour.

Based on their history, the Australians' treatment of cats is not surprising. Like the English in North America and the Spanish in Central and South America, they too conquered the land that they now call home through the use of systematic genocide and wholesale thievery directed against the indigenous population. Historically, they have ruthlessly exploited the Melanesian nations of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji. More recently they have targeted their imperialistic designs on long suffering East Timor and tiny Nauru.

As Charles Dickens reminds us, the Cobbers are products of Old Blighty's penal system and although they have long ago shed their prison fatigues, a convict seldom ever changes his stripes. In fact, the English gutter remains indelibly etched into these cat-hating Cobbers' black hearts.