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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

Monday, February 26, 2007

Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, a Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap

Janice L. Rolfe Is Once Again Able to Feed Fluffy
"Le temps passe avec un chat n'est jamais perdu."
-- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
The ongoing war against feral cats is heating up. Most recently a kindhearted retired English teacher from Grandview Heights, Ohio found herself in the dock for putting out food and providing shelter for a feral cat named Fluffy.

Janice L. Rolfe began feeding the cat about five years ago after she witnessed a motorist dump it in the woods of nearby Hilliard. Already the owner of three cats, she elected not to take possession of Fluffy but she did impose upon a friend to construct a shelter for it so that it would not freeze to death during Ohio's brutally cold winters.

All went well for both Fluffy and Rolfe until no-good Hilliard Police Officer Shane O'Connor stumbled upon what she was doing on December 13th. After observing her actions from a distance, this latter-day Scrooge took pictures of the food and shelter after she had driven away and used them as the basis for charging her with littering and illegally providing shelter for an animal.

In addition to the angst associated with being branded as a criminal for her selfless act of compassion, Rolfe was forced to spring for a shyster and to go to court. Fortunately, she selected a good one in Mark A. Serrott who on February 21st was able to convince Hilliard Prosecutor Kelleen Roth to drop all charges against his client.

Appearing in Hilliard Mayor's Court, he successfully argued that city law bans only the sheltering of livestock, not cats, and that feeding a cat is not littering. "People don't get prosecuted for acts of human kindness," he later told The Columbus Dispatch on February 22nd. (See "Justice Served for Stray Cat's Caring Caterer.")

Kerry Manion, chief of animal law enforcement at the Capital Area Humane Society, told the newspaper that in twenty years on the job he had never heard of an individual being cited for caring for just one feline. "This is a person who is taking care of an existing problem," he said.

Rolfe Has Been Put Through Quite an Ordeal

That may very well be a fair statement as far as it goes, but the attitude of officials and residents in and around Columbus toward colonies of feral cats is considerably less than hospitable. For instance, back in 2005 ungrateful officials targeted a dozen feral cats who were living on the grounds of the state Capitol even though they had successfully cleansed the ancient facility of rodents. (See Cat Defender post of October 20, 2005 entitled, "After Ridding Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction.")

As for Rolfe, she has now returned to the woods to attend to Fluffy's needs and this is hopefully the end of both of their travails.

Elsewhere around the country conditions are not nearly so rosy for either feral cats or their caretakers. In addition to the usual assortment of bird lovers, wildlife proponents, and ailurophobes who have placed a reward on the head of every cat, innumerable municipalities are enacting anti-feeding and anti-roaming laws. Some locales even have gone so far as to require that cats be walked on leashes, licensed, vaccinated, and microchipped.

Although public health and safety concerns are often invoked in order to attempt to justify these draconian measures, all of them are the product of a deep-seated hatred of cats that is as old as time immemorial. The purpose behind them is to cut off the cats' food supply and thus to starve them to death. (See Cat Defender posts of September 29, 2006 and November 9, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Avenal State Prison Reverts to Its Old Ailurophobic Ways by Scrapping TNR Program and Cutting Off Cats' Food Supply" and "Florida Ailurophobes and Politicians Are Attempting to Kill Two-Hundred Felines by Closing a Sanctuary.")

This society's mistreatment of feral cats is reminiscent of how it treats the poor. Prohibitions against panhandling, loitering, and vagrancy are part and parcel of the same genre of laws as anti-feeding ordinances.

The case in Hilliard also highlights the fact that there are rogue elements within every police department. Rogue cops are like serial killers and rapists in that they are constantly on the lookout for someone to victimize. Some of them behave in this fashion because they are bucking for a promotion; others do it for the pleasure that they derive from doing evil.

More importantly, Rolfe was able to prevail in court because she had the money in order to retain a shyster to advocate on her behalf; this is not, unfortunately, always feasible for all feral cat caretakers. As it has always been, the legal system remains closed to the powerless whether they are cats or humans. Le plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Photos: The Columbus Dispatch.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Born Without Eyes and Later Abandoned, Humble Kitten Appropriately Named Angel Has Hope for a Brighter Tomorrow


"Kittens are angels with whiskers."
-- Anonymous

Neither nature nor humans are always kind to cats. Like some men and women, they are occasionally the victims of outrageous coups du sort. Such is the fate of four-week-old Angel.

She most likely knew her mother for only a few days before she was cruelly taken from her for some unknown reason. She then fell into the clutches of a heartless individual who dumped her at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

These events are not unusual in themselves. Millions of cats are born homeless every year and, worst still, many of them lose their mothers soon thereafter to exterminators, ailurophobes, motorists, and other predators. Mercifully, most feral cats are born whole and about twenty per cent of them are able to survive on their own.

A kitten born in the wild with a severe handicap, however, has little chance of surviving, especially if she is born without eyes as was the case with Angel.

In spite of her cruel fate, the brave little kitten is making the best of an extremely difficult situation. "You almost don't know she can't see until you look at her eyes," shelter worker Cecily Joque told KOMO-TV of Seattle on February 16, 2007. (See "Cat Born with No Eyes, but You'd Never Know by Watching Her.")

Other than being unable to see, she behaves pretty much like any other kitten. She is energetic, likes toys, and wants to be with people. "She's not missing anything if you think about it," Joque added. "She's got a very good sense of where she is."

This is because she, like blind men and women, uses her other senses in order to get around and to avoid tumbling off the edges of tables and other high places. "She can smell and she can hear. So if you're standing by her cage, she'll grab your pants leg. Or if you're cleaning a cage above her or right next to her, she'll reach out and grab your hair. Or anything else she can get her little paws on," Joque related.

Although Angel's horrendously bad luck took a turn for the better when she arrived at the Tacoma shelter, she is far from being out of the woods. She is slated to undergo surgery in order to remove her tear ducts and to sew shut her eyelids. The procedures, which are being provided gratis by Dr. Tim Gintz of Pacific Avenue Vet, are designed to prevent infections.

She will require about a month to recuperate and then she will be put up for adoption. Additional information is available at www.thehumanesociety.org and a video of her can be found on KOMO-TV's website.

If the surgery is successful and she is placed in a loving home there is not any reason that she cannot have a long and happy life. Winky Sam found himself in a similar situation but things eventually turned around for him. (See Cat Defender post of August 25, 2005 entitled "Winky Sam, a Cat with Only One Eye and Steadily Going Blind, Finally Finds a Home in Port St. Lucie.")

Other cats have learned to live with a wide range of disabilities. A kitten named Zoe had her ears deliberately cut off last autumn in Texas but she nonetheless survived and a deaf Angora cat named Stone somehow made it through last summer's fighting in Lebanon. (See Cat Defender posts of October 27, 2006 and January 11, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Tiny Kitten Named Zoe Has Her Ears Cut Off by Fiends but Texas Police Do Not Seem to Care" and "Deaf Angora Cat Named Stone Survives the War in Lebanon to Find a New Home in Illinois.")

Other cats, such as Tripod and Opie, have lost limbs to automobiles and gone on to lead productive lives. (See Cat Defender posts of February 9, 2006 and November 2, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont" and "Three-Legged, Bobtailed Cat Named Opie Melts the Hearts of Hardened Criminals at Rural Tennessee Prison.") Even Hopalong Cassidy was able to overcome losing a limb in a deadly leghold trap. (See Cat Defender post of August 18, 2005 entitled "Brave Orange Tabby Cat Dubbed Hopalong Cassidy Loses Limb to Leghold Trap in British Columbia.")

Whereas many shelters and veterinarians continue to view a disability as just one more reason to kill a cat or a dog, the fact that some of them are beginning to recognize that these animals have a right to both treatment and life is an extremely positive development. Both the Tacoma shelter and Dr. Gintz are therefore to be commended for the compassion that they have shown Angel.

Her valiant struggle to live in spite of the monumental odds against her is not only an inspiration to all cat lovers but a poignant reminder of just how fortunate all animals, man included, are to be born intact and healthy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed these sentiments rather well when he wrote:
"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter at night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything, Thy goodness sends."

Photo: KOMO-TV.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Stray Cat Ignominiously Named Stinky Is Rescued from a Rooftop by Good Samaritans After the Fire Department Refuses to Help

A black stray cat ignominiously dubbed Stinky was rescued from a steep rooftop in New Albany, Indiana on February 9th by two kindhearted brothers who gave up their lunch hours in order to save him. The frightened and hungry feline had been trapped on the roof for three days. (See photo above.)

After about forty-five minutes of fruitless tossing, Christopher Drake, assisted by his brother David, was able to snare the marooned cat with a lasso that he had threaded through a section of PVC pipe. (See middle photo). He then reeled him in like a prized trout and carried him down the ladder to safety. (See bottom photo.)

Once he landed on terra firma, Stinky scampered away and took sanctuary underneath a parked truck. He was later coaxed out of hiding by an offer of food.

"Once he calms down, he's got a home if he wants one," Drake told the News and Tribune of nearby Jeffersonville on February 10th. (See "Cat Stuck Atop Steep Roof Gets Rescued by Innovative Neighbors.") Since he already has a cat of his own, Drake is also willing to surrender Stinky to a good home.

The cat, who has been a fixture in the small suburban Louisville town since last summer, received his derogatory sobriquet allegedly because of his poor hygiene. Since cats, even strays, are known for their fastidiousness, Drake's slander has done the cat a huge disservice. At the very least he should give Stinky a more dignified appellation.

Drake's heroics were necessitated because the New Albany Fire Department is too lazy to be bothered with rescuing cats. Deputy Fire Chief Stan Mason defended his department's abdication of duty by arguing that citizens had complained about it trimming trees at taxpayers' expense during past rescues. He also groused that even cat owners had complained about broken tree limbs.

The attitude of the New Albany Floyd County Animal Control and Shelter is every bit as appalling. According to its director, David Hall, its employees are not permitted to climb trees because the department's insurance does not cover such exigencies.

According to the News-Tribune, the prevailing attitude amongst officials in New Albany is to wait until trapped cats either come down on their own accord or plunge to their deaths. On at least one occasion the city has hired a professional tree-climber in order to rescue a stranded feline, but it most likely passed along the cost of this service to the cat's owner.

The position taken by both departments is preposterous. If a man or a woman were trapped on a roof or in a tree it is doubtful that they would be allowed to shirk their duties by concocting lame excuses. More importantly, it is not in the best interests of governmental officials to force cat owners to rescue their pets from trees and buildings.

First of all, cats are citizens too and as such they are every bit as much entitled to police, fire, and emergency medical assistance as are humans. Secondly, forcing amateurs to climb trees and to scale tall buildings is not only dangerous to the rescuers themselves but to bystanders on the ground below. Thirdly, city and county officials could be held liable in court for dereliction of duty in the event that someone is injured.

In conclusion, rescuing stranded cats always has been deemed to be the responsibility of fire departments. Moreover, not only are these types of rescues considerably less hazardous than fighting fires but they have the added benefit of engendering a considerable amount of goodwill.

The do-nothing attitude of the officials involved in this case is nothing peculiar to New Albany. Rather, it is symptomatic of a growing trend all across the country whereby both politicians and bureaucrats attend to the needs of only themselves and the rich and powerful who put them in office in the first place.

It does not make any sense for taxpayers to continue to hand over their hard-earned dollars year after year to governments that work against them, the animals, and Mother Earth. The cats and citizens of New Albany deserve better treatment than they received in this instance.

Photos: Kevin McGloshen of the News and Tribune.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Marmalade Receives a Tepid Homecoming After Having Been Missing for Eleven Years

A handsome Australian cat named Marmalade has been reunited with his family in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick after an eleven-year hiatus thanks to an implanted microchip.

Allegra Strauss (See photos above of her and Marmalade) got the surprise of her life when the Lost Dogs Home in nearby Werribee telephoned on February 5th to inform her that it had rescued the long-lost feline. "I think the owner had a bit of a shock," Graeme Smith, managing director of the rescue organization, told the Herald Sun of Melbourne on February 8th. (See " 'Curious' Cat Returns to Owners After 11 Years.")

Unless Marmalade suddenly learns to speak English like H.H. Munro's Tobermory, it is likely that his whereabouts during the past decade will remain for ever a mystery. "We have no idea where he has been this whole time," Allegra told the Herald Sun.

The fact that he has not only survived all these years but is in excellent health is an indication that he was well cared for by someone during his long absence. Although a longhaired cat named Sneakers was returned to his owner last year after having been missing for ten years, Marmalade's lengthy absence appears to have set a new record. (See Cat Defender post of June 12, 2006 entitled "Given Up for Dead, Sneakers Is Reunited with His Owner After Having Gone AWOL Ten Years Ago.")

Much has changed at the Strauss household since Marmalade has been away. Not only is Allegra now a teen but he will have to share his turf with two other cats, Teapot and Little Meow, that the Strausses have taken in during his absence.

As amazing as this reunion is, it is nonetheless distressing that the truant feline has been welcomed back with something less than open arms. In point of fact, Allegra seems so anxious to get shed of Marmalade that she has already announced that she would be willing to part with him should his previous caretaker surface. "I'd hate to think that another family is worried about their missing cat," she told the Herald Sun.

Statements such as that raise questions about Marmalade's original disappearance. Since according to the Herald Sun he vanished from a "friend's house where he was being looked after," it is fair to ask what he was doing there in the first place? Moreover, why were the Strausses so derelict in their responsibilities toward him?

Marmalade is a fine looking cat who has gone through a lot of travails over the years and he certainly deserves a good home, whether it be with the Strausses or with somebody else.

Beginning May 1st, the state of Victoria will be mandating that all cats and dogs within its jurisdiction be microchipped. This is not a feline and canine safety measure, however; it is aimed instead at protecting wildlife at the expense of domestic pets and their owners.

More importantly, it provides the Australian authorities with another convenient excuse to exterminate all cats that they deem to be homeless. (See Cat Defender posts of August 11, 2005 and January 6, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Barbaric Australians Come Up with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats" and "DNA Tests Confirm That 'Big Cat' Killed in Australia Was a Feral Tabby and Not a Puma.") They have already killed off twenty-five-hundred feral cats on Macquarie. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2006 entitled "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie.")

Although microchips are touted as harmless, many cats have developed vaccine associated sarcomas (VAS) as the result of, often unnecessary, inoculations. No such problems have been identified with microchips so far but since implanting them is an invasive procedure they merit monitoring.

Perhaps more importantly, they are not a very effective way of keeping track of pets. Since private citizens do not own scanners, microchips are only effective if a lost pet is picked up by a shelter or rescue group that has a scanner. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.") Close personal supervision remains the only surefire method of ensuring the safety of cats and dogs.

Photo: Herald Sun.

Monday, February 12, 2007

God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly While Students Are Away on Christmas Break

"As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right."
-- Issac Bashevis Singer

The administrators at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania are a devious and deadly bunch of thoroughgoing scoundrels. While their thirty-seven-hundred students were away on Christmas break, they swooped down like hawks on the suburban Philadelphia campus's defenseless feral cats and had every one of them killed. (See photo above of Heritage Hall.)

Despite the Baptist school's claim on its website that it "integrates faith, reason, and justice" into its curriculum, there was never any debate about the immorality of this barbaric act nor any discussion of the multitude of humane alternatives at its disposal. More astonishingly, there is not any evidence that school administrators either consulted their Bibles or prayed to God before they committed their crimes. Returning students were simply presented with a fait accompli of dead cats. (See photo below on the right of one of the victims.)

Like the overwhelming majority of the phonies, frauds, intellectual midgets, and moral bankrupts who make up the administrative and professorial ranks on college campuses, Eastern's leaders were far too cowardly to do the foul deed themselves. Instead they passed the buck to the phony-baloney Delaware County SPCA which was more than happy to oblige them. After all, the "P" in SPCA really stands for "Promotion" rather than "Prevention."

Now that the students have returned and questions are being raised concerning the cats' absence, Eastern's public relations machine has gone into overdrive. As one would expect from such skilled exploiters and corrupters of the youth, a tapestry of outright lies, self-serving platitudes, and crocodile tears has been hurriedly stitched together in order that those responsible can cover their bloodstained tracks.

Chief architect of the slaughter Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of Student Development, told The Waltonian on February 7th, "Keeping the cats on campus would be irresponsible and inhumane. Our primary concern is student safety." (See "Eastern Cats Will Meow No More.")

Based on Brigham's warped logic, the only responsible and humane way to deal with feral cats is to remove and kill them. In other words, the only good feral cat is a dead one. It would be interesting to know however if she, a good Baptist, would extend her thinking to include homeless men and women, the elderly, and the sickly?

More importantly, the notion that all feral cats are sickly and thus a danger to the public is a complete fabrication that is trotted out time and time again as a handy excuse to justify extermination. The only disease of concern is rabies and it is found so rarely in cats as to be of almost no consequence.

As far as Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are concerned, cats can live for years with both diseases. The only danger is to other cats, particularly domestic ones, but since it is unlikely that there are any pet cats running loose on campus this threat is minimal.

Being extremely wary of people, feral cats rarely get close enough to humans in order to scratch them. On those rare occasions when attacks do occur it is almost always because the cat was either cornered or being abused in some fashion. For Brigham to claim otherwise proves that she is not only a cat murderer but an inveterate liar as well.

Donna MacIntosh of Plant Operations is an even bigger prevaricator and con artist. "I feel that Plant Operations did the best we could and gave the cats the best chance for survival by taking them to the SPCA," she proclaimed to The Waltonian. "They told me they would accept the cats and they would be evaluated and put up for adoption depending on their adoptability and health."

Brigham and MacIntosh are evil but they are certainly not stupid. They know as well as everyone else that one-hundred per cent of all feral cats trapped and taken to shelters are killed upon arrival -- in not indeed en route; none of them are ever put up for adoption. For Brigham and MacIntosh to claim anything to the contrary is just one more example of their tendency to dissemble.

Actually, feral cats can be socialized to varying degrees but this requires time and effort and it is always easier and cheaper for shelters just to kill them. Besides, to claim otherwise provides another ready-made excuse to kill them.

In order to further camouflage her crimes, MacIntosh felt compelled to shed a few crocodile tears for the benefit of The Waltonian. "It is unfortunate that the cats were euthanized. We had hoped for a much better outcome."

Even student Chelsea Zimmerman, who raised money for the cats, has been so bamboozled by Brigham's and MacIntosh's public relations snow job that she is now drinking the Kool-Aid. "I will miss these cats but as my heart is aching, I know that I did what was best for them."

She is dead wrong, of course. It was her faux pas in bringing this matter to Brigham's attention that sealed the cats' fate. Since they had been living at Eastern for years, the administrators might have allowed them to remain there if she had not asked them to intervene.

The Waltonian is conspicuously silent concerning not only the number of cats that Eastern's highbrows had exterminated, but also on how the cats came to be living on campus in the first place. Although it is conceivable that a few of them may have wandered in or been dumped there by outsiders, the bulk of them were sans doute abandoned by students. Consequently, the university had a moral and legal obligation to them.

As part of this obligation, the university should have furnished them with shelter, food and milk, veterinary care, and vaccinations. If their numbers had become too unwieldy, the school could have instituted a sterilization program.

Eastern's dereliction of duty cannot be blamed on a lack of resources in that it makes a proverbial fortune each semester fleecing its students out of their parents' hard-earned cash. Moreover, since the campus is situated on ninety-two acres of woodland and wetland that features three lakes it has more than enough space to accommodate a few cats.

Also, since administrators and teachers have a surplus of free time on their hands, they could have been put to work feeding and cleaning up after the cats. Of course, it is pretty difficult to get any work out of the intelligentsia unless money is involved. Nonetheless, charity is supposed to be a Christian virtue.

Unfortunately, not only was the university too stingy to do even that much but it also failed abysmally in its obligation to protect the cats from abusers in that, according to the The Waltonian, several of them were deliberately drowned by ailurophobes.

Since the administration was quite obviously unwilling to care for the cats itself, it should have either found loving homes for them or contacted Alley Cat Allies or some other feline rescue group instead of the killers at the SPCA. These groups would have humanely removed them to either barns or managed colonies elsewhere.

Practically every college campus around the world has feral cats. Some of them, such as Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, follow Eastern's horrendous example and kill their cats. (See Cat Defender post of September 11, 2006 entitled "Selfish and Brutal Eggheads at Central Michigan University Target Colony of Feral Cats for Defamation and Eradication.") Others, such as Cornell, fire employees who feed them. (See Cat Defender post of June 14, 2006 entitled "Kindhearted Dairyman, Sacked for Feeding Feral Cats, Files $20 Million Lawsuit Against Cornell University.")

Fortunately, not all universities are run by moral degenerates and ailurophobes. Most prominently, Kate Hofstra left money in her will for the continued care of the cats who live on the Hempstead, New York campus that bears her name. (See The Chronicle of Hofstra, February 3, 2005, "Cats Find Refuge.")

It may be a bastion of conservative thinking, but when it comes to humanely dealing with its homeless cats Stanford University set the gold standard way back in 1989 when it implemented a no-kill, TNR program. Since then the Palo Alto campus's feral cat population (See photo above on the left) has been humanely reduced from around five-hundred to about fifty. (See Palo Alto Weekly, September 29, 2006, "A Home for Lewis.")

At the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), a group of current and former students care for around one-hundred cats. In addition to providing food and shelter, they also vaccinate and sterilize the cats. (See El Paso Times, September 22, 2006, "Effort Helps Control Campus Cat Population.")

At California State University in Northridge (CSUN), a coalition of students, faculty members, and cat-lovers from the surrounding community care for seventy-five cats on the sprawling three-hundred-fifty-six-acre campus. (See Los Angeles Daily News, November 23, 2006, "CatPeople (sic) Struggle to Stay Solvent.")

Since students are not supposed to keep pets in their dorm rooms at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, students instead volunteer to socialize cats and to walk dogs at local shelters and pet stores. This may also help in reducing the number of cats that are abandoned on campus. (See The Daily Iowan, October 2, 2006, "Facility Helps Students Make the Pet Connection.")

With there being so many humane ways of dealing with homeless cats, Eastern University's draconian policy of exterminating them en masse is inexcusable. In addition to being morally reprehensible, it also sets a bad example for the school's students.

Actions always speak louder than words and by its behavior Eastern is saying that it is perfectly all right to kill cats if it is expedient to do so. Noted author Issac Bashevis Singer put it rather well when he once said, "As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right."

By killing the cats on the sly and then concocting ridiculous excuses and lies in order to justify its action, Eastern is providing its students with a valuable lesson on how to get away the commission of unspeakable crimes.

Instead of killing cats and talking out of both sides of their mouths, administrators at Eastern and other universities should be preaching the sanctity of all life and backing up their rhetoric with food, shelter, veterinary care, and protection for cats and other animals that venture onto their campuses.

The crimes of academia's handsomely paid vivisectors are well documented but its mistreatment of feral cats is arguably its dirtiest secret. In Eastern's case, its Machiavellian administrators may have pulled the wool over the eyes of their gullible students but they have not fooled the god that they claim to worship. He has been watching and he is not amused.

Photos: Eastern University (Heritage House), Chelsea Zimmerman of The Waltonian (one of Eastern's former cats), and Stanford Cat Network (cat on campus).

Friday, February 09, 2007

Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs

"It's a disgrace. PETA preaches to everybody not to hurt and kill animals. And they just proved it's OK for them to do it. They're hypocrites."
-- Andrea Press, Responsible Dog Owners of Eastern States.

In a decision that will one day live in infamy alongside such other notable judicial monstrosities as Dred Scott v Sandford and Korematsu v United States, a jury of twelve animal-hating North Carolina boneheads took only three and one-half hours on February 2nd to reach the conclusion that it perfectly legal for diabolical PETA to slaughter en masse totally innocent and healthy cats and dogs so long as it does so without littering.

To make a long story short, the court ruled that North Carolina has a keen interest in keeping private trash receptacles free from the stench of rotting animal carcasses but absolutely none whatsoever in protecting the fragile lives of defenseless cats and dogs. If this same warped logic were applied to humans, genocide would be perfectly legal so long as the mass murderers properly disposed of the corpses afterwards.

The only positive development to come out of this barbaric ruling is that North Carolina's well deserved reputation as the nation's most backward state remains secure.

PETA death squad members Adria Hinkle, 28, and Andrew Cook, 26, were cleared of eight charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty but convicted of one count each of littering for dumping the corpses of their victims in a Dumpster behind a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket in Ahoskie. (See photo above of them celebrating after the verdict.) For the littering infraction, they each received a slap-on-the-wrists ten-day suspended jail sentence and were placed on twelve-months of supervised probation.

They were also fined $1,000 each and ordered to split $5,975.10 in restitution in order to cover the cost of the proper disposal of the dead animals and the storage of evidence. They were additionally sentenced to perform a minuscule fifty-hours of community service.¹ Hopefully, this will not entail working with either cats or dogs in any shape, form, or fashion.

Since PETA footed the bill for the trio of smooth-talking shysters who defended them, it will likely also pay their fines and restitution. They are after all still employed by the organization and it needs all the hired guns that it can get; there are a lot of defenseless cats and kittens as well as dogs and puppies that, in its opinion, need killing.

Other than its out-of-pocket expenses and the confiscation of its "death van" by the Ahoskie Police, PETA got off scot-free.

The coldblooded killers' acquittals were foreshadowed a day earlier on February 1st when lamebrained Hertford County Criminal Superior Court Judge Cy Grant reduced twenty-one counts of criminal animal cruelty to eight misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty. He also dismissed altogether three counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and reduced the littering citations from seven to one.

Grant threw out the felony animal cruelty charges because he ludicrously concluded that the prosecution had not proven either malice or any specific motive in spite of the fact that PETA never once denied perpetrating the slaughters. This is legal sophistry of gargantuan proportions. If a person, without justification, takes the life of another human being or an animal the absence of either motive or malice is irrelevant.

More to the point, several veterinarians and animal shelter employees testified in court that Hinkle and Cook had hoodwinked them into surrendering perfectly healthy cats and dogs by promising to find homes for them. (See Cat Defender post of January 29, 2007 entitled "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom.")

Notwithstanding, Grant also voided the false pretenses charges. Considering the composition of the jury, it may not have ultimately made any difference but the panelists should have been allowed at least to rule on these counts.

Furthermore, it is truly amazing that PETA was originally charged with only twenty-one counts of killing cats and dogs. A police stakeout at the Dumpster revealed that on May 19, 2005 twenty-one dead dogs were dumped there. This was followed by the discovery of the corpses of seventeen dogs and three cats on June 2nd, twenty dogs on June 9th, and twenty-four dogs and fourteen cats on June 15th, the date of the arrests. Hinkle and Cook accordingly should have been charged with the deaths of eighty-two dogs and seventeen cats. (See Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, January 24, 2007, "Testimony Underway (sic) in PETA Trial.")

PETA was, quite naturally, ecstatic that its policy of pet genocide had received the judicial stamp of approval. "Justice was served," Hinkle crowed to USA Today on February 3rd. (See "PETA Workers Cleared of Animal Cruelty.")

PETA mouthpiece Kathy Guillermo told USA Today, "The important thing is the jury recognized they were never guilty of cruelty." She was equally disingenuous when she told WAYV-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia on February 2nd, "These are two people who have dedicated their lives to helping animals."

In victory, the PETA propaganda machine pulled out all the stops. Daphna Nachminovitch, supervisor of the organization's death squads, defended her Sturmtruppen by declaring, "There were no intentions of cruelty, only good intentions to help animals which these two young people have dedicated their lives to. (See photo above of her being questioned earlier in court by Blair Brown, one of Hinkle's shysters.)

Agreeing wholeheartedly with Hinkle, she added, "I feel justice was served. We can now put this behind us and get on with our good work." (See Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, February 2, 2007, "PETA Workers Cleared of Major Charges.") By "good work" she is sans doute referring to slaughtering more cats and dogs.

The lack of condemnation of this hideous miscarriage of justice by cat and dog advocacy groups is a disgrace. The one notable exception was Andrea Press of Responsible Dog Owners of Eastern States who told USA Today, "PETA preaches to everybody not to hurt and kill animals. And they just proved it's okay for them to do it. They're hypocrites."

The jury's unconscionable verdict is considerably less surprising once North Carolina's atrocious animal rights record is examined. Too cheap to spend any real money on housing and adoption services, shelters in the eastern part of the state not only use crude gas chambers (See photo below) and firearms in order to exterminate cats and dogs, but they also purposefully allow thousands more placed under their care to die of hunger, thirst, the elements, and a lack of medical care.

During the ten-day trial, the defense devoted a considerable amount of time attempting to prove that the shelters knew that all animals surrendered to PETA would be killed. Since the capitalist media with the notable exception of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald all but ignored the trial, it is difficult to gauge exactly what the shelters did or did not know.

More than likely they knew more than they admitted at trial, but the record is incontrovertible that Hinkle and Cook lied to them when they promised to find homes for cats and dogs that they later killed. Moreover, it is unlikely that Hinkle and Cook would have been killing animals in the back of their van unless they were attempting to conceal their crimes.

Although Hinkle testified that she and Cook dumped the carcasses because they were stinking up the van, the desire to save some of PETA's blood money was no doubt also a contributing factor. Prosecutor Valerie Mitchell Asbell forced Nachminovitch to admit that PETA pays $15,000 per year to Pet Cremation Services of Tidewater and that works out to around forty to fifty cents per pound of animal flesh. (See Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, January 31, 2007, "DA Probes into PETA Procedures.")

In this light, it is important to remember that PETA admits to having a kill-rate in excess of eighty-six per cent at its Norfolk shelter. Asbell was even able to get Nachminovitch to admit under oath that PETA adopts out very few animals that have the misfortune to enter its shelter.

That is not really surprising in that PETA devotes just about all of its time and resources to hunting down and killing cats and dogs as opposed to sheltering and finding homes for them. That is the easy and cheap way of dealing with homeless cats and dogs.

It is also puzzling as to why the defendants were not charged with the illegal possession of sodium pentobarbital and ketamine since PETA is not authorized to handle, transport, and administer these controlled substances in North Carolina. Furthermore, neither Hinkle nor Cook are licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the Tar Heel State.

The conduct of the Ahoskie Police is also troubling. Since they knew of PETA's crimes as early as May 19, 2005, why did it take them a month to make the arrests? If they had acted sooner some of the cats and dogs that were later found in Piggly Wiggly's Dumpster might still be alive today.

PETA's surprisingly easy triumph in court is not only a setback for the animal rights movement in general but it represents a coup d'grace for countless homeless cats and dogs in North Carolina and elsewhere. The moneygrubbing, sadistic hicks who run the show in North Carolina are not about to either outlaw pet genocide or to significantly improve conditions at shelters.

Tant pis, PETA is still telling lies and exterminating cats and dogs at shelters all across eastern North Carolina. Even those shelters that temporarily stopped doing business with the organization while the criminal proceedings were being played out are now expected to welcome it back with open arms now that the court has given it a clean bill of health and the go ahead to kill more animals.

Nachminovitch told The Virginian Pilot on February 9th that she hoped to restore good relations with all the shelters in the area. "We just want to put this behind us," she added. (See "PETA Looks to Regain Trust After Court Case.")

The most telling example of how the twisted minds at PETA think and operate came during Hinkle's testimony (See photo below) concerning one of Bertie County Animal Control Officer Barry Anderson's pet dogs that he had surrendered to her and Hinkle because he was having difficulty toilet training it. After assuring him that she would find a good home for it, she instead took it back to Norfolk where she promptly killed it. She stopped along the way, however, and took some photographs of the dog gamboling in a field of flowers which she then mailed to Anderson. It was only later that he found out the truth. (See Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, February 2, 2007, "Hinkle Admits to Previous Disposals.")

Although PETA proclaims from the rooftops that it has a right to kill cats and dogs without cause, it is also highly skilled in lying to and deceiving people about its true intentions. Its total lack of morality coupled with its finely honed ability to dissemble makes it a formidable foe for both legitimate animal rights groups and animal lovers alike.

The group's policy of staging publicity stunts where female celebrities and others undress in public demeans both the participants and the animal rights movement as a whole. Contrary to whatever PETA may think, there is a big difference between animal rights and voyeurism. Besides, animals do not go naked; their fur and feathers are their clothing.

In conclusion, no individual or group, no matter how powerful, has a right to target any species of animals or group of individuals for extermination. Today it is homeless cats and dogs, tomorrow it could be elephants and whales, and the day after that it might be homeless men and women, invalids, or just about any animal or person that does not fit into PETA's fascist agenda.

PETA won the court battle in North Carolina but it is up to all cat and dog lovers to make doubly sure that it does not win the war. This can only be achieved by working for the dissolution of this supremely evil, phony-baloney animal rights organization and the incarceration of the homicidal maniacs that comprise its membership.

Photos: Cal Bryant of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald (courtroom celebration and Nachminovitch and Brown), PETA (Bertie County gas chamber), and WVEC-TV, Norfolk (Hinkle in the dock).

¹On April 15, 2008, the North Carolina Court of Appeals threw out the littering convictions against both Hinkle and Cook. (See News and Observer of Raleigh, April 15, 2008, "PETA Workers Cleared of Animal Cruelty (sic) Convictions.")

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fur Traffickers and Vivisectors Are Suspected in the Disappearance of Berlin's Katzen

"Viele Leute wissen nicht, dass sie ihre eigene Katze am Mantel tragen konnten."
-- Marcel Gaeding, Berliner Tierschutzverein

Cats are disappearing by the thousands from the streets of Berlin and it is suspected that they are being stolen by criminal syndicates that either slaughter them for their fur or sell them to vivisectors.

According to Marcel Gaeding of the Berliner Tierschutzverein, around twenty-five-hundred of the city's estimated three-hundred-thousand felines vanish each year and of that number at least five-hundred are unexplained disappearances. Berliners therefore have been advised to lock up their cats.

Cat pelts are used in the manufacture of a wide variety of wearing apparel and accessories including gloves, hats, coats, trousers, shoes, blankets, kidney warmers, pom-poms, and toys. "Viele Leute wissen nich, dass sie ihre eigene Katze am Mantel tragen konnten," Gaeding said after pointing out that items made of cat and dog fur are often marketed as either rabbit or synthetic fur. (See Deutscher Depeschendienst and www.pr-inside.com of Wien, January 24, 2007, "Berlins Katzen leben offenbar gefahrlich.")

Berliner Gabriele Groh is quoted in the January 24th edition of Der Spiegel as saying that three cats including her own Kater Mecki, who had been with her for eight years, have disappeared from her housing estate this month. "That can't be a coincidence," she said. (See "Mystery of the Missing Cats.")

Others are not so sure, however. "We've had countless calls from people asking about this but we think it's highly unlikely," Steffen Seckler of the Deutschen Tierschutzbund in Bonn told Der Spiegel.

"... I can't imagine cat-catching being an economically feasible way to supply the clothing industry when thousands of animals are bred and processed in China and turned into jackets, trousers, shoes, and stuffed toys, which is the height of perversion," he added. He also dismissed the notion that research laboratories might be stealing cats because they usually buy from breeders in order to ensure the uniformity in their diabolical experiments.

In addition to Berlin, cats have also been disappearing from the streets of Munich although a 2005 police investigation failed to uncover any evidence of organized animal theft. While it is well established that China breeds and slaughters more than two million cats and dogs each year for their fur (See photos above and below) and that vivisectors get a lion's share of their cats from licensed breeders, that is far from being the whole story.

For instance, Heather Mills (See photo above of her and Struan Stevenson with garments made from cat and dog fur) presented evidence to the EU's Commission in December 2005 that up to three-thousand cats had been nabbed off the streets of the Czech Republic and skinned alive for their fur. (See Cat Defender post of December 15, 2005 entitled "Heather Mills Asks EU to Ban Sale of Cat and Dog Fur; Paul McCartney Calls for Boycott of Chinese Goods and Olympics.")

Also, one Belgian fur trader confessed to the Humane Society International last year that cats and dogs are indeed being rounded up off the streets of Brussels and Ghent and slaughtered for their fur. (See Expatica, June 21, 2006, "Exposing the Trade in Cat and Dog Fur.")

Patricia Eugene, a sixty-nine-year-old retired pharmacist from Brussels suspects that her cat, Snowy, was stolen and killed by fur traders. "Of course, I do not know for sure what happened to him, but there seems to be increasing evidence that cats are being stolen and slaughtered for their fur," she told Expatica. "Not only that, but it may be going on right under our noses."

Alain van Cutsem, a fifty-four-year-old civil servant from Ghent, has also lost his family cat. "I can't prove it, but I firmly believe our pet was kidnapped to supply this heartless trade. It is cruel and heartbreaking, particularly for animal lovers (sic) like me."

More disturbingly is the fact that although Belgium in 2004 outlawed the importation of articles made from cat and dog fur, it nonetheless permits several cat and dog fur farms to operate openly within its borders. Also, apparel made from cat and dog fur can be purchased over the Internet as English member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson (See photo above with Heather Mills) found out when he was able to purchase a rheumatic bandage online.

Vivisectors likewise are certainly not above resorting to nefarious means in order to obtain cats. For instance, while he as in medical school at Harvard former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist adopted a cat from a shelter under the pretext of giving it a good home only to take it back to his laboratory and experiment on it. Vivisectors and those involved in the fur trade are not only animal killers, but they are also constantly on the lookout to save a buck.

This case highlights the deplorable lack of protections for cats and dogs in Deutschland. Whereas France, Italy, Greece, Denmark, and even Belgium at least ban the importation of cat and dog fur, Deutschland imports between two-hundred-fifty-thousand and half a million feline pelts from China and South Korea each year.

Thankfully, this is about to change. Late last month, the twenty-seven member states who make up the EU's Commission unanimously approved a resolution to ban the sale, importation, and production of cat and dog fur. The ban, however, still must be approved by the European Parliament and that is not expected to occur before late June. (See Corus Radio of Montreal, January 29, 2007, "L'Union europeenne interdit la fourrure de chiens ou de chats.")

In marked contrast to its usual posture of being a stick-in-the-mud whenever any progressive legislation is proposed, the United States banned the importation of apparel manufactured out of feline and canine hides in 2004. Not about to be deprived of their blood money, the Chinese and Koreans merely began shipping more pelts to Europe.

The Chinese, Koreans, Belgians, and Czechs are not the only traffickers in cat hides. On Australia's Kangaroo Island cats are shot and their furs made into beer and soda can holders, hats, slippers, and golf club covers.

It is also perfectly legal in Deutschland for hunters to shoot and kill both domestic and feral cats who venture off their owners' property. In the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia hunters admit to having gunned down 17,895 innocent cats during the 2002-2003 hunting season. Nationwide, it is estimated that hunters slaughter millions of cats each year.

Worst still, Deutschland's sickening disregard for cats is not limited to hunting them for sport and wearing items made from their fur around their necks, but Der Spiegel reported in the article cited supra that some carnival associations in the southern part of the country even parade around draped in the corpses of dead cats.

These barbaric practices are in stark contrast with statistics that show that approximately one out of every four Germans owns a pet. Moreover, last year they spent close to three billion euros feeding and caring for twenty-three-million pets, including 7.6 million cats and 5.3 million dogs. (See Stern, January 16, 2007, "Drei Milliarden fur Hund, Katze und Maus.")

The fact that cats and dogs are being abused in such diabolical fashion is clearly the fault of animal rights groups. If these groups were anything other than total frauds they would have demanded a long time ago that hunting cats be outlawed and that the importation of articles made from cat and dog fur be proscribed. For instance, when Wisconsin wanted to establish a hunting season for feral cats in 2005 it was forced to back down because of nationwide opposition from cat lovers.

In addition to the heartless barbarism associated with the gunning down of cats, those killed for their fur die horrible deaths. Zum Beispiel, those stolen off the streets of the Czech Republic are skinned alive. In China, undercover investigators from PETA have filmed cats being boiled alive in hot water and then skinned by fleecing machines similar to clothes dryers.

There are also videos on YouTube that show cats stuffed into overcrowded crates being tossed around like rubber balls by Chinese fur farmers. From the time that they are captured until they die the lives of cats and dogs trafficked in the fur trade are nothing but pure hell.

Photos: Fur Kills (caged cats, dead cats, and murdered dog) and Expatica (Mills and Stevenson).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Vermont Prison Is Giving Its Felines the Boot Despite Opposition from Its Female Inmates

"Jail is the only home they know."
-- Sue Skaskiw

The Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor, Vermont (See photo above) has a new warden and she does not like cats. Consequently, the cats, whose ancestors have called the women's prison home for more than twenty years, are being given the bum's rush.

About a month ago prison officials started trapping the cats in order to sterilize and vaccinate them as a prelude to finding new homes for them. So far, only six of them have been adopted and it is unclear what the prison has planned for those that remain. Local animal rights activists should make sure that they are not harmed in any fashion.

"It's not a physical plant that is conducive to a pet program," warden Anita Carbonell (See photo below) told the Boston Globe on January 28th. (See "Paroled: Prison Cats Have to Go, Superintendent Says.") "I know a lot of the inmates consider them pets, but they aren't really."

Although the decision to give them the boot is not popular with the inmates, prison guard Mark McGuire is, quite naturally, defending his boss. "The view from the inmates is that we're slightly less than monsters," he confessed to the Globe. "They see the benefits, they see the therapeutic part of the animals, but they don't see the cost or they don't ever see what happens when things go wrong."

That is hardly the case. First of all, the seventeen-acre facility has twenty-two buildings and therefore more than enough room to accommodate the cats. Secondly, the inmates pay for their upkeep out of the slave wages that they are paid by the prison for performing menial jobs.

Thirdly, the cats create few if any problems. Once in a while one of them will scratch an inmate or a staffer but that is usually their own fault because cats rarely attack unless they are either cornered or handled in a rough manner. Besides, as Cervantes said a long time ago: "Those who play with cats must expect to be scratched."

Despite the lies of prison officials, most of the complaints stem from inmates and staff who are either allergic to cats or ailurophobes. In one particularly hideous example of animal cruelty, an inmate recently used a cigarette lighter in order to set a cat on fire. It has since recovered, thankfully, and is now living with a staff member. It is not known, however, if its attacker was penalized for this barbaric crime.

Overall, the cats' presence has had an overwhelmingly beneficial impact on the inmates. They provide them with nonjudgmental companionship and help to brighten up their otherwise dreary surroundings.

Caring for them "teaches empathy, teaches responsibility, teaches compassion and it's a great educational tool," Sue Skaskiw of the Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society told the Globe. "These women have taken to these animals. To take them away is unnecessary and insensitive to their situation."

Moreover, it is hard on the cats. "Jail is the only home they know," Skaskiw added.

Inmate Susan Margiotti is a firm believer in the therapeutic value of the cats. "When I was depressed or something I'd go out and spend time with them. I could go outside and yell to the cats and they'd come running to me, just like a dog," she confided to the Globe.

The cats also provide the prison with invaluable service as unpaid rodent exterminators. Once they are removed, the taxpayers will be forced to ante up for a commercial service to do what the cats did gratis.

Unlike the Windsor facility, numerous prisons around the country have found having cats on the grounds to be a positive experience. (See photo below of a fenced-in cat at an unidentified facility.) For example, both the Solano County Sheriff's Claybank Sentenced Detention Center west of San Francisco and the Blaine Street Jail in Santa Cruz operate highly successful programs whereby female inmates serve as surrogate mothers for feral kittens. (See Cat Defender post of October 27, 2005 entitled "Inmates at Women's Prisons in California Save Lives by Fostering Feral Kittens.")

At Turney Center Industrial Prison and Farm in rural Only, Tennessee, a handicapped cat named Opie has become an indispensable part of the daily lives of the inmates who toil in the laundry. (See Cat Defender post of November 2, 2006 entitled "Three-Legged, Bobtailed Cat Named Opie Melts the Hearts of Hardened Criminals at Rural Tennessee Prison.")

The inmates, staff, and felines at Avenal State Prison in California had a constructive working relationship until, like in Windsor, a new warden irrationally decided to get rid of the cats. (See Cat Defender post of September 29, 2006 entitled "Avenal State Prison Reverts to Its Old Ailurophobic Ways by Scrapping TNR Program and Cutting Off Cats' Food Supply.")

While not necessarily overly enthusiastic about their presence on the grounds, officials at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville nonetheless allow inmates to care for around fifteen cats.

Although they earn only a paltry eighty cents per day for their labors, the prisoners nonetheless pool their limited resources in order to make sure that the cats are fed every day and receive medical care when they need it. Perhaps more significantly, since surrounding Lyon County does not have an animal shelter the inmates provide the only organized care that the area's homeless felines ever receive.

In addition to caring for the cats' daily needs, the inmates also operate an ad hoc adoption service that encourages family members, staff, and parolees to adopt cats. Staffer Kelly Oliver, who adopted a female cat, is ecstatic about the new addition to her home. "It's great. I love her," she told the Houston Chronicle on November 25, 2006. (See "Kentucky Prison Has Some 'Lifers' Serving Nine of Them.")

The cats' wholesome impact on the inmates has not been lost on assistant warden Nancy Doom. "You can see that compassion and respect for a living being because they have something to take care of," she related. "That's their child. That is their baby."

Inmate Clayton Cawood symbolizes just how much the cats have come to mean to him and his fellow prisoners when he told the Chronicle, "Some guys, every minute they're out in the yard, they're playing with a cat. They'll miss meals because they're playing with a cat." For example, a cat named Jeepy has become fond of perching atop inmate Ricky Fulcher's shoulders. (See photo below.)

Some long-term inmates even care for several generations of cats. For instance, Floyd Cook is now caring for a five-year-old cat Buzz just as he did for the cat's father and grandfather. "Before he (Buzz) gets too old, I'll probably have one of his sons, too," he predicted.

Although a prison is far from being an ideal home for a cat, it is certainly better than either extermination or confinement in a cage at a shelter. The cats also have an undeniable humanizing effect on both the inmates and their gaolers.

It is entirely conceivable that prison cats contribute more toward the rehabilitation of inmates than all educational and behavioral modification programs combined. Carbonell and her staff should reconsider their ill-advised decision and allow the cats to stay.

Photos: Vermont Department of Corrections (Windsor facility), Toby Talbot of the Associated Press (Anita Carbonell at prison), Bill O'Leary of the Washington Post (cat behind bars at an unidentified facility), and Daniel R. Patmore of the Associated Press (Jeepy and Fulcher).