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Cat Defender

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eco, Who for Years Was a Mainstay at a Small Massachusetts Police Department, Is Run Down and Killed by a Motorist

"He was part of the family here."
-- detective Stephen Trepanier

Another cat belonging to the law enforcement community has been killed by a motorist. This time around it was a handsome black one named Eco who for the past eleven years was an integral part of the police department in Hamilton, Massachusetts. (See photo above.)

Eco, shorthand for the department's Emergency Center Operations, was killed on February 15th on Bay Road in front of Winthrop School. Although press reports have dodged the issue, more than likely he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Eco was buried near Hamilton Cemetery and the officers later held a small memorial service in his honor. Their willingness to do that much for him stands in stark contrast to the coldhearted behavior of Betty Currie who not only had Bill Clinton's former cat, Socks, killed off but his corpse cremated and his ashes parceled out to friends without so much as a service of any kind. (See Cat Defender post of March 12, 2009 entitled "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned.")

"He was part of the family here," detective Stephen Trepanier told The Salem News of Beverly on March 2nd. (See "Police Cat Killed by a Car.")

In addition to serving as the station house's head mouser and official mascot, Eco helped the officers to relieve some of the daily stress that comes with wearing a badge and carrying a gun. He also provided comfort not only to the victims of crime but to those who had run afoul of the law as well.

"It (Eco) wasn't a problem. Everybody loves pets. It would kind of calm the situation down here," Trepanier added in an interview with officer.com of Beltsville, Maryland, on March 3rd. (See "Massachusetts 'Police Cat' Killed by Car.")

Furthermore, it was not unheard of for Eco to crawl into the cells of lawbreakers and fraternize with them. His lack of prejudice should not be construed to imply that he was soft on crime; on the contrary, his pursuit and apprehension of rodents intent upon fouling the officers' food supplies disproves that notion.

Ironically, Eco first came to the attention of the officers after he was struck and seriously injured by a motorist on Moulton Street back in the 1990's. A local veterinarian patched him up and the officers attempted to reunite him with his previous owners.

It eventually came to light that they cruelly had dumped him in the street and hightailed it out of the tiny Boston suburb of eight-thousand residents in favor of La Floride. Consequently, the officers took him in at the station house.

It apparently was not love at first sight, however. "You push it out the door and it keeps coming back," Trepanier admitted to officer.com in the article cited supra.

By the time that the officers were ready to move into new headquarters two years ago Eco had become such an important part of their lives that they elected to take him along with them. It is not known what role this change in scenery may have played in his death.

There can be no denying, however, that his passing has left a big hole in the officers' lives. "What they're going to miss is the cat kind of being around," Trepanier added for officer.com. "It's like a pet at home."

Eco thus joins a growing list of cats who have worked and died in law enforcement. Most notably, there was a fifteen-month-old gray and yellow American Shorthair named Fred who, while working for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, went undercover to help corral an unlicensed butcher who was masquerading as a veterinarian. (See photo above on the right of him with his guardian, Assistant Brooklyn District Attorney Carol Moran.)

Like Eco, he also unfortunately was run down and killed by a hit-and-run motorist in Howard Beach, Queens. (See Cat Defender posts of February 14, 2006 and August 17, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Special Agent Fred the Cat Goes Undercover to Help Nab a Quack Vet in Brooklyn Sting Operation" and "Brave Little Fred the Undercover Cat Has His Short, Tragic Life Snuffed Out by a Hit-and-Run Driver in Queens.")

In the City of Brotherly Love, officers at the South Street station house were left with egg on their faces after a bicyclist made off with their three-year-old yellow and white mascot, Corporal Cuffs, on May 16, 2007. (See Cat Defender post of May 29, 2007 entitled "Corporal Cuffs, Beloved Station House Mascot, Is Abducted Right Under Cops' Noses.")

A cat named Tizer has enjoyed considerably better luck after he was adopted by officers of the British Transportation Police. (See photo directly below of him with Inspector Roy Sloane.)

He now pretty much runs the show at King's Cross Station in central London where he has been made an honorary constable as well as head mouser. (See Cat Defender post of November 23, 2007 entitled "Tizer Lands a Job Working for the Police After Ending up at a Shelter Following the Death of His Previous Owner.")

On the negative side of the ledger, cops often are not only antagonistic toward cats but their executioners as well. For example, on March 22nd of last year an unidentified police officer in Cecil, Pennsylvania, shot and killed Roger Oldaker's cat, Elmo, at point-blank range.

Worst still, the officer was never brought to justice and made to pay for his heinous crime. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo.")

Likewise, a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Department in southern California was suspected, but never charged, with killing a cat with a taser last April. (See Cat Defender post of April 29, 2008 entitled "Orange County Sheriff's Department Is Accused of Killing a Cat with a Taser at the Theo Lacy Jail.")

Big cats often do not fare any better than their domestic counterparts in confrontations with the police. Although they just as easily could have tranquilized the animals, police officers in San Francisco and Chicago recently elected instead of liquidate an Amur Tigress named Tatiana and an unnamed cougar. (See Cat Defender posts of January 28, 2008 and May 5, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by Police" and "Chicago's Rambo-Style Cops Corner and Execute a Cougar to the Delight of the Hoi Polloi and Capitalist Media.")

Finally, there is the disgraceful spectacle of police officers who steadfastly refuse to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes. One such rotter in the woodpile is Police Chief Aram Thomasian Jr of North Brookfield, Massachusetts, who not only has turned a blind eye to Sewer Commissioner Laurence E. Thayer's repeated drowning of kittens but has even had the temerity to voice support for such patently inhumane and illegal conduct.

"He (Thayer) dealt with the problem (unwanted kittens) the best he could. Back in their day, that's what they did," Thomasian is on record as stating. (See Cat Defender post of July 3, 2006 entitled "Crooked Massachusetts Cops Allow Politician to Get Away with Attempting to Drown a Kitten Named Lucky Girl.")

As Thomasian is no doubt aware, genocide, slavery, and the trafficking in women also are as old as the hills but no one except a complete nincompoop would dare to voice support for them. Consequently, anyone who thinks and behaves like Thomasian does not have any business of being a police officer in the first place let alone of heading up a force.

In the final analysis, the law enforcement community's animal rights record is mixed when it comes to cats. There definitely are departments, such as the one in Hamilton, that care deeply about them but for the most part indifference and downright hostility seem to predominate.

Even for those officers and prosecutors who are favorably disposed toward them, the unnecessary deaths of Eco and Fred are particularly disturbing. One preventative measure worth trying would be for officers to erect Cat Crossing signs near their headquarters.

In Milford, Connecticut, for instance, Bobette Moore and Gary Caufield were able to convince local authorities to erect such a warning sign on Erna Avenue and it seems to be saving some feline lives. (See photo above.) Lower speed limits outside station houses with resident felines also would be helpful. (See Cat Defender post of January 26, 2007 entitled "Cat Activists Succeed in Getting Connecticut Town to Erect a Cat Crossing Sign.")

The installation of cat fencing would be the best solution to the problem in that it would allow cats to enjoy the great outdoors in a secure environment that is free of the machinations of motorists and thieves alike. It is not about to happen anytime soon, but the running down of cats and other animals should be made a criminal offense.

Most motorists that kill animals do it for sport and even those whose motives are considerably less malevolent could slow down and brake but they choose not to do so for various reasons. The law enforcement community also could do a significantly better job of requiring motorists to share the road with animals, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

Therefore, since cats are incapable to anticipating the evil designs of ailurophobes and with anti-cruelty statutes being so impotent, the ultimate responsibility for their welfare rests squarely upon the shoulders of their guardians. Only they have it in their power to ensure their well-being.

Photos: Jim Daly of The Salem News (Eco), Alan Raia of Newsday (Fred and Moran), Islington Gazette (Tizer and Sloane), and Connecticut Post (Moore and Caufield in front of Cat Crossing sign.).