American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Boesen Against Cats
"In the end it doesn't really matter what the numbers are. Cats are a domesticated species and they should not be outdoors hunting wildlife. So whether it's one blue jay who is killed or millions of songbirds it's a real problem."
-- Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats and HSUS
Since they have been slobbering on the same dirty lollipop for years, it really did not come as any surprise when the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its allies, The New York Times and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), united earlier this month in order to form an Achse des Boesen against cats.
The ABC's contribution to this conspiracy is a nine-minute, anti-cat video entitled "Trap, Neuter, and Release: Bad for Cats, Disaster for Birds." It immediately received the wholehearted endorsement of Andrew C. Revkin of The New York Times on June 2nd in an article entitled "The Truth About Cats and Birds?"
Not about for one moment to be left out in the cold when there are shekels to be made at the expense of cats, the HSUS responded in kind with a video that bears the misnomer "Trap-Neuter-Return: Fixing Feral Cat Overpopulation." A far more accurate title would have been "Putting the Screws to Feral and Stray Cats Once and For All Time."
The ABC's latest propaganda offensive does not break any new ground; rather, it is merely a recitation of the cat-haters' old lies and prejudices. Consequently, its chief value lies in the rare peek that it offers into the workings of diseased and hate-filled minds.
On the intellectual level, it is barely coherent and sophomoric at best. The eight old hacks interviewed either have nothing meaningful to say or contradict themselves time and time again. Considering all the tens of millions of dollars that it has at its disposal, it is truly astounding that the ABC would present to the public such a half-baked, slipshod effort.
In addition to demonizing cats as the source of all evil in creation, the ABC's other objective is to discredit and outlaw TNR. In its place, the ABC and its allies within the various Audubons and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) want all feral and stray cats to be rounded up and slaughtered.
Moreover, they want all domestic cats to be confined indoors from womb to tomb. In other words, they are attempting to subvert the right of property owners to even allow their cats to play in their very own yards!
Being not only outrageous liars but cowards as well, the ABC clumsily attempts to bamboozle the public into believing that homes, shelters, and indoor sanctuaries can be found for all of the one-hundred-twenty-million homeless cats that it claims exist in America. With shelter employees, Animal Control officers, veterinarians, and the USFWS and its affiliated agencies already exterminating between ten and fifteen million cats per year, the ABC's ludicrous proposal reveals the depths of its dishonesty and moral depravity.
As per usual, the ABC dredges up the likes of Deborah Holle of USFWS and retired Army veterinarian Paul Barrows to ridiculously argue that it is far more humane to deprive all feral and stray cats of their lives than to allow them to live outside. In that respect, the ABC, Audubons, and the USFWS are in total agreement with the cat-haters at slimy and despicable PETA.
As a sop to critics of such a diabolical plan, the ABC summons to the microphone Anne Morkill of the USFWS who grudgingly concedes that she might be able to live with a plan that would trap, neuter, and relocate a few feral cats as recently was done on Florida's Big Pine Key. She deliberately refuses to disclose, however, exactly how many cats were relocated as opposed to trapped and killed during that operation. (See Cat Defender post of May 24, 2007 entitled, "USDA and Fish and Wildlife Service Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key.")
As far as the efficacy of TNR is concerned, the ABC relies solely upon the unsupported opinions of Holle, Barrows, and other confidants. At no time in the video do any of these frauds offer one iota of evidence in order to back up their prejudices.
Most glaringly, of the thousands of TNR programs in place across the nation the ABC selects only two for analysis. Even in those instances it manipulates the data in order to suit its own evil designs.
Even though the TNR program in situ at Ocean Reef on Key Largo has reduced the number of feral cats from two-thousand to fewer than five-hundred, the ABC labels the program a miserable failure. Even one cat, domestic or feral, still above ground would be one too many as far as it is concerned.
The other example cited by the ABC is that of A. D. Barnes Park in Miami where it enlists Brian Riposa of Tropical Audubon to declare TNR to be a failure because of individuals using the site in order to dump unwanted cats. (See photo directly below.)
It is, however, wildlife photographer Steve Siegel who gives the game away when he appears on camera to confess that he cannot abide the sight of either the cats or their caretakers. "Every time they come out to feed the cats they are detracting from my personal enjoyment of the same area that they are using," he whines.
A statement such as that calls into question Siegel's views on minorities, dogs, joggers, and others who also use the park. After all, Barnes is a public facility and not Siegel's own private fiefdom. If bird advocates want to own all of nature and thus be able to exclude animals and individuals that they hate they should be prepared to part with a few of their precious shekels and go out and buy the entire world. If not, they should stop being such fascist and bigoted slobs and learn to share the earth.
Although the principal raison d'etre behind the video is to trash TNR, the ABC was by no means about to restrain itself, especially when it has at its disposal so many lies and prejudices to spread about cats. Most hilarious of all, it permits Holle to declare that the presence of feral cats attracts mice which in turn chew up hot tubs and electrical wiring.
As any fool knows, it is precisely the presence of cats that keep rodent populations in check. In fact, cats do not even have to be especially proficient hunters in that their smell is usually sufficient in order to drive away mice.
That point was demonstrated a couple of years back when vivisectors at the University of Tokyo altered circuitry in the brains of mice that normally cause them to associate the smell of a cat with predation. (See Daily Telegraph, July 11, 2007, "Cat and Mouse Game Driven by Smell of Fear.")
Consequently, genetically manipulated mice will nonchalantly stroll up to cats. (See photo below.)
Much more importantly, the ABC deliberately neglects to mention that it is precisely birds and wildlife which wreak havoc in backyards. Birds, for example, foul laundry, automobiles, lawn furniture, and children's toys with their excrement while moles, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals destroy all sorts of property.
Curiously enough, although homeowners rarely go berserk at the damage done by birds and wildlife, a cat merely strolling through their lawns is enough to drive some of them over the edge. Public officials behave in much the same fashion by laughing off complaints lodged against wildlife while dispatching death squads to deal with feral and stray cats.
In spite of all of that, blowhard Barrows has the nerve to accuse cats of not only creating a nuisance but of endangering public health by spreading rabies and toxoplasmosis. First of all, as a veterinarian Barrows should know that rabies is extremely rare in cats.
Moreover, whenever cats do contract the disease it is almost always from wild animals that wildlife officials at both the state and national level insist have a right to live in urban communities. (See Cat Defender posts of August 28, 2006, October 2, 2006, and July 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Marauding Packs of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene," "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State," and "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers.")
At the same time that the USFWS is busy insisting that wildlife has an absolute right to live in homeowners' backyards and to dine on their cats and dogs, its sister agency, Wildlife Services, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, is spending around $120 million each year in order to exterminate between two and three million wild animals at the request of farmers, ranchers, developers, golf course operators, and swimming pool proprietors. (See Cat Defender posts of September 15, 2005 and March 10, 2009 entitled, respectively, "United States Government Exterminates Millions of Wild Animals at the Behest of Capitalists" and "Audubons' Dirty Dealings with the Mercenary United States Fish and Wildlife Service Redound to the Detriment of Acorn Woodpeckers.")
As far as toxoplasmosis in concerned, it also is spread by wildlife in addition to cats. Moreover, the spread of the disease is easily controlled by the thorough washing of fruit and vegetables as well as hands after changing litter boxes.
It is birds, however, that are the real menace to public health. For instance, they are not only responsible for spreading the West Nile Virus, but all types of influenza, such as Schweinegrippe (H1N1) and Vogelgrippe (H5N1), as well.
Even dead birds can be dangerous. For example, researchers recently have discovered that Vogelgrippe can live on in the carcasses of dead birds deposited in landfills for as long as two years. As such, they pose a threat to scavengers as well as landfill personnel. (See the Discovery Channel, June 9, 2009, "Bird Flu Survives in Landfills.")
An influenza pandemic could kill billions of people and wreck the world's economy and yet no one would dare suggest that birds be either killed or caged. Yet that is precisely the sottise that the ABC, Audubons, and the USFWS are suggesting be done to cats because a few of them occasionally contract rabies from wildlife. Moreover, it is a sure bet that when the next influenza pandemic strikes that absolutely nobody is going to give a rat's ass about a few isolated cases of rabies!
At this juncture the ABC trots out Andrew Samson, a former director of Texas Wildlife and Parks, in order to preach the gospel that feral cats are a threat to the state's multimillion-dollar bird-watching industry. In doing so, he has aligned himself with notorious serial cat killer and inveterate shekel chaser, James Munn Stevenson. (See Cat Defender post of August 14, 2008 entitled "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank.")
Much more to the point, it is difficult to imagine how ecotourism could ever be good for either wildlife or the environment. For example, the rare birds, mammals, and reptiles of the Galapagos Islands currently are being threatened by mosquitoes brought in from mainland Ecuador by tourists. (See The Independent, June 2, 2009, "Mosquito Evolves into Threat to Galapagos Wildlife" and Cat Defender post of March 20, 2006 entitled "Luna, the Killer Whale Who Loved People, Is Killed by a Tugboat Off Vancouver Island.")
Since birders and wildlife advocates are such liars and hypocrites about everything else it is not surprising that they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the detrimental impact that their shekel accumulation activities are having upon wildlife and the environment. The best defense always has been a good offense and so long as they are able to keep the heat on cats and their protectors they are free to continue abusing wildlife and ravaging the planet to their black hearts' content.
In addition to spreading deadly diseases, birds destroy billions of dollars worth of crops each year, ignite forest fires, and prey upon, inter alia, fish, small mammals, and insects. They also kill cats and kittens. (See Cat Defender posts of August 14, 2008 and July 31, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Birds Killing Cats: Blackie Is Abducted by a Sea Gull and Then Dropped but Her Fall Is Broken by a Barbed-Wire Fence" and "Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia.")
Earlier this month in the Buckinghamshire community of Aylesbury, a seven-month-old cat named Holly was besieged by crows after she became stranded in a tree. (See photo below.)
The crows took turns attacking her and even tried to jar her loose from her perch by shaking the branches of the tree. (See Daily Mirror, June 4, 2009, "Crows Attack Cat Stuck Seventy Feet Up Tree.")
Fortunately, firemen rescued her and the ravenous crows were forced to look elsewhere for their next victim. If Holly had been living in America, she probably would not have survived because firefighters on this side of the pond are too lazy to be bothered with rescuing stranded cats. (See Cat Defender posts of February 20, 2007 and March 20, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Stray Cat Ignominiously Named Stinky Is Rescued from Rooftop by Good Samaritans After Fire Department Refuses to Help" and "Bone-Lazy, Mendacious Firefighters Are Costing the Lives of Both Cats and Humans by Refusing to Do Their Duty.")
As far as the second spoke in this Achse des Boesen is concerned, it is extremely difficult to find anything positive to say about the thoroughly dishonest New York Times. Its blatant lies about the war in Iraq, the Jayson Blair and Rick Bragg scandals, as well as its racist attacks upon Koreans and Chinese readily come to mind as examples of the disreputable journalism practiced by the Sulzberger clan and their minions. The forces of evil afoot in this world know only too well that they have staunch allies in the smug, conceited, clever little liars who toil away at The Times.
It was, however, the paper's hiring of bird advocate Bruce Barcott and Brooklyn artist Jillian Tamaki in order to defame cats and thus defend serial cat killer James Munn Stevenson that demonstrated its utter contempt for both the truth and objective journalism. (See Cat Defender post of December 8, 2007 entitled "All the Lies That Fit. Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson.")
Revkin's aforementioned June 2nd article is a continuation of Barcott's one-sided, anti-cat drivel. (See photo of him below on the left.) For starters, he devotes much of his column to his neighbor, Suzie Gilbert, and her lies about cats.
He generously allows her to claim that belled and declawed cats kill more birds than their opposites but fails to require that she substantiate such outlandish claims. The third study that she makes an oblique reference to was conducted by biologists at a wildlife experiment station and therefore does not have any credibility whatsoever.
There is an old saying that there are liars, damned liars, and liars who quote statistics and the latter most certainly applies to Gilbert and her cronies. Whether it be on the political stump, in print, or in the classroom, individuals should not be permitted to get away with citing as gospel obscure studies that no one outside their immediate clique has ever read. For an empirical study to have an iota of validity several prerequisites must be satisfied.
First of all, it must be disclosed who paid for the study. Secondly, the credentials of the studies' authors must be scrutinized. Thirdly, the theories being tested must be closely examined for their soundness. Finally, the collection and analysis of the data must be closely monitored.
Most of what is passed off today as science is mere prejudice and outright lies, such as the ABC's video. Unless readers are granted access to empirical studies, citing them is dishonest.
Like Holle and Barrows, Gilbert ridiculously claims that she is concerned about the dangers faced by outdoor cats. That is such a patently disingenuous argument that inveterate cat haters, such as she, would be better off omitting it from their anti-cat screeds. Continually trotting it out in the midst of their cries that all cats should be rounded up and exterminated serves only to make them appear to be mentally unhinged as well as ailurophobic.
Gilbert then proceeds to chastise cat owners for allowing their charges outside. "Those who 'love' their cats might want to show it by keeping them inside, where they are safe and secure," she screeches like an old, worn-out hoot owl.
First of all, cat haters do not have any business telling cat owners what to do with their cats. Secondly, cats always have lived outdoors and that is precisely where they belong.
They are neither second-class citizens of this planet nor the prisoners of birders and wildlife biologists. To confine them in any way constitutes the very epitome of animal cruelty.
The real threat faced by outdoor cats comes from neither disease nor automobiles, but rather from bird and wildlife advocates who time and time again have demonstrated their true characters by taking the law into their own hands and either gunning them down, like James Munn Stevenson, or by stealing and dumping them at shelters and faraway locations. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006, October 30, 2006, and October 30, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Cat Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate," "Collar Saves a Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths" and "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts.")
Thirdly, contrary to everything that birders and wildlife advocates believe and preach, they do not own the great outdoors. Moreover, it is not for them to decide which species are going to be allowed to live and under what circumstances. To even harbor such megalomaniacal delusions is in itself a sign of advanced mental illness.
If they are allowed to continue to kill cats with impunity, there never will be an end to their heinous crimes. The Connecticut Audubon Society already is on record as stating that it wants to exterminate deer, ducks, geese, and swans as well as cats. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007 entitled "Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")
Finally, as Gilbert and everyone else knows, indoor environments are lethal to cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 22, 2007 and October 19, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home" and "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")
A far more constructive plan would be to confine all birders and wildlife biologists indoors, preferably in either penal institutions or asylums for the criminally insane. That is about the only way nature can be safeguarded from their shenanigans.
Revkin then engages in a little leger de main with Bob Sallinger of the Portland Audubon Society wherein the latter expresses some light skepticism about killing cats. That sure is a far cry from what he told Barcott in December of 2007. On that memorable occasion, he did not have a kind word to say about cats.
Revkin next appears to endorse the ABC's view that cats should not be allowed to play in their own backyards while hypocritically rejecting the notion that his dog be likewise constrained. According to him, it is perfectly acceptable for dogs to kill rabbits, squirrels, and skunks with impunity.
In a poorly disguised effort designed to give the impression of being a halfway honest journalist, Revkin posts a seven-minute and fifteen-second video purported to have been produced by HSUS and in favor of TNR. In reality, however, the video was produced by Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats (NC) in Manhattan with funding provided by the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust of Cleveland.
Even more astonishing, the video is actually slightly longer than sixteen minutes. It was posted on YouTube in two parts approximately nine months ago by someone called Friend of Feral Animals. The video also is available in its entirety on HSUS's web site.
When viewed in two parts, the video presents a Jekyll and Hyde picture of feral cats and TNR. Part one is so scurrilous and defamatory that the ABC would be proud to call it one of its own, while part two renders a qualified endorsement of TNR under certain circumstances.
It therefore is perfectly clear why Revkin did not want readers of his sleazy rag to see the second half of the video. Even on YouTube part one had been viewed six-hundred-sixty-one times as of June 11th as compared with only one-hundred-ninety-five viewings of part two.
Clearly, most individuals viewing this video either on The New York Times' web site or YouTube are coming away with the impression that both HSUS and NC are vociferously opposed to feral cats and TNR. Even more disturbingly, since there is nothing in the record to indicate that either organization has complained about Revkin's blatant dishonesty, it can only be assumed that they agree with what he did.
Kortis commences his assault upon feral cats by calling upon Robert J. Gogats of the Health Department in Burlington County, New Jersey, to substantiate the claim made by Holle and Barrows that cats spread rabies. He next turns to Gogats's colleague, William M. Weisgarber, who repeats the old lies that cats make too much noise, stink, and dig up neighbors' yards.
First of all, a cat in heat meowing is nothing compared to dogs barking all night, birds chirping and cawing at all hours, the din churned up by vehicular traffic, TVs and radios blaring, and inconsiderate gasbags pounding the pavement day and night while shouting into their mobile phones. Secondly, if grass and dirt are available, cats cover up their excrement. Thirdly, cats do considerably less digging in yards than do wild animals.
Kortis then turns to Julie Levy of the University of Florida who bemoans what she sees as the short, brutish, and nasty existence of ferals living in unmanaged colonies.
Most nauseating of all, Kortis launches into a long lament for shelter workers and Animal Control officers. In doing so, he calls upon Jody Jones, an animal control officer in Richmond, Virginia, and Texas A&M veterinarian Margaret R. Slater to decry the expense of exterminating millions of cats each year.
Far from being praised, Jones, Slater, and their accomplices should be arrested and jailed for the remainder of miserable lives for slaughtering totally innocent cats, dogs, and other animals. Killing defenseless animals is morally indefensible and there is not any middle ground on this issue.
Nevertheless, the glorification of mass animal killers coupled with the demonization of homeless cats is a persistent theme with the capitalist media. (See Cat Defender posts of September 30, 2005, May 11, 2006, and September 14, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Morally Bankrupt Washington Post Pens a Love Letter to Shelter Workers Who Exterminate Cats and Dogs," "Mass Murderers at SPCA Are Operating an Auschwitz for Cats and Dogs in Lakeland, Florida" and "Cat Killing Season Is in Full Swing All Across America as Shelters Ramp Up Their Mass Extermination Pogroms.")
There are in fact some experts, such as Nathan Winograd of No Kill Solutions, who insist that pet overpopulation is a myth. That which is not in dispute, however, is that killing cats and dogs is big business.
Not only are tens of thousands of shelter workers, Animal Control officers, and veterinarians employed in killing defenseless animals, but the manufacture and sale of sodium pentobarbital and gas chambers are both lucrative enterprises. Finally, there is money to be made from the bagging, burning, and disposal of the animals' corpses as well as their sale to medical colleges and high schools for dissection.
In spite of the fact that birders, the USFWS, The New York Times, and National Geographic never allow cat advocates to be heard in their videos, publications, and on their web sites, Kortis generously turns over his microphone to Eric Stiles of New Jersey Audubon who avails himself of the opportunity to accuse cats of killing birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Quite as expected, he hypocritically ignores the petit fait that birds do the same thing in addition to killing cats and kittens. (See photo of him above on the right.)
In particular, migratory birds feast upon horseshoe crabs at the Jersey Shore with Stiles's full endorsement. "We applaud the successful effort of legislators to secure this treasure and ensure we don't cook the golden goose by destroying a multimillion-dollar wildlife watching tourism industry," he salivated last year in an interview that echoes comments made by Samsom in ABC's video. (See Cat Defender post of May 6, 2008 entitled "National Audubon Society Wins the Right for Invasive Species of Shorebirds to Prey Upon Unborn Horseshoe Crabs.")
Stiles then charges that cats compete with skunks, opossums, and raccoons for food. He has got that backwards. It is precisely the presence of feral cat feeding stations that are sustaining wildlife and bird populations.
Through their gargantuan greed and support for unchecked development, individuals such as Stiles have destroyed woodlands and wetlands that used to teem with not only small animals and insects but fruit and berries as well. Furthermore, whenever a coyote, raccoon, or fisher kills a cat birders and wildlife advocates break out the champagne and celebrate. This is another classic example of how intellectually dishonest cat-haters argue on both sides of an issue so long as it is to the detriment of cats.
If all of that were not bad enough, Kortis concludes the first half of the video by endorsing the opposition's view that cats are a domesticated species and do not belong outdoors. "In the end it doesn't really matter what the numbers are. Cats are a domesticated species and they should not be outdoors hunting wildlife. So whether it's one blue jay who is killed or millions of songbirds it's a real problem," he opines. (See photo of him directly above on the left.)
He is clearly wrong on all counts. Of the five subspecies of wild cats (Felis silvestris), only Felis silvestris lybica has been domesticated and it only to a rather limited extent. In reality, it domesticated itself and lives with man only so long as doing so suits its purposes. It has lived outdoors throughout its existence and is more than capable of doing so under most circumstances. (See Cat Defender post of December 5, 2007 entitled "Decoding the Feline Genome Provides Vivisectors with Thousands of New Excuses to Continue Torturing Cats in the Course of Their Bogus Research.")
As far as feline predation of birds is concerned, whenever the latter stops killing cats, insects, horseshoe crabs, mammals, and fish it will be time to access the impact that cats are having on the environment. Until that day arrives, whatever Kortis, birders, the wildlife biologists have to say on this subject should be dismissed as the hypocritical rantings of inveterate cat haters.
In part two of the video that Revkin took such great pains to preclude the public from seeing, Jones magically reappears in order to declare that trap and kill does not work. Levy, Stacy LeBaron of the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Gordon Stull of the Burlington County Feral Cat Initiative, and Kimberly A. Brown, mayor of Tabernacle, New Jersey, all make cameo appearances in order to declare that TNR works.
The piece de resistance, however, is the belated appearance on camera of old Janus-faced, four-flusher Nancy Peterson of HSUS. "The past fifteen years in the United States has shown that feral cat strategies, such as trap, neuter, and return, can be very effective in improving their lives and controlling their numbers," she declares with a straight face.
In making such a statement as that, Peterson is amateurishly attempting to rewrite history because up until 2006 the HSUS had labeled TNR as "subsidized abandonment." (See photo of her below on the right.)
Even to this very day the HSUS is stridently opposed to cats being allowed outside. "The Humane Society of the United States believes the best and safest place for cats to reside is in people's homes," it plainly declares on its web site.
What HSUS and NC are up to with all their double-talk and dealing from both ends of the deck becomes clearer toward the end of the video. "If we want to bring the numbers of feral cats down we really need to have a broad-based, community-wide approach and that's going to involve veterinarians, wildlife advocates, animal shelters, health professionals, (and) municipal officials, who all come together to embrace the idea of trap, neuter, return," Peterson states.
Das heisst, HSUS and NC unilaterally have decided to assume the roles of fifth columnists and to deliver cats to their mortal enemies on a silver platter. The ABC's video and the deeds and words of birders and wildlife biologists preclude the notion that any compromise is possible and both HSUS and NC know that as well as everyone else.
As Barrows makes perfectly clear, the real battle is just beginning. "People who are supporting these programs (TNR) with full knowledge that these cats are out there as non-native, midsize predators that may be impacting on these endangered species, I believe that there are some potential legal concerns there and some legal justification for ensuring that these colonies do not continue to persist," he warns in ABC's video.
More importantly, NC has a history of selling out cats. For example, back in 2007 when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey declared war on JFK's population of feral cats NC was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals, of which NC is a member, tried to fob off responsibility for the cats onto Alley Cat Allies. (See Cat Defender post of November 5, 2007 entitled "Port Authority Gives JFK's Long-Term Resident Felines the Boot and Rescue Groups Are Too Impotent to Save Them.")
The HSUS's collusion with cat killers is even more egregious. For instance, when the USFWS announced in June of 2008 that is was going to gun down two-hundred cats on San Nicolas Island the HSUS was publicly appalled.
"In absolutely no case should USFWS shoot cats on San Nicolas Island," Peterson unequivocally declared at that time. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2008 entitled "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island.")
By November of last year the HSUS's moral outrage had abated and it did an abrupt about-face and struck a deal with the USFWS whereby the killings were allowed to proceed as planned so long as it was permitted to humanely trap and remove a handful of the cats to the mainland. Even more outrageously, the HSUS conceded to the USFWS's demand that even those cats rescued be imprisoned inside for the remainder of their brief lives. (See Cat Defender post of April 28, 2009 entitled "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service.")
Although there is not any way to verify it, the HSUS maintains that it has saved seven cats from the USFWS's assassins. This policy is fully supported by NC who, like the HSUS, is still badgering the public for money in order to feed and shelter those cats.
That brings up the often overlooked fact that in spite of an annual operating budget of in excess of $120 million, the HSUS does not shelter, feed, water, sterilize, or find homes for any cats. Even those saved from the hangman on San Nicolas are being attended to at the CARE Sanctuary in Littlerock, California.
Much of the same criticism is a propos as far as NC is concerned. Although it brags on its web site that it produces a ton of educational materials relating to feral cats and makes presentations at conferences and seminars, there is not any evidence that it actually spends a sou caring for cats.
If it were doing its fair share, it would be candid about how many cats it feeds and shelters each day as well as the number that it sterilizes and vaccinates. Just as importantly, it should inform its contributors exactly how many cats it places in good homes. Above all, it should make a public accounting of how much money it spends directly on cats.
Despite their steadfast unwillingness to spend any money on cats, HSUS and NC are attempting to usurp the rights of feral cat caretakers and put the management of all colonies under either their or governmental control. Under such a dishonest arrangement, the cats' long-term caretakers still would be expected to foot the bill for maintaining the colonies while the HSUS and NC would continue to not only line their pockets but to cut all sorts of weasel deals with birders and the USFWS.
The HSUS is up to the same old tricks with feral cats that it has played with lab animals for so long. "HSUS really needs to be called to task for its triple-sided hypocrisy," Dr. Pat Cleveland, formerly of the University of California at San Diego, said a while back. "When HSUS addresses scientists they say they support animal research as necessary. When HSUS addresses the public they say it is evil but sometimes necessary. When HSUS addresses its members and other animal rights groups, they say it is evil and unnecessary."
Cleveland Amory minced no words when once asked about the organization. "I'm not an admirer of HSUS. They've always been primarily a direct mail operation, and what's known in animal rights circles as a credit-grabber."
Sadly, his own organization, The Fund for Animals, merged with HSUS shortly after his death. The author of The Cat Who Came for Christmas and his beloved Polar Bear must be turning in their graves as the result of the HSUS's war on cats.
Make no mistake about it, the only persons and groups qualified to speak on behalf of cats are those who recognize the sanctity of all feline life and that all of them have a right to live outdoors. All others are complete frauds.
In the absence of any national organization willing to embrace those fundamental principles and to fight both tooth and nail for their realization, the continued care and security of all feral and stray cats will continue to rest with their caretakers. In marked distinction to the HSUS, NC, birders, and wildlife biologists, these dedicated women and men are not in it for either the money or the power.
On the contrary, all the funding for the food, milk, feeding stations, shelters, sterilizations, and veterinary care comes directly out of their own pockets. So, too, does the money to cover any legal expenses that they occur. (See Cat Defender post of February 26, 2007 entitled "Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teachers Beats the Rap.")
They are not merely the heart, soul, and backbone of the feral cat protection movement, they are the movement. "If I was told it was illegal to feed these cats I would absolutely not stop feeding these cats and I know the neighbors who assist me in this program absolutely would refuse as well," Wanda L. Riddle of New Jersey declared in NC's video.
In conclusion, since both the HSUS and NC contribute nothing financially to the care and welfare of homeless cats and because they are in collusion with birders and wildlife advocates, they should be exposed, denounced, and vociferously opposed at every turn by all genuine cat lovers. Above all, no one should ever give either of these charlatans so much as a lousy nickel.
Instead, they should be told in no uncertain terms that it is high time that they found some type of honest employment and kept their blood-drenched hands and forked tongues off of cats!
Photos: Miami Beach 411 (A.D. Barnes Park), Ko and Reiko Kobayakawa of the University of Tokyo (cat with mouse), Daily Mirror (Holly being attacked by crows), The New York Times (Revkin), New Jersey Public Television and Radio (Stiles), Neighborhood Cats (Kortis), and Veterinary Technician Magazine (Peterson).