.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Cat Defender

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island

"I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, shortsighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is some truth
Just gimme some truth.

I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pigheaded politicians
All I want is some truth
Just gimme some truth."
-- John Lennon

The inveterate liars, fraudsters, and just plain moneygrubbing bums who comprise the ranks of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) staged a massive propaganda offensive on November 3rd at their sister facility, the Fund for Animals Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (FFAWRC), in Ramona, California. The doors to the thirteen-acre facility, which normally are kept closed tighter than a rich man's wallet, were flung open to accommodate their equally mendacious stooges and fops from within the corrupt-as-hell capitalist media.

The occasion was to announce that the HSUS had rescued fifty-four doomed cats from San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles. (See photo above.) Actually, even that minuscule number is misleading in that it includes eighteen kittens that could have been born either on San Nicolas or in Ramona.

Since the HSUS is not saying one way or another, it temporarily will be assumed for the sake of argument that half of them were born on the island and the other half in Ramona. Should the HSUS ever decide to come clean, which is extremely unlikely, that estimate can be later revised.

Therefore, the HSUS has rescued around forty-five cats and even that assumes that the ones exhibited at FFAWRC actually came from San Nicolas. The HSUS could have picked them up elsewhere and simply be claiming that they came from the island. After all, it consistently has lied about everything else. (See photos below of some of the allegedly rescued cats.)

The obliging capitalist media, as per usual, swallowed the HSUS's public relations stunt whole and without question. (See KNSD-TV of San Diego, November 3, 2009, "Feral Cats Get a Home," KPBS-Radio and TV of San Diego, November 5, 2009, "SoCal Wildlife Center Makes Habitat for Feral Cats," North County Times of Escondido, November 3, 2009, "Ramona: Feral Cats Rescued from Island Find a Home at Wildlife Center," KFMB-760AM of San Diego, November 3, 2009, "Feral Cats Rescued and Brought to New Cat Sanctuary," The Mercury News of San Jose, November 5, 2009, "SoCal Wildlife Center Makes Habitat for Feral Cats," and the Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2009, "Fifty-Four Feral Cats on San Nicolas Island Relocated to Ramona in Order to Protect Native Animals.")

This latest propaganda blitz follows upon the heels of similar ones launched by the HSUS in May and August of this year. (See Cat Channel, May 1, 2009, "Seven San Nicolas Island Cats Rescued" and the Ramona Sentinel, August 19, 2009, "Sanctuary Saves San Nicolas Felines from Certain Death.")

For the uninitiated, the HSUS's efforts on behalf of San Nicolas's cats might appear au premier coup d'oeil as rather commendable. In truth, however, they are just the opposite.

What the HSUS and its allies within the moneybags media have gone to such gargantuan lengths to conceal from the public is that as of June of 2008 there were according to declarations made by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the United States Navy, twin architects of their removal, more than two-hundred homeless cats on the island.

Assuming that the dozen cats which supposedly remain on the island are removed before the HSUS's trapping initiative is scheduled to be terminated in February of next year, that would still leave at least one-hundred-forty-three cats unaccounted for on San Nicolas. Moreover, it is by no means certain that any of the holdouts will make it out alive.

"We have to make sure we have every one of them," the USFWS's Jane Herndon pledged to the Ventura County Star of Camarillo on April 10th of this year. (See "Feral Cats to Be Eliminated from Island.")

The crucial question therefore is not that the HSUS has saved forty-five cats but rather what has happened to the other one-hundred-forty-three of them? Since the thoroughly despicable capitalist media has been following this story for the past eighteen months it is well aware of this problem.

Consequently, its collective decision to conceal this ruthless slaughter is not only unforgivable but constitutes a new low point in American journalism. This is not a crime of omission but rather of commission since the media certainly know that cats are being gunned down every day on San Nicolas.

According to the Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared by the USFWS and the Navy and released to the public in June of 2008, the majority of the cats were to have been hunted down with bloodhounds at night and shotgunned to death. The remainder were to have been ensnared in padded leghold traps and then shot on the spot. (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.")

Originally the HSUS was dead set against San Nicolas's cats being both shot and caught in leghold traps. "The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection agency and considers the Preferred Alternative of padded leghold taps and shooting cats as inhumane regardless of how the EA labels and defends this strategy," the organization's Nancy Peterson wrote in a letter to the USFWS on June 17, 2008. (See Re: Comments on the Environmental Assessment for the San Nicolas Island Seabird Restoration Project.") "In absolutely no case, should USFWS shoot cats on San Nicolas Island."

Peterson was even blunter in a June 6, 2008 interview with the Ventura County Star where she unambiguously declared, "This is not humane." (See "Biologists Want Island Cats Killed.") "I would not say shooting cats and leaving them in leghold traps for up to fourteen hours is humane."

That admission brings up the disturbing question of exactly how many of the forty-five cats that have been rescued so far sustained injuries while in the leghold traps. (See photo below of a non-San Nicolas cat caught in one of these traps.) The HSUS's either unwillingness or incompetence to apprehend them using conventional box traps is another black mark against it.

Somewhere between June and November of last year the HSUS had a drastic change of opinion and sold San Nicolas's cats down the river to the USFWS. The specifics of this sleazy, back room deal never have been made public but the broad outlines of it are clearly discernible. (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.")

The first incentive as far as the HSUS is concerned was obviously money. In reality, the organization is little more than a gaggle of glorified beggars.

Although it has an announced annual operating budget in excess of $120 million, it has bummed $100,000 from the search engine Do Great Good for its efforts on San Nicolas. It has not revealed, however, how much additional funding it has received from the public for rescuing forty-five cats.

That is in addition to the $1,854,100 that the USFWS cadged from Montrose Chemicals of Torrance in order to exterminate San Nicolas's cats. All totaled, the feds exacted $140 million from Montrose for discharging DDT and PCBs into the waters off of southern California between 1945-1982.

Those deadly pollutants infected worms and microorganisms which are eaten by fish. Mammals and birds, such as Brandt's Cormorant and bald eagles, then ate the fish and became polluted themselves. Not about to pass up any opportunity to purse its long-standing vendetta against cats, the USFWS is now using not only Montrose's crimes against the environment but also its money in order to kill cats.

All public pronouncements made by the USFWS and its partners in crime have been part and parcel of a tissue of lies directed at justifying this en masse eradication of cats. They include, inter alia, the EA, which was prepared by a group of cat-hating wildlife biologists at H.T. Harvey and Associates of Fresno who deliberately excluded any input from cat advocacy groups; an illegal, abbreviated period for public comments on the EA; the disgraceful, one-sided reporting of the capitalist media; and, now the HSUS's sellout. (See Cat Defender post of July 10, 2008 entitled "The Ventura Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island.")

John Lennon was better known for his songwriting and vocals but he also was a devoted cat-lover. (See Cat Defender post of December 5, 2005 entitled "Remembering John Lennon: A Great Songwriter and a Brave Political Activist Who Also Loved Cats.")

What he said all those years ago concerning the political situation in general is particularly a propos to the mistreatment of San Nicolas's cats by the USFWS, Navy, HSUS, and capitalist media:

"I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, shortsighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is some truth
Just gimme some truth.

I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pigheaded politicians
All I want is some truth
Just gimme some truth."

Sadly, the truth is in even shorter supply today than it was during John's time. Nevertheless, $2 million would seem to be sufficient for the USFWS and the HSUS to get rid of two-hundred cats but apparently that is not the case because the HSUS is still badgering the public for more funding.

If a dishonest and blood-drenched buck was all that the HSUS was after that in itself would be bad enough but its treachery is far more egregious. First of all, by entering into its Faustian bargain with the USFWS the HSUS has accepted its edict that those cats removed from San Nicolas must be imprisoned for life in Ramona and never adopted.

"These cats must be kept for the remainder of their lives in Service-approved facilities that prevent the cats from escaping and threatening wildlife on the mainland," the USFWS stipulated in its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) released earlier this year. Even if the USFWS were to relent and permit some of the kittens to be adopted, their prospective new owners would have to sign contracts agreeing to also imprison them indoors for as long as they live.

In addition to all the hours that the cats were forced to spend in leghold traps on San Nicolas, they were subjected to even lengthier sojourns in cages at FFAWRC while their new enclosure was being constructed. (See bottom photo.)

Thus in one fell swoop the HSUS has handed the USFWS, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), and all other wildlife and bird advocates several key victories that they heretofore had been unable to obtain. The USFWS's stipulations also prove conclusively that it is pursuing a far more ambitious agenda than merely attempting to restore San Nicolas and other islands to pristine idylls that, in truth, never did exist and never will exist.

Even more disastrously, the agreement between the HSUS and USFWS will serve as a template for future feline eradications and imprisonments both on the mainland and on islands. No one, however, should be really surprised by the HSUS's deadly sellout because it never has been a champion of homeless cats.

For example, even as recent as 2006 it was still branding TNR as "subsidized abandonment." Plus, on its web site, it states that the "best and safest place for cats to reside is in people's homes."

In a recent video entitled "Trap-Neuter-Return: Fixing Feral Cat Overpopulation," the HSUS does indeed endorse TNR but only as a stopgap measure. "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," Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats in Manhattan and the narrator of the video declares. "So whether it's one blue jay who is killed or millions of songbirds it's real problem."

That was the opening gambit in a fiendish plot concocted by HSUS, Neighborhood Cats, and others to subvert and hijack the homeless cat protection movement. Through a myriad of sleazy, underhanded deals with the USFWS, wildlife biologists, and birders they are intent upon both eliminating feral colonies and making it illegal for cats to be outside.

"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 professions, (and) municipal officials," Peterson states in the video cited supra.

If there ever was a blueprint for killing cats, the one announced by Peterson surely fits the bill. Whereas it is generally well-known that for wildlife biologists and birders the only good cat is a dead one, it is less widely appreciated that the American Veterinary Medical Association feels exactly the same way. (See Cat Defender post of May 16, 2006 entitled "Kansas City Vets Break Ranks with AVMA to Defend Cats Against Bird Advocates, Wildlife Proponents, and Exterminators.")

Shelters and Animal Control earn their daily bread by rounding up and systematically exterminating millions of cats each year. Health officials, who steadfastly refuse to require that public facilities provide such basic necessities of good hygiene as hot water and soap and also permit filthy restaurants to continue to operate year after year, nonetheless have the chutzpah to slander cats as being unclean and thus a threat to public health. Besides, any group of professionals that has so grossly mishandled the Schweinegrippe outbreak and inoculation process as the health and medical communities should not be entrusted with even taking out the trash let alone setting health policy.

Politicians, as everyone knows, vote not their consciences but rather as they are instructed by their financial backers. As a consequence, it is unlikely that very many of them have anything positive to contribute to this debate.

The HSUS's Betsy McFarland reiterated Peterson's stance during the November 3rd dog and pony show that the HSUS staged for the public's benefit at FFAWRC. "This project is a testament to the commitment of multiple agencies to find common ground and develop solutions for feral cats in areas with threatened or endangered species," she crowed in a press release quoted verbatim by many in the media. (See "The HSUS and Fund for Animals Dedicate Habitat for San Nicolas Island Cats.") "The cats from San Nicolas Island deserve the opportunity to live a full and happy life, and we're proud to provide that at our sanctuary."

If she had a shred of honesty in her deceitful old bones she would have stood up for the right of all two-hundred cats on San Nicolas to have continued to live in freedom on the island. They were, after all, born there and as such have every bit as much of a right to be there as does any other species. The true invasive species and destroyers of the island are the USFWS, Navy, and the HSUS.

The key to the HSUS's devilish designs is the control and criminalization of the feeding of homeless cats by private individuals. Unless these kindhearted and selfless individuals can be brought under its thumb, the HSUS's machinations are destined to fail.

Unfortunately, its subalterns already have scored several crucial victories. Most notably, Neighborhood Cats and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals have teamed up in order to identify and gain control of hundreds of feral colonies and their caretakers. The locations of the colonies and the names of the volunteers are even stored in a database.

In Petaluma, California, the City Council voted five to one on October 19th to require that all feral cat feeders be affiliated with an official care provider. This organization also would be required to take out insurance on the volunteers.

Under this draconian measure, which was pushed through by bird advocates, violators will be prosecuted and ultimately forced to abandon their duties. Consequently, the cats then will be left to either die on their own or to slowly twist in the wind under the constraints imposed upon them as the result of whatever sleazy deals that the nonprofits decide to enter into with wildlife biologists and birders, just as the HSUS has done on San Nicolas. (See The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, October 20, 2009, "Cat Lovers Fail to Stop New Petaluma Regulations.")

In Manchester, Pennsylvania, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on November 10th to prohibit volunteers from feeding homeless cats unless they are able to prove that their charges have been sterilized. Violators of this ordinance are subject to a $1,000 fine. (See The York Dispatch, November 11, 2009, "Feral Cat Feeders Face Fines in Manchester Township.")

Killeen, Texas, already infamous for shooting cats, is currently considering an ordinance that would require volunteers to be licensed and to sterilize at least half of the cats in their colonies. They also would be required to file annual reports on the number of cats sterilized. (See Killeen Daily Herald, November 17, 2009, "Killeen Continues Feral Cat Ordinance Discussion" and Cat Defender post of July 16, 2009 entitled "Yellow Two Is Shot and Maimed for Life at Fort Hood in the United States Army's Latest Criminal Offense Against Cats.")

Even more outrageous than the passage of these statutes has been the praise that they have garnered from those groups that supposedly have the best interests of homeless cats at heart. "We believe the intent of the ordinance to manage feral cat colonies in Petaluma is positive, but we don't think the city has ironed out exactly how this will work," Jennifer Kirchner of Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County told the San Francisco Cat Rescue Examiner on October 21st. (See "New Petaluma Feral Cat Ordinance Raises Concerns Among Rescue Groups.") "We think the city council needed to get more feline rescue groups involved in working out the nuts and bolts of the ordinance before they passed it."

Kirchner's viewpoint was readily endorsed by Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies (ACA). "While there are good intentions behind this ordinance, it is the wrong approach," she wrote in an October 29th letter to the editor of the Santa Rosa Democrat. (See "Caring for Cats.") "By mandating that nonprofit groups buy insurance for their volunteers without providing financial support and then requiring that caregivers register or risk prosecution, the city will only end up discouraging Good Samaritans and knowledgeable local cat groups, putting an end to programs that humanely stabilize the feral cat population."

First of all, mesdames Kirchner and Robinson should spell out to the public exactly what it is that they find so appealing about the new law in Petaluma. Secondly, both of them obviously are scared to death that laws of this sort are going to end up costing them some of their godly green.

Although groups such as Forgotten Felines and ACA occasionally do some good work, their contributions to the welfare of homeless cats is minuscule. The homeless cat protection movement always has been comprised almost exclusively of volunteers who purchase the cats' food and milk out of their own pockets. They also construct their feeding stations and shelters and pay their medical bills.

They are precisely the ones who speak up for homeless cats at city council meetings, write letters on their behalf to newspapers and, quite often, suffer the indignities and costs of being fined and jailed for their advocacy. (See Cat Defender post of February 26, 2007 entitled "Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap.")

Anyone who attempts to interfere in any way with either them or the good work that they are doing, whether it be cat-haters, politicians, or outright frauds such as the HSUS and Neighborhood Cats, is going to destroy the movement. The only things that these usurpers are good for are grubbing for money and selling out cats to their mortal enemies.

Even ACA is not to be trusted. Every bit as mad for shekels as the HSUS, its only response to the slaughter of San Nicolas's cats was to belatedly organize a letter-writing campaign in opposition. Since then it has been as quiet as a church mouse while the cats have been systematically gunned down one by one.

Then there was the September 29th revelation by cat-hater and defamer Natalie Angier in (where else?) the slimy and disreputable New York Times that Robinson is a closet adherent of the ABC's Cats Indoors agenda. (See "Give Birds a Break. Lock Up the Cat.")

Since Robinson never has publicly refuted Angier's claim, there must be a measure of truth to it. If that is so, Robinson's duplicity's is the very pinnacle of hypocrisy.

Despite the torrent of lies spread by their detractors, the only difference between feral and domestic cats is that the latter have homes whereas the former do not. Moreover, the fate of all cats is inextricably linked and for Robinson to publicly advocate for the right of homeless cats to live outdoors while simultaneously promoting the locking up of domestic cats indoors is just one more deadly sellout.

Very few of the old rules apply anymore. If they did, the old adage that "he who pays the piper calls the tune" would apply in this instance and since the volunteers are the heart, soul, and backbone of the homeless cat protection movement they would be allowed to act as they see fit.

It also used to be the case that individuals of a philanthropic bent spent their own money but today running a charity has itself become a big business. Instead of constantly badgering the public for money, organizations like HSUS and ACA should invest some of their loot in, say, either a Burger King franchise or a shoe factory.

Since they are not any better than the volunteers, they are certainly capable of flipping burgers and sewing shoes by day and pursuing their advocacy work evenings and on weekends. It sans doute would not be an easy row to hoe but it sure beats being a bum.

To come to the heart of the matter, anyone or group that publicly proclaims that there ever could be any rapprochement between birders, wildlife biologists, and ailurophobes on the one hand and cat-lovers on the other hand is either naive or downright dishonest. This is a fight to the bitter finish and no compromises are possible.

That petit fait is made explicit on a daily basis by birders and wildlife biologists in their voluminous publications, videos, and the half-baked, anti-cat diatribes that they dash off to newspaper editors. For most of them, defaming and killing cats is their only raison d'etre.

They sometimes will agree to TNR but that is only a temporary compromise in those instances where their murderous urges are thwarted by public opposition. HSUS, ACA, Neighborhood Cats, and their subalterns know this better than anyone else.

Because of their double-dealing and blatant dishonesty, true cat-lovers should refrain from giving money to any of these groups. Furthermore, their treachery must be exposed and stopped.

In conclusion, both the HSUS and the capitalist media for too long have gotten away with telling too many lies. The time has come therefore for the HSUS to disclose to the public exactly how many cats it and its allies within the USFWS have killed on San Nicolas Island.

It also must release to the public photographs of the dead cats with their heads blown off and their tiny bodies covered in blood. Then the public will be able to place these gruesome photos alongside the HSUS's propaganda snaps taken at FFAWRC and judge for itself if saving forty-five cats was worth the coldblooded murder of one-hundred-forty-three of them.

Photographs also must be released of those cats who have suffered bloody and mangled limbs as the result of being ensnared in leghold traps. The faces and names of the USFWS's assassins must be made public along with a detailed accounting of how much each of them was paid for each murder. The world deserves a good look at what kind of individuals commit these types of atrocities.

The HSUS and USFWS additionally must inform the world of the final disposition of the slain cats' corpses. It already has been announced that many of them will be turned over to wildlife biologists so that their stomachs can be cut open and inventoried.

The findings from these necropsies then will be used as the basis for an outpouring of so-called scientific papers designed to justify the cats' extermination. In reality, the biologists' mutilation of their corpses reveals only the utter contempt that they harbor in their malignant bosoms for the species.

Most importantly of all, if the rule of law is destined to ever mean what it should, there must be a single, inviolable standard of conduct for both the government and the people and that certainly includes the strict enforcement of the anti-cruelty statutes. It therefore is imperative that both the USFWS and the Navy somehow be held accountable in a court of law for the murders that they have committed on San Nicolas.

The same holds true for the HSUS. Because of its complicity in these horrible crimes it, too, is guilty of the violating the very laws that it is all the time pretending to be enforcing.

If there is one honest state or local prosecutor left in this country who has a clearly defined sense of right and wrong, either he or she must issue arrest warrants for these cat killers. In addition to being jailed, they immediately should be divested of their fat welfare checks, pensions, and medical benefits.

Ultimately, both the USFWS and its designated death squad, the USDA's Wildlife Services, will have to be abolished. The systemic rot, ingrained prejudices, egregious crimes, and widespread corruption that are so endemic to both agencies place them beyond salvage.

Considerably more is at stake here than just saving cats and the failure to deal swiftly and severely with these Hitlerites of the natural world is only going to lead to the commission of far greater atrocities in the future. For example, psychologists who have studied serial killers and other violent offenders have discovered that a majority of them began their crime sprees by abusing and killing defenseless animals.

That which holds true for individuals applies in spades to governments and their agents, such as the USFWS and the Navy. After all, since power and money are seldom ever accumulated except with evil intentions in mind, it by necessity follows that great power is synonymous with great evil.

Photos: Ricardo DeAratanha of the Los Angeles Times (aerial view of San Nicolas), Hayne Palmour IV of the North County Times (cats), Ban Leghold Traps (cat in trap), and HSUS (caged cats).