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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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hobson Is Forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg


"It had cut into his skin and was almost down to the muscle under his leg. It had cut all the way around and left only three inches of skin on his shoulder."
-- Geraldine Murgatroyd of the York RSPCA


Elastic collars are ballyhooed as being safer for cats than conventional models because their expandability makes it possible for their wearers to wiggle out of them should they ever become snagged on some obstruction. The reality of the situation is quite different in that they often turn into even worse death traps that ensnare cats' legs as well as their heads.

That was the alarming situation that handsome black and white little Hobson found himself in late last Fall. In circumstances that are not exactly clear, the elastic collar that he was wearing slipped underneath his right front leg and thus trapped both his shoulder and leg in a pincer movement.

"It had cut into his skin and was almost down to the muscle under his leg," Geraldine Murgatroyd of the York RSPCA told The Press of York on April 19th. (See "Collar Recommendation after Cat Suffers Horrific Injuries.") "It had cut all the way around and left only three inches of skin on his shoulder."

Hobson's injuries were so severe that he required emergency surgery and thirty staples to close his wound. (See photo above of him with the Rachel Harris of the York RSPCA.)

To his credit, Hobson kept his chin up throughout his long and trying ordeal. "He has a super personality," Murgatroyd added. "He even purred when we pulled the staples out."

Best of all, he appears to be well on the road to recovery. "Hobson is doing very well and his injuries thankfully (are) now behind him," Murgatroyd's co-worker, Peter Anderson, wrote in an e-mail letter just to hand this afternoon.

Based upon a photograph posted on the organization's web site it appears that he is missing a large patch of fur on his back but hopefully it will grow back in time. The major difficulty at the moment is locating a good home for him.

Although he is described on the RSPCA's web site as "a lovely cat who wants to be friends with everyone," inexplicably no one in Yorkshire apparently wants to befriend him. Perhaps therefore someone from outside the area will be willing to give this long-suffering and richly deserving cat a home. If so, he or she should contact the RSPCA either by telephone at 44 01904 654949 or e-mail at info@rspca-yorkhome.org.uk.

It is not known how Hobson got into such a horrifying predicament. All that is certain is that he was found in extremis back in February on a farm near the affluent spa town of Harrogate, approximately thirty-five kilometers west of York.

Since someone had to have outfitted him with the collar, he most likely at one time or another had a regular home. Sometime thereafter he was in all probability cruelly abandoned to fend for himself. Worst of all, his owner did not even have the bon sens to remove the collar beforehand.

Based upon the extent of his injuries, it is a good bet that he had been on his own for several months at the very least. Under such trying circumstances he not only was forced to procure food and shelter but to defend himself against predators, motorists, and ailurophobes. Plus, England suffered through an especially rough winter.

As his wound grew progressively worse, walking, jumping, and climbing sans doute became more difficult and there was the ever present danger that an infection could have killed him at any time. It therefore is truly amazing that he was able to find the courage and strength in order to have survived.

Hobson's plight is very similar to that of a stray named Que from Queens, Nova Scotia, who in December of 2007 was discovered on a farm with his right paw entangled in his collar. In fact, his predicament was so dire that his paw had become stuck in an upright position at the side of his head.

That forced him to hobble around on three legs for an estimated six to seven months as the collar grew into his "armpit." Although the type of collar was never specified, it certainly sounds as if he was wearing an elastic one.

Following several operations, seventy stitches, and a ton of antibiotics Que eventually recovered and was put up for adoption by the Queens SPCA. (See photo above.)

Hobson's close brush with death once again has focused debate on the hazards associated with elastic collars. "People think these elastic collars are best, but they are not," Murgatroyd told The Press in the article cited supra. "We tend to get about three of these incidents a year, but this was the worst case I have seen in the three years I have been here. He needed quite a lot of surgery."

Susie Hughes of the Manchester and Salford RSPCA recommends breakaway collars as a safer alternative even though they are, quite obviously, more expensive in the long run. "Our response is 'good, it means they are doing their job,' and surely their beloved companion is worth two and one-half pounds a time," she told The Press.

Regardless of what type of collar is used it needs to be checked on daily basis in order to make sure that it is functioning properly. Above all, cat owners should have enough intelligence to realize that collars fastened to growing cats must be constantly loosened.

Notwithstanding that admonition, an unidentified elderly woman living on Derrick Avenue in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, outfitted a tiny black and white kitten named Trooper with a collar that she never bothered to adjust even as the female grew into an adult. Consequently, it was not surprising that when she was discovered on March 26, 2008 by workers from a local shelter that the collar had grown into the skin and her neck had become infected.

Emergency surgery was required in order to remove the collar but Trooper, thankfully, has since made a complete recovery and now has a new home to boot. (See Cat Defender post of May 28, 2008 entitled "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour.")

Although collars not only can come off but additionally fail to offer cats absolutely any protection whatsoever against thieves, poisoners, motorists, and wild animals, their usage is nevertheless essential because they quite often force Animal Control officers and shelters to think twice about summarily executing them. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home" and KTSM-TV of El Paso, March 31, 2010, "Woman Furious over Untreated Cat.")

If any of these professional cat killers pick up a feline wearing a collar they may spare its life for a few days if they think that they either can sell it back to its original owner or to someone else. If, however, they come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the cat is homeless not only will they summarily kill it but they also will withhold veterinary treatment.

It is a sad commentary on the human race but the plight of cats is not all that different from that of the impecunious. In both instances, either money or connections are needed not only in order to live but also to procure life-saving medical intervention and to check the evil designs of enemies.

Photos: Sarah Tweedie of The Press (Hobson and Harris) and Renee Stevens of The Chronicle Herald of Halifax (Que).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues


"To be quite honest, that she (Lindridge) only got struck off for three months is a bit of a joke considering all the pain that she put Felix through."
-- Heather Irwin


Regardless of whether the setting is Angleterre or America, the practice of veterinary medicine is rife with greed, incompetence, and cat-haters. The health and well-being of cats and other animals is of secondary importance and doubters need only to consult sixty-two-year-old Heather Irwin of Blaydon Burn in northeast England.

Her long and trying ordeal with this pack of cutthroat sham professionals and those who supposedly regulate them began in 2007 when she took her seven-year-old cat Felix to Consett Veterinary Center in Consett, County Durham, in order to have his broken left leg set. There she was introduced to Silke Birgitt Lindridge who so completely botched this rather simple procedure that she nearly killed Felix.

In what that only can be described as either pure ignorance or gross indifference, Lindridge began by incorrectly inserting a rod into Felix's leg that soon worked its way through the joint. The pin next became infected thus requiring that some of the skin surrounding it had to be excised.

If all of that were not bad enough, Lindridge then proceeded to wrap the infected leg so tightly that the bandage not only cut into Felix's flesh but began to stink to high heaven as well. That forced Irwin to take Felix back to Lindridge and this time around she wrapped his leg in cotton.

Inexplicably, she neglected to outfit him with an Elizabethan collar and this allowed him to gnaw at the bandage. The cotton then began not only to accumulate in his stomach but to choke the life out of him as well.

This in turn necessitated stomach surgery in order to remove the fabric. When all was said and done, Irwin was out of pocket more than four-hundred pounds for this ridiculously incompetent level of veterinary care.

Worst of all, Felix was put through Hell. "Felix went through so much pain and suffering. He is nine now and he is still not completely right," Irwin told The Journal of Newcastle-on-Tyne last September 7th. (See "Vet Is Charged with Disgraceful Conduct.") "It was absolutely disgusting the way this poor cat was treated."

To her credit, Irwin did not take this shabby treatment lying down but instead channeled her anger into lodging a complaint against Lindridge with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in London, which since 1844 has been charged with regulating the profession. (See photo above of her and Felix.)

While the suits at the RCVS readily agreed with her that Lindridge was guilty of "disgraceful conduct," it was not for the reasons that she had alleged. Instead, what they found to be so disgraceful was the fact that Lindridge had fallen behind in her dues to the organization at the time that she was treating Felix!

In other words, nearly killing Felix was of absolutely no consequence but shortchanging the RCVS merited her being suspended from practicing veterinary medicine for three months. This ludicrous ruling, quite naturally, left Irwin livid.

"To be quite honest, that she only got struck off for three months is a bit of a joke considering all the pain that she put Felix through," she told The Journal on September 15th. (See "Durham Vet Guilty of 'Disgraceful Conduct' over Cat Treatment.")

Nonetheless, a partial victory is better than a total rebuff. "It has taken two years for this to be sorted out," Irwin told The Journal in the September 7th article cited supra. "At times I felt like giving up but when I looked at the cat and all the pain he had been through I thought 'I can't give up'."

Whereas the rot that infests the veterinary profession is systemic, there are certain areas of practice that are more susceptible to malpractice than others. Of particular concern is the widespread sterilization of cats.

Whether it is a lack of expertise, due diligence, sloppiness, or simply a case of veterinarians attempting to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time, deadly foul-ups occur all the time. Usually, however, they are not as catastrophic as what recently happened to Maria Brown's two-year-old cat, Lexi.

On June 2nd, she dropped off Lexi and his sister, Angel, at Woosehill Vets in Woosehill, a suburb of Wokingham in Berkshire fifty-three kilometers west of London, to be sterilized. When she returned the following day to collect them she was given Angel and a pet rabbit.

When she pointed out the obvious the vets finally came clean and admitted that they had irresponsibly allowed Lexi to escape through an open window. Regardless of whatever else that can be said for these boobs they must be given credit for having the unmitigated gall to think that they could get away with fobbing off a rabbit on Brown in place of her beloved Lexi. (See photo above.)

Of course, it is conceivable that as far as these professional ball whackers are concerned all animals look alike. After all, a testicle is a testicle just as a pound is a pound.

At last report, Lexi was still AWOL and the best that Brown can hope for is that he sooner or later will be able to find his way back to her home in Woodley, four miles removed from the surgery. As far as it is known, the owner of the rabbit has not publicly commented on what transpired.

"Maria is very upset," Brown's neighbor, Julie Bobb, told the Daily Telegraph on June 7th. (See "Cat Flees from Surgery to Avoid the Snip.") "To be honest, the vet was very vague and we were there about three hours. They were dithering around and didn't realize that the cat was missing."

The manager of the practice, who is being shielded from public censure by the ever obliging English media, at first blamed Brown for Lexi's disappearance. "Normally what happens is that people pick up their pets the same day that they bring them to be spayed," he told the Daily Telegraph. "But this woman didn't do that. She left them with us overnight, which is very rare."

He followed up that clumsy and dishonest attempt to smear Brown by chalking up Lexi's disappearance as not being anything out of the ordinary. "Cats go missing, even in the home, and that is what has happened here," he pontificated to the Daily Mail on June 7th. (See "Cat Makes Daring Escape from Surgery to Avoid the Dreaded Snip.") "Clearly we made a mistake here. We have to open the window in the cattery so the cats can get fresh air, but we have now fixed brackets to it so that it cannot be opened wide enough for an animal to escape through."

In addition to losing Lexi, the vets at Woosehill also botched the spaying of Angel. Just as Lindridge failed to do with Felix, they neglected to outfit her with an Elizabethan collar and as the result she tore out one of the stitches.

That in turn forced Brown to rush her to another veterinarian in order to have the rupture repaired and thus to prevent her from bleeding to death. For its part, the surgery claims that it forgot the collar because staff was preoccupied searching for Lexi.

Worried to death about the negative impact that these two incidents of glaring malpractice are going to have on business at his two-year-old establishment, the manager has issued an apology of sorts to "this woman" and is contemplating sending her a bouquet of flowers. He additionally claims to have refunded the forty pounds that she paid him to sterilize Angel.

"But I don't think she should question our competence because we have been performing this kind of surgery for many years and never had any problems," he had the nerve to tell the Wokingham Times on June 3rd. (See "Cat Owner Left Distraught after Vet Loses Pet.") "We are trying to run a successful and first-class clinic and people are happy to use us."

A perusal of readers' comments posted on the Wokingham Times' web site tells an entirely different story. For instance, one reader reports that Lexi is not the first cat that Woosehill has lost. In particular, they carelessly allowed another one to escape during a consultation a few months ago.

Although the surgery advertises itself as providing around-the-clock emergency veterinary care, another reader recounts being repeatedly lied to and jerked around all night before finally being shown to a vet sometime after 6 a.m. the following day. Finally, a third reader was so disgusted with the quality of care that her cat received that she completely gave up on Woosehill Vets after two unsatisfactory visits.

The practice's self-serving drivel on top of its gross incompetence ultimately proved to be too much for the editor of Moggies to stomach. "'Sorry' just does not do it for outright stupidity. This vet is stupid beyond reason. Leaving a window open is unbelievable," she stated June 9th on the organization's web site. "This vet needs to get either his or her practice up to proper standards and practices that include safe areas for any animal with no open windows. This practice probably follows the pharma companies' mantra of 'charge for what you can when you can'."

Contrary to the slipshod procedures in situ at Woosehill Vets, it generally is a good idea for sterilized cats to be held overnight in order to ensure that they, unlike Angel, do not suffer any surgical complications. For example, in either late December of 2007 or early January of 2008 Nadia Pavlovic of Oxford lost her cat, Darcy, to a botched spaying performed by Andrew Bartholomew Veterinary Surgeons on Iffley Road. (See photo above on the left of Darcy.)

The day following the procedure, Pavlovic noticed that Darcy had cold paws and would not eat. She immediately telephoned Bartholomew with her concerns but was told that they were unfounded.

Pavlovic then sought out and received a second opinion from another vet who advised her to rush Darcy back to Bartholomew. Sadly, by that time it was too late and Darcy bled to death en route.

To this day, Bartholomew has yet to offer Pavlovic either an explanation or an apology. (See Cat Defender post of February 26, 2008 entitled "The Dark Side of Spay and Neuter: Veterinarian Botched Surgeries and Back Alley Castrations Claim the Lives of Numerous Cats.")

The hazards associated with these procedures are magnified ten-fold for homeless cats. First of all, these cats usually are sterilized en masse by so-called humane organizations under such hurried circumstances that it is doubtful that any of them ever receive anything remotely approaching the level of individual care that they need and deserve.

Moreover, none of them are outfitted with Elizabethan collars and if the complications that Angel and Darcy experienced are typical multitudes of homeless cats most likely bleed to death each year after they are prematurely returned to the wild. Even those cats whose incisions hold are easy prey for wild animals, motorists, and ailurophobes for as long as they remain under the side effects of the anesthesia. All of that is totally unacceptable and practitioners of TNR urgently need to implement procedures that better protect the health of the cats that they sterilize.

Sometimes the sterilizers do not even bother to clean up after themselves. For example, in February of 2005 Alley Cat Allies left a cafeteria at a school in Washington in such disarray that classes scheduled for the following Monday had to be canceled.

Moreover, there is some evidence that even those cats who come through these procedures unscathed are more prone to obesity and osteosarcomas than their intact cousins. (See Margaret V. Root Kustritz, "Determining the Optimal Age for Gonadectomy of Dogs and Cats," 231 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1665-1675, December 1, 2007).

The cold-blooded, merciless nature of some veterinarians is nowhere better illustrated than in the large number of cats and dogs that they deliberately kill each year simply because their owners either cannot or are unwilling to pay in order to have them treated. That is in itself a staggering indictment of a profession that should be dedicated to saving, as opposed to extinguishing, lives. Jack Kevorkian, for example, spent eight years in jail for helping one-hundred-thirty individuals to do away with themselves but veterinarians kill far more cats and dogs each year with society's blessings.

Tracey Keyes and her family from the Edmonton section of the borough of Enfield in north London are well-acquainted with that scenario. After all, it was precisely a lack of money and bureaucratic red tape that prompted the then forty-three-year-old mother of three to have her fourteen-year-old cat, Soup, killed off by a veterinarian in 2008.

Once Soup became ill, Keyes took him to a vet who demanded one-hundred-fifty pounds up front in order to treat him. Since she did not have that amount of cash on hand, she next turned to the RSPCA's Harmsworth Animal Hospital in Finsbury Park, Haringey Borough, where she did not fare any better.

"They refused to see Soup point-blank or even to carry out a consultation," she told the Enfield Independent on June 5, 2008. (See "'Our Cat Died after It Was Refused Treatment'.") "A woman told me Soup could not be seen because I'm in work. But we rely on tax credits to get by."

"It is policy that people who want their animals treated there (Harmsworth) prove they live on a weekly household income of two-hundred pounds or less," a spokesman for the RSPCA shot back to the Enfield Independent. Apparently Keyes could not meet that requirement although she did volunteer to pay part of Soup's bill.

Consequently, Keyes and her family went ahead and had Soup killed off but the matter did not end with his interment. (See photo above of her with sons Christopher, Ike, and Connor alongside Soup's grave.)

When she had the temerity to complain to the RSPCA about Soup's shabby treatment instead of sympathy she received another kick in the teeth. "A man told me that I'm to blame for Soup's death because I should have emergency funds set aside for veterinary emergencies. He called me an irresponsible owner," she told the Enfield Independent in the article cited supra. "To be told that Soup's suffering was my fault angers me."

Keyes is, quite understandably, disillusioned with the RSPCA. "I used to respect the RSPCA's work. Now I think they're a fake. I turned to the charity for help and it refused," she told the Enfield Independent.

She is far from being the Lone Ranger in that regard. Imagine, for example, how Katherine and Paul Parker-Brice of Ruislip in Middlesex must have felt after the RSPCA trapped and killed their nineteen-year-old cat, Mork, in May of 2007. In what has become an all-too-common occurrence, the RSPCA was sicced on Mork by a cat-hating neighbor after he had strayed into her garden.

The RSPCA made absolutely no effort whatsoever to contact the Parker-Brices and Mork was killed a scant two and one-half hours later. "The RSPCA quickly prosecutes anyone who neglects animals yet here it is killing them indiscriminately," Katherine pointed out in sentiments that mirror those expressed by Keyes. (See Cat Defender post of June 5, 2007 entitled "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")

Even though it is a bitter pill to swallow, there is considerable truth in the RSPCA's admonition to Keyes. All charities, both public and private, are taxed to the maximum with the demands of both the rich and poor.

Consequently, receiving assistance from them often can be even more difficult than getting a job and squirreling away the cash for a rainy day. Therefore as a practical matter cat owners have little choice other than to put aside funds in order to cover unexpected veterinary expenses.

Of special concern are crimes committed against cats. With ailurophobia being at epidemic proportions, nobody can predict when either his or her cat will be the victim of an unprovoked attack and thus require life-saving veterinary intervention.

That was the predicament that Jane Worthington and Sean Mahoon from the Manchester suburb of Burnage found themselves in back in 2007 when someone doused their four-year-old cat, Solskjaer, with acid. Already forced to get by on Mahoon's disability checks, the family was saddled with a $534 veterinary bill.

Despite the financial hardships foisted upon them by this horrific act of animal cruelty, they saw to it that their beloved cat received the veterinary treatment that he needed. (See Cat Defender post of September 25, 2007 entitled "Acid Attack Leaves Solskjaer with Severe Injuries and Horrific Pain as His Heartbroken and Cash-Strapped Family Struggles to Cope.")

Pet insurance is an option but the devil is in the details. Some plans are comme ci, comme-ca while others are virtually worthless.

Sorting out competent, reasonably priced vets beforehand is therefore imperative. Some minor ailments can be treated with home remedies and a premium should be placed on preventive care.

Compounding an already difficult situation, veterinary costs in the United States are estimated to be increasing at nine per cent per annum. For some procedures the increases are even steeper.

The exorbitant fees charged by veterinarians also had led to the proliferation of quacks who sometimes maim and kill as many animals as they help. That was what twenty-eight-year-old Steven Vassall of Brooklyn was up to when he was arrested by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office and charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license in 2006. (See mug shot of him above.)

His eventual apprehension was made possible by the heroics of an eight-month-old former stray named Fred who posed as a sterilization candidate in an elaborate undercover sting operation. (See photo below of the highly-decorated cat.)

Sadly, Fred was killed several months later by a hit-and-run motorist outside his Howard Beach home in 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 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.")

Even when veterinarians try to do the right thing they sometimes wind up in hot water. Such was the fate that befell South Carolina veterinarian Merri Walden Crenshaw of the Animal Clinic of Woodruff.

In May of 2005, Brandi Hart brought her daughter Rachel's cat, Mr. Kitty, to Crenshaw's surgery in order to be treated for a urinary tract infection. When told by Crenshaw that the cat would continue to experience painful health problems, Hart instead elected to have him killed.

Instead of going through with that heinous crime, Crenshaw decided to treat Mr. Kitty and after he recovered she made him her office cat. In January of 2007, one of Crenshaw's employees ratted her out and the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners seized the cat the following month and returned him to Hart.

Crenshaw subsequently was charged with falsifying medical records, fraud, and unprofessional and unethical conduct. She also was fined $1,000 and placed on indefinite supervised probation where she was subjected to unannounced inspections by state regulators.


Although Mr. Kitty remains on a special diet, his urinary tract disorder appears to be under control. (See bottom photo of him and Rachel.)

"I just think it takes a cold-hearted person to do that to a child," the elder Hart groused to the Spartanburg Herald Journal on December 10, 2007. (See "Woodruff Vet Reprimanded for Keeping Cat.") "And I can take a lot, but I felt like they were doing that to Rachel. That was her animal. That was her cat."

Both Hart and the Medical Examiners have got it all wrong. Mr. Kitty is alive today solely because of Crenshaw's compassion and generosity.

Hart and Rachel either wanted Mr. Kitty dead or were too cheap to foot the bill for his treatment. Moreover, instead of bringing charges against Crenshaw they should not only thank her for saving his life but also reimburse her for treating and caring for him for two years.

Even Crenshaw's lies and fraud are forgivable. She really does not owe anyone as callous and cold-hearted as Hart the truth and the killing fee that she received was a mere drop in the proverbial bucket when compared to what it cost her to successfully treat and house Mr. Kitty.

Being that competent and affordable veterinary care is in such short supply for even those cats that have owners, it should not come as any surprise that for a cat to be even suspected of being homeless it is pretty much out of the question. That was the hard lesson driven home to Maria Hernandez back in March when her cat, Frankie, turned up at the Northeast Animal Control Shelter in El Paso.

Although Frankie was interned at the facility for at least several days, veterinarians categorically refused to treat him despite the fact that he was bleeding from cuts to both his stomach and mouth. "We have a medical team that does the rounds and (in) this case they did not notice that this cat had this cut on the belly," shelter director Eddie Castro first told KTSM-TV of El Paso on March 31st. (See "Woman Furious Over Untreated Cat.")

A little bit later on in the interview Castro finally got around to telling the truth. "The cat was running loose. It didn't have a microchip and (it) didn't have a tag," he told KTSM-TV. "If the cat (had) had a tag around the neck it would have been treated different(sic) than a cat that's just a feral cat."

The reason for this unequal level of treatment is, not surprisingly, money. Cats that appear to be tame are provided with veterinary care because shelters think that either their owners will ransom them or someone else will adopt them. Either way shelters collect their bounties.

Cats that appear to be homeless do not have a prayer in Hell. The same rationale applies doubly to homeless cats that are either sick or injured.

Since shelters are going to kill them anyway, they deliberately allow them to suffer until the time arrives when they can legally kill them. (See Cat Defender posts of April 18, 2010 and June 15, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Ally's Last Ride Lands Her in a Death Trap Set by an Uncaring and Irresponsible Supermarket Chain and a Bargain Basement Shelter" and "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")

There are not any heroes in this story. For his part, Castro blames Hernandez for not equipping Frankie with some sort of identification whereas she would have preferred that the shelter had gone ahead and simply killed him.

"I would have been upset, but I would have been more understanding if they would have put him down and told me why they put him down," she told KTSM-TV in the article cited supra. "Thinking he was a stray and no one was going to pick him up or what have you, than to know he was in pain that long and they did nothing about it."

The thoroughly reprehensible manner in which homeless cats and those that appear to be homeless are treated by veterinarians does not come as any surprise when it is viewed in light of the disgracefully ailurophobic policies advocated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Divested of all the nuances and double-talk, the AVMA wholeheartedly believes that the only good cat is a profitable one. All others are vermin and accordingly should be killed.

In fact, its policy toward cats is taken pretty much verbatim from the anti-cat screeds disseminated by the diabolical American Bird Conservancy, the various chapters of the National Audubon Society, and wildlife biologists everywhere. (See "Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats" at www.avma.org.)

For starters, the AVMA ludicrously claims that cats are dirty and diseased and therefore a threat to both wildlife and humans. From there it goes on to advocate that all homeless cats be rounded up and systematically exterminated and that domestic ones be imprisoned indoors for life.

It also is categorically opposed to all public feeding of down-and-out cats as well as to the adoption of cats that have not been sterilized. Curiously enough, the hypocrites at the AVMA are conspicuously silent on the vitally important issue of the breeding of purebreds and designer cats, which also add to the population of homeless cats.

Not surprisingly, it is in favor of mandatory microchipping, vaccination, and the sterilization of all cats. These largely superfluous procedures are a sure bet to put as many cats in the graveyard as they put shekels in the pockets of veterinarians.

The problems associated with microchips are manifold. Most importantly, they are an unnecessary invasive procedure that have been linked to cancer. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2007 entitled "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs.")

Secondly, they do not offer cats any protection whatsoever against the machinations of ailurophobes, motorists, thieves, and wild animals. (See Cat Defender post of May 25, 2006 entitled "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats.")

Thirdly, since the AVMA insists that all cats should be locked up indoors for life microchips are unnecessary. The same holds true for many of the vaccinations that it touts so feverishly. Besides, vaccinations have been linked to sarcomas as well.

Much more importantly, exclusively indoor environments are lethal to cats in that they have been shown to lead to increased incidences of obesity, diabetes, Feline Hyperthyroidism, lead poisoning, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases. (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.")

Whereas the AVMA's attitude toward cats can only be described as cruel and inhumane, its distortion of both science and logic in order to enrich its members and to defame and kill cats constitutes the very epitome of professional dishonesty. That is why Sheila Dobson and several of her colleagues from the Kansas City area broke with the organization in 2006. (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.")

Individuals who care about cats therefore would be wise to patronize only those veterinarians who refuse to join the AVMA. There are about ten-thousand such practitioners in the United States; the remaining fifty-five-thousand belong the AVMA and therefore can only be classified as inveterate cat-haters.

Not only would such a principled stand deprive these fakers of the money required in order to finance their anti-cat campaigns but, given their inveterate hatred of the species, they cannot be trusted to honestly and competently treat any cat. Cat-lovers should not under any circumstances subsidize those individuals and groups that are dedicated to doing harm to the species.

In the final analysis, veterinary medicine should be about saving lives and all conscientious practitioners should refuse to kill animals under all circumstances. That admonition also applies to veterinarians who aid and abet vivisectors, meat producers, and those who race dogs, horses, camels, and other animals.

Photos: The Journal (Felix and Irwin), The Daily Telegraph and INS (Lexi), Nadia Pavlovic (Darcy), Enfield Independent (Keyes and her family), New York Police Department (Vassall), Alan Raia of Newsday (Fred), and Spartanburg Herald Journal (Mr. Kitty and Rachel Hart).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home


"Sheer incompetence by shelter workers yet again! What is going on in so-called animal shelters where they can murder six-week-old kittens after five days? This is American society at the moment, one that does not care one iota about its own citizens or its animals."
-- Moggies


On May 26th, staff at the Bay County Animal Shelter (BCAS) in Bay City, Michigan, murdered a six-week-old, unnamed kitten despite the fact that a woman in Washington State had offered to give it a home. (See photo above.)

The kitten was photographed on May 25th by John Ehlke of The Bay City Times and its image appeared on the world wide web a day later. (See The Bay City Times, May 28, 2010, "Update: Bay County Kitten Gets International Attention, New Home.") In addition to the offer of a home in Washington, similar inquiries were received from California, Iowa, and Sweden.

Since shelter manager Mike Halstead had ordered the kitten to be killed on May 26th, in all likelihood it already was dead before its photograph appeared on the web. Consequently, The Bay City Times was forced to retract its earlier story.

Halstead claims that the kitten was murdered because it had developed a kennel cough. By that he most likely means that it had some sort of feline upper respiratory infection (URI) since the term kennel cough is usually reserved for dogs.

Similar to the common cold in humans, upper respiratory infections in cats usually clear up within three weeks and are rarely fatal. Consequently, Halstead most certainly did not have a legitimate reason for snuffing out this tiny kitten's life.

The fact that it had a cough was just one more rationale that he invented out of thin air in order to justify his unquenchable thirst for feline blood. If all individuals were sent to the gallows every time that they either coughed or sneezed nearly everyone would be long dead.

He additionally claims that the kitten never was put up for adoption and instead blames the confusion on an unidentified worker at the shelter. The employee "probably just did it because we're always busy," he told The Bay City Times on June 1st. (See "Update: Bay County Animal Shelter Official Says Kitten That Attracted International Attention Was Euthanized.") "It was the wrong thing to do. We operate an aboveboard operation here."

That self-serving palaver drew the immediate ire of the editor of Moggies. "Sheer incompetence by shelter workers yet again! What is going on in so-called animal shelters where they can murder six-week-old kittens after five days?" she asked rhetorically June 5th on the organization's web site. "This is American society at the present moment, one that does not care one iota about its own citizens or its animals."

While there is sans doute much truth in her characterization of American society as being dog-eat-dog, she is naive if she believes that this helpless kitten was killed by mistake. Au contraire, its fate was sealed the instant that it fell into the deadly clutches of Animal Control and that dire assessment is borne out by an examination of the facts.

As far as it can be ascertained from press reports, the kitten arrived at the shelter on May 21st and was murdered in cold blood on May 26th simply because it was not wearing a collar. Under Michigan law it is permissible to kill collarless shelter animals after five days whereas those with collars are generously allowed to go on breathing for an additional two days by the state's high and mighty legislators.

Such a policy is not only discriminatory but idiotic as well. Not only can collars break and be deliberately removed, but some cat owners refuse to use them because of the health hazards that they pose. (See Cat Defender post of May 28, 2008 entitled "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour.")

Consequently, not all collarless cats and dogs who become caught up in the deadly web of intrigue spun by Animal Control officers and shelter workers are necessarily homeless. The Michigan law does, however, serve its purpose, which is to provide an additional rationale for shelters to continue slaughtering cats and dogs in droves.

Secondly, since shelter honchos already had made up their devious little minds to kill the kitten it is highly unlikely that its URI was at any point in time treated. That is what happened to Maria Hernandez's cat, Frankie, after he wound up at the Northeast Animal Control Shelter in El Paso back in March bleeding from both his mouth and stomach.

Since he was neither microchipped nor tagged, shelter director Eddie Castro withheld treatment. Luckily, Hernandez located him in the nick of time and was able to get him to a legitimate vet. (See KTSM-TV of El Paso, March 31, 2010, "Woman Furious over Untreated Cat.")

BSAS's unconscionable decision not to treat the kitten's cough cannot be justified on grounds that it lacked the money because the adoption fee that it would have collected would have more than covered its veterinary tab. On top of that, the shelter surely must have taken in a considerable amount of money from people around the world once the kitten's story appeared on the web.

Speaking more broadly, it should be legally mandated that all animals receive the veterinary care that they need and deserve regardless of their socio-economic status, the severity of their health woes, their adoptability, and whether or not they are wearing a collar. Any other system of triage is cruel, inhumane, and barbaric and belongs to the Dark Ages. (See Cat Defender post of April 18, 2010 entitled "Ally's Last Ride Lands Her in a Death Trap Set by an Uncaring and Irresponsible Supermarket Chain and a Bargain Basement Shelter.")

Thirdly, the kitten in Bay City was healthy when it entered Halstead's overcrowded and, most likely, filthy as hell facility. In another Bay City Times' article also dated May 28th he admits that the cat pens at his shelter house between four and eight animals! (See "Bay County Adopt a Shelter Pet Campaign Begins Today.") Although it is not known how large these so-called pens are, it is good bet that they are standing room only cages.

If there ever was a prescription for URI that would be it since it is precisely overcrowding, poor air quality, sanitation, and nutrition, plus a stressful environment that trigger outbreaks of the disease. Being a retired Bay City fireman with no known prior shelter experience, Halstead has all the markings of a political hack who knows little or nothing about cats and, tant pis, could care less if they live or die.

The shelter's staggeringly high kill rate certainly supports that thesis. For example, during the first three months of this year BSAS killed all but eleven of the three-hundred-sixty-four cats that it took in and that equates to an extermination rate of ninety-seven per cent. (See photo on the left below of the exterior of the feline killing factory.)

On the other hand, BSAS found homes for one-hundred-sixty-five of the three-hundred-twenty-one dogs that passed through its portals. While killing 48.6 per cent of its dogs is bad enough, it is a far cry from the ninety-seven per cent of cats that it killed. Such a disparity is inherently discriminatory on its face and demonstrates writ large the utter contempt that BSAS has for feline life.

By way of comparison, BSAS's feline extermination rate matches that of PETA which annually kills ninety-eight per cent of all animals that have the misfortune to end up at its Norfolk, Virginia, facility. If the large number of cats and dogs that its mentally-warped acolytes kill in the field were added to the total PETA's murder rate would be around one-hundred per cent. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

Predictably, Halstead is dishonestly attempting to excuse his own crimes by erroneously blaming cats for being prolific breeders. "If you start with a pair of cats, by the time they're done they will have accounted for thousands because of their litter and their litter's litter and so on," he pontificated to The Bay City Times in the second May 28th article cited supra.

The notion that an adult female cat and her daughters are capable of producing four-hundred-twenty-thousand kittens within a seven-year period is an old and often repeated lie. Relying upon data collected by wildlife biologist Michael Stoskopf of North Carolina State University, the math department at the University of Washington puts the actual number at closer to between one-hundred and four-hundred.

Even that estimate is predicated upon one-hundred per cent of all the adult cats surviving the entire seven-year period. Therefore, the actual number is far lower than even the mathematicians' calculations would tend to indicate. (See The Feral Cat Times, February 2006, "Dispel the Myth: Four-Hundred-Twenty-Thousand Cats?" and "How Many Kittens in Seven Years?")

The discrepancy lies in the high mortality rate of kittens which is estimated to be between seventy-five and ninety per cent. Even those homeless kittens that live long enough in order to reach sexual maturity are usually dead within three years.

Common sense alone dictates that if what Halstead and his fellow cat defamers and haters are arguing were true, cats would be as plentiful as mice and mosquitoes. Much more to the point, with Halstead and other shelter operators systematically slaughtering tens of millions of them each year there is little chance that America ever will be overrun with them. (See Cat Defender posts of September 14, 2006 and May 11, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Cat Killing Season Is in Full Swing All Across America as Shelters Ramp Up Their Mass Extermination Pogroms" and "Mass Murderers at SPCA Are Operating an Auschwitz for Cats and Dogs in Lakeland, Florida.")

Halstead next attempts to fob off blame for his crimes onto the shoulders of the public. "It's a travesty that people let that happen (overpopulation), and we just can't warehouse them," he groused to The Bay City Times. "It's unfortunate but that's what happens when people behave irresponsibly and therein lies the problem."

Once again he is telling a self-serving lie that is on a par with a practitioner of genocide blaming his victims for being born in the first place. Besides, he is, to quote an old Chinese proverb, drawing legs on a snake in that homeless cats never should be trapped and brought to overcrowded, filthy, and disease-infested extermination camps of the sort that he is operating. Managed colonies are the solution to that dilemma.

As far as unwanted domesticated cats are concerned, all resources should be put into finding new homes for them. BSAS does that to some extent for dogs and it should be willing to do likewise for cats. That would be a far more productive, not to mention morally acceptable, use of the $55 that it spends on each cat that it kills.

Blaming cats for daring so much as to be born and the public for abandoning them while at the same time continuing to make out like bandits operating a feline mass extermination camp is not only patently dishonest but morally reprehensible as well. Even abandoned cats have some chance of surviving, but those who enter killing factories like BSAS have none whatsoever.

An unidentified spokesperson for the Empty Cages Collective in Brooklyn recently summed up the Hobson's choice facing the public as follows: "What would be the point of rescuing him (a kitten in this instance) just to turn him over to a place that would kill him?" (See The No Kill Advocate, issue number 2, 2010, "Helping Stop Abuse.")

The author went on to add: "...the public leaves animals in egregiously cruel, neglectful or unacceptable situations rather than bring those animals to shelters who kill healthy or treatable animals and show no active intention to stop. Animals stay in abusive situations because the institutions that are designed to help and protect them kill them instead."

The rot and accompanying stench in Bay City extends far beyond BSAS to the Humane Society of Bay County. "I was absolutely in shock when I heard," its president, Jeanne Wolicki-Nichols, swore to The Bay City Times in the June 1st article cited supra. "I had a home lined up all the way back to Washington State for that kitten. I felt really bad."

Actually, it was losing out on the adoption fee and the donations that left her so down in the mouth. This is verified by the fact that it did not take her very long to regain her bonhomie.

"I just want to stress that there are so many other animals at the shelter like that kitten," she added a moment later. C'est-a-dire, the kitten's ruthless, cold-blooded murder is of no consequence as far as she is concerned; she already has dismissed it from her mind and refocused all of her attention upon recouping her coffers.

Sadly, it is doubtful that the kitten even received so much as a proper burial. After all, not only has the shelter refused to give it a name but it will not even specify its gender. It therefore is pretty much certain that its corpse was burned and its ashes thrown out with the day's trash.

Individuals like her and Halstead do not recognize the existence of a moral issue in how kittens and cats are treated. Consequently, the notion that they have an inalienable right to live and that their lives are sacrosanct is a moral precept that is too refined for their coarse, moneygrubbing souls.

Instead they look upon all cats as part of a disposable inventory that they are free to do with as they see fit. If they can peddle a few of them to the public for some silver, so much the better; if not, they must be killed in order to free up cage space for more profitable animals.

It is truly astounding how some individuals are capable of identifying with the victims of genocide but yet are totally incapable of feeling an ounce of empathy for the millions of defenseless animals who every day wind up at the mercy of monsters like Halstead and Wolicki-Nichols. This moral disconnect most likely is attributable to the fact that they never expect to find themselves in the shoes of either a shelter cat or dog.

Because of its unacceptably high extermination rate, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and gross mismanagement, BSAS immediately should be padlocked and its staff fired. Halstead additionally should be prosecuted for murdering this kitten and confined to a cage for the rest of his days.

If the cruel fate that befell this beautiful kitten sounds familiar it is because an almost identical tragedy was visited upon a one-year-old horribly abused dog named Oreo by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in Manhattan late last year. (See photo above.)

After repeatedly beating her, Fabian Henderson threw Oreo off the sixth-floor roof of a Brooklyn apartment building breaking two of her legs, fracturing a rib, and causing unspecified internal injuries. The ASPCA nursed her back to health and arrested Henderson.

Pets Alive in Middletown, New York, offered to provide her with a home but the ASPCA went ahead and murdered Oreo because it alleged that she was aggressive. While that is a debatable point, it is hard to imagine any dog that was treated as horribly as she was to have been anything other than wary of humans. Besides, aggression can be treated and certainly is not a valid reason for killing any dog.

To add insult to injury, Henderson was let off with six months of probation by Kings County Court Judge Dineen Riviezzo on February 19th of this year. According to press reports, this bum of the bench lavished concern and encouragement all over Henderson but did not express one ounce of concern over how he had abused Oreo.

A bill known as Oreo's Law has been introduced in the New York State Assembly that would make it illegal for shelters to kill animals when a qualified rescue group is willing to give them a home. The proposal, which faces an uphill struggle, is modeled after a similar law enacted in California in 1998.

Even if it is eventually enacted it has enough loopholes in it so as to make it virtually meaningless. For example, it exempts dangerous animals, those that are deemed to be irremediably suffering, and those with rabies.

Shelters and Animal Control officers therefore will be able to continue to designate unprofitable cats and dogs as either aggressive or sick and the wholesale killing will continue. The current system cannot be reformed from either the inside or the outside because it is too corrupt and barbaric.

Animal Control officers and shelter employees are hired guns who get paid handsomely to kill cats and dogs and anyone who engages in such aberrant behavior is totally beyond all redemption. Plus, an entire cottage industry comprised of such merchants of death as the manufacturers of sodium pentobarbital and gas chambers depend upon these moral degenerates for their livelihoods also.

Moreover, the phony-baloney rationales for killing shelter animals are not only practically endless but they are destined to continue to drown out the only consideration that really matters: thou shalt not kill. The only viable alternative therefore is to outlaw the killing of all cats and dogs under all circumstances and thereby put conventional shelters and Animal Control officers out of business once and for all time.

A necessary first step in this process must be counteracting the extraordinary lengths that the conventional media go to in order to whitewash the despicable crimes committed by shelters and Animal Control. (See Cat Defender posts of September 30, 2005 and November 22, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Morally Bankrupt Washington Post Pens a Love Letter to Shelter Workers Who Exterminate Cats and Dogs" and "Texas Newspaper Defends Pet Genocide by Publishing Graphic Photographs of Shelter Workers Exterminating a Dog.")

Although it is a step in the right direction, the fledgling no kill movement is beset by numerous difficulties and contradictions. For example, although Nathan J. Winograd attempted to transform the shelter run by the San Francisco SPCA into a no kill facility, his dream was abandoned by Jan McHugh-Smith after she got her blood-drenched hands on the reigns of power.

Although she recently quit in order to kill cats and dogs in Colorado, not much improvement is expected in the status of shelter animals in the city by the bay. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2007 entitled "Cats Are Being Poisoned with Antifreeze in San Francisco but Animal Control Refuses to Take Killings Seriously.")

New York City continues to blow a considerable amount of smoke about ending the killings while simultaneously postponing the date for doing so into the distant future. For whatever it is worth, 2015 is the city's latest target date for achieving no kill status. (See Gotham Gazette, May 14, 2010, "Housing Project Cats Face Eviction -- or Worse" and 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.")

Feline sanctuaries are another good idea although even some of them are operated by hoarders, exploiters, and killers. (See Cat Defender posts of May 10, 2010 and May 17, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Lunatic Rulings in Cats With No Name Cruelty Cases Prove Once Again That Pennsylvania Is a Safe Haven for Cat Killers and Junkies" and "Julie Levy and Her Henchmen Ride to the Rescue of Maury Swee's Severely Neglected Cats and Promptly Slaughter at Least One-Hundred-Eighty-Five of Them.")

It is going to be interesting to see if Winograd and the rest of the high-muck-a-mucks within the no kill movement are going to be able to overcome their ingrained prejudices and thereby rise to the occasion and champion the cause of the Bay City kitten. Par exemple, will they actively sponsor a bill in Michigan that will stop BSAS and other shelters from killing cats that have homes waiting for them?

If not, it then will be clear that the no kill movement cares only about dogs. The kitten's death was announced two weeks ago and so far no one has heard so much as a peep out of him or anyone else in the movement.

It is imperative therefore that all individuals who love cats understand that in a world dominated by sight and sound no one or group can be taken at either face value or their word. The proof, as always, is in the pudding.

All of that, however, must wait for another day and another fight. Tonight is reserved for mourning and remembering the Bay City kitten...its sad face and the desperate look upon it as it spent its last terrifying hours on death row...and the full and happy life that it could have had in Washington as an adult cat...

Photos: John Ehlke of The Bay City Times (kitten), Bay County (shelter), and Nathan J. Winograd (Oreo).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard



"Man kann Vorkehrungen treffen, aber dadurch duerfen keine Tiere verletzt werden."
-- Dr. Claus Kallenberg


Nails suddenly have become a popular weapon for ailurophobes to employ against cats. In December of last year, for example, Dr. Claus Kallenberg, a veterinarian with the Amt fuer Verbraucherschutz, Veterinaerwesen und Lebensmittelueberwachung in Bergheim, Rhein-Erft Kreis, was called upon to mediate a dispute between a gardener and a cat-owner involving a Nagelbrett.

The conflict arose in the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, thirty kilometers west of Koeln in the state of Nordrhein Westfalen, when an unidentified cat-hating resident put out a board studded with nails in order to reportedly keep Manuela Lisken's cat out of his garden. (See photo above.)

"Was ist, wenn da ein junges Tier mal abrutscht?" Lisken complained to the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger on December 22nd. (See "Mausefallen gegen Katzen.") She also voiced concern that either her son or one of his playmates could be injured by the Nagelbrett while retrieving errant balls that sail into her neighbor's yard.

Acting upon the recommendation of Kallenberg, the cat-hater removed the Nagelbrett but shortly thereafter replaced it with another wooden board that this time around was outfitted with mousetraps. It is unclear from press reports but presumably these traps were both baited and set. As he did with the Nagelbrett, Kallenberg likewise advised that they be removed.

"Man kann Vorkehrungen treffer, aber dadurch duerfen keine Tiere verletzt werden," Kallenberg told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger in the article cited supra. In other words, whereas property owners are entitled to safeguard their gardens the measures that they take against cats must be humane, which is certainly not the case with either Nagelbretter or mousetraps.

He went on to point out that neither a Nagelbrett nor a board lined with mousetraps are effective in keeping cats out of gardens since they simply can detour around them. Although the cat-hater doubtless was aware of that consideration, he nevertheless claims that he only wanted to scare off Lisken's cat as opposed to doing it bodily harm.

Kallenberg further advised both parties to sit down and discuss the matter in an attempt to arrive at an amicable solution. He also suggested that the gardener consult with a veterinarian concerning behavioral strategies that will humanely deter cats from visiting his garden.

In making that constructive suggestion he most certainly did not have in mind either UC-Davis lecturer and veterinarian Dr. Sophia Yin or Tribune Media Services columnist Steve Dale who on May 7th told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that all uninvited cats who visit their neighbors' yards should be illegally trapped, transported to the nearest shelter, and then summarily executed. (See "Trapping Outdoor Cats May Be Only Way to Banish Them.")

Unfortunately, cat-hating gardeners get away with those types of despicable crimes all the time thanks in no small part to the support that they receive from bloodsuckers like Yin and Dale who earn their daily bread by defaming and abusing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007, October 30, 2007, and November 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated," "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts," and "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton.")

Not content with merely stealing and killing cats, Yin also lines her pockets by encouraging cat owners to dope up their companions with amitriptyline and other harmful drugs. That is pop psychology at its worst. If a no-account bum like Yin wants to dope it up that is her business but she should not be prescribing that garbage for cats under any circumstances. (See photo of her above on the left.)

Since Kallenberg's authority is only advisory, the dispute in Niederembt may yet wind up in the courts. Under such a scenario, he theorized that both parties could be held liable.

Lisken, zum Beispiel, could be ordered to pony up for any damage that her cat does to her neighbor's garden while he likely would be held accountable for any injuries sustained by her cat. Evidence would have to be collected and these issues adjudicated in court.

While cats are commonly blamed for digging up and fouling gardens, they are far from being the only animals who engage in such activities. Birds, moles, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs likewise are guilty of the same offenses.

No one goes berserk, however, about the behavior of those animals; it is only cats that engender such hatred. It also it important to point out that there is nothing in the public record to substantiate the cat-hater's claim that Lisken's cat is responsible for besmirching his precious garden.

The same unfounded complaints are routinely voiced concerning overturned trash cans. While it is doubtful that very many cats have either the strength or inclination to overturn a fully-loaded trash can, such a feat is a piece of cake for raccoons, groundhogs, and bears. Squirrels are even capable of gnawing through plastic cans and making a mess.

Besides, there are countless humane methods of deterring cats from gardens. For example, some gardeners have had success with such ancient remedies as natural repellents and fences while others have resorted to more modern methods, such as motion detectors, ultrasound waves, and sprinkler systems.

Whereas Nagelbretter are nowhere nearly as deadly to cats as nails that are fired at them from nail guns, they nonetheless are yet still another indication of just how far ailurophobes are prepared to go in order to kill and injure members of the species. (See Cat Defender post of June 1, 2010 entitled "Grace Survives Being Shot Point-Blank Between the Eyes by a Monster with a Nail Gun but Sioux City Authorities Refuse to Even Investigate the Attack.")

Photos: Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger (Nagelbrett) and Facebook (Yin).

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Grace Survives Being Shot Point-Blank Between the Eyes by a Monster with a Nail Gun but Sioux City Authorities Refuse to Even Investigate the Attack


"She was purring and wagging her tail. She just had a nail in her head."
-- Animal Control Officer Jake Appel


In addition to the sodium pentobarbital and gas chambers used so profusely by Animal Control officers and conventional shelters during their daily mass feline eradication efforts, the means of killing and injuring cats are almost endless. For the sake of analysis, however, they may be divided into familiar old school methods and modern new wave devices.

To the first category belong such conventional modes as, inter alia, shooting with guns, cutting with knives and box cutters, spearing with cross bows, burning with fire and firecrackers, drowning, poisoning with antifreeze and tainted meat, mutilation by acid and other chemicals, snaring in leghold traps, and malice aforethought using dogs, snakes, and other animals. "...the unfortunate feline species seemed to be fair game for every kind of cruelty and neglect," veterinarian and author James Herriot remarked in his book, Cat Stories. "They shot cats, threw things at them, starved them, and set their dogs on them for fun."

Modern man has added microwave ovens, Tasers, wood chippers, BB guns, washing machines, automobiles, and farm equipment to his arsenal of feline torture and killing devices. C'est-a-dire, any deadly modern contrivance that he is able to get his filthy hands on he is going to sooner or later try out on some defenseless cat.

Therefore, it was only a matter of time before someone started shooting them with nail guns. The first known victim of such an attack is a brown and gray cat named Amazing Grace who was discovered on either May 12th or May 19th (press reports are contradictory) with a three-inch nail lodged between her eyes. (See photo above.)

She was found cowering underneath a parked truck on the 500 block of Center Street in Sioux City, Iowa, by Animal Control Officer Jake Appel after an unidentified woman had telephoned his office. Although she had been living underneath the truck for at least three days, the authorities have not speculated as to when she was shot.

Despite all the hell that she had been put through, she miraculously was still alive. "She was purring and wagging her tail," Appel told Peoplepets.com on May 26th. (See "Amazing: Cat Survives Nail Shot into Skull.") "She just had a nail in her head."

Rushed to Siouxland Animal Hospital the nail was surgically removed two days later and, at least for the time being, it looks like Grace is going to live. "The cat is doing extremely well," Appel's fellow officer, Cody Harrington, told the Sioux City Journal on May 26th. (See "Reward Offered for Person Who Injured Cat.") "(She is) up and playful."

So far, neither any infections nor complications relating to the surgery have manifested themselves and she is reported to be eating, purring, playing, and in good spirits. Sadly, she suffered corneal damage and may lose the sight in her left eye.

Since she was not either wearing a collar or microchipped, it is not known where she came from but her friendly disposition tends to indicate that she was accustomed to being around people. If no one comes forward to claim her, she will be put up for adoption as soon as she recovers.

Since nails fired from nail guns are capable of traveling at a velocity of four-hundred-ninety-feet per second, it is not surprising that the projectile came close to exiting the back of Grace's tiny head. Somehow or another, it missed striking any vital tissues by about a millimeter. (See x-ray below.)

Of the roughly forty-two-thousand Americans, both amateurs and professionals, who are shot with nail guns each year about five-hundred-fifty of them are innocent bystanders. For example, both motorists and a man sitting in a barber's chair getting a haircut have been maimed by stray nails fired from these deadly tools. (See The Sacramento Bee, April 13, 2008, "Investigative Report: Nail Gun Safety Under Fire as Injuries Soar.")

This does not appear to have been the case with Grace since she was shot directly between the eyes at point-blank range. The Siouxland Humane Society (SHS), an anonymous donor, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) therefore have pooled their resources and are offering an insignificant reward of $3,500 for the apprehension of the low-life scumbag who shot Grace.

Predictably, neither humane officials nor the police in Sioux City have received any tips or leads in the case. Perhaps it is about time that somebody informed these good-for-nothing, lazy-ass bindle stiffs that competent police work requires a great deal more than merely sitting idly by and waiting for the telephone to ring.

As per usual in cases of this sort, a proverbial feast of big talk and self-righteous moral indignation is being served up to the cat-loving public as a substitute for concerted action. "I didn't think anyone in this city was that mean," Appel volunteered for the benefit of Peoplepets. "I didn't think the cat was going to survive either."

"Those who committed this terrible torturous act against a helpless animal must be caught and held accountable," Jerry Dominicak of SHS chimed in for the readers of the Sioux City Journal in the May 26th article cited supra. "We hope a reward of this size will help law enforcement find and punish him or her to the fullest extent of the law."

Not about to be left out, Appel's colleague Cindy Rarrat had to add her two cents' worth. "If we've got somebody out there with a nail gun that's doing things to animals, the whole community should be concerned 'cause this is just a (sic) horrific act the owners need to be prosecuted for and they will be," she gassed to Radio Iowa on May 24th. (See "Sioux City Cat Recovering from Nail Driven in Its Head.")

Should the blowhards who control the levers of power in Sioux City ever make up their devious little minds and decide to treat this horrific assault seriously there are several steps that must be taken promptly. First of all, they should start with the premise that the 500 block of Center Street was Grace's home turf and expand the search area by about a square acre. Should it later turn out that she was shot elsewhere and later dumped there, a new search paradigm will have to be designed.

Operating upon the assumption that the above premise has merit, the authorities should commit the manpower to canvass the community door-to-door in an effort to ascertain who had been caring for Grace and who owns nail guns. Since Grace had to have come from somewhere, the records of shelters, Animal Control, and breeders should be examined. Hardware stores and other retail outlets that sell nail guns also should be contacted.

Data collected from these inquiries should be cross-checked with that supplied by area residents and discrepancies relentlessly pursued. Also, since most municipalities require that a permit must be obtained even for renovating a house, those records should be checked against sales receipts for nail guns.

Once a suspect has been identified, those trained in ballistics should be given the task of matching up the nail taken out of Grace's head with the gun from which it was fired. The chances are good that someone in the neighborhood either saw, heard, or knows something about this incident and it is up to the authorities to coax it out of them.

If juveniles are to blame, it is even money that a video of the wounding also exists. Monsters who commit these hideous offenses quite often cannot resist the temptation to record their devilry for both posterity and their own future amusement.

Although by no means exclusive, these are precisely the procedures that the police would follow in investigating a homicide and their total unwillingness to do as much for Grace can mean only that they are indifferent to the suffering of cats. Above all, it is imperative that the decent citizens of Sioux City force these slackers into enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes.

The same logic applies in spades to the SHS and the rich-as-Croesus HSUS who only are offering an award because they know bloody well that they never will be forced to make good on their pledge. Instead of running off at the mouth and staging cheap publicity stunts in order to line their pockets, they should be out in the neighborhood searching high and low for Grace's assailant and badgering the police both night and day to do the same.

Like politicians everywhere when it comes to crimes perpetrated against cats, those in Sioux City have been conspicuously silent about this assault. Voters who care about cats should let them know exactly what they think about their dereliction of duty the next time that they traipse to the polls.

The total unwillingness on the part of police departments, humane groups, and politicians to treat cruelty to cats seriously is not anything that is peculiar to Sioux City; au contraire, it is the universal norm. For example, some forces are so unwilling to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes that they categorically refuse to investigate cases of feline cruelty even when they are supplied with the names, descriptions, and addresses of the culprits.

The force in Absecon, New Jersey, is one such no-good, rotten operation. Recently, when it was supplied with evidence that a local resident was attacking a managed colony of homeless cats it retaliated by threatening to have the cats trapped and killed if the complainant did not go away and shut up. To date, three cats have disappeared and are presumed to have been poisoned.

The one bit of encouraging news to come out of Sioux City is that Grace apparently has several potential homes awaiting her once she recovers. Although it is unclear where she currently is being housed, she needs to get out of there as soon as possible.

Too cheap to feed her wet food, she has been switched to a diet that consists exclusively of dry food. While all commercial cat food is pure garbage, kibble is the worst of a bad lot.

Secondly, a video posted May 25th on the web site of KTIV-TV of Sioux City shows either a kennel worker or a veterinarian roughly massaging Grace's surgically-repaired head. (See "Humane Society Offers Reward in Case of Cat with Nail in Head.")

First of all, the last thing on earth that a cat which has just undergone brain surgery needs is a head massage. Secondly, someone should inform this buffoon that a cat is not a dog and that rough treatment is not appreciated under any circumstances.

"Une nouvelle vie attend ce chat dans une famille qui lui fera oublier les mauvais traitements du passe," Wamiz opined on May 27th. (See "Un clou dans la tete, le chat survit.")

Hopefully, such a happy denouement is just around the corner for Grace and perhaps then she finally will be able to meet some halfway decent human beings instead of the monsters and posers who have preyed upon her for so long.

Photos: Sioux City Animal Control (Grace) and Siouxland Animal Hospital via Splash and the Daily Mail (x-ray).