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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, August 31, 2010

Picked Up Off the Ground by a Tornado and Slammed into a Board, Spinner Sustains a Broken Leg but Survives Muddy and Unbowed to Live Another Day

"She couldn't move and she couldn't meow. Her littermates were in the trees. They didn't make it."
-- Dan Smith of Albert Lea Veterinary Clinic
Tornadoes are difficult enough for humans to survive but for kittens they most often are a death sentence. Because of their diminutive size, they are easily picked up off the ground by the wind, bandied about, and then slammed into nearby buildings.

That is precisely what happened to a pretty tortoiseshell kitten known as Spinner on June 17th when a deadly twister roared through rural Armstrong outside of Albert Lea in southeast Minnesota. Covered in mud and near death, she was found plastered to a board on Curtis Petersen's farm.

"She couldn't move and she couldn't meow," Dan Smith of the Albert Lea Veterinary Clinic told the Albert Lea Tribune on July 2nd. (See "Meet the Kitty That Survived a Tornado.") "Her littermates were in the trees. They didn't make it."

She was alive, however, and that was the important thing. After being cleaned up and fed, it was discovered that she had sustained a broken leg which Smith was able to mend with a pin.

"Three-legged cats have some appeal, but kittens have such small bones I was able to fix it quicker than I could have amputated," he told the Albert Lea Tribune. "I opted to fix the leg and have done with it."

That not only was the intelligent thing to have done but the humane one as well. It would have been heartless to have turned this vivacious kitten into an invalid for life when all she needed was to have her injured leg repaired.

Spinner was expected to spend several weeks recuperating at Smith's surgery before being put up for adoption in either late July or early August. "She's got a great presence for a farm cat," Smith added. "She's not a complainer at all."

Spinner and her siblings were far from being the only cats victimized by the tornado. For example, a pair of kittens was picked up and deposited in the parking lot of the old Walmart store in Albert Lea. Their rescuers compassionately elected to adopt them after they were given a clean bill of health by Smith.

In addition to numerous cats, several dogs also were injured by the twister. Although no estimates have been made public, the tornado likely took its toll on farm and wild animals as well.

Saving Spinner's life is, however, what will stick in Smith's memory of the June 17th tornado. "She was a little something good to come out of all this," he told the Albert Lea Tribune in the article cited supra.

Whereas most individuals can readily comprehend that tornadoes and cats are a deadly mix, many of these same persons steadfastly cling to the erroneous belief that cats are capable of surviving cold and snow, brush and forest fires, and hurricanes. (See Cat Defender posts of January 21, 2010, July 3, 2008, and December 19, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Trapped Outdoors in a Snowstorm, Annie Is Brought Back from the Dead by the Compassion of a Good Samaritan and an Animal Control Officer," "Phoenix Is Severely Burned but Still Manages to Save One of Her Kittens from the Humboldt Fire," and "At Least 100,000 Cats and Dogs Were Killed by Katrina Along the Gulf Coast.")

Nothing could be further from the truth. Even under normal circumstances cats need at a minimum food, water, and shelter. If it is at all feasible, veterinary care and protection from their sworn enemies, both human and wild, should be provided.

The thousands of volunteers who so generously donate their money, time, and labor to homeless cats are doing an herculean job but much more desperately needs to be done. That is especially true during the wintertime and natural disasters.

Finally, the person lucky enough to adopt Spinner will be getting a pretty special cat who already has survived enough misfortune to last her a lifetime. Hopefully, this individual will have enough compassion to keep her safe from tornadoes as well as be able to provide her with a warm place inside during Minnesota's simply hellish winters.

Photo: Geri McShane of the Albert Lea Tribune.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine

"He had a relapse and went into distress, and although the vets were able to stop it, they discovered that the scar tissue in his esophagus had caused it to be so small they couldn't even fit in a (feeding) tube. There was nothing they could do."
-- Jennifer Szoke

Brave and long-suffering two-year-old Harley gave it his best shot as did his caregivers at Canada West Veterinary Specialist and Critical Care Hospital in Vancouver. His owner, Jennifer Szoke, and her eight-year-old son, Nate, prayed, hoped, and cried but it still was not enough.

Harley suffered a relapse on August 13th and was readmitted to the hospital where he was killed off a day later on August 14th by the very same vets who earlier had worked so hard in vain to save him. (See photo above of him in happier days.)

Earlier on July 2nd, the cat from the Vancouver suburb on New Westminster had been dunked up to his waist in turpentine by an unknown assailant who is still at large. As the result of attempting to lick off the deadly corrosive from his orange-colored fur Harley sustained severe burns to both his tongue and mouth. One of his lungs also collapsed as a result of inhaling the turpentine.

He spent the next three weeks in the hospital where he was fitted with a feeding tube, eye patches, and an Elizabethan collar as his attendants worked around the clock not only to save his life but also to remove the chemical from his fur. On July 24th he was released from the hospital and it appeared that he had stolen back his life from the ice-cold grasp of the unrelenting Grim Reaper. (See Cat Defender post of July 30, 2010 entitled "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")

A storybook ending to his travails was not in the cards, however. In a world where the good guys seldom win anywhere except in the movies, the deadly turpentine ultimately proved to be too formidable a foe for his tiny body to tolerate.

Scar tissue on both his throat and esophagus made it difficult for him to swallow his own saliva as well as for a feeding tube to be inserted. "He had a relapse and went into distress, and although the vets were able to stop it, they discovered that the scar tissue in his esophagus had caused it to be so small they couldn't even fit in a tube," Szoke told The Record of New Westminster on August 18th. (See "Tortured Cat Succumbs to His Injuries Despite Vets' Extensive Efforts.") "There was nothing they could do."

Whether or not Harley could have been saved is a debatable point. "He was always going to be sick and in and out of the hospital," Szoke equivocated in an August 17th interview with Global Toronto. (See "Cat Dipped in Paint Thinner Dies Owing C$18,000.") "That wouldn't be any life for him."

Therefore, quality of life issues, money, and the continual care that he would have required also may have played a role in the decision to end his life. Without knowing all the facts and circumstances it is impossible to say if Szoke made the correct decision.

A few years back, a five-year-old white cat named Sparkles had a good portion of the left side of her face blown off by a firecracker that had been stuffed into her ear and then ignited by unknown assailants outside The Old Ship bar at 44 Main Street in Arklow. She was able to survive for several weeks but was in constant pain and having seizures before the attending veterinarians at Avondale Veterinary Hospital decided to kill her off also. (See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2008 and January 12, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar" and "Disoriented and Racked with Excruciating Pain, Seizures, and Infections, Sparkles Loses Her Long Struggle to Live.")

In addition to being extremely painful for Szoke, Harley's death has had a traumatic effect on Nate. "He is just devastated and keeps saying, 'I don't want to live without another pet'," she told The Record. "He doesn't understand why the cat had to go to kitty heaven." (See photo below of Szoke and Nate at Harley's bedside in the hospital.)

A yellow and white cat named Linden belonging to Szoke's neighbor, Corrine Ritchie, also was dunked in turpentine along with Harley but he was discovered shortly after the incident and wiped clean before he had suffered any significant damage. Unfortunately for Harley, he was not discovered until hours later and by that time he had already ingested and inhaled enough turpentine to kill him.

There can be little doubt that these two attacks were intentional. "It looked like someone had picked them up and dipped them," Szoke told CTV in an earlier video found on its web site on August 18th. (See "Tabby Dipped in Paint Thinner Dies.")

Despite public declarations by both the New Westminster Police and New Westminster Animal Services that they are investigating these deadly attacks, Szoke does not believe a solitary syllable uttered by either agency. "I don't know if they're even bothering," she told The Record in the article cited supra. "Nobody has even contacted me, and they haven't contacted the neighbor who saw the cats running in afterward either."

That certainly is par for the course. All that so-called animal protection groups are good for when it comes to combating animal cruelty are big talk and pleas for donations.

The police are even worse. Killing cats is their forte as opposed to apprehending their abusers. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 29, 2009, and July 8, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo," "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey," and "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")

So far, Szoke and her supporters have been able to raise C$12,000 of Harley's C$18,000 veterinary tab at Canada West. Anyone wishing to help can do so by visiting Save Harley's Roar on Facebook.

"They (Canada West) haven't contacted me about money yet, so I'm assuming they're just letting me grieve for a few days before they slap me with the remainder of the bill," Szoke, already wise to the moneygrubbing ways of this world despite her tender years, speculated to The Record.

Words cannot adequately describe what Harley was forced to endure the last six-weeks of his life. He suffered mightily and, tant pis, for him there will not be any tomorrows.

Szoke also has suffered and Nate perhaps has been scarred for life. Given all that this family has been put through, it does not seem that it would be asking too much for the authorities to bring Harley's killer to justice and for Canada West to write off his C$18,000 bill.

Neither event is about to happen in a million years but both would go a long way toward providing Szoke and Nate with a measure of closure. Much more importantly, both would be the right things to do.

It is too late to do anything further for Harley but he will live on in the hearts and minds of all of those who love cats and earnestly believe that their abusers and killers should be apprehended and punished. Despite the intransigence of fraudulent animal protection groups and the criminality of the police, the fight to protect and safeguards the lives of millions of innocent cats like Harley will continue.

Photos: Jennifer Szoke (Harley) and Gerry Kahrmann of Global Toronto (Szoke and Nate visiting Harley).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland

"Glücklicherweise stand die Falle so nah am Zaun, dass wir den Kater befreien konnten."
-- Monika Schwibbert

A gray-striped tomcat known as Ziegelchen from the Altstädten-Burbach section of Hürth in Rhein-Erft-Kreis recently had a narrow escape after he was trapped by yet still another cat-hating gardener. This illegal and totally uncalled for precipitate action allegedly was undertaken because he had been using the man's garden as a makeshift toilet.

Ziegelchen owes his salvation to the prompt and decisive action taken by his devoted caretakers, Monika Schwibbert and Marcus Breinig, after he failed to return home one morning. Immediately mounting a search, they were able to trace his plaintive cries for help to their neighbor's garden where they found him cruelly imprisoned in a trap.

"Glücklicherweise stand die Falle so nah am Zaun, dass wir den Kater befreien konnten," Schwibbert recalled for the benefit of the Sonntags Post of Frechen on August 19th. (See "Ziegelchen auf Abwegen.")

In addition to the trap being situated close to the fence, it also was a good thing that the cat-hater was not around at that hour. (See photo above of Breinig pointing to the location of the trap.)

Although it is not known how long Ziegelchen had been confined to the snare, he easily could have spent the entire night incarcerated. Fortunately, summers in Nordrhein Westfalen are not anywhere near as torrid as those in Visalia, California, and Ziegelchen therefore was rescued unharmed. (See Cat Defender post of August 23, 2010 entitled "Valley Oak SPCA Kills a Cat by Allowing It to Languish in the Heat in an Unattended Trap for Five Days at the Tulare County Courthouse.")

Leider, Ziegelchen's misadventure was not an accident; im Gegenteil, the trap was set especially for him and Schwibbert and Breinig's neighbor from Hölle is not about to relent. "So lange Ihre Katze auf mein Grundstück geht und dahin scheißt, werde ich diese Katze bekämpfen," he reportedly swore in Breinig's face.

In fact, the trap used to corral Ziegelchen was at last report still in situ in his garden and presumably baited. (See photo below.)

Additional fireworks are almost certainly guaranteed since Schwibbert and Breinig do not have any intention of cruelly and inhumanely locking up Ziegelchen inside and their neighbor apparently is too cheap to invest in any of the myriad of readily available nonlethal methods, such as ultrasound, of keeping cats out of gardens. "Unser Kater is gewohnt, draußen, rumzulaufen," they told the Sonntags Post. "Wie sollen wir dem beibringen, dass er ausgerechnet in den Garten unseres Nachbarn nicht rein darf?"

Being for the most part a nation of enlightened animal lovers, the Germans recognize that cats have a right to be outside and to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. "Wenn Katzen einmal Freigänger sind, kann man die nicht einfach so drinnen halten," Hanni Schäfer of Tierheim Helenenhof in Hürth told the Sonntags Post in the article cited supra.

Furthermore, since cats are considered under the law to be private property, she draws the only logical conclusion possible from Ziegelchen's trapping. "Das ist ja wie Diebstahl!" she added.

Schwibbert and Breinig also have the nation's leading animal protection organization, the Deutschen Tierschutzbund in Bonn, on their side. "Eine Lebendfalle darf grundsätzlich nicht gezielt eingesetzt werden, um Katzen zu fangen," the group's Marion Dudla told the Sonntags Post.

Even on those rare occasions where cats are trapped accidentally they must be promptly released otherwise their captors are in violation of the Tierschutzgesetz. It therefore is clear that Schwibbert and Breinig have just cause to haul their cat-hating neighbor into court and make him pay for his illegal incarceration of Ziegelchen.

Being old hands at settling disputes between gardeners and cat-owners, this is an issue that is right up the alley of German jurists. "In der Regel sagen die Richter, dass man bis zu zwei Katzen in seinem Garten tolerieren muss," Dudla told the Sonntags Post. That is especially true in rural and suburban areas.

As a practical matter, however, the German authorities attempt to get the warring parties to agree to mediation and for gardeners to adopt nonlethal methods of deterring unwanted cats. Regardless of whether these disputes are settled in court or by mediation the gold standard always is the same: gardeners are not allowed under any circumstances to either steal or harm their neighbors' cats.

Zum Beispiel, back in December of last year Dr. Claus Kallenberg of the Amt für Verbraucherschutz, Veterinärwesen und Lebensmittelüberwachung in Bergheim was called upon to mediate a heated dispute between an unidentified gardener in the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, also in Rhein-Erft-Kreis, and Manuela Lisken's cat. In order to deter her cat, he had set out a Nagelbrett in his yard.

When ordered to remove it by Kallenberg, he responded by replacing it with a board studded with mousetraps. In ordering that the mousetraps also be removed Kallenberg recognized that although gardeners have a right to keep out unwanted cats they must at the same time use nonlethal methods in order to achieve that objective.

"Man kann Vorkehrungen treffen, aber dadurch dürfen kein Tiere verletzt werden," he ruled on that occasion. (See Cat Defender post of June 10, 2010 entitled "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard.")

In the United States, the story is altogether different. Gardeners, birders, wildlife biologists, and other ailurophobes are allowed to trap their neighbors' cats with impunity. They then most often transport them to animal shelters who obligingly kill them upon sight.

That is exactly what happened recently in Saginaw, Michigan, where a real estate tycoon trapped two of his neighbors' cats and in turn gave them to Saginaw County Animal Care and Control (SCACC) to kill. Not only did both he and SCACC escape prosecution, but their lawless and inhumane conduct was lauded to high heaven by the editors of The Saginaw News. (See Cat Defender post of August 19, 2010 entitled "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

Quite obviously, anyone expecting a majority of Americans to ever develop an ounce of regard for animals, the environment, and even their fellow man is asking too much of them. Their accounts all have been zeroed out and they have nothing left to give; they accordingly are capable of only stealing, destroying, and killing.

Photos: Sonntags Post.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Valley Oak SPCA Kills a Cat by Allowing It to Languish in the Heat in an Unattended Trap for Five Days at the Tulare County Courthouse

This Sign Points the Way to Death for Some Cats

"Why that (no instructions to check trap) happened, I don't know."
-- Kelly Austin of the Valley Oak SPCA

It is widely known that around ninety-nine per cent of all cats trapped by Animal Control officers and shelters are killed either in-house or en route to holding facilities. It is considerably less known, however, that countless cats are left to die in traps due to the gross negligence of these officials.

That was the tragic fate that befell a gray cat in Visalia, California, last month after she was left to languish in one of the Valley Oak SPCA's traps for five days.

It is believed that the unfortunate cat died from heat exhaustion although a lack of water accompanied by the stress brought on by her barbaric imprisonment no doubt contributed mightily to her demise. Even more shocking, the cat was trapped on the grounds of the Tulare County Courthouse at the request of the county's Resource Management Agency (RMA).

Although the trap was set on July 22nd, the cat was not discovered until five days later on July 27th and even that was only because an unidentified county employee got tired of smelling its rotting carcass and went to investigate. Ostensibly, the trap had been set in order to catch a skunk.

In the recriminations that have followed the cat's death, Valley Oak and RMA have pointed accusatory fingers at each other. "The people who are requesting the traps are supposed to be the ones checking them," Valley Oak's Kelly Austin pontificated to the Visalia Times-Delta on July 29th. (See "Reasons Unclear Why Cat Died in SPCA Trap in Visalia.")

Nevertheless, Valley Oak's Animal Control officer is charged with instructing those renting traps on how often to check them. Under Valley Oak's ridiculously slack guidelines, traps are supposed to be checked every eight hours under normal conditions and once in the morning and every couple of hours thereafter during hot weather.

In this particular case, however, Valley Oak's Animal Control officer simply dropped off the trap at the courthouse and vamoosed without providing RMA with any guidelines on how often it was to be checked. "Why that happened, I don't know," Austin admitted to the Visalia Times-Delta in the article cited supra.

Worst still, after delivering the trap the unidentified Animal Control officer took July 23rd and July 24th off and claims that he was too busy to check it when he returned to work on July 25th. No explanation has been given as to why he did not check it on either July 26th or July 27th.

According to Tulare County spokesman Jed Chernabaeff, an unidentified representative of Valley Oak told RMA that the trap would be checked within a couple of hours and the following morning if necessary. Also, an unidentified county worker reportedly checked it on July 23rd and found it empty.

The Tulare County Courthouse

In what has to be the understatement of the year, Austin has vowed to review the agency's trapping policies in order to determine if changes are needed. If this cat's horrific death is not proof positive that changes are direly needed, the fact that many cats trapped by private citizens in snares provided by Valley Oak are being forced to needlessly suffer should be the clincher.

"Many cats have been brought in in a trap by members of the community, and they appear overheated," Austin freely admitted to the Visalia Times-Delta. Consequently, she obviously has known about this problem for a long time and yet has done absolutely nothing in order to correct it.

This cat's tragic death bears an eerie resemblance to events that transpired in Oxford, Massachusetts, during a heat wave four years ago. That was when forty-one-year-old Animal Control officer Michelle A. Mulverhill went on a bender and left four cats and a dog to die of thirst, hunger, and heat exhaustion at the Oxford Dog Kennel.

She last fed and watered the animals on July 31st and because of a glaring lack of administrative oversight their corpses were not discovered until August 15! Despite the animals' horrific deaths, the authorities in Oxford, like those at Valley Oak and in Tulare County, steadfastly refused to even admit that there was anything amiss with how they treat animals. (See Cat Defender post of August 31, 2006 entitled "Animal Control Officer Goes on a Drunken Binge and Leaves Four Cats and a Dog to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Heat at Massachusetts Shelter.)

"What we want from Valley Oak SPCA is not excuses, but an owning up to the deed, taking responsibility to drastically change policy and procedures and, if necessary, making a commitment to hiring only people who actually think about the welfare of animals and not merely of their employment as 'just a job' from which they go home at the end of the day," Visalia resident Lois Norman wrote in a letter to the editors of the Visalia Times-Delta on August 3rd. (See "SPCA Needs to Do a Better Job.") "To say that this (incident) left many people horrified, disgusted and angry would be an understatement."

Coleman is on the right track but merely hiring better people is not the answer; a change needs to be made at the top. Austin clearly is just another do-nothing, incompetent bum subsisting on the public's dime who immediately should be fired along with the unidentified Animal Control officer.

Furthermore, it is just too bad that this poor cat did not leave behind an owner who would have been willing to have sued the pants off of both Valley Oak and Tulare County for their inhumane and criminal misconduct. Moreover, it is difficult to believe that Valley Oak's behavior in this case was an aberration as opposed to being part and parcel of its normal modus operandi.

Defenders of the status quo will argue that the cat's death was inconsequential since Valley Oak would have killed it sooner or later anyway. Two wrongs have never made a right, however, and the only morally correct course of action would be to ban the trapping of all cats for the twin purposes of extermination and removal. Even practitioners of TNR should be held legally accountable for the cats that they either injure or kill.

The setting of traps and subsequent abandonment of them also should be outlawed. Anyone or agency intent upon trapping an animal should be willing to stay with their snares twenty-four-hours a day. That is the only humane way in which an animal can be trapped.

On those rare occasions when animals must be trapped and relocated elsewhere, such procedures should be carried out without either the implantation of electronic monitors or the taking of blood, hair, and tissue samples. (See Cat Defender posts of April 17, 2006 and May 21, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him" and "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

Photos: Comic Kitty of Zootoo (Valley Oak sign) and Government Technology of Folsom (Tulare County Courthouse).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw

"It's nasty the way that people are behaving around here. Where's the cat? Where are our cats?"
-- Teresa J. Jurden

A big shot real estate tycoon with a long history of trapping cats and then turning them over to shelters to exterminate now stands accused of doing likewise to a pair of cats belonging to two Heritage Square residents in Saginaw, Michigan. Fifty-eight-year-old dog-lover Mark Oberschmidt, assisted by an accomplice identified by the media only as Chris, trapped the cats with his own snares and then had them murdered because they allegedly were digging and defecating in a community garden that he owns. (See photo above of him and his dog, Harry, on the prowl in the garden.)

Missing and presumed dead are forty-five-year-old Tammie Tilot's one-year-old black and white, spayed, and declawed cat, Music Lessons, who was last seen on July 29th. Since onychectomies are not only inhumane but painful as well, it is questionable just how much digging Music Lessons was able to do. (See photo of her below.)

Also among the missing are Teresa J. Jurden's one-year-old gray and white moggy, Buggsey, who was last seen on August 1st. "It's nasty the way that people are behaving around here," she told The Saginaw News on August 10th. (See "Cat Trappings Agitate Some Heritage Square Neighborhood Pet Owners in Saginaw.") "Where's the cat? Where are our cats?"

For his part, Oberschmidt freely admits that he trapped cats on July 26th and July 30th and handed them over to Saginaw County Animal Care Center (SCACC). He further concedes that one of them was gray and white but steadfastly maintains that the other one was tiger-striped.

If he is being truthful, the dates of his trappings do not coincide with the disappearances of Tilot's and Jurden's cats although the gray and white cat that he trapped does fit Buggsey's description. "I don't ever want to catch a cat again, because I'm an animal lover," he swore with a straight face to The Saginaw News in the article cited supra. "This isn't something I like to do."

It is interesting to note in passing that although Oberschmidt claims to be an animal lover, he adroitly avoids professing an ounce of affection for cats. It is a mute point anyway because just about all rabid cat-haters and killers, especially birders and wildlife biologists, claim to be cat-lovers.

Even more telling, there is nothing in the record to suggest that he either has apologized to Tilot and Jurden or expressed any remorse over the deaths of Music Lessons and Buggsey. Although he would never publicly admit it, he most likely is extremely proud of not only his dirty work but also of Tilot's and Jurden's sorrow.

Normally, the killing factory in question would be able to settle this dispute and establish the facts but since SCACC kills just about all cats immediately upon arrival it is either unwilling or unable to admit to murdering Music Lessons and Buggsey. It therefore is safe to assume that all cats look alike to the monsters who run SCACC. They most definitely do not treat them as sentient beings endowed by their creator with inalienable rights; rather, SCACC looks upon them as pieces of flesh to be liquidated as quickly as possible.

For instance, cats deemed to be unfriendly are killed immediately upon arrival whereas cats that are classified as friendly are caged and generously allowed to go on breathing for a minuscule four days. Cats wearing tags are supposedly held for a week.

That is a bunch of baloney! All trapped cats are, for good reason, scared to death and unfriendly. Segregating them into friendly and unfriendly categories is done simply in order to justify killing the vast majority of them.

The real reason behind such designations is money. Either shelter space is scarce or staffers believe that some cats are more profitable to them than others. (See Cat Defender post of July 29, 2010 entitled "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter.")

Statistics from the first four months of this year reveal in gruesome terms exactly what a diabolical course of action SCACC is pursuing. Of the six-hundred-one cats brought to the shelter, four-hundred-sixty-four of them never made it out alive. That works out to a murder rate of 77.20 per cent. Actually, the kill rate could be much higher in that many Animal Control officers around the country kill cats in the field and never even bring them to shelters to be counted.

Only seven of those cats were reunited with their owners while new homes were found for one-hundred-thirty of them. That averages out to slightly more than one adoption per day. It thus is clear that SCACC is running an Auschwitz for cats and has little or no regard for feline life.

The clearest evidence linking Oberschmidt to the cold-blooded murders of Music Lessons and Buggsey comes from an oblique statement made by Saginaw Police Chief Gerald H. Cliff. "The officer taking the report completed an investigation, identified the person reported to have trapped the cats resembling those reported as missing, and (he) admitted having conveyed them to the animal shelter," he told The Saginaw News on August 12th. (See "Saginaw Neighborhood Association President Under Fire for Neighbors' Missing Cats.")

If that is true, then Oberschmidt is lying through his teeth about the dates and descriptions of the cats in order to save his own hide and reputation. After all, he not only owns eight properties in the neighborhood but is president of the Heritage Square Neighborhood Association.

Unable to get any satisfaction out of Oberschmidt, SCACC, the police, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE), Tilot and Jurden have gone public with their cause by erecting signs on their lawns in a last-ditch effort to secure a measure of justice for Music Lessons and Buggsey. They have been joined in their protest by neighbors David and Susan Nicholls. (See photos below.)

Whereas under DNRE guidelines a permit and evidence of property damage are required before private individuals can trap and kill squirrels, it is legal in Michigan for them to trap their neighbors' cats without either permits or incontrovertible evidence of property damage and in turn give them to shelters to kill. The petit fait that cats have less protection under the law than do wild animals will sans doute come as a major shock to individuals who consider their companions to be intimate members of their families. (See The Saginaw News, August 15, 2010, "Animal Control and Wildlife Officials Explain Saginaw Trapping Rules.")

Wicked cat-hating devils like Herr Oberschmidt exploit such glaring loopholes in the law in order to freely indulge in their insatiable lust for feline blood. These loopholes have got to be closed and the only way to do so is to proscribe by law all trapping of cats by private citizens. Furthermore, the same rationale should be equally applied to Animal Control officers and private pest control companies. (See Cat Defender posts of August 30, 2007 and August 21, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Texas Couple Files Lawsuit Against Pest Control Company for Trapping and Gassing Their Cat, Butty" and "Justice Denied: Exterminator Who Gassed Three Cats at the Behest of Fox-35 in Richmond Gets Off with a Minuscule Fine.")

Much more importantly, this prohibition ought to pertain to all cats. Dividing them up into ferals, strays, and domestics for the purpose of establishing a killing triage is as bogus as a three-dollar bill. There is not any difference whatsoever between these groups; a cat is a cat. It is extremely doubtful that orphanages and Social Welfare agencies would be allowed to get away with killing children by simply designating them as either ferals and strays or as friendly and unfriendly.

Besides, allowing both professionals and private citizens to trap cats and shelters to play their deadly labeling games opens up too many avenues for mischief to ever produce a viable working system that respects the primacy of feline life. Nonetheless, the trapping and killing game, like genocide and bigotry, is as old as time itself and has many adherents.

Zum Beispiel, in Ruislip, Middlesex, a disgruntled gardener sicced the RSPCA on Katherine and Paul Parker-Brice's nineteen-year-old cat, Mork, back in 2007. This led to Mork being murdered by the so-called animal protection group a scant two and one-half hours after his capture. (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.")

In the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, thirty kilometers west of Köln, a gardener set out a Nagelbrett in order to keep Manuela Lisken's cat out of his yard last year. When told by a mediator to remove it, he responded by replacing it with a board loaded with mousetraps. (See Cat Defender post of June 10, 2010 entitled "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard.")

Every bit as ailurophobic as gardeners, bird and wildlife proponents also trap their fair share of their neighbors' cats and give them to shelters to exterminate. In West Islip on Long Island, Oberschmidt's kindred spirit, Richard DeSantis, has made a career out of such patently criminal behavior. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006 and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate" and "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")

Another favorite tactic of bird advocates is to trap their neighbors' cats and then dump them at faraway, undisclosed locations. They then derive infinite pleasure out of taunting the cats' grieving owners. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2007 and November 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "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.")

Even on those extremely rare occasions when owners are able to get to shelters before the axe falls, they often are forced to give an arm and a leg in order to ransom their cats off of death row. Cats also are sometimes injured during trapping and this costs their owners additional money in the form of the exorbitant fees charged by veterinarians. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2006 entitled "Collar Saves a Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")

One of the principal reasons why Oberschmidt and his fellow cat killers are allowed to get away with their despicable crimes stems from the succor that they receive from both the veterinary profession and the capitalist media. Two of their avid supporters are UC-Davis lecturer and practicing veterinarian Sophia Yin and syndicated cat columnist Steve Dale. (See St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 7, 2010, "Trapping Outdoor Cats May Be Only Way to Banish Them.")

In a thoroughly ludicrous one-sided anti-cat screed fobbed off as an editorial, The Saginaw News on August 19th blamed what it calls "inconsiderate or apathetic pet owners" for the cold-blooded murders of Music Lessons and Buggsey. (See "Torn from the Front Page: It's Time to Hold Cat Owners to the Same Requirements as Dog Owners.") That the paper would go to the mat in order to defend Oberschmidt is not surprising in light of the fact that it named him Saginawian of the Year in 2005.

Moreover, since Oberschmidt has been trapping and killing cats at various properties that he owns all over Saginaw for many years, The Saginaw News undoubtedly was aware of his abhorrent conduct when it chose to so honor him. It also has conveniently shielded his accomplice from public scrutiny by categorically refusing to even name him in print.

Even more astounding, it inexcusably exonerates SCACC for its 77.20 per cent feline murder rate and instead places the blame squarely on the shoulders of "irresponsible pet owners." The cat-hating buffoons who edit The Saginaw News quite obviously do not have anything remotely resembling a moral compass and as the result see absolutely nothing wrong with slaughtering thousands of totally innocent cats each year.

If they had been around in either Nazi Germany or Pol Pot's Cambodia they most definitely would have blamed the victims for the crimes committed by their oppressors. In the final analysis, it does not make any moral difference whether a cat roams or stays at home. It is a living being and has an unqualified right to live and it is society's job to protect it.

The moral degenerates at The Saginaw News are not about to go along with that under any circumstances. Instead, they are proposing a ruthless ailurophobic agenda that consists of anti-roaming laws, leash requirements, mandatory vaccination and licensing, and a limit of two cats per household.

First of all, The Saginaw News needs to understand that a cat is not a dog. That is something that former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson knew all too well when on April 23, 1949 he vetoed an anti-roaming law sponsored by bird advocates.

"I cannot agree that it should be the declared public policy of Illinois that a cat visiting a neighbor's yard or crossing the highway is a public nuisance," he courageously declared on that momentous occasion. "It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming."

Just as importantly, he was acutely aware that such draconian legislation would lead to precisely the types of heinous crimes that Oberschmidt proudly admits committing. "Many live with their owners in apartments or other restricted premises, and I doubt if we want to make their every brief foray an opportunity for a small game hunt by zealous citizens -- with traps or otherwise," he sagaciously added.

The idiotic and inhumane notion that all cats must be confined indoors for life is pretty much limited to the United States and Canada. In Angleterre, for example, Cats Protection will not allow individuals to adopt any of its cats unless they are able to at the very least provide them with yards in which to roam.

Sentiment in Deutschland pretty much mirrors that found in England. C'est-à-dire, it is considered cruel and inhumane to imprison cats indoors.

In yet still another glaring example of The Saginaw News's blatant dishonesty, its states in its August 12th edition cited supra that one of its reporters spotted feces in Oberschmidt's garden during a visit on August 11th. Despite the myriad of lies told by gardeners, it is extremely unlikely that the fecal matter in question came from a cat.

Anyone with even an elementary acquaintance with the species knows that cats first dig a hole in the ground before either urinating or defecating and then afterwards cover up their byproducts. If loose soil is available, they never leave feces and urine uncovered.

Cats, admittedly, do dig in gardens but to claim that they leave feces uncovered demonstrates the extraordinary lengths that both Oberschmidt and The Saginaw News are prepared to go in order to defame and kill them. More than likely any uncovered feces in Oberschmidt's precious little garden was left there by birds, mice, wildlife or, perhaps, his own hund.

Besides, there are innumerable nonlethal methods of keeping cats out of gardens. For instance, fences, natural repellents, motion detectors, sprinkler systems, and ultrasound all have been proven to be effective in that regard.

Since Oberschmidt is loaded with money, he certainly could have invested in any one of those strategies. Like all filthy rich slobs, he is just too cheap to have done so. Much more importantly, doing so would have deprived him of the infinite pleasure that he derives from killing cats.

Furthermore, the editors of The Saginaw News are not nearly as stupid as they pretend. Like Oberschmidt, they most certainly are aware that these nonlethal methods exist.

The fact that they fully support murdering all cats that stray into gardens and other properties proves conclusively that they hate cats. Everything else that gushes forth from their malignant maws is just self-serving nonsense.

The public should not be bamboozled into believing that the recent events in Saginaw are isolated incidents; au contraire, Michigan is one of the most dangerous places in the country for cats.

In Bay City, twenty kilometers to the north of Saginaw, the Bay County Animal Shelter is so ruthless that it even murders kittens that have homes waiting for 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.")

In farm country, kittens are mowed down by combine operators and left to die unattended in ditches. (See Cat Defender posts of August 20, 2009 and November 24, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Combine Operator Severs Howard's Front Paws and Leaves Him in a Ditch to Die but He Is Saved at the Last Minute by a Pair of Compassionate Lads" and "Howard the Combine Kitty Is Adopted by the Lads Who Saved Him from a Sure and Certain Death in a Ditch Alongside a Michigan Wheat Field.")

As if the past few weeks have not been traumatic enough, the road ahead is destined to be every bit as trying for Tilot and Jurden. Although the preponderance of the evidence points toward Oberschmidt and SCACC as being the killers of Music Lessons and Buggsey, they never will be one-hundred per cent certain of that conclusion. They therefore will be cruelly denied closure.

Compounding the situation, neither Oberschmidt nor SCACC ever will be punished for their crimes. A civil lawsuit against them is a possibility but such an undertaking would be both expensive and time consuming with an uncertain denouement.

To top it all off, Tilot and Jurden are going to have to continue to live in the same community with the scoundrels who murdered their cats. Every chance encounter on the street, all tidbits of neighborhood gossip, and any casual perusal of the scurrilous Saginaw News will be a constant reminder of how irreparably they and their cats have been wronged.

Their lives have been turned upside down and their environment poisoned. They have a criminal beating up on them on the one side and SCACC and The Saginaw News doing likewise on the other side.

If they do not yet fully realize it, they are soon to find out firsthand just what life has been like for the past year for Andrea Evans and her family in Granite Falls, North Carolina. Last October, her next-door neighbor, Highway Patrolman Shawn C. Houston, trapped and shot her kitten, Rowdy. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")

Since justice and closure are totally out of the question, both Tilot and Jurden would be doing themselves a huge favor if they could see their way clear to pull up stakes and leave Saginaw. Having gotten away scot-free with murdering Music Lessons and Buggsey, it is a sure bet that neither Oberschmidt nor SCACC are about to mend their evil ways.

On the contrary, with The Saginaw News fully in back of them their successes are going to serve only to embolden them to kill even more cats. It is truly a sad situation for both Tilot and Jurden, not to mention Music Lessons and Buggsey, but unless they are able to get some high-powered legal and political support their position in Saginaw is hopeless.

Hopefully, either some law firm or cat advocacy group will be willing to come to Saginaw and represent Tilot and Jurden pro bono. Oberschmidt and SCACC need to be brought to the altar of justice and made to pay in spades for their despicable crimes.

In the meantime, there is much that ordinary citizens can do in order to demonstrate their support for Tilot and Jurden. For starters, individuals who care about cats should cancel their subscriptions and pull their advertising from The Saginaw News.

Secondly, tenants who lease properties from Oberschmidt should organize a rent strike. That would be one surefire way of getting the old shekel counter's attention.

Thirdly, cat-lovers should organize demonstrations outside Oberschmidt's killing field, SCACC, City Hall, and The Saginaw News. Fourthly, they should take names and remember precisely which politicians stood with them in their hour of greatest need and which ones opposed them the next time that they go to the polls.

Through determined and concerted action, the murders of Music Lessons and Buggsey can be avenged and SCACC put out of business once and for all-time.

Photos: Jeff Schrier of The Saginaw News (Oberschmidt and "Greenpeace" protest sign), Tammie Tilot (Music Lessons), and Gus Burns of The Saginaw News ("cat killers" protest sign).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sticky Loses Most of Her Fur after She Is Ensnared in a Glue Trap Inhumanely Set in a Birmingham Garden

"This kitten has suffered as a result of the irresponsible and inhumane use of traps. Like snares and most pest control equipment, glue traps are indiscriminate. We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares and traps."
-- Boris Lasserre of the RSPCA

As if cats and their owners did not have enough things to worry about already, the indiscriminate use of glue traps in outdoor settings has emerged as a new menace. That was the frightening and excruciating lesson driven home to a twelve-week-old kitten named Sticky in Birmingham last month.

Ensnared in a glue trap set for mice in a garden on Nansen Road in the Sparkhill section of the city, Sticky's paws, legs, and sides were left coated with glue and assorted debris. (See photo above.)

Rushed to Manor Veterinary Center in Halesowen, the fur on her right side and possibly elsewhere was removed and she was fitted with an Elizabethan collar. (See photo below.)

Even that extreme measure proved to be insufficient in order to remove all the glue from her legs and paws. At last report she was still receiving regular baths at RSPCA Coventry in Allesley in an effort to get rid of the remainder of the glue.

"This kitten has suffered as a result of the irresponsible and inhumane use of traps," the RSPCA's Boris Lasserre told the Daily Mail on August 3rd. (See "Meet Sticky, the Kitten Who Was Saved from a Rat-Catching Glue Trap.") "Like snares and most pest control equipment, glue traps are indiscriminate. We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares and traps."

Inexpensively constructed out of either plastic or cardboard and coated with some type of adhesive, glue traps normally are deployed indoors because prolonged exposure to the elements renders them ineffective. Nevertheless, they must be somewhat effective in outdoor environments, at least in fair weather, otherwise they would not be used in gardens.

To its credit, the RSPCA was able to track down the unidentified offender and convince that person to remove the remaining traps from the garden. That is not sufficient, however, in that the RSPCA needs to remain vigilant so as to make doubly sure that the culprit does not set out additional glue traps at a later date.

Since the traps are legal in Angleterre, no charges have been filed in this case. If the setting had been in Ireland, however, it would have been an entirely different story since these devices are banned there under the Wildlife Act of 2000.

Glue traps not only inflict horrific suffering on cats and wildlife but they are additionally an inhumane way of controlling the rodent population. Once stuck in the glue, mice often die prolonged deaths from exposure to the elements, dehydration, starvation, suffocation, predation, and agitation. (See photo above.)

For that reason the RSPCA's main office in Horsham, West Sussex, is categorically opposed to their use. "The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale, and use of any trap that causes suffering. We are concerned about the use of glue traps against rodents because of the suffering they cause," the organization declares on its web site.

In addition to glue traps, leghold traps used to capture wildlife continue to take a heavy toll on cats. (See Cat Defender posts of September 4, 2007, December 24, 2005, and August 18, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Kitten Named Moppel Is Rescued Unharmed from a Leghold Trap in Sachsen but a Cat in Decatur Is Not Nearly So Fortunate," "A Cat Named Trapper Falls Victim to Another Rusty Leghold Trap in British Columbia," and "Brave Orange Tabby Cat Named Hopalong Cassidy Loses Limb to Leghold Trap in British Columbia.")

Since no one so far has come forward to reclaim her, Sticky will be put up for adoption as soon as she recovers from her ordeal. From the way things now look, however, she has many more weeks of suffering and recuperation ahead of her before she will be able to leave the RSPCA's shelter.

Photos: Daily Mail and Newsteam (Sticky) and David Shankbone of Wikipedia (mouse caught in a glue trap.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gia and Mr. T. Survive Separate Attempts Made on Their Lives after They Are Abandoned on Busy Bridges During Inclement Weather

"She (Gia) wouldn't have made it through the day."
-- William McCann of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Gia! So long and good riddance!" With those or similar parting words, an unidentified motorist abandoned a beautiful kitten named Gia on the upper level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge last December 29th.

The temperature on the bridge, which connects Brooklyn with Staten Island, was a bone-chilling twenty-seven degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was howling at fifty miles per hour. Needless to say, things looked especially grim for little Gia.

Fortunately for her, maintenance worker Ryan Laks spotted her and was able to bring her down from the bridge and to safety. She later was taken to Rosebank Animal Hospital on Staten Island where it was determined that she miraculously had come through her frightening ordeal unscathed.

As it turned out, that was only the first installment in her amazing change of fortune. On December 31st, she was adopted by an unidentified man who recently had lost his beloved ten-year-old cat. (See photo above of Gia.)

Gia's survival is all the more remarkable in that during her time on the bridge she was never more than inches away from death at any moment in the form of being either crushed underneath the wheels of some unconscionable motorist or by drowning in the ice-cold waters below. Even if she had somehow managed to stay out of harm's way, she sooner or later would have succumbed to hypothermia.

"She wouldn't have made it through the day," Laks's supervisor, William McCann, told the Staten Island Advance on January 1, 2010. (See "Kitten Gets a Second Chance at Life after Being Rescued from Verrazano Bridge.")

When it comes to disposing of unwanted cats and kittens on bridges it seems that the busier and more popular spans get a lion's share of this shameful business. For example, during 2008 four kittens were rescued from the Verrazano after they were tossed out of speeding automobiles.

On a bridge as busy as the Verrazano, the number of unreported feline fatalities each year surely must be in the dozens if not indeed hundreds. Equally disturbing, it is extremely doubtful that a single arrest ever has been made in any of these cases.

Like the Verrazano, the Auckland Harbor Bridge, which connects Auckland with North Shore City, is equally popular with New Zealanders who want to get rid of unwanted cats. In 2007, a white kitten with beautiful yellow-green eyes named Mr. Tango was rescued dripping wet from the bridge during a storm.

He shortly thereafter was adopted by Sheryl Walker of Helensville, forty kilometers northwest of Auckland. (See photo above of her and Mr. T.)

As was the case with the man who adopted Gia, Walker's cat recently had died also. "I had lost my beautiful cat about a week before and was very distraught -- wasn't going to have another one -- and the girls just said 'this one's for you and he's just gorgeous'," she related to the New Zealand Herald of Auckland on June 8, 2010. (See "Tiny Bridge Survivor Now Top Cat in His New Home.") "We just fell in love with him. He's a real personality. He's become a country cat."

Having grown into a stout thirteen-pound adult cat, Mr. T. now pretty much rules the roost at Walker's house. "He indicates what he wants so if he wants you to feed him, the paw comes out and hits you. And if dinner isn't on time -- at six at night -- you get a whack and if you ignore him, he goes around, he'll start ripping the furniture," she told the Herald. "If you still ignore him, he goes under the TV set. If that doesn't work he'll climb on top and dangle a leg so you can't watch the TV."

In addition to Mr. T. and probably innumerable other cats as well, two dogs and a blue penguin recently have been rescued from the Auckland Harbor Bridge.

When confronted with a life and death abandonment on a bridge, every once in a while an enterprising kitten is able to take matters into its own hands. That is exactly what a six-week-old black kitten named Miracle did on June 22nd of last year when she was dumped on the McClugage Bridge in Peoria, Illinois.

When kindhearted Carol Jones stopped in order to mount a rescue, Miracle secreted herself away underneath Jones's car. Believing that her rescue had ended in failure, a downcast Jones returned home to West Peoria. (See photo on the right of her and Miracle.)

Her sadness was premature as it turned out in that Miracle was discovered a couple of days later in her garage. Unwilling to take a chance on losing her again, Jones decided to immediately adopt her. (See Cat Defender post of July 6, 2009 entitled "Miracle Survives a Drowning Attempt on the McClugage Bridge and Later Hitchhikes a Ride to Safety Underneath the Car of a Compassionate Motorist.")

If bridge rescues are rare, water rescues are even rarer. A kitten named Splat defied all the odds, however, on July 18th when she was fished out of Clouter Creek in Charleston by a boater after she had been tossed off the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2010 entitled "Sunday Afternoon Boater Plucks Splat Out of Clouter Creek after She Is Thrown Off of the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge in Charleston.")

Some cat-haters refuse to leave anything to chance, however. Instead of merely tossing cats off of bridges, they weigh them down with rocks in cages so as to make doubly sure that they drown.

Such was the cruel fate visited upon a calico cat named Lucky who survived being thrown into the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana, on December 27, 2005. She owes her salvation to the fact that her cage landed on the ice as opposed to in the water.

A passerby spotted her cage and promptly notified the Missoula Fire Department which mounted a successful rescue. One of her saviors, fireman John Macrow, later adopted her. (See Cat Defender post of January 13, 2006 entitled "Montana Firefighters Rescue Lucky Calico Cat Who Was Caged and Purposefully Thrown into an Icy River.")

Being run down by motorists and drowning in rivers are equally horrible ways for cats and kittens to die. Enhanced security, such as the liberal use of both surveillance cameras and patrol cars, would drastically reduce the number of cats killed on bridges.

Neither measure has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever being implemented, however. That is simply because not enough people around the world want to see an end to this type of horrific animal abuse.

Photos: Staten Island Advance (Gia), Steven McNicholl of the New Zealand Herald (Mr. T. and Walker), and Leslie Renken of the Journal Star of Peoria (Miracle and Jones).

Monday, August 09, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Boaters Pluck Splat Out of Clouter Creek after She Is Thrown Off of the Mark Clark Epressway Bridge in Charleston

"She already made it this far. (She) ought to make it all the way."
-- Karen Allen

Cats and kittens are abandoned on bridges every day. Some of them never even make it over the railing and are instead mowed down by motorists either too uncaring to swerve in order to avoid hitting them or just for sport.

For those that somehow manage to escape ending up as viande a pneus, all that usually awaits them on the opposite side of the railing is a watery grave. Splat the Cat is one of the lucky ones who defied the million to one odds against her and survived a plunge off of the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge (Interstate 526) in Charleston, South Carolina.

For her salvation she has kindhearted Karen Allen to thank. She and her husband, Dennis, were motoring on Clouter Creek on July 18th when they saw Splat come flying off the bridge. The tiny kitten hit the water and started swimming as hard as she could for the shore.

Since she was swimming against the current, however, she may not have made it if Allen had not intervened. Without so much as a moment's hesitation, she took out a fishing net and scooped Splat out of the drink and to safety. (See photo above of Splat with her rescuers.)

Amazingly enough, Splat came through her death-defying ordeal without any apparent physical injuries. That is even more remarkable in light of the fact that she already was malnourished as the result of her previous owner's attempt to starve her to death.

"I don't know how she's alive," Allen marveled to The Sun News of Myrtle Beach on July 20th. (See "Kitten Tossed Off Bridge Gets a Second Chance.") "I didn't think she was going to live."

Initially, Allen took Splat to her office located in the Daniel Island section of Charleston but she later handed her over to the Feline Freedom Coalition (FFC) in Ravenel. The game plan calls for her to be cruelly and inhumanely interned there for six weeks while the big shots reportedly look high and low for diseases and socialize her.

That is total nonsense! Splat obviously is as healthy as a horse and kittens do not need to be socialized. Even Allen admits that she is well-behaved, quiet and docile.

Besides, diseases can be detected during a routine office visit to a veterinarian. The real danger is that she will contract some deadly disease as the result of either the overcrowding or unsanitary conditions at FFC.

While they have her at their mercy, FFC will sans doute cut out her ovaries, implant a cancer-causing worthless microchip, and administer all sorts of unnecessary and often harmful vaccinations.

Should she somehow make it through all of the FFC's probing and invasive procedures, she likely will be put up for adoption at PetSmart in West Ashley. The adoption fee will be stiff. After all, someone has to pay through the wazoo for Splat's room and board as well as for all of the unnecessary veterinary procedures.

The picture that emerges from all of this is not a pretty one. Groups such as FFC look upon rescued cats as investments to be added to their portfolios. In much the same way that individuals slap a fresh coat of paint on old jalopies and houses that they are trying to sell, they needlessly and cruelly manipulate cats in order to enhance their retail value.

Thus, the more unnecessary surgeries and procedures that cats are put through, the greater the return on their investment. Worst still, in a society oblivious to the difference between animate beings and inanimate objects, these naked exploiters are allowed to get away with their abuses and mutilations.

Being that the animal rescue business is such a disgusting racket, the emphasis always is on agendas and making money. The health, well-being, and feelings of cats and other animals count for little or nothing.

FFC's hidden agenda is not difficult to fathom. Its number one objective is to subjugate all homeless cats and their caretakers under its fascist thumb.

In order to achieve that objective, it is attempting to get all volunteers to idiotically register their colonies with it. As an inducement to play along, it is giving away cheap kibble that it in turn has bummed from PetSmart and other charities.

In return the volunteers will be forced to provide FFC with the locations of their colonies and the number of cats contained therein as well as sterilization details. Shortly thereafter, FFC is sure to sell out the colonies and their caretakers to birders, wildlife biologists, and governmental officials intent upon doing them harm.

That is precisely the slimy little game that Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats in Manhattan plays with such elan. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2009 entitled "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Form an Achse des Bosen Against Cats.")

This is a diabolical scheme that spells doom for all homeless cats and therefore should be violently resisted by all volunteers. In short, let the pimps and frauds, such as FFC, Neighborhood Cats, and the Humane Society of the United States, find some other means of making a dishonest buck.

Besides, neither the cats nor the volunteers have anything to gain by knuckling under to these groups. The volunteers know the score and are doing the very best job that they can under extremely difficult circumstances. That is the way things have to be in this miserable old world; nothing is free and everyone must acquire their own funding through their own efforts.

Looking on the bright side, things could have turned out considerably worse for Splat in that Allen initially intended to turn her over to the knackers at Charleston County Animal Control who kill just about every cat given to them. Mercifully, she had a change of heart.

"She already made it this far," Allen told The Sun News. "(She) ought to make it all the way."

Caring for a cat is not fundamentally any different from anything else in life in that morality, like charity, begins at home. Individuals who care about cats must take personal responsibility for their well-being; fobbing off responsibility on others is a cruel and inhumane abdication of duty.

No animal rescue group is to be trusted. They are all inveterate liars, cat-killers, and shekel chasers. That is what Kimberley Marshall recently learned the hard way. (See Cat Defender post of July 29, 2010 entitled "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter.")

Providing shelters with money in order to purchase food for surrendered cats does not work either. That is what Donna Pruitt of Sugar Land, thirty-one kilometers outside of Houston, discovered to her eternal sorrow last month after she relinquished two stray kittens to Animal Control.

After feeding the kittens on her front porch for a fortnight, she dropped them off at Animal Control at 9 a.m. on July 8th and was told to come back at noon in order to retrieve her pet carrier. Apparently the staff was cleaning cages and moving the inmates around and therefore did not have anywhere to house the kittens except in her carrier. She gave the staff an "Andy Jack" in order to buy food for them and then left.

When she returned at 11:45 a.m. she was told that the kittens had been killed almost as soon as she was out the door. This was in spite of procedures in place which mandate that all surrendered animals be held for at least seventy-two hours before being killed. Moreover, shelter officials are supposed to telephone their previous owners before killing them so as to give them an opportunity to retrieve them.

"They had my phone number, as I had left it when I dropped the kittens off. They had our $20," Pruitt told The Fort Bend Star on July 14th. (See "Baby Kittens Put to Sleep in Error.") "Shouldn't that have bought me an explanation or at least a call before they murdered the kittens?"

Apparently not. Also, there is nothing in the record to suggest that Animal Control has even returned her money.

The city of Sugar Land has promised to take unspecified "administrative action" against the murderer which, in all likelihood, means no action at all. Even more disturbing, it is difficult to believe that this was an isolated incident as opposed to the norm. (See photo above of the staff at the shelter.)

As for Pruitt, she cried all the way home from Animal Control and claims that even now she breaks into tears just thinking about the awful thing that she did. Furthermore, she states that she would have found homes for the kittens if she had had "any glimmer of an idea" that Animal Control was going to kill them.

The lesson to be learned from both Pruitt's and Marshall's trying ordeals is that it is often too late to save cats once shelters and rescue groups take possession of them. Despite that harsh reality, there apparently are a considerable number of well-meaning individuals who fall prey to the killers' sophistry.

Of course, the vast majority of individuals who surrender animals to shelters are so glad to be shed of them that they could care less what happens to them. They therefore gobble up with a pitch fork the lies so liberally dispensed by shelters.

There is an old saying that whenever a person saves the life of another that person then is responsible for that life from now on and the same rationale applies in spades to cats. Despite her good work in fishing Splat out of Clouter Creek, Allen erred grievously in handing her over to FFC.

Since she was unwilling to give Splat a home, she should have taken personal responsibility for placing her with another family. It might not be too late, however, for her to atone for her earlier mistake by going to FFC and ransoming Splat's life.

Above all, no one ever should give a cat to either a shelter or a rescue group because it is a sure-fire death sentence in most instances. Even those few cats that are allowed to continue breathing face a lifetime of hardship as the result of the wholesale mutilation and abuse that they suffer at the hands of shelters and rescue groups. Restrictions placed upon their adoption, such as that they be confined indoors for life, are yet still another blatant form of animal cruelty.

It does not make any material difference how sterling a reputation shelters and rescue groups may have, how much moola they rake in courtesy of their various scams, or how eloquent and persuasive their talking heads can be, they are all cat killers, exploiters, and subjugators.

An analogous situation exists within the social welfare system. When an individual, child, or family becomes down-and-out they are fobbed off on shelters, orphanages, soup kitchens, churches, synagogues, and old folks' homes.

These are black holes where the vulnerable are preyed upon as opposed to being helped. Consequently, it is not surprising that very few of these unfortunate individuals ever get back on their feet again.

Photos: The Sun News (Splat with the Allens) and City of Sugar Land (Animal Control personnel).

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sinbad Loses a Leg in a Foiled Plot to Use Him and His Littermate, Sailor, as Fish Bait in Florida

"They would have been dead in another few hours, I'm sure, because they were weak. They were dehydrated."
-- Inga Hanley of Adopt A Cat Foundation

An unidentified married couple saved a pair of four-week-old kittens named Sinbad and Sailor from a fate worse than death on July 18th when they accidentally stumbled upon them trussed up with fishing line and dangling from a vessel at a boatyard in Lake Worth, Florida. (See photos above and below.)

"They would have been dead in another few hours, I'm sure, because they were weak," Inga Hanley of Adopt A Cat Foundation in Lake Park told WPBF-TV of Palm Beach Gardens on July 19th. (See "Kittens Bound Together Looking for a New Home.") "They were dehydrated."

The fishing tackle was wound so tightly in fact that the front paws of black and white Sinbad and solid-black Sailor were left disjointed and swollen three times beyond normal. It is estimated that they were bound up in this inhumane manner for least forty-eight hours. (See photo below of their mangled paws.)

Although the staff at Paws-2 Help in West Palm Beach made a valiant effort to save Sinbad's left front leg, they came up short and were forced to amputate it on July 26th. In doing so they were forced to shave off a good portion of his fur and it is going to take considerable time for it to grow back.

They have been attempting to save Sailor's mangled paw through the use of massage therapy but that does not appear to be working. Consequently, a decision on whether or not to amputate was scheduled to have been made on August 4th but as of this afternoon no additional information had been posted on Paws-2 Help's web site.

Otherwise, Sinbad and Sailor are being treated with antibiotics and vitamins as well as being bottle-fed. They are expected to remain in the hospital for another four to five weeks and after that it is hoped that a good home can be found that will take both of them. After all that they have been through together it would be a shame to separate them.

Even more shockingly, it is theorized that a fisherman was intending to use them as bait. "They (fisherman) use them for gator bait, too. There are a lot of things people do with little kittens," Hanley told WTSP-TV of Tampa on July 21st. (See "Kittens Used as Bait.") "That's why they always tell you don't advertise free kittens in the paper because a lot of horrible things happen to them."

The only other possible culprits are juvenile miscreants. "Kids do stuff like this," Hanley told WPBF-TV in the article cited supra.

Although both the police and Animal Control have promised to look into the matter, it is a sure bet bet that neither agency has lifted so much as a finger in order to bring the abusers to justice. This is substantiated by the fact that no arrests have been made in the case.

Even Hanley seems to be inured to such abuse. "It shocks me every time because you think people couldn't do such a thing, but it doesn't surprise me," she told WTSP-TV.

The logical starting point in any halfway serious investigation would be to interview the owner of the boat on which the kittens were found. Nevertheless, there is absolutely nothing in the record to suggest that the authorities have done even that much.

In the unlikely event that the assailants should be apprehended, instead of letting them off with minuscule fines and harsh words the authorities should perhaps turn them over to Hanley. "I'm one of these people -- an eye for an eye -- and I would love to wrap some cord around them and hang them up for a while (to let them) see how it feels," she told WPBF-TV.

In addition to using kittens as fish and gator bait, the Australians use them in order to bait crab pots. That was the cruel fate that awaited a nine-week-old white kitten named Tinkerbelle from the Scarness section of Hervey Bay in Queensland before she was rescued on June 29th.

The niece of a woman identified by the media only as Elizabeth rescued Tinkerbelle after hearing a crabber threaten to use her as bait. By that time, however, Tinkerbelle's tail already had been chopped off and her rectum was left swollen and bleeding. (See photo on the right below of Tinkerbelle and Elizabeth.)

"I can't believe someone would do that. How cruel can people be? I can't imagine what the little thing went through," Elizabeth told the Fraser Coast Chronicle of Hervey Bay on July 1st. (See "Kitten Saved from Crab Pot Death.") "It's awful. I'm just mortified."

Since her fellow citizens shoot, poison, and eradicate cats en masse from islands such as Macquarie, she really should not be surprised at this latest outrage. (See Cat Defender posts of April 23, 2008, August 11, 2005, and September 21, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Australian RSPCA Sells Out by Readily Agreeing to Gun Down Charles Sturt's Defenseless Rock Cats," "Barbaric Australians Come Up with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats," and "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie.")

They even eat them and traffic in their fur. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007 and July 14, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them" and "Australian Park Ranger and a Seamstress Team Up to Go into Business as Cat-Killers and Fur Traffickers.")

The Australians are, arguably, the worst cat abusers and killers on the planet with their buddies in New Zealand and South Africa not far behind them. It would have been far preferable if Queen Victoria had done the world a favor and simply allowed the entire lot of them to have rotted in High Gate.

As for Tinkerbelle, Elizabeth has thankfully agreed to give her a permanent home so hopefully all of the bad times are now behind her. "You don't mistreat them; you look after them," Elizabeth told the Fraser Coast Chronicle in the article cited supra.

From all appearances, it looks like this is the start of a love affair that is going to endure. "She's such a sweet thing," Elizabeth added. "She's very affectionate."

This case has been reported to the RSPCA but, as with Sinbad and Sailor, no arrests are expected and it is even doubtful that the matter will be investigated. On those rare occasions when arrests are made, most Australian cat abusers are let off by the courts with either minuscule fines or jail sentences of less than ninety days.

Since it is the official policy of the Australian government to either poison or shoot on sight practically all cats, it can be taken to the bank that the authorities are never going to take animal cruelty seriously. Consequently, Australia is the most dangerous place on earth for a cat to live.

Fishermen, crabbers, and alligator hunter may be laughing all the way to the bank for the time being as they appropriate defenseless kittens for their evil designs but their days of living high on the hog are numbered. Thanks to overfishing, pollution, and hunting, they have just about run out of fish, crabs, alligators, and other animals to exploit for both fun and profit.

Once all the greedy, violent, and evil people of this world have killed off the animals there is not going to be any meat left for them to eat except what is left on their wicked old bones. Bon appetit!

Photos: WJXX-TV of Jacksonville (Sinbad and Sailor), WTSP-TV (Sinbad and Sailor with attendant and their mangled paws), and Alistair Brightman of the Fraser Coast Chronicle (Tinkerbelle and Elizabeth).

Monday, August 02, 2010

Old, Poor, and Sickly, Jeanne Ambler Is Facing Eviction for Feeding a Trio of Hungry Cats

"They all feel hunger. They all feel affection. They all feel pain. They're beings, God's creatures, just as we are."
-- Jeanne Ambler

Bird advocates, wildlife biologists, and other ailurophobes recently have had considerable success in enacting municipal codes and housing regulations that ban the feeding of cats. In one particularly outrageous incident, an eighty-one-year-old retired tutor from Hillsborough Community College currently is living under the threat of imminent eviction for feeding a trio of homeless cats at Nantucket Bay Apartments in Temple Terrace, seventeen kilometers northeast of Tampa.

Having lived through a pair of myocardial infarctions, Jeanne Ambler also suffers from arthritis so severe that she is forced to use a battery-powered wheelchair in order to get around. On top of all of that, the crooks and rotters who run this miserable society expect her to scrape by on a monthly Social Security check that amounts to a piddling $683.

Even more egregiously, she is forced to fork over $516 of that to the very same blighters who are attempting to throw her in the street. (See photo of her above.)

Although she is elderly, infirm, and poor, her enemies are numerous, well-heeled, and totally unscrupulous. About the only thing that she has going for her is that she is right and they are wrong.

"They (the cats) all feel hunger. They all feel affection. They all feel pain," she told ABC-TV of Tampa on July 7th. (See "Eighty-One-Year-Old Cat Lover Faces Eviction and Fines.") "They're beings, God's creatures, just as we are."

If he were alive today, St. Francis of Assisi would no doubt agree. "God requires that we assist the animals when they need our help," he once said.

Although Ambler has resided at Nantucket Bay for more than a decade, it is unclear exactly how long she has been feeding the cats. Needless to say, the dispute has heated up considerably in recent months. (See photo below of her feeding one of them.)

In June, Temple Terrace sent her an edict demanding that she stop feeding them and is threatening to fine her $250 a day if she fails to comply. On July 1st, Nantucket Bay issued her a seven-day eviction notice for what it termed creating unsanitary conditions and disrupting the peace.

On July 6th, her monthly rent check was returned to her. Although the eviction process could drag on for years, the fact that her lease expires in October could have a negative impact on her case.

In addition to Temple Terrace and Nantucket Bay, Ambler is at loggerheads with several tenants who hate cats so vehemently that they are willing to dispossess a fellow senior citizen in order to harm them. Of course, they are far too dishonest to ever come out and say that; instead, they use various subterfuges in order to cloak their ailurophobia.

For Paul Fisher, president of the Residence Council, it is Ambler's foul mouth. "This nice elderly, eighty-one-year-old woman, when approached by myself and others and asked to cease has told us all to go ... ourselves," he groused like an old puritan with virgin ears to ABC-TV in the article cited supra.

For neighbor Chris Clifford it is Ambler's poodle, Punkins, and his habit of urinating on the lawn that serves as the lightning rod for him to go after her cats. "When I renew a lease, there are rules that I have to agree or disagree with," he pontificated to ABC-TV. "The real issue isn't with the dog. It's about cats."

Obviously, Clifford is not only a cat-hater but a suck-up to those in power to boot. He also does not have any toleration for either differences of opinion or taste.

Seventy-eight-year-old resident Jane Seymour in turn claims that Ambler's feeding of the cats is attracting raccoons, opossums, armadillos, squirrels, and foxes. "I just think they (sic) should feed animals in the house and not put food outside," she told the St. Petersburg Times on July 6th. (See "Cat Lover Facing Crackdown by Temple Terrace Officials.")

First of all, wild animals are everywhere and since Nantucket Bay Apartments are located alongside a conservation area it is going to be teeming with wildlife regardless of whether Ambler feeds her cats. For example, JFK Airport in Queens was built alongside a nature reserve and ever since that time the feds have been slaughtering birds.

In particular, the USDA's Wildlife Services currently is in the process of rounding up and gassing at least twenty-five-thousand Canada geese at JFK and other airports located in New York City and on Long Island. Yet scarcely a word of protest has been heard against this mass slaughter from either bird advocates or wildlife biologists.

In England, however, the authorities take a much more humane approach to problems of this sort. (See The Independent, July 20, 2010, "Wildlife Under Aerial Attack.")

Secondly, it would be interesting to know if either Temple Terrace or Nantucket Bay ban the feeding of birds, squirrels, and other animals. If not, their ban on the feeding of cats is not only discriminatory but hypocritical as well.

Thirdly, if Ambler cleans up after the cats and does not leave food unattended, her feeding of them could not be attracting wildlife. Furthermore, it is a good bet that discarded food, litter, unsecured trash cans, and the voluntary feeding of all sorts of animals are more to blame for attracting wildlife than is Ambler's feeding of the cats.

Much more importantly, there is not anything wrong with having wildlife frequent the complex. In most instances, it is precisely developers who have appropriated their rapidly diminishing habitats for their own selfish, exploitative reasons. Individuals in turn purchase these properties so that they can view wildlife out their front windows.

Furthermore, it is idiotic for people to expect cats and other animals to comprehend and observe their arcane rules regarding private property. In the final analysis, they were here first and since they are considerably less destructive than humans they and their needs should be given priority.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) recently joined the fray and is, predictably, attempting to end it by trapping and removing the cats. At last report, only one of the three cats had been trapped and its fate is unknown.

"We decided to offer a helping hand to remove the cats, keep her in her home, hopefully make peace with everybody, and give the cats a good home as well," the organization's Mary Ann O'Donnell told ABC-TV on July 16th. (See "Eighty-One-Year-Old Cat Lover No Longer Alone in Her Fight to Avoid Eviction.")

That also is the opinion of Ambler's sixty-three-year-old daughter, Judy Heeschen. "I just really hope somebody will come forward and say, 'Hey, we can take these three cats'," she told the St. Petersburg Times in the article cited supra.

As sickening and warped as that kind of thinking is, it nonetheless is the norm with the police, Animal Control, and rescue groups. In the end, disputes of this sort almost always are settled by killing the cats.

HSTB tells the public that the cats will be relocated but in all probability they will be killed unless some citizen comes forward and demands to adopt them. Besides, once the cats are trapped no one is going to care either what happens to them or hold HSTB to its word.

When Nathan Winograd once said that homeless cats do not belong in shelters he was only half-right; in reality, no cat belongs in any shelter. Just about every one of them are killed upon arrival and even those imprisoned in cages are eventually killed once the legally-mandated holding period expires.

Moreover, since most shelters are overcrowded and filthy, disease is rampant. As soon as a cat catches so much as a cold that provides its captors with a convenient excuse to murder it.

Ambler's cats have an inalienable right to not only live but to live at Nantucket Bay Apartments. That is their home and there is a good chance that they were born there. It even is conceivable that they were cruelly abandoned by the tenants. If so, their welfare and safety are preeminently the responsibility of the management of Nantucket Bay.

In choosing to attack Ambler, the city of Temple Terrace, Nantucket Bay Apartments, and her fellow residents have exposed themselves not only as cat-haters but to be totally lacking in sympathy for the elderly. Their behavior has been nothing short of disgraceful and if any of them had an ounce of decency they would be ashamed of themselves.

The large international law firm of Holland and Knight has graciously stepped forward and agreed to defend Ambler pro bono. That is certainly good news and probably means that the suits at Nantucket Bay can forget about trying to evict her.

The fate of the cats is an entirely different matter, however. In all likelihood the HSTB will prevail and they will be removed and likely killed.

Since this dispute always has been about saving the cats, such a denouement would be a Pyrrhic victory even for Ambler. Real estate giants like Nantucket Bay and towns like Temple Terrace thus will be free to continue evicting and killing cats at will.

Another alternative would be for Ambler to adopt the three cats. Since she already has a cat named Impy in addition to Punkins, doing so might possibly be difficult depending upon the size of her abode. Moreover, cats accustomed to having their freedom do not willingly surrender it.

Such an arrangement also would hand Temple Terrace, Nantucket Bay, and all other groups who cruelly want to lock up cats indoors another victory. Other cats are bound to show up at the complex sooner or later and they, too, would be subject to eviction and death sentences if the status quo remains unchallenged.

Considering all the sacrifices that she already has made, it is difficult to ask any more of Ambler. Nevertheless, maybe she will be able to summon the strength in order to continue the fight to save these cats now that she has legal representation.

If so, she and her attorneys should strive to secure the right for them to remain at Nantucket Bay in perpetuity and for Ambler to continue to feed and care for them. That is the only just solution.

"I grew up during the Depression. I know what it feels like to be hungry," she confessed to the St. Petersburg Times in the article cited supra. "It just seems incredibly cruel. It's like starving a child."

Ambler is by no means the first woman living in senior citizen housing to find herself up the spout for feeding a cat. An almost identical situation happened to seventy-six-year-old Bernice Fuller of Mayfair Apartments in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in June of last year. (See photo of her above on the right.)

On June 6th, she was given a thirty-day eviction notice for feeding a cat named Bojangles. Although several other tenants also fed him, Wellons Foundation Management Services, which operates the government-subsidized complex, singled out Fuller for retribution. (See photo below of Bojangles.)

"She (the unidentified property manager) acted like a little old Hitler," Fuller told WRAL-TV of Raleigh on June 17, 2009. (See "Tenant Says She's Being Evicted for Feeding Stray Cat.") "You know, do as I say or else."

Don Wellons, president of Wellons Foundation, responded with the customary litany of lies that all cat-haters recite by rote just as if they were the gospel truth. "When a resident feeds a cat every day, then it is a pet. In this circumstance, this is a stray cat that has not been to a vet for its vaccinations," he roared like a hurricane to the Rocky Mount Telegram on June 17, 2009. (See "Management Defends Actions at Mayfair.") "We have residents who have complained."

Without specifying either which residents or how many of them had complained, Wellons went on to accuse Bojangles of being a health threat. "If this stray cat was (sic) to scratch a resident and the resident got rabies or an infection, then who would be responsible for the damages?" he groused like a mean-spirited old miser counting his precious pennies.

First of all, rabies is extremely rare in cats. Secondly, it is tough enough for strangers to get within scratching distance of a domesticated cat let alone either a stray or a feral.

Besides, as Miguel de Cervantes pointed out all those years ago: "Those who will play with cats must expect to be scratched." Accordingly, anyone who either corners or abuses a cat and is therefore scratched by it acting in self-defense is responsible for either his or her own medical treatment. It would be ludicrous to hold Wellons liable.

As is the case with Temple Terrace, the dispute in Rocky Mount was resolved at Bojangles' expense when on June 15, 2009 the Edgecombe-Nash Humane Society trapped and forcibly removed him from Mayfair Apartments. In his hour of greatest need, even Fuller double-crossed him and consented to his inhumane ouster.

He was then transported to Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Rocky Mount where he was diagnosed by veterinarian Chandra Meachem-Tucker to have an injured leg, a mild case of heartworm, and to be FIV-positive. An unidentified Good Samaritan donated $150 toward his care but at last report Meachem-Tucker was holding him hostage and not allowing anyone to adopt him until she received the $100 due her for treating him.

Since he is FIV-positive, Bonjangles likely will be sterilized and forced to spend the remainder of his life indoors even if adopted. "He seems very calm," Meachem-Tucker told the Rocky Mount Telegram on June 17, 2009. (See "A New Home for Bojangles?") "He should be able to acclimate to an indoor cat."

While he was interned at Meachem-Tucker's surgery, Bojangels' room and board was being paid for by Edgecombe-Nash. If someone did not come forward and agree to adopt him, Meachem-Tucker had threatened to kill him. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to ascertain what happened to him.

After selling Bojangles down the river to the knackers at Riverside and Edgecombe-Nash, Fuller was scheduled to have met with Wellons Foundation Management Services on June 19, 2007 in order to discuss the eviction proceedings against her. There can be little doubt, however, that she is still living at Mayfair because, with Bojangles now out of the picture, management no longer had a valid case against her.

Because of Wellons' dictatorial style of management, that is not necessarily any bowl of cherries. For in addition to evicting Bojangles, it gave residents six days in order to remove all flower gardens that they had planted and it closed a community center that had been used for church services on weekends. Later, in November of last year, it banned residents from displaying Christmas lights outside their apartments.

The repulsive decisions taken by management at both Nantucket Bay and Mayfair demonstrate just how horribly low-income senior citizens are treated in this country. The operators of these complexes are able to get away with their abhorrent conduct in large part because their residents are divided amongst themselves and therefore unable to put up a united front.

The unholy alliance that exists in this country between the business community and government is another major cause. With each passing year the United States more and more resembles a fascist state.

Finally, in addition to individuals like Ambler and Fuller, others have been arrested and fired from their jobs for feeding cats. (See Cat Defender posts of February 26, 2007 and June 14, 2006 entitled, respectively, " Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap" and "Kindhearted Dairyman, Sacked for Feeding Feral Cats, Files $20 Million Lawsuit Against Cornell University.")

Photos: Stephen J. Coddington of the St. Petersburg Times (Ambler), WRAL-TV (Fuller), and Moggies (Bojangles).