The RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband
"She (the RSPCA inspector) just grabbed him off the street, bundled him into a van and had him destroyed."
-- Ann Baker
The bloodthirsty cat killers at the RSPCA have been up to their old deadly tricks once again and as the result an elderly cat known as Nightshift is prematurely in his grave and his seventy-nine-year-old owner has been left all alone and distraught. (See photo of him above.)
The chain of criminal events began at 6 p.m. on August 31st when Ann Baker of Church Avenue in Selby, nineteen kilometers south of York, let out Nightshift to play in her garden. As best it can be determined, he was shortly thereafter picked up by a female agent of the RSPCA who drove him around in her van for close to ninety minutes before taking him to an unidentified veterinarian.
After a quick examination, the vet concluded that Nightshift was suffering from kidney and respiratory problems and could not under any circumstances be permitted to go on breathing for another minute. As a consequence, by 7:30 p.m. he was dead.
Baker was clueless at first as to what had happened to the cat that she and her late husband had taken in as a stray way back in 1992 but that was before a neighbor informed her that an RSPCA van had been spotted in the neighborhood that day. Even then Baker, for unexplained reasons, was unable to reach the RSPCA until the next day.
When she finally did make contact the RSPCA readily admitted that it had done the foul deed and the inspector who had picked up Nightshift was dutifully dispatched to return his corpse which Baker promptly buried in her garden. (See photo of her below.)
"She just grabbed him off the street, bundled him into a van and had him destroyed," Baker summed up the result of her investigations to The Press of York on September 4th. (See "Ann Baker's Lost Cat Is Put Down by RSPCA.")
The RSPCA's ludicrous claim that Nightshift was in poor health and suffering mightily is contradicted by Baker who claims that his "fur was healthy (and) his eyes were clear." Moreover, she had just shelled out more than £100 the previous day, August 30th, in order to have her vet attend to his cold.
Since he was at least eighteen years old, which in human terms would make him roughly eighty-eight years old, it certainly would have not been surprising for him to have had a cold and some deterioration in his kidneys. In fact, most men over fifty experience those types of ailments and yet no one would dare to suggest that they be rounded up and exterminated.
Moreover, it is not out of the ordinary for a cat to have a case of the sniffles, especially in cold and damp climates such as Yorkshire. The vast majority of respiratory ailments, however, are contracted in overcrowded and unsanitary shelters. Regardless of the venue, the RSPCA, shelters, and veterinarians regard minor respiratory infections as bestowing upon them a carte blanche authority to get out the sodium pentobarbital.
Old and weak kidneys are not anything to worry about either. The only difficulty arises when owners are either too lazy or selfish to clean up after cats that become incontinent and there certainly is not any evidence to suggest that Nightshift was missing his litter box.
As things now stand, the RSPCA is allowed to determine which cats are healthy and which ones are too ill to go on living and the only appeal of its totally arbitrary decisions is to heaven. "Generally, if an RSPCA inspector finds a healthy cat then it is kept for seven days while we make inquiries and endeavor to track down an owner, but this cannot always be the case if an animal is very ill or injured and needs immediate veterinary treatment," an unidentified spokeswoman for the organization explained to The Press in the article cited supra.
That is pure rubbish! The RSPCA most definitely has the means and resources to transport sick and injured cats to a veterinarian for treatment while it simultaneously conducts a proper and thorough investigation in order to locate their owners. It is unwilling to do so because it fears that it will not be financially compensated for treating, sheltering, and feeding cats that either are homeless or belong to the impecunious.
With that type of business model, the RSPCA is at best a predatory capitalist institution and at worst a pack of latter-day neo-Nazis operating a Buchenwald for cats and calling it a shelter. "...in their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis," Issac Bashevis Singer once wrote. "The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right." Suffice it to say that the RSPCA is anything but an animal protection organization.
All of that could potentially change if Baker decides to go ahead with her contemplated lawsuit against the RSPCA. Should that come to fruition, her veterinarian surely would be subpoenaed in order to refute the blatant lies of the RSPCA and the veterinarian that stooges for it.
"Yet another stupid mistake by the so-called RSPCA. The RSPCA really do need to look at their procedures and find out why they make so many stupid mistakes," the editor of Moggies opined October 13th on the organization's web site. "Some veterinary surgeons are quick to say a cat needs to be put to sleep, when in fact the cat can have a perfectly normal life for years to come. I know this by personal experience with so-called vets."
Besides, malpractice is so rampant within the profession that some practitioners are incapable of either properly mending a broken leg or performing a simple sterilization. (See Cat Defender posts of June 17, 2010 and July 2, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues" and "Lexi Was by No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization.")
Still others apparently are so incompetent that they are unable to distinguish a common cold from chemical poisoning. (See Cat Defender post of September 18, 2010 entitled "Another Kitten, Raisin, Is Horribly Killed in Treasure Valley but It Is Unclear Whether Yobs or Incompetent Veterinarians Are to Blame for Her Death.")
In addition to falsely alleging that Nightshift was at death's door, the RSPCA claims that it has a right to round up and kill all cats that are not either tagged or microchipped. "Unfortunately, when he was picked up by an RSPCA inspector on August 31st her cat wasn't wearing a tag or microchip so the inspector had no way of knowing whether he was owned or a stray," an RSPCA spokeswoman told The Press on October 11th. (See "Cat Owner Ann Baker in Legal Threat Against RSPCA.")
That is another outright lie! Nightshift's fur, weight, age, and friendly demeanor coupled with the fact that he was picked up in a residential neighborhood all pointed to the inescapable conclusion that he was someone's beloved companion.
By behaving like bounty hunters the RSPCA has exposed itself to be no better than the police officers in Cecil, Pennsylvania, and Raymore, Missouri, who in cold blood murdered beloved family cats based solely upon uncorroborated allegations from their neighbors. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008 and September 16, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo" and "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.")
As far as collars are concerned, the RSPCA is acutely aware of just how deadly elastic ones can be as well as the limitations of breakaway ones. (See Cat Defender posts of June 22, 2010 and May 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Hobson Is Forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg" and "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour.")
Much ballyhooed microchips have even less utility than collars plus they have been linked to cancer. (See Cat Defender posts of May 25, 2006 and September 21, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats" and "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs.")
The one thing that microchips are good for is turning a fast and easy buck. The manufacturers of the chips and scanners that read them cash in on one end while veterinarians and shelters make out like bandits on the other end. Veterinarians also rake in an additional bonus when they are called upon to treat cats and dogs that have developed cancer as the result of these harmful and unnecessary implants.
Finally, the RSPCA has yet to disclose who it was that sicced them on defenseless Nightshift in the first place. It is a good bet that it was either a bird advocate, wildlife biologist, or gardener; after all, defaming, abusing, and killing cats is how they get their kicks. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2007, June 27, 2008, and August 19, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts," "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island," and "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")
If by any chance this story sounds familiar it is because the RSPCA did the same thing to Katherine Parker-Brice's nineteen-year-old cat, Mork, in May of 2007. (See photo of him directly above.)
That atrocity was precipitated by a new next-door neighbor of hers in Ruislip, Middlesex, who objected to Mork frequenting her precious little garden. Always willing to be of service whenever there is a cat to be killed, the RSPCA trapped Mork and drove him around in its van for two and one-half hours before finally killing him.
As was the case with Nighshift, the organization falsely claimed that he was old, sickly, and a stray. "I was in tears. He (the RSPCA's agent) tried to defend himself saying the cat didn't have any teeth and was old but it was ridiculous," Parker-Brice said at that time. "You only had to look at his nails which had been clipped and his glossy coat to see that he wasn't a stray."
For that dastardly act, the unidentified ten-year veteran of the RSPCA was given only a written reprimand which further incensed Parker-Brice. "He should have been sacked. There's no way he should be allowed near animals," she protested in vain.
The RSPCA claimed at the time that whenever one of its henchmen seizes a cat it is correspondingly obliged to put up "Lost Cat" posters and to leaflet the neighborhood. That certainly was not done in Ruislip and, judging by events in Selby, is no longer the organization's policy.
Like Baker, Parker-Brice for a while considered instigating legal action against the RSPCA but as far as it is known she later abandoned that idea. It is not too late, however, and now would be a good time for her and Baker to join forces and take concerted action against the RSPCA.
Besides, there surely must be countless other individuals who have had their cats stolen and killed by the RSPCA as well. Under no circumstances should the organization be permitted to continue committing these types of heinous crimes.
The RSPCA's blatant hypocrisy also angered Parker-Brice. "The RSPCA quickly prosecutes anyone who neglects animals yet here it is killing them indiscriminately," she added.
Nightshift was special to Baker not only because of the love and companionship that he provided her with but also because he was the last surviving link to the life that she shared with her late husband. At her stage in life she obviously has better things to do with her remaining time than to become involved in a protracted court battle with the RSPCA but perhaps she will be able to find the energy and resources to persevere not only for Nightshift's sake but for other cats as well. There possibly might even be a law firm that would be willing to represent her pro bono.
Mork's murder likewise has left not only Parker-Brice devastated but his sister, Mindy, is lost without him. (See photo above of her staring at a framed portrait of Mork.)
"This man's broken our hearts. He has left ...Mindy, without a companion," Parker-Brice related. "They were together for nineteen-years and have been torn apart by a careless, casual act. (She) is pining for him. She keeps wandering around the house looking for him." (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.")
It is not widely publicized but the brand of shocking lawlessness displayed by the RSPCA in Selby and Ruislip is the normal modus operandi of shelters, humane organizations, and police officers all over the world. Their horrendous slaughter of homeless cats and dogs is bad enough in itself but they also kill innumerable family pets as well.
Consequently, it is not the least bit surprising that such patently criminal and inhumane behavior is engendering sporadic outbursts of retaliation by aggrieved cat and dog owners. For example, when officials in tiny Hydro, Oklahoma, just west of where famed Route 66 used to be, trapped and impounded seventy-three-year-old Edwin Fry's poodle, Little Buddy Rough and Tough, on October 13th he decided to take the law into his own hands.
Although he could have sprung Buddy by paying the $100 fine that he received for allowing him to run loose in the neighborhood, he either did not have the money or for whatever reason did not want to pay it. Instead, he drove his lawn mower to the city pound where he used a pair of bolt cutters in order to free Buddy. Sadly, neither he nor Buddy were able to get very far before they were intercepted by the police and Fry was carted off to the clink while Buddy was returned to the death house.
Worst of all, the pound went ahead and murdered Buddy while Fry was still incarcerated. He since has regained his freedom but will have to stand trial on one count of misdemeanor breaking and entering.
As a true dog lover, Fry is neither afraid of jail, the repressive police, nor of dying in order to protect his dogs. "I told them 'I don't advise you take my dog unless you want to face my shotgun'," he told The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City on October 22nd. (See "Hydro Man Lands in Jail over Poodle Rescue.")
For their part, the police are wary of Fry but they are neither backing down nor cutting him any slack. "He'd threatened to shoot us before, so I approached him with caution," Hydro police officer Chris Chancellor, who arrested Fry, told The Oklahoman. "I was afraid he might have had a rifle with him."
Despite the obvious dangers involved, the historical significance of this event has not been lost on Chancellor. "I've been in law enforcement twenty years and this is the first time I've known of anyone that busted a dog out of jail," he added.
As was the case with Mork and, most likely, Nighshift, the authorities were sicced on Fry by neighbors who objected to Buddy visiting their houses and, inter alia, scapping with their dogs. Nonetheless, Buddy had an inalienable right to live and it is precisely his murderers who belong in jail and not Fry. (See KFOR-TV of Oklahoma City, October 20, 2010, "Man Arrested for Breaking Dog Out of Pound," which also contains a video.)
Fry's actions are a harbinger of things to come. Many individuals care deeply about their cats and dogs and accordingly are willing to go to almost any length in order to protect them. It therefore is high time that the laws of society better reflected that commitment.
The only humane and sensible solution is an across-the-board ban on the killing of cats, dogs, and other companion animals. Anything less will never suffice because if shelters and law enforcement officials are given any discretion they are going to continue to deliberately blur the line between homeless and domestic animals, claim that healthy ones are sick, and that socialized ones are vicious.
Photos: Ann Baker (Nightshift), The Press (Baker), and Katherine Parker-Brice (Mork and Mindy).