Rocco's Abduction, Systematic Torture, and Cold-Blooded Murder by a Bird Lover in München Was the Number One Cat Story of 2010
"Man produces evil as a bee produces honey."
-- William Golding
(This article originally was written for publication on 23 March 2011.)
The year 2010 was a traumatic one for cats around the world. Although bird lovers have been maligning and killing them for a very long time, the abduction and death by torture of a cat named Rocco in München last December vividly demonstrated for all to see not only how much enmity resides in their black hearts but, more importantly, the diabolical extremes that they are prepared to go to in order to achieve their objectives.
Every bit as evil as birders, wildlife biologists continued to kill cats with impunity thanks to the welfare dollars that they are able to cadge from the public. Most notably, the United States Army Corps of Engineers last spring evicted the cats from Lake Lanier in Georgia.
Gardeners, the third spoke in this age-old Achse des Bösen, also continued to prey upon cats. For example, in Saginaw, Michigan, one such individual illegally trapped Buggsey and Music Lessons and promptly handed them over to an obliging shelter to be killed. In Nordrhein Westfalen, a cat named Ziegelchen was illegally trapped by a gardener but fortunately escaped an identical fate when he was rescued in the nick of time by his devoted owners.
Individuals without any known political agenda also continued to commit horrible, despicable acts of unprovoked violence against the species. For example, a cat named Lätzchen was intentionally set on fire and burned within an inch of her life in Sachsen-Anhalt.
In Tampa, a cat named Lovey was shot at least thirty times with an air gun, caged, and then dumped in a bay by a devil worshiper. In New Westminster, British Columbia, a cat named Harley died a prolonged and painful death after he was deliberately dunked up to his waist in turpentine.
If all of that were not horrific enough, several trusting and loving cats were abandoned to die under truly abominable circumstances by their owners. In particular, a cat named Lumpi in Baden-Württemberg was left to die in an apartment fire after he had saved his owners' lives by awakening them.
At the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof, a beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat was abandoned in a locker where she shortly thereafter died of thirst. In Kissimmee, Florida, an unrepentant, god-fearing evangelical allowed a nine-year-old Persian named Tavia to die after leaving her all alone in an unheated house for two months.
Although it is well-known that animal shelters are little more than dressed-up death camps, the full extent of their hideous crimes was brought into sharper focus last year after several of them were caught killing cats and dogs that had homes waiting for them. Almost as revolting, several no-kill facilities were exposed to be total frauds.
Likewise, the veterinary profession was revealed to be rife with incompetence and prejudice as well as runaway greed. Unfortunately, it looks like practitioners who implant cancer-causing microchips in cats and dogs are going to escape punishment although the manufacturers and distributors of these deadly devices have a date in court sometime this year thanks to a civil suit filed by Andrea Rutherford of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Motorists continued to run down and kill cats with impunity but a public official in Möhnesse had the audacity to order the destruction and removal of a roadside memorial erected in honor of one of them. With the seal of approval from the courts, drunkards and dope addicts in Pennsylvania continued to abuse and kill cats at their pleasure.
In Henley-on-Thames, George Harrison's widow belatedly bowed to public pressure and removed razor-wire fencing from around Friar Park. Finally, the one notable bright spot in an otherwise generally unhappy year belonged to a bachelor in Sachsen, who tied the knot with his ailing, fifteen-year-old companion, Cecilia.
For previous year-end reviews, see Cat Defender posts of January 4, 2007, January 11, 2008, February 2, 2009, and March 16, 2010 entitled, respectively, "The Continuing Mass Extermination of Millions of Cats at Shelters Across the World Heads the List of Top Ten Cat Stories of 2006," "Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Courtroom Heads the List of the Top Stories of 2007," "The Creation of Clones That Glow in the Dark for Vivisectors to Torture and Kill with Impunity Was the Most Disturbing Cat Story to Come Out of 2008," and "The Humane Society's Sellout of San Nicolas's Felines to the Assassins at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Was the Biggest Cat Story of 2009."
1.) München Bird Lover Tortures Rocco to Death.
One of the most horrendous and despicable acts of animal cruelty ever recorded was perpetrated in late December against a three and one-half year old Norwegian Forest Cat named Rocco from the Moosach section of München by a bird lover identified only at Ernst K. The atrocities began on December 13th when Ernst K. illegally trapped and kidnapped Rocco. Over the course of the following eleven days this diabolical monster repeatedly tortured the caged cat with both water and pepper spray.
The temperature of the water never has been disclosed and it is not even known if Rocco was fed during this period. If he was, it only was enough in order to keep him barely alive so that Ernst K. could continue to get his cheap thrills.
Ernst K.'s sadistic little game came to abrupt end on Heilig Abend when one of his neighbors, seventy-three-year-old Erika S., accidentally stumbled on to him torturing Rocco and telephoned the police. The cowardly Ernst K. then stuffed the dying cat into a garbage bag and secreted him away in his garage.
By the time that the police and Tierrettung München arrived it was too late in order to save Rocco. "Ich konnte Rocco nicht helfen," Birgit Schwarzmann of the rescue group later said. "In zehn Jahres als Tierärztin habe ich nie zuvor etwas Schrecklicheres gesehen. Das war purer Sadimus."
The cold-blooded, premeditated murder of Rocco left his owner, fifty-three-year-old insurance broker Andreas O., and the other members of his family heartbroken. "Wir vermissen Rocco sehr, er war wie ein Familienmitglied," he said.
When asked by Andreas O. why he had murdered Rocco, Ernst K. simply grinned back at him with fiendish delight. "Ich wurde es wieder tun," he later told the police.
True to his word, Ernst K. festooned his house and garage with placards accusing Rocco's supports of hating birds. Either he or one of his supporters also has threatened to kill additional cats. "Bitte riskieren Sie nicht, dass auch Ihre Katze einen ebenso grausamen Tod wie Rocco erleiden muss," one such poster read.
At least eight other cats have disappeared from the neighborhood surrounding Ernst K.'s house and there is a good chance that he was responsible in each case. Plus, at least one cat and a dog from the area have been poisoned.
The police charged Ernst K. with animal cruelty but he remains free to continue killing cats. Andreas O. has vowed to hold him accountable in a civil court but such an undertaking will take time and the outcome is uncertain.
On the positive side, two-hundred-sixty supports of Rocco marched in the cold and snow through Moosach on January 8th. A touching memorial consisting of photographs of the deceased, wooden crosses, flowers, and candles was erected at the corner of Magdalena and Bräu Weg. Tierschutzverein München, which organized the rally, has vowed to keep the pressure on both the courts and lawmakers in order to make certain that Ernst K. is punished to the fullest extent of the law.
His criminal behavior was not an aberration; im Gegenteil, it merely is par for the course as far as bird advocates and wildlife biologists are concerned. "Man produces evil as a bee produces honey," author William Golding once opined and that certainly defines to a tee these two groups of rabid cat-haters.
All cat lovers accordingly must remain vigilant because Ernst K. and his fellow criminals have proven time and time again that they will stop at absolutely nothing when it comes to abusing and killing cats. If there is anything positive to be learned from Rocco's sadistic murder it is to be found in the writings of Agatha Christie.
"Remember that now you can have confidence in yourself always," Hercule Poirot told Norma Restarick in The Third Girl. "To have known, at close quarters, what absolute evil means is to be armored against what life can do to you." (See Cat Defender post of January 19, 2011 entitled "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period.")
2.) Lumpi Saves His Guardians' Lives but They Abandon Him to Die in an Apartment Fire.
The abandonment and willful neglect of cats and kittens takes on many forms. It can be as mundane as either handing them over to shelters to kill or dumping them in fields, streams, and traffic.
Mailboxes, used clothing bins, and even the trash will suffice for any number of individuals. Whenever there is a will, a way surely will be found of getting shed of unwanted cats.
Abandoning a beloved cat to die in an apartment fire after he has just saved his owners' lives is, arguably, the cruelest form of ingratitude imaginable. Nevertheless, that is what happened to a nine-month-old cat named Lumpi from Altshausen in Baden Württemberg on New Year's Eve of 2009.
The end for him came at 4 a.m. on that tragic day when a fire broke out in the newly renovated second floor apartment that he shared with his sister, Sissi, and his owners, forty-six-year-old Edgar K. and forty-four-year-old Susi S. The conflagration is believed to have originated in a defective television set.
"Plötzlich kratzte und miaute es an unserer Schlafzimmertür. Als ich öffnete stürmten unser Kater Lumpi und unsere Katze Sissi ins Zimmer," Edgar K. later recalled. "Ich sah Qualm auf dem Flur, aus dem Wohnzimmer schlug mir eine beißende Rauchwolke entgegen."
Thanks to being awakened by their cats, the couple was able to get out of the burning apartment alive. Too selfish to return the favor, they did not even attempt to save their rescuers.
"Die Katzen haben geschrien," Susi S. added. "Wir wollten nach ihnen schauen, aber wir sahen kaum noch etwas und konnten nicht mehr atmem."
Lumpi, who died of smoke inhalation, later was found wedged between the mattress on the couple's bed while Sissi miraculously survived by hiding underneath the bed. The apartment was completely destroyed.
The death of her brother has left Sissi brokenhearted. "Sie ist verwirrt, miaut herzzerreißend, Susi S. said. "Sie sucht den ganzen Tag nach ihren Bruder."
For whatever it is worth, Susi S. at least has acknowledged the couple's debt to Lumpi. "Jetzt verdanken wir ihm unser Leben." (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2010 entitled "Lumpi Is Unforgivably Left to Die in a Burning Apartment by the Ingrates Whose Lives He Saved.")
A more common, albeit no less hideous, way of disposing of an unwanted cat is to stuff it into a locker at a train station. That precisely is the cruel fate that befell a nameless mixed-breed Norwegian Forest Cat on August 21st when she was left at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof to die.
Deutschen Bahn riders scurrying through the busy transportation hub overheard her plaintive cries for help from inside locker number 457 at 11:50 p.m. and telephoned the police. Rushed to a local veterinarian she died shortly thereafter.
A preliminary necropsy performed by the Institut für Hygiene and Unwelt revealed that she had died of thirst. That in and of itself is not surprising in that she already was suffering from kidney trouble.
Confined in an area hardly large enough for her even to turn around, she spent the last day of her tragic life in total darkness, without either food, water, or even an adequate supply of fresh air to breathe.
As far as it is known, no arrests have been made in this case. Not only are the police and humane groups at fault for not vigorously investigating this abysmal act of animal cruelty, but so too are the railroad, terminal staff, and commuters for heartlessly ignoring her pleas for help for at least twenty-four hours.
All of them have blood on their hands. If just one of them had acted compassionately and responsibly, she still would be alive today. (See Cat Defender post of September 3, 2010 entitled "Pretty Norwegian Forest Cat, Already Suffering from Kidney Trouble, Is Abandoned to Die of Thirst in a Schließfach at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof.")
Sometimes an owner can be so negligent that her behavior is tantamount to outright abandonment. Black evangelist Royal Poinciana Sprewell's unconscionable decision to leave her nine-year-old white Persian, Tavia, all alone is an unheated house in Kissimmee, Florida, for two months last fall is a prime example of such patently cruel behavior.
It has not even been conclusively established if Tavia had an adequate supply of either food or water throughout her extended period of neglect.
When the derelicts from Osceola County Animal Control (OCAC) in nearby St. Cloud finally stirred their lazy bones and belatedly entered the dwelling on December 6th Tavia already was dead. A cosmetic necropsy commissioned by Osceola County Public Safety later revealed that this beautiful cat had died from a combination of liver and kidney failure.
Despite that finding, Sprewell insists that Tavia died of loneliness. "Because we gave her so much love and affection, and by us being away for basically a two-month period, she felt a lack of affection," she maintained.
Instead of accepting responsibility for killing Tavia, Sprewell elected to blame those who refused to help her pay her bills. "No, I don't. To be honest with you," she defiantly declared. "I feel it's the responsibility of a lot of individuals who didn't help us."
Compounding her criminal and inhumane neglect of Tavia, Sprewell also admitted to sedating her numerous times in order to shave away the tangles from her long fur. As any simpleton knows, longhaired cats should be groomed twice daily, not sedated and shaven. Moreover, there is a good chance that the barbiturates contributed to Tavia's death.
The negligence demonstrated by OCAC was almost as egregious as Sprewell's conduct. "Our hands are tied in that there has to be probable cause to ask a judge for a warrant to go into a private dwelling or business," is how the organization's Lee Radevaugh explained away his dereliction of duty. Quite obviously, he does not consider saving the life of a dying cat to constitute probable cause.
He also is a bean counter par excellent. "We're in a very economic distressed time and our resources are limited," he whined. "We really limit our responses to truly emergency situations (such as) injured animals, bite cases and car accidents."
Others who turned blind eyes to Tavia's plight include, inter alia, Sprewell's neighbor Santiago Sandoval who waited a full month before contacting OCAC, her landlord, local humane groups, the Kissimmee Police, and the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
OCAC even refused to charge Sprewell with animal cruelty. (See Cat Defender post of December 23, 2010 entitled "Tavia's Desperate Pleas for Help Fall Upon the Deaf Ears of the Evangelical Who Abandoned Her and the Heartless Officials and Citizens of Kissimmee.")
Of course, it must be kept in mind that Christianity always has been hostile to cats. (See Cat Defender post of July 30, 2009 entitled "Ferals Living at a Baltimore Church Find Out the Hard Way That Hatred of Cats Is Every Bit as Christian as Unleavened Bread and Cheap Wine.")
If the thinking and behavior of Israelis is in any way indicative of how Jews elsewhere feel about cats, they are every bit as contemptuous of the species as Christians. (See Cat Defender posts of November 11, 2005, August 10, 2006, and October 12, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Israeli Colonialists in Gaza and the West Bank Leave Behind Thousands of Cats to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Predation," "Death Toll Mounts for Cats and Other Animals Slaughtered and Left Homeless in Lebanon by Israeli War Criminals," "A Few Hundred Cats and Dogs Are Airlifted Out of Lebanon but Cluster Bombs and an Oil Slick Continue to Kill Animals and Marine Life." Also see Haaretz of May 9, 2010 and December 24, 2010, "Street Cats Are Paying the Price for Saving the Birds" and "Israeli Cat Lovers' Lament.")
Poisonings, satanic sacrifices, and mutilations are so widely accepted that they seldom evoke much of a response from either the police or the public. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2007 entitled "Israeli Police Turn a Blind Eye to the Poisoning of Fifty-Three Cats and Dogs in Kiryat Tivon" as well as The Jerusalem Post of August 19, 2010 and October 17, 2010, "'Satanic Cult' Tries to Sacrifice Cat" and "Cat Mutilated, Impaled in Tel Aviv.")
In addition to Lumpi, the Schließfach cat, and Tavia, thousands of nameless cats and kittens from around the world were stuffed into sacks and bags and then thrown out with the trash. Others were drowned in rivers whereas still others were abandoned in the middle of busy thoroughfares where they in due course were run down and killed by equally malevolent motorists.
3.) Crimes Against Cats Are Becoming More Horrific.
Every calendar year is chock-full of horrendous crimes committed against cats but what distinguished 2010 was a marked increase in the gruesomeness of such attacks. Zum Beispiel, a black cat named Lätzchen from Karsdorf in Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, was blinded after she purposefully was set on fire in late August.
Half of her fur was burned off, her ears reduced to stumps, and she suffered flesh wounds to her tiny nose. She therefore will require skin grafts and specialized care for the remainder of her life.
There can be no doubt that the attack was intentional. "Die Täter haben vorsätzlich gehandelt," a spokesperson for the local police said after the attack. "Sie wollten, dass die Katze einen qualvollen Feuertod stirbt."
The attack has been particularly disturbing for owner Ulrike Bach's eight-year-old son, David. "David ist vernarrt in seine Katze," she said. "Lätzchen' kam bei uns zur Welt."
For his part, little David had a question for his mother that she was unable to answer: "Warum tun Menschen so etwas Böses, Mama?" (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2010 entitled "Lätzchen Is Deliberately Set on Fire and Burned Within an Inch of Her Life in Karsdorf.")
In yet still another horrific case of animal cruelty, a black and white cat named Lovey was tortured over an extended period of time by a self-proclaimed devil worshiper and his accomplice before finally being caged and dumped in McKay Bay in the Ybor City section of Tampa on September 1st. Fortunately for her, an unidentified Good Samaritan happened along at 3 a.m. and saved her from drowning.
Attending veterinarians discovered thirty air gun pellets lodged in her abdomen and needlessly shaved away most of her fur before ultimately changing their minds and electing not to surgically remove them. She soon thereafter was placed in a new home but the pellets potentially could become so toxic as to shorten her already tragic life.
The pet carrier in which she was found contained the following stenciling on the outside: "Kitty Penitentiary," "Est. 2010," "Cell 666," "Jailer Missy," and "Warden" with the name erased. A tally maintained on the outside indicated that she had been disciplined at least twenty times.
On September 16th, nineteen-year-old Giovanni Estrada of Town 'n' Country was identified as the warden and arrested. His girlfriend, Mildred Marie "Missy" Krack inexplicably was not charged with animal cruelty even though there can be little doubt that she is the jailer referred to on the outside of the cage. (See Cat Defender post of September 27, 2010 entitled "Caged, Shot Thirty Times with an Air Gun, and Then Tossed into a Bay to Drown, Lovey Is Rescued in the Middle of the Night by a Good Samaritan.")
Elsewhere around the world, more than half a dozen cats were lynched during 2010 whereas others were cut in half and dismembered. Others were murdered during the making of crush videos.
In one particularly disturbing case, an unidentified white teenage male stuffed two adorable kittens into a plastic bag and then used a vacuum cleaner in order to methodically suck the oxygen out of both the bag and their lungs. He then uploaded his handiwork on the Internet.
As if that were not macabre enough, a cacophony of adults, apparently unaware of what he was doing, can be overheard socializing in the background to the accompaniment of the familiar strains of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." (See Kidsolo's Newspaper, December 29, 2010, "Teen Kills Kittens and Posts It on the Internet.")
4.) Shelters Continue to Excel at Killing Cats and Telling Big, Fat Lies.
|Bay City Kitten|
It is well established that shelters in the United States systematically exterminate tens of millions of cats and dogs each year. As horrific and patently immoral as that is, it is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as their duplicitous and criminal behavior is concerned.
Perhaps most egregious of all are shelters that kill animals that have homes waiting for them. That is precisely what happened to an adorable, nameless six-week-old kitten last May 26th at the Bay County Animal Shelter in Bay City, Michigan.
Although a woman in Washington State had offered to give it a home, shelter manager Mike Halstead went ahead and killed it anyway because it allegedly had contracted a common cold. Individuals in California, Iowa, and Sweden also had expressed an interest in adopting the kitten.
Not surprisingly, the shelter killed a staggering ninety-seven per cent of all the cats that it took in during the first three months of 2010. (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.")
Later in August, the horribly mismanaged Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, New Jersey, systematically slaughtered twenty-six pit bulls despite there having been rescue groups willing to have taken them. (See The Jersey Journal, September 3, 2010, "Vigil Outside Jersey City Animal Shelter Is Led by 'No Kill' Activist from New York Demanding It End All Euthanasia" and "Liberty Humane Uncensored" on Facebook.)
Some good eventually may emerge from it but right now the so-called no-kill movement is rife with fraudsters and liars. For example, although the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society (BVHS), located west of San Francisco, advertises itself as being a no-kill facility, that designation only applies to the few animals that it arbitrarily designates as being adoptable. The remainder are surreptitiously handed over to Solano County Animal Control (SCAC) in nearby Fairfield for liquidation.
That was the disturbing reality foisted upon kindhearted Kimberly Marshall last July when she surrendered eight orphaned kittens to BVHS. "I was told by two employees that theirs is a no-kill facility and that foster homes would be found for the kittens," she related. "If I had thought they'd be sent somewhere else to be killed, I would never have given them those babies."
Adding insult to injury, when Marshall demanded that SCAC return the kittens to her it initially attempted to shake her down for a cool $200. "I cried and screamed until the supervisor there said I could have the kittens back," she added. "I was there for four hours in the blazing sun."
She quite obviously is an exceptional human being because not many individuals have either her perseverance or compassion.
Kitty City, another so-called no-kill operation in La Luz, New Mexico, operates in a similar fashion. First of all, it greatly reduces the number of cats that might potentially show up on its doorstep by attempting to starve to death all homeless cats through its vociferous support of a feeding ban.
It then takes in only those cats that Animal Control in nearby Alamogordo arbitrarily designates as being adoptable. (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.")
The Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia, California, is such a slipshod, uncaring operation that it left a nameless gray cat to die in one of its unattended traps last July. The trap, which was set on the grounds of the Tulare County Courthouse on July 22nd, was not checked again until July 27th when the rancid smell of the dead cat's carcass finally began to pique the sensitive nostrils of the bureaucrats who work nearby. (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.")
If any additional evidence were needed as to how the moral degenerates at Valley Oak think and behave, the organization's Kandi Stevens provided it gratis on January 22, 2011 when she authored a column in the Visalia Times-Delta imploring the public to help with the clearing of the streets and countryside of homeless cats. (See "Kandi Stevens: The Difference Between Feral and Stray Cats.") Not surprisingly, the only options that she provided concerned individuals were to either practice TNR at their own expense or to trap the cats and surrender them to Valley Oak which in turn would be only too happy to promptly snuff out their fragile lives.
The RSPCA, on the other hand, is every bit as proficient a trapper of cats as the Valley Oak SPCA is incompetent; nevertheless, the end result for cats caught in its snares is the same. For example, at 6 p.m. on August 31st it stole seventy-nine-year-old Ann Baker's cat, Nightshift, off the streets of Selby in Yorkshire and killed him ninety minutes later.
"She (the RSPCA inspector) just grabbed him off the street, bundled him into a van and had him destroyed," Baker said of the beloved cat that she had cared for ever since 1992. As it earlier had done with a nineteen-year-old cat named Mork from Ruislip in Middlesex, the RSPCA lied by claiming that Nightshift had a cold and kidney woes and therefore had to be immediately dispatched to the devil. (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.")
Later, the RSPCA admitted that it reserves the right to kill all cats that it arbitrarily deems to be either sick or injured as well as those without either strangulation collars or cancer-causing microchips. As the cases of Nightshift and Mork have demonstrated, it also considers old age to be a capital offense. (See Cat Defender post of October 23, 2010 entitled "RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband.")
The enforcement of recently enacted draconian anti-roaming laws have given shelters another excuse to steal and kill cats. That is precisely what happened to an eight-year-old cat named Keecha in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on April 11, 2006. Keecha's owner, Margaret Reynard, filed a $50,000 wrongful death lawsuit against the Delaware County SPCA in Media but was awarded only $1 in compensation by an arbitration panel on January 8, 2010. (See Cat Defender post of March 19, 2010 entitled "Trapped and Killed by the Delaware County SPCA, Keecha's Life Is Valued at Only $1 by a Pennsylvania Arbitration Panel.")
Shelters and Animal Control officers are such a thoroughly unscrupulous pack of rotters that even giving them money in order to procure food for surrendered cats does not ensure their well-being. That is the hard truth that Donna Pruitt learned when she surrendered two stray kittens to Animal Control in Sugar Land, Texas, at 9 a.m. on July 8th.
Although she gave Animal Control $20 in order to purchase food for them, she was informed when she returned at 11:45 a.m. that the kittens had been killed almost as soon as she was out the door. That was in spite of the fact that the shelter is supposed to telephone all previous owners before killing surrendered animals so as to provide them with an opportunity to reclaim them.
Based upon its internal guidelines, Sugar Land also was obliged to have held the kittens for at least seventy-two hours before killing them. Clearly, most shelters tell the public one thing and do another when nobody is watching. (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.")
Despite the truly barbaric manner in which all societies treat cats, there is a glimmer of hope that things possibly could be about to change. In particular, a growing number of veterinarians and animal welfare advocates belatedly are coming to the realization that cats do not belong in shelters of any sort.
The alternatives are managed colonies, sanctuaries, and an increased emphasis upon adoption. One recent convert to this way of thinking is University of Pennsylvania veterinarian Michael Moyer who had his epiphany while working at a Chester County shelter.
Specifically, he now realizes that the stress brought on by being caged at a shelter causes dormant diseases to emerge and spread and makes cats anti-social and therefore difficult to place in new homes.
He also believes that even the disinfectants used at shelters not only sicken but alienate cats. Moreover, cats need space to roam and their food dishes and litter boxes should be kept separate, as opposed to being placed near each other in their cages. Environmental stimulation, such as human contact and videos, also are essential.
All of those factors thus have prompted him to endorse TNR over the more prevalent trap and kill policies practiced by shelters and Animal Control. "Cats can live a pretty respectable cat life (in the city)," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 11th. (See "Shelter Shock.") "We tend to think their lives must be nasty, brutish, and short (Thomas Hobbes' description of the state of nature) but they live about as long on average as house cats."
Hopefully, Moyer now will turn his attention to reforming shelters in Philadelphia which last year either killed outright or allowed to die through neglect an astounding fifty per cent of all felines that passed through their portals. Furthermore, if cats do not belong in shelters, neither do dogs nor other animals as well.
Carrying his reasoning to its logical conclusion, all animal research laboratories, factory farms, slaughterhouses, zoos, and captive-breeding facilities should be outlawed. So, too, should be the use of animals in sports, entertainment, and law enforcement. Finally, wildlife biologists should be prohibited from radio-collaring and microchipping animals.
5.) The Practice of Veterinary Medicine Is Revealed to Be Dominated by Greed, Incompetence, and Prejudice.
A series of troubling disclosures during 2010 revealed the practice of veterinary medicine to be dominated by uncaring, moneygrubbing practitioners on the one hand and grossly incompetent simpletons on the other hand. Arguably, the most disturbing case of all concerned at least two unidentified veterinarians in Chattanooga who knowingly allowed an unnamed five-week-old kitten to die.
Tossed out the window by a speeding motorist on Interstate 24 at around noon on July 8th, the injured kitten was rescued by David Livesay who spent the remainder of the afternoon unsuccessfully attempting to procure emergency veterinary care for it. "It's a life! It's a life! Anything alive is worth saving," he pleaded in vain.
The untreated kitten later died of internal injuries at McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center. (See Cat Defender post of July 16, 2010 entitled "Tossed Out the Window of a Car Like an Empty Beer Can, Injured Chattanooga Kitten Is Left to Die after at Least Two Veterinarians Refused to Treat It.")
Even when veterinarians elect to treat impecunious cats they most always are on the lookout for a way to recoup their time and expenses. That is why Nine Lives Foundation's Feline Well-Care Clinic in Redwood City, California, steadfastly is refusing to offer up Christopher for adoption now that it has discovered that he has rare Type B blood flowing in his veins. (See Cat Defender post of November 13, 2010 entitled "Christopher, Who Has Persevered Through Tragedy and Given Back So Much, Is Now Being Held Captive for His Valuable Blood.")
When it comes to gross incompetence Woosehill Vets in Woosehill, Berkshire, takes the cake. In 2010, it not only badly botched a pair of routine sterilizations but also allowed a cat named Lexi owned by Maria Brown of nearby Woodley to disappear through an open window.
A year earlier in July of 2009 it also allowed a cat named Buffy owned by Muriel Horsnell of Wokingham to escape through another window that inexplicably had been left open at the surgery. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2010 entitled "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.")
The level of incompetence demonstrated by some veterinarians strains credulity. For example, an unidentified veterinarian practicing in the vicinity of Denise Traynor's home in the village of Charford in Bromsgrove, Worcester, failed to detect the presence of a ball bearing in the left eye of her seven-month-old cat, Molly.
The veterinarian instead insisted that she was suffering from only an eye infection. (See Cat Defender post of July 19, 2010 entitled "Molly Loses an Eye to an Assailant with a Ball Bearing Gun Only Later to Be Victimized by an Incompetent Veterinarian.")
Veterinarians employed by Northwest Animal Companions in Boise initially claimed that a two-month-old kitten named Raisin had been the victim of a chemical attack that had severely damaged her eyes, throat, and esophagus. That was in addition to reportedly having been tossed and kicked around by a group of teenage males at Meridian High School.
After her death on September 6th, a necropsy conducted by Washington State University failed to detect not only any evidence of chemical poisoning, but any broken bones, abrasions, and signs of trauma as well.
Instead, the pathologists claimed that Raisin had died from a respiratory infection. (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.")
Compounding matters further, oversight of the profession is so lax that complaining about incompetent care is largely a waste of time. That is what Heather Irwin of Blaydon Burn in northeast Angleterre discovered when she complained to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) about how grotesquely Silke Birgitt Lindbridge of Consett Veterinary Center in Consett, County Durham, had botched the setting of a broken leg that her cat, Felix, had sustained in 2007.
When the RCVS finally got around to acting on her complaint in the autumn of 2009 it did pull Lindbridge's license for three months but it was not in retaliation for what she had done to Felix. Au contraire, it was for her failure to pay her dues to the RCVS. (See Cat Defender post of June 17, 2010 entitled "Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues.")
The worst rotters in the veterinary woodpile belong, however, to the thoroughly disreputable American Veterinary Medical Association which never passes up an opportunity to declare its irrational hatred of all homeless cats. (See "Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats" at www.avma.org.)
Grossly overpriced, uncaring, incompetent, and unregulated pretty much describes the current state of the veterinary profession. Fortunately, tons of valuable information about cats and their health is available on the Internet. Nonetheless, when selecting a practitioner it is strictly a case of caveat emptor.
That also applies to women foolish enough to get romantically involved with married veterinarians. That was the fatal mistake that twenty-seven-year-old veterinary technician Jennifer Snyder of Lower Macungie, Pennsylvania, made when she consented to become the mistress of thirty-year-old veterinarian David A. Rapoport of Upper Gwynedd Township.
Now, she and her unborn fetus are dead and he is facing double homicide charges and conceivably could have his own miserable existence snuffed out by the state. (See Philadelphia Inquirer, March 24, 2011, "Police Say Veterinarian Killed Pregnant Lover.")
6.) Manufacturer and Distributor of Cancer-Causing Implanted Microchips Are Sued in Court.
Implanted microchips have been known to cause cancer in dogs, mice, and rats since the 1990s and the same has been assumed for cats as well. (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2007 entitled "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs.")
Now, chipmaker Digital Angel of St. Paul, Minnesota, and its distributor, Merck Sharp and Dohme of West Trenton, New Jersey, stand accused of causing a cat named Bulkin from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop cancer. Bulkin's owner, Andrea Rutherford, filed suit in Cambridge District Court on October 4th and is seeking compensatory damages plus interest. The case most likely will be heard sometime this year.
Bulkin's miseries began of February 2, 2005 when Paul Constantino of South Bay Veterinary Group in Boston surgically implanted one of Digital Angel's HomeAgain® microchips in her. On October 17, 2007, an unidentified veterinarian at the same surgery removed a lump that subsequently had materialized around the chip.
A biopsy conducted a day later by Antec Diagnostics of Lake Success on Long Island confirmed that the lump was indeed a fibrosarcoma of moderate malignancy. A little later, Michelle A. Silver, an oncologist at the New England Veterinary Oncology Group in Waltham, theorized that Bulkin's cancer "likely" was caused by the implanted microchip.
Bulkin was treated with chemotherapy and radiation and, at last report, is still alive. "We're about to find out whether this is a big problem or a small problem," Rutherford's attorney, Steven M. Wise of Coral Springs, predicted in October.
Cats and dogs are far from being the only animals to have been killed by implanted microchips. For example, a necropsy performed upon a female brown bear found dead last year in Älvdalen, central Sweden, confirmed that she had been killed by an implanted microchip.
"For some reason fluid had forced its way into the transmitter and has led to the implant corroding and caused a sharp metal wire to break free and cause injury which has led to peritonitis," Professor Jon Martin Arnemo of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project told The Local of Stockholm on September 22, 2010. (See "Faulty Transmitter Behind Bear Death.")
In addition to faulty and toxic chips, veterinarians have killed cats by stupidly implanting them at vaccination sites. They also have caused cats to become paralyzed by implanting these devices on top of their spinal cords. (See Cat Defender post of November 6, 2010 entitled "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")
Besides the toll that cancer-causing microchips exact from cats and dogs, wildlife biologists intentionally kill scores of other animals each year by repeatedly hounding them down and fitting them with radio collars. (See Cat Defender posts of May 21, 2009, February 29, 2008, April 17, 2006, and May 4, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona," "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him," and "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")
7.) Uwe and Cecilia Finally Tie the Knot.
|Cecilia, Uwe Mitzscherlich, and Christin-Maria Lohri|
The social event on all cat calendars last year was the spring wedding of thirty-nine-year-old Uwe Mitzscherlich and his fifteen-year-old cat, Cecilia. The two were joined together in a simple garden ceremony presided over by Schauspielerin Christin-Maria Lohri in Possendorf, Bannewitz, twelve kilometers south of Dresden in Sachsen.
Uwe was resplendent in a tuxedo and a black top hat while Cecilia wore a white dress. Uwe's twin brother, Erik, served as best man.
The ceremony featured flowers, a wedding march, and the cutting of the bridal cake. As is customary with all such affairs, the deal was sealed with a kiss. Frühstuck the following morning consisted of fish and cow squeezings for Cecilia while Uwe contented himself with fish and champagne.
A few toms from the neighborhood reportedly questioned the appropriateness of the bride's decision to wear white, but otherwise the festivities came off as planned. It was the first trip down the aisle for both parties although they had been living in sin for the past eight years.
"Es klingt verrück aber ich will meine Cecilia heiraten," Uwe declared at the outset. "Cecilia hat so ein zutrauliches Wesen. Wir schmus ständig, sie schläft seit Anbeginn in meinem Bett. Zwischen uns ist solch innige Verbindung, ein Gleichklang der Herzen; es ist einzigartig."
Following the announcement of their nuptials, Uwe and Cecilia found themselves at the center of a media storm. "Pausenlos muss ich Interviews geben," Uwe confirmed. "Aber für meine geliebte Cecilia mache ich es gern."
Sadly, a dark cloud in the form of Cecilia's asthma is hovering over the happy couple. Already seventy-six-years-old in human terms, it is feared that she does not have long to live.
Nevertheless, the newlyweds are determined to make the best of whatever time they have left together. "Alle sollen sehen, wie glücklich wir sind," Uwe added.
Alles gute, Cecilia und Uwe! (See Cat Defender post of May 20, 2010 entitled "A Simple Ceremony in a Garden Outside of Dresden Joins Forever an Unlikely, Albeit Devoted, Pair of Lovers.")
8.) An Ailurophobe Is Attacking Cats with Turpentine in New Westminster.
Two-year-old, orange-colored Harley was the love of Jennifer Szoke's life and her eight-year-old son, Nate, felt the same way. All of that ended abruptly on August 14th when he died as the result of injuries that he sustained on July 2nd when he deliberately was dunked in turpentine near his New Westminster, British Columbia, home.
He put up a valiant fight but the severe burns to his tongue and esophagus on top of a collapsed lung were just too much for him to overcome. "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," is how Szoke summed up Harley's sad predicament. "There was nothing they could do."
Harley's murder was especially devastating for Nate. "He doesn't understand why the cat had to go to kitty heaven," she added.
Even though she was left with an exorbitant veterinary bill of C$18,000, Szoke was not complaining. "It was totally worth it," she explained. "He is family after all."
Along with Harley, a yellow and white cat named Linden also was dunked in turpentine at the same time but he promptly was discovered and, thankfully, survived. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")
Later on December 8th, a two-year-old black cat named Vincent also was dunked in turpentine. The attending veterinarian was forced to bathe him three times and to shave away a substantial portion of the fur from around his face and neck but he also survived.
"We're hoping for a full recovery, but we really can't be sure because whatever long-term damage there is would be to his liver and lungs from inhaling it, so it could be a couple of years down the road," his distraught owner, Rob Stainton, said shortly after the attack.
Both the New Westminster Police and Animal Control steadfastly have refused to investigate these three attacks and as a result the perpetrator is still at large. (See Cat Defender post of January 3, 2011 entitled "Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves.")
Cretins who attack cats with chemicals are not confined to either the West Coast or to Canada. For example, on January 29th a Good Samaritan in Beacon, New York, found a cat named Sarah shivering and lethargic in the road. The woman brought her to Mid-Hudson Animal Aid where a veterinarian determined that she had suffered severe chemical burns to her eyes and fur.
The chemical has not been publicly identified and Sarah was scheduled to have undergone emergency surgery on January 31st in order to remove scar tissue from around her eyes and to clean out assorted debris. Although the shelter filed a complaint with the Beacon Police, no arrests have been made in this case. (See Poughkeepsie Journal, February 1, 2011, "Fundraising Drive to Aid Cat Suffering from Chemical Burns.")
9.) United States Army Corps of Engineers Evicts Lake Lanier's Cats.
|One of the Residents of West Bank Park|
Spouting its old familiar litany of lies that cats are, inter alia, a danger to children, pregnant women, and natural resources, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) set its sights on those residing in West Bank Park on Lake Sidney Lanier, north of Atlanta, last March. Working hand in glove with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department, it began trapping and removing the park's estimated thirty to one-hundred cats on March 28th.
The unfortunate cats then were handed over to the knackers at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter who were planning on holding them for only a week before liquidating them. Under public pressure, the USACE was forced to relent and to thus allow the Humane Society of Forsyth County, the Georgia SPCA, Backyard Sanctuary, and the Feral Cat Program of Georgia to participate in the trap and removal initiative.
The game plan called for those groups to find homes for part of the cats and to relocate the remainder to another location where they would be allowed to live out their brief lives in a managed colony. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to determine how many cats these groups were able to save from the murderers at the USACE.
"The cats, to me, are as much a part of this park as the squirrels, the birds, and the people," local resident Bessie Lamica declared. "I don't see them as any more of a threat, a danger, or nuisance than the geese that poop everywhere or the squirrels that get in the garbage and knock everything over."
In announcing its trap and kill policy, the USACE categorically rejected TNR in spite of the fact that area resident Carmela Quinlan has sterilized one-hundred-fifty of the park's cats over the course of the preceding four years. In keeping with its cruel and inhumane policies that are in situ at the hundreds of dams, lakes, reservoirs, coasts, harbors, wetlands, levees, and navigation locks that it controls, the USACE fervently believes that the only good cat is a dead one.
Its thinking thus is in tune with that of its sister agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, the USDA's Wildlife Services, the Pentagon, and government research laboratories. Worst still, the general public remains largely ignorant of these agencies' ongoing undeclared war on cats. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2010 entitled "Lake Lanier's Cats Face an Uncertain Future Following Their Ouster by the Liars and Defamers at the United States Army Corps of Engineers.")
10.) Cats Run Down and Killed by Motorists in Möhnesse Are Deemed to Be Unworthy of Roadside Memorials.
Roadside memorials to human victims of vehicular mishaps are a common sight, but in the borough of Körbecke in Möhnesse, Nordrhein Westfalen, those erected in the memory of felines are strictly verboten. That is why Heinrich-Georg Trelle of Abteilung Straßenwesen des Kreises Soest last year ordered the Bauhof des Kreises to destroy one established in honor of a hit-and-run victim named Jule.
The touching memorial consisted of a wooden cross bearing the dead cat's name and a commemorative candle. A photograph of the deceased was tacked to a tree and bore the following inscription: "Warum ich? Ich war doch erst drei Jahre alt."
Although Trelle hypocritically admitted that memorials honoring human victims do more to save lives than do speed limit signs, he was not about to logically extend his thinking to include memorials honoring cats. "Das geht bei aller Tierliebe zu weit," he bellowed. "Das finde ich auch den Angehörigen gegenüber, die wirklich einen Menschen im Straßenverkehr verloren haben, befremdlich."
|Berlin Memorial Honoring Brösel, Isis, and Tibbels|
In the Oberschöneweide section of the borough of Treptow-Köpenick in Berlin, forty-seven-year-old Andreas Schidlowski last year erected three wooden crosses and two signs in the median of a busy thoroughfare near his home in honor of his three dead cats, Brösel, Isis, and Tibbels. One sign poignantly asked, "Wieviele noch?"
The other one was a heartfelt plea for motorists to slow down and watch out for cats and other animals. "Als Mahnung an die Autofahrer, heir doch bitte nicht so zu rasen," it reads. "Aus Rücksicht auf meine Katzen."
He and other cat lovers across Deutschland therefore are advocating for the establishment of thirty kilometer speed limits in certain residential neighborhoods. Cat Crossing signs erected in Milford, Connecticut, and on the remote Japanese island of Iriomote also would be worth a try. (See Cat Defender post of October 9, 2010 entitled "Feline Traffic Fatalities Are Unworthy of Commemoration According to a Möhnesse Bureaucrat Who Orders the Destruction of a Roadside Memorial to Jule.")
11.) Public Opposition Forces George Harrison's Widow to Remove Razor-Wire Fencing.
Persistent and spirited opposition from her neighbors finally forced George Harrison's widow, Olivia Trinidad Arias, to remove almost one-thousand meters of razor-wire fencing from around the ex-Beatle's mansion, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Since its installation in 1999, at least four cats from the neighborhood are known to have been impaled on it.
Over the past decade the wooden portion of the fence had rotted and the wire itself had aged and that prompted Arias to seek approval from the South Oxfordshire District Council to replace both. Her decision in June of last year to replace the fence without the razor wire was applauded by actor and comedian Rodney Bewes whose six-year-old cat, Maurice, had been one of its victims.
"I am very pleased. The fence is up, without the razor wire, and it looks rather lovely," he said. "I am very grateful to Mrs. Harrison for her decision." (See Cat Defender posts of January 11, 2010 and July 15, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Razor-Wire Fencing Surrounding George Harrison's Mansion, Friar Park, Is Taking a Heavy Toll on Cats from the Neighborhood" and "In a Major Victory for Cats, George Harrison's Widow Changes Her Mind and Decides Not to Install More Razor-Wire Fencing at Friar Park.")
Along about the time of Arias's about-face, a twelve-week-old kitten named Bridget found out firsthand just how injurious razor wire can be when she tumbled into a strand of it strung between two buildings in Cypress, California.
Bleeding from head to tail, she suffered deep lacerations to her paws, abdomen, and back. Rescued by a Good Samaritan, she ultimately was relocated to Fuzzy Dog and Cat Rescue in Santa Monica to recuperate. (See Cat Defender post of July 12, 2010 entitled "Bridget Sustains Horrific Injuries after She Slips and Tumbles into a Stand of Razor-Wire Fencing Inhumanely Strung Between Two Buildings.")
Even old-fashioned spiked fences can be hazardous to cats as three-year-old Jack from Rotherham in south Yorkshire discovered last September when his right front leg and midsection became impaled on one of them. Luckily, he is expected to make a full recovery.
His owner, thirty-two-year-old Nicola Milbourn, later petitioned the Rotherham Council to remove the rusty fence. (See Cat Defender post of October 1, 2010 entitled "Jack Slips and Falls while Pussyfooting Along the Top of an Old Fence and Is Speared Through His Midsection by a Rusty Spike.")
12.) Gardeners Are Becoming Emboldened by Their Successes in Killing Cats.
|Mark Oberschmidt with His Dog|
Gardeners are quickly demonstrating that when it comes to doing in cats they are every bit as ruthless as bird advocates and wildlife biologists. Take, for example, fifty-eight-year-old real estate tycoon Mark Oberschmidt of Saginaw, Michigan, who has made a career out of illegally trapping his neighbors' cats and then turning them over to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center (SCACC) to be killed.
His latest crimes were committed in late July against Tammie Tilot's one-year-old tuxedo, Music Lessons, and Teresa J. Jurden's one-year-old gray and white cat, Buggsey. For his part, Oberschmidt claims that he was justified in taking the law into his own hands because the cats allegedly were defecating in a community garden that he owns in Heritage Square.
On August 19th, the editors of the local rag, The Saginaw News, concurred and wholeheartedly endorsed his criminal behavior. He also has found a willing accomplice in the form of SCACC which during the first four months of 2010 liquidated 77.20 per cent of all the cats that it impounded. (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.")
Along about the same time that Oberschmidt was having Music Lessons and Buggsey murdered, a gray-striped tomcat named Ziegelchen narrowly escaped death when he, too, was illegally trapped by a gardener in the Altstädten-Burbach section of Hürth in Rhein-Erft Kreis, Nordrhein Westfalen. Fortunately for him, he was rescued by his guardians, Monika Schwibbert and Marcus Breinig, before he came to any harm. (See Cat Defender post of August 26, 2010 entitled "In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland.")
When they are not trapping cats and handing them over to shelters to kill, gardeners are not the least bit hesitant about doing their own dirty work. For example, in December of 2009 a gardener in the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, also in Rhein-Erft Kreis, set out both a Nagelbrett and a board studded with mousetraps in an attempt to seriously injure a cat belonging to his neighbor, Manuela Lisken. (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.")
Whereas Oberschmidt's conduct was sanctioned by the political and legal establishment in America, the thinking is totally different in Deutschland. Generally speaking, gardeners and others are required by law to tolerate up to two cats trespassing on their property.
Under no circumstances are they allowed to harm roaming cats in any way and should they do so they can be held both criminally and civilly liable. Even cats mistakenly trapped must be promptly released.
13.) Pennsylvania Is Madly in Love with Dopers and Boozehounds Who Abuse, Neglect, and Kill Cats.
Long known as a social and cultural backwater, Pennsylvania continues to distinguish itself by the abiding affection that it bestows upon dope addicts and drunkards who abuse cats. Most prominently, Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley was let off on April 12th by Judge Tina Polachek Gartley of Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre with six-months of house arrest and twenty-one months of probation for piercing the ears, necks, and tails of so-called Gothic kittens that she in turn peddled on eBay.
That was in spite of the fact that the former heroin addict had seventeen prior arrests for, inter alia, selling drugs, drunk driving, and stealing guns. (See Cat Defender posts of April 24, 2010, February 27, 2010, February 26, 2009, and January 9, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Holly Crawford Hits the Jackpot by Drawing a Judge Who Simply Adores Kitten Mutilators and Dope Addicts," "Sweet Valley Mutilator Is Convicted of Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Tiny Kittens That She Later Sold on eBay," "Dog Groomer Who Sold Mutilated Gothic Kittens on the Internet Is Finally Identified and Ordered to Stand Trial," and "Pennsylvania Pet Groomer Is Caught Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Cats and Dogs and Then Illegally Peddling Them on eBay.")
Virginia Kresge Justiniano of Enola and Andy J. Oxenrider of Tower City are even far worse villains than Crawford. As the proprietors of the Cats With No Name sanctuary in Pine Grove, they knowingly allowed at least eighty cats to die of hunger, dehydration, and a total lack of veterinary care because they spent all of the money that they took in on heroin and methamphetamines.
|Virginia Kresge Justiniano|
Despite being convicted of one-hundred-seventeen counts of animal cruelty plus almost two dozen counts of drug possession, Judge Charles M. Miller of Schuylkill County Court sentenced Justiniano on February 18th to only twenty-three months of probation, $800 in fines, $1,360 in restitution, and fifty hours of community service. A day earlier, Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin, sitting in the same court, meted out an identical sentence to Oxenrider. (See Cat Defender post of May 10, 2010 entitled "Lunatic Rulings in Cats With No Name Cruelty Cases Prove Once Again That Pennsylvania Is a Safe Haven for Cat Killers and Junkies.")
On October 17th, a drunken Francis McGinley returned to his Edward Street rooming house in Chester with a couple of injured and bloody kittens subsequently named Nirvana and Karma. "I ran over them with my truck so I could eat them for dinner," he proudly announced.
Ratted out by his conscientious fellow lodgers, he later was arrested and, at last report, Nirvana and Karma had recovered and are still alive. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2010 entitled "Drunken Bum Is Foiled in a Macabre Plot to Make a Meal Out of Kittens, Nirvana and Karma, That He Allegedly Ran Down Earlier with His Truck.")
Across the pond, another drunkard and dope addict named Colin Sherlock from Dawlich in Devon was sentenced on November 5th to serve one-hundred-twenty days in jail by Torquay Magistrates Court for hideously torturing a one-year-old tuxedo named Roxy from Teignmouth. The cat was fried in a microwave oven, burned in a clothes drier, chilled in a freezer, and dunked in dishwater but somehow survived. (See Cat Defender post of January 22, 2011 entitled "Colin Sherlock, an Admitted Boozer and Dope Addict, Pulls Out All the Stops in His Unsuccessful Attempt to Torture Roxy to Death.")
In February of this year, his accomplices, a pair of unidentified seventeen-year-old males, were put on probation for a year and ordered to perform ninety days of community service by Judge Jan Gant of Newton Abbot Youth Court in Devon. (See BBC, February 9, 2011, "Teignmouth Youths Sentenced for Microwave Cat Cruelty.")
Photos: Dorfener Anzeiger (Rocco), Bild of Berlin (Ernst K., Lumpi, Lätzchen, and Cecilia and Uwe), Hamburger Polizei (Schließfach cat), Santiago Sandoval (Tavia), Hillsborough County Animal Services (Lovey), John Ehlke of The Bay City Times (kitten killed by shelter), Ann Baker (Nighshift), WTVC-TV of Chattanooga (kitten), Daily Telegraph and INS (Lexi), KLEW-TV of Lewistown, Idaho (Raisin), Steven M. Wise (Bulkin), Jennifer Szoke (Harley), Rob Stainton (Vincent), Jim Dean of the Forsyth County News (Lake Lanier cat), Soester Anzeiger (memorial to Jule), Sven Meissner of the Berliner Zeitung (memorial to Brösel, Isis, and Tibbels), Henley Standard (Friar Park), KTLA-TV of Los Angeles ( Bridget), Jeff Schrier of The Saginaw News (Oberschmidt), Mark Moran of The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre (Crawford), and Care2.com (Justiniano).