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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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tammy and Maddy Are Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price after Their Owner and an Incompetent Veterinarian Elect to Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives

Tammy and Maddy

"When my partner walked into the vets and saw Maddy standing there, he asked the nurse straight away where Tammy was. Her face dropped and she said, 'Are you sure that's Maddy'?"
-- Mandy Raab

Just as there are some callous and mercenary individuals who do not have any business owning cats, there likewise are any number of grossly incompetent and greedy veterinarians who should not be allowed anywhere near animals, let alone to minister to their health needs. Thirty-six-year-old Mandy Raab and her common law husband, Paul Saxton, from Dukes view in Donnington, outside of Telford in Shropshire, are classic examples of the former whereas Wrekin View Vets in Wellington, Shropshire, is a poster surgery for the latter.

This horror story featuring uncaring owners and incompetent veterinarians began last December when Raab adopted a pair of tuxedoes named Tammy and Maddy from a shelter.

Everything appears to have gone pretty much as planned until Maddy came down with an unexplained ailment in one of her legs. "Maddy's leg had started to get very bad," Raab told the Daily Mail on June 17th. (See "Woman Sends Two Cats to the Vet When One Falls Ill...and He Puts the Wrong One Down by Mistake.") "She couldn't jump up or climb on anything, and she got to the point where she couldn't even stand up without falling over again."

Somewhere along about the first week of June, Raab and Saxton dropped off both cats with Wrekin View to be sterilized. After examining Maddy, the vets astonished Raab by informing her that the cat's leg was in such bad shape that she could not be allowed to go on breathing for another day and therefore had to be immediately killed.

"I cried when the vet told me the kindest thing to do would be to put her down," Raab told the Daily Mail. "But I took comfort in knowing that I would still have Tammy, and I knew I had to be strong for her because she would miss Maddy."

After unconscionably signing Maddy's death warrant, Raab dispatched Saxton in order to retrieve Tammy but upon arrival he was shown Maddy instead. "When my partner walked into the vets and saw Maddy standing there, he asked the nurse straight away where Tammy was," Raab related to the Daily Mail in the article cited supra. "Her face dropped and she said, "Are you sure that's Maddy'?"

Saxton was sure all right and so, too, should have been Wrekin View. After all, Maddy was the tuxedo with the bad leg that it earlier had decreed must die.

In spite of all of that, Wrekin View has fobbed off blame for this deadly mistake on an unidentified subaltern. "A staff member told me subsequently that a veterinary nurse had picked up Tammy by mistake when it was time for Maddy to be put to sleep," Raab told the Shropshire Star on June 15th. (See "Telford Vets 'Put the Wrong Kitten to Sleep'.")

None of that in any way exonerates the surgery's resident practitioners Richard Griffin, Rob Wilson, and Anya Klostermann because even if assistants are permitted to carry out executions they should be supervised by a qualified veterinarian. If, on the other hand, one of the veterinarians committed the foul deed that is even more inexcusable.

Monumental mistakes of this severity occur far more often than it is generally acknowledged. For example, Woosehill Vets of Emmville Close in Woosehill, Berkshire, recently allowed two cats to escape through windows and so badly botched a pair of routine sterilizations that they actually killed one cat. (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.")

An unidentified veterinarian practicing in and around the village of Charford in Bromsgrove, Worcester, is so incompetent that he is unable to tell the difference between a simple eye infection and the presence of a ball bearing. (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.")

Likewise, veterinarians at Northwest Animal Companions in Boise are so incompetent that they are unable to distinguish an upper respiratory infection 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 of Incompetent Veterinarians Are to Blame for Her Death.")

"I just howled in pain. I was distraught, no one could comfort me," Raab told the Daily Mail. "Tammy was a perfectly healthy ten-month-old kitten. There was no need for her to die."

After losing Tammy so tragically, any compassionate individual could have been expected to have changed her mind and spared Maddy life but that was not the case with Raab who went ahead and had her dispatched to the devil as well. Reading between the lines, it would appear that Raab lavished all of her affection on Tammy and had little or none leftover for poor Maddy.

"Tammy became my little girl. She used to follow me everywhere," she gushed to the Shropshire Star. It thus would seem that brown-nosing pays big dividends for cats as well as for humans.

Paul Saxton and Mandy Raab

Far too cheap, lazy, and uncaring to provide her cats with proper burials, Raab unsentimentally had their corpses burned. With no opportunity for any further screw ups, Wrekin View dutifully returned Maddy's and Tammy's ashes to Raab along with a memorial plaque.

As an added bonus, the vets gave her two kittens, one of which she promptly returned because it had contracted the flu. Its fate is unknown. The vets could have treated it or, being too miserly to do that, they may have killed it off like they did with Maddy.

In a sense Wrekin View treated Raab more generously than Woosehill treated Maria Brown of Woodley. In that instance, the vets attempted to fob off on her a rabbit after they had lost her cat, Lexi.

Thus, within the period of a scant few days Raab directly or indirectly was responsible for the deaths of at least two and possibly three cats. Yet, she not only is still walking the streets of Donnington but is allowed to adopt additional cats.

First of all, considering the high level of incompetence that exists within the veterinary profession, Raab never should have left Tammy alone with the vets. Veterinarians must be watched like hawks and forced to explain beforehand all procedures and drugs that they intend to perform and administer. Any veterinarian that is operating on the up and up will welcome the active participation of owners in their cats' treatment.

Secondly, Maddy deserved treatment, not a jab of sodium pentobarbital. In addition to traditional surgical procedures and physical therapy, hydrotherapy is now available to help paralyzed and crippled cats learn to walk again. (See Daily Mail, June 24, 2011, "Moggy Paddle! Cat Left Paralyzed after Car Crash Learns to Walk Again by Taking Swimming Lessons.")

Wheelchairs are another option for crippled cats. That was the route that Louise Broomhall of Seadown on New Zealand's south island decided upon after her beloved four-year-old cat, Blacky, was left paralyzed in his rear legs by a hit-and-run motorist in June of last year. 

Moreover, prostheses are not merely for cats. For example, at Washington State University in Pullman a twelve-year-old, twenty-three-pound tortoise named Gamera has been fitted with a wheel in place of the left front leg that he lost to an injury. (See KOMO-TV of Seattle, July 20, 2011, "Amputee Tortoise Regains Mobility with Prosthetic Wheel.")

Experimental prosthetic implants are another option for cats fortunate enough to be owned by the well-heeled. (See Cat Defender post of November 20, 2010 entitled "Celebrated as the World's First Bionic Cat, Oscar Now Has Been Turned into a Guinea Pig with a Very Uncertain Future.")

In worst case scenarios, cats can get around just fine on three legs. (See Cat Defender posts of August 18, 2005, February 9, 2006, November 2, 2006, and November 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Brave Orange Tabby Cat Dubbed Hopalong Cassidy Loses Limb to Leghold Trap in British Columbia," "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont," "Three-Legged Bobtailed Cat Named Opie Melts the Hearts of Hardened Criminals at Rural Tennessee Prison," and "Natchez Politicians Pause to Remember Tripod on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of His Death.")

Even those success stories fail to do justice to either the adaptability of cats or the magnitude of the crime perpetrated by Raab against Maddy. For instance, in Monmouth, Illinois, there is a kitten named Trace who only has two legs.

Even more amazing, Callie Mae of Theodore, Alabama, is doing just fine without any legs at all. (See Cat Defender post of November 17, 2010 entitled "Penniless and Suffering from Two Broken Legs, It Looked Like It Was Curtains for Trace Until Geoffrey Weech Rode to Her Rescue on His White Horse.")

Having conveniently absolved herself of all blame in Maddy's and Tammy's deaths, Raab now is making noise about filing a complaint against Wrekin View with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). So far, the organization's Ian Holloway has been less than enthusiastic about intervening.

"Allegations of negligence are usually resolved between the parties or by the civil courts," he schooled the Daily Mail. "There are occasions, though, when the alleged negligence is so serious as to be an issue of professional conduct. Where this appears to be a real possibility, we will investigate."

If past history is any guide, the only veterinary malpractice that the RCVS gets really riled up about occurs when members foolishly attempt to stiff the organization. For example, after Silke Birgitt Lindridge of Consett Veterinary Center in Consett, County Durham, nearly killed Heather Irwin's seven-year-old cat, Felix, by incorrectly setting his broken leg, the RCVS did act but it was not in retaliation for what she had done to Felix.

Rather, it suspended Lindridge for three months for failing to feed the RCVS's collection box. (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.")

Blacky and Louise Broomhall

Since Raab was far too stingy to have repaired Maddy's leg, it is extremely doubtful that she will be willing to foot the bill for a civil suit. Ergo, the vets at Wrekin View have little reason to lose any sleep unless, that is, their consciences are bothering them and that is highly unlikely.

"Our veterinary practice is built on mutual trust, respect, approachability and offers support, compassion and genuine care for your pet," the veterinarians declare on their web site. "Our whole team is ready to offer you advice to ensure that you are able to keep your pet as healthy as possible, using safe and effective preventative medicines and treatments."

The vets also make a big deal out of operating a small, independent surgery as opposed to being part of a chain, such as Medivet, Vets4Pets, Pets at Home, and CVS. Even that is problematic in that veterinary incompetence exists in both small as well as corporate surgeries.

Its price structure also is enlightening. For example, it charges £38.50 to murder a cat plus an additional £22.35 in order to burn its corpse.

A contract killing plus individual cremation costs a staggering £164.05. Although it is not exactly clear, Wrekin View's price structure seems to imply that it indiscriminately lumps feline corpses together and then burns them.

If that is so, there is not any way of determining which ashes belong to which cat without opting for an individual cremation. In this particular case, it is hard to imagine the tightfisted Raab springing for an individualized cremation.

By contrast, Wrekin View charges only £24.70 for an initial office visit while follow-ups range from £13.60 to £17.15. Cancer-causing implanted microchips sell for £16.99 whereas spaying costs between £48.50 and £55.30 as opposed to between £31.70 and £34 in order to castrate a tom.

Clearly, murdering cats and burning their corpses are very profitable components of Wrekin View's practice. In that light, it would be interesting to know just how large of a percentage of the veterinarians' practice that they actually constitute.

From both a medical and moral perspective, killing cats can never be justified except in the rarest of circumstances. Moreover, foul-ups, such as the one which claimed Tammy's life, are another compelling reason for outlawing this dressed-up brand of legalized murder.

In just about all instances, killing is an expedient chosen by owners who simply are too cheap and lazy to care for an ailing cat. Although they may blow considerable smoke about being unwilling to witness an animal suffer, in reality they are only thinking of their own convenience and pocketbook.

Being anything but dummies, veterinarians are aware of that fact better than anyone else and yet they willing hire themselves out as feline executioners. Worst still, there is neither any professional oversight nor sanctions imposed against veterinarians who commit these heinous crimes.

Also of concern is the hideous way in which veterinarians ruthlessly exploit office cats as blood donors and, in this case, as replacements when they screw up royally and kill patients by mistake. As is the case with the countless cats that they murder every day in cold blood, no humane group or governmental entity checks on the conditions under which these cats are illegally incarcerated. (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.")

Even when they are not killing and exploiting cats with impunity the members of the veterinary profession pursue a policy of benign neglect, if not indeed outright hatred, toward the species and that is especially noticeable in their treatment of homeless cats. For example, the exorbitant prices that they charge for spaying and neutering is the number one reason that it is so difficult to reduce the population of homeless cats. (See Cat Defender post of February 23, 2011 entitled "Disabled Former Casino Worker Is Sent to Jail for Shoplifting Food in Order to Feed Her Twelve Cats.")

In the United States, the thoroughly reprehensible American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) regards homeless cats as being little more than vermin and has repeatedly called for their eradication. (See "Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats" at www.avma.org and Cat Defender post of May 16, 2006 entitled "Kansas City Vets Break Ranks with AVMA to Defend Cats Against Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, and Exterminators.")

Most egregious of all, very few practicing veterinarians are willing to treat injured and sick homeless cats. If they do not receive their money up-front, they gleefully stand idly by and watch them die. (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.")

Photos: Andy Cunningham of the News Team and the Daily Mail (Tammy and Maddy), News Team and the Daily Mail (Raab and Saxton), and John Bisset of The Timaru Herald (Blacky and Broomhall).

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Unsinkable Molly Brown Rides the Waves of Outrageous Fortune to a Safe Harbor on Governors Island but It Is Unclear What Has Happened to Her

"We don't know where she came from. Her fur was a little matted. There was salt in her fur. There was a piece of seaweed around her foot."
-- Leslie Koch of the Trust for Governors Island

Security guards making their rounds on Governors Island received a pleasant surprise on April 17th when they stumbled upon the presence of a pretty calico cat near Soissons ferry dock on the northern tip of the one-hundred-ninety-four-acre island. Since the nearest landfall is four-hundred yards away in Brooklyn Heights and with shores of Manhattan being twice that distance, they were confounded as to how the cat, since named the Unsinkable Molly Brown, had made it to the island.

Now, all these months later a new mystery has arisen concerning Molly's whereabouts with the Trust for Governors Island, which administers all but twenty-two acres of the island, disseminating contradictory information as to what has become of her. (See photos of her above and below.)

"We don't know where she came from," the Trust's Leslie Koch admitted to ABC News on April 22nd. (See "Governors Island Cat Needs Name after a Mysterious Journey.") "Her fur was a little matted. There was salt in her fur. There was a piece of seaweed around her foot."

The presence of the salt and seaweed has led some to theorize that Molly was swept into Buttermilk Channel from either Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, or possibly even New Jersey by the torrential rains that pelted the area on the weekend that she was discovered. She then either swam ashore or floated to safety on a piece of flotsam.

"Exactly how far a cat can swim is hard to say," Manhattan veterinarian Arnold Plotnick told ABC News. "I suppose if your life depended on it...Cats are pretty athletic. It's not totally incredulous. Cats can survive amazing things."

Another possibility is that she was tossed overboard by a boater passing by Governors Island. Just as conscientious boaters sometimes go out of their way in order to rescue cats that are thrown into the drink, others no doubt do exactly the opposite by cruelly drowning those that they no want to care for at sea. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2010 entitled "Sunday Afternoon Boater Plucks Splat Out of Clouter Creek after She Is Thrown Off the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge in Charleston.")

She also could have been chased into the water by either a motorist, dogs, or yobs. (See Cat Defender post of April 29, 2010 entitled "Long Suffering River Finally Finds a Home after Having Been Run Over by a Motorist and Nearly Drowned.")

Moreover, the presence of salt and seaweed in her fur is not conclusive that she even was in the water. She easily could have acquired both through either simply being caught out in a storm or by pussyfooting around the island.

The fact that she was found near where the ferries dock opens up the possibility that she could have arrived on one of them as a stowaway in a delivery truck. It also is conceivable that a foot passenger could have transported her to the island and then abandoned her.

Since cats cannot talk and no one has come forward to shed any additional light on this perplexing mystery, it is highly unlikely that the public ever will know the true story of how Molly arrived on the island. "The wonderful thing about the cat is the way in which, when one of its many mysteries is laid bare, it is only to reveal another," Robert De Laroche marveled in The Secret Life of Cats. "The essential enigma always remains intact, a sphinx within a sphinx within a sphinx."

The important thing is that she arrived in one piece and apparently uninjured. "She's not in any pain," Koch told ABC News in the article cited supra. "She likes to be petted. She visits the offices. She has a very sweet personality. She's a total joy to be around."

Her colleague, Elizabeth Rapuano, could not agree more. "We are enjoying having her," she told ABC News. "She adjusted here very quickly."

The Trust even sponsored a contest to name her and out of the thousands of suggestions received she was dubbed the Unsinkable Molly Brown in honor of the heroine of the Titanic, Maggie "Molly" Tobin Brown, who also in her heyday was a suffragette, philanthropist, and soup kitchen worker. (See photo of her below.)

"Molly Brown is a great name," Rapuano cooed to DNA Info of Manhattan on May 13th. (See "Governors Island Cat Gets New Name.") "It captures the spirit of adventure, bravery and perseverance that she has brought with her to the island." It also is a decided improvement over Odysseus, Gertrude, Gov'Nor, Salty, Titanic, Snookie, and Ginger from Gilligan's Island, which also were suggested by the public.

The most important question of the moment is no longer where she came from but rather where is she now? For example, on June 28th the Trust stated in an e-mail letter that Molly had been "adopted by a member of the Governors Island ferry crew and is living quietly and happy now."

That declaration soon was contradicted by Time Out New York which reported on July 19th that she was still on the island and could be found, inter alia, in the bookstore as well as the visitors' center in Building 410 near the ferry landing. (See "Animal Mascots of NYC.")

Two days later on July 21st, the Trust confirmed on its web site that Molly indeed was still on the island. (See "Molly Brown Is Now a Citywide Phenomenon.")

While getting anything remotely approximating the truth out of a New Yorker never has been easy, the Trust should come clean on this issue. In particular, it unequivocally should inform the public as to Molly's whereabouts, her health, and legal status. Ideally, one particular individual should be put on record as being responsible for her safety and well-being.

The only other way of getting to the bottom of this mystery would be for visitors to the island to keep an eye out for Molly and to check on her health and safety. Humane groups in Gotham should take it upon themselves to look into this matter but that is not about to happen.

On the one hand, she might be safer and happier in a private home provided that a deserving and loving one could be procured for her. That, on the other hand, would deprive the public of the opportunity to see and meet her. In the final analysis, however, the Trust should do whatever is best for Molly as opposed to its bottom line.

Photos: Trust for Governors Island (Molly up close and in front of a building), James Keivan of the New York Daily News (Molly sleeping), and Library of Congress (Maggie Brown).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Larry Faces Many Challenges and Dangers in His New Rôle as 10 Downing Street's Resident Feline

10 Downing Street's New Cat, Larry
"I'm sure he will be a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors."
-- Prime Minister David Cameron
(This article originally was written for intended publication on 15 April 2011.)

For the first time in three years 10 Downing Street has a resident feline. His name is Larry and he is a four-year-old brown and white tom.

Rescued from the streets back in January by the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south London, he was sterilized before being offered to the prime minister's official residence. He arrived at his new abode on February 16th in the passenger seat of a blue van and proceeded to spend the better part of his first day on the job, as is customary with all cats, exploring his new surroundings.

"Voyez un chat entrer pour la première fois dans une chambre; il visite, il regarde, il flaire, il ne reste par un moment en repos, il ne se fie à rien qu' après avoir tout examinè, tout connu," Jean-Jacques Rousseau observed in the Emile.

Mark Twain even went so far as to declare that there was something decidedly amiss with any cat that behaved differently. "Being fond of cats, and acquainted with their ways, if I had been a stranger and a person had told me that this cat had spent half an hour in that room before, but hadn't happened to think to examine it until now, I should have been able to say with conviction, 'Keep an eye on her, that's no orthodox cat, she's an imitation, there's a flaw in her makeup, you'll find she's born out of wedlock or some other arrested-development has happened, she's no true Christian cat, if I know the signs'," he wrote in The Mysterious Stranger.

In particular, Larry took a romp up and down the residence's plushly-carpeted stairs. Later, he nonchalantly pussyfooted across the conference table in the Cabinet Room where the momentous decisions affecting Her Majesty's subjects and others are made.

Like all cats, he was considerably put off by the residence's closed doors and windows. That is not the least bit surprising in that closed portals long have been an especially sore spot with cats everywhere. 
Larry Arrives at His New Home in a Cage

As if the ride from the shelter and getting acquainted with a strange, new environment were not stressful enough for the little fellow, an unruly and thoroughly beastly mob of nincompoops from Fleet Street were on hand to bedevil him at every turn. It therefore should not have come as any surprise when he scratched ITV News reporter Lucy Manning after she forcibly attempted to make him pose for her.

"Never work with animals they say...just been to Number Ten to film Larry the cat in the Thatcher Room. Got four big scratches," the wussy later whined to the Daily Mail on February 17th. (See "Don't Mess with Me! Downing Street Ratcatcher Takes Over Cabinet after Seeing Off ITV Reporter.")

Manning quite obviously is exaggerating because the marks left on her arm by Larry do not appear to have been either very deep or to have drawn any blood.

In addition to their inconsiderate behavior, the journalists' mistreatment of Larry demonstrates once again their abysmal ignorance of cats. First of all, cats need and deserve time in order to adjust to new environments. Secondly, they never should be either harassed or cornered under any circumstances and anyone who treats them in such a cavalier fashion is richly deserving of whatever retribution that they receive in return.

"No respecting cat has any leanings toward a career as an artist's model," Carl Van Vechten observed in his 1922 seminal work, The Tiger in the House, and the same applies doubly to posing for impertinent journalists. Besides, experienced photographers and television cameramen realize that in dealing with animals it is best to exercise a little patience and to keep their distance.

It therefore is somewhat ironic that it is precisely the Fourth Estate that Larry has to thank for his new appointment. After all, it was television and newspaper reports about 10 Downing Street being overrun with mice that ultimately prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to bring him in and out of the cold in the first place.

The situation had gotten so far out of hand in fact that it had become a familiar spectacle for viewers of the evening news on ITV, the BBC, and other news outlets to see mice scurrying past the familiar black door that denotes the most famous of all addresses in London. A crow even was spotted feasting on a dead mouse nearby.

Unflattering comparisons likening politicians to rats sans doute also factored into the decision to bring Larry on-board. As it is commonly understood by knowledgeable individuals, birds of a feather flock together and people are known by the company that they keep.
Larry on the Stairs

The decision to hire Larry nevertheless constituted a major policy flip-flop on the part of the ailurophobic Cameron. For example, as far back as July of 2009 when he and the Tories were still in opposition and as late as January 24th of this year he had declared cats to be strictly verboten at 10 Downing Street. (See BBC, July 29, 2009, "No Plans for Number Ten Cat -- Cameron" and Guardian editorial of January 25, 2011, "In Praise of...Downing Street Cats.")

When it came time to welcome Larry to his new home Cameron was singing an entirely different tune. "I'm sure he will be a great addition to Downing Street and will charm our many visitors," he predicted to the Daily Mail in the article cited supra.

Nevertheless, the simple act of humanely adopting a cat and thus sparing a life appears to have taxed both the intellectual acumen and financial resources of Cameron's coalition government. "We are making inquiries about getting a cat but we have to be sure that it's the right thing," a governmental source earlier confided to the Daily Mail on January 25th. (See "A Cat to Clean Up Politics...One Number Ten Rat at a Time as First (sic) Mouser Since Humphrey Is Summoned to Downing Street.") "We have to check that no one in Downing Street is going to die on the spot if they come into contact with cat hair."

Instead of engaging in such nonsensical, time-wasting babble, Cameron and his cronies should have been more concerned about the deleterious health effects associated with errant urine and feces. Of course, it always is conceivable that the idea of saving a few sovereigns by adding rat turds to the beef stew appealed to the tightfisted government as an austerity measure.

"And we need to work out who will pay for the cat," the unidentified source continued. "It will not be a taxpayer expense cat."

The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from such revealing statements as those is that it never occurred to the rich-as-Croesus Cameron to actually pay Larry's adoption fee out of his own pocket. Hopefully, that is not a portent of events to come that will see Larry reduced to panhandling in the street for his meals and veterinary care.

Besides, there is nothing egregiously wrong with the Exchequer spending a few pounds of the public's moola on the care of a cat. In fact, doing so would be far preferable to squandering millions on imperialistic misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere.
Larry Checks Out the Carpeting in His New Surroundings

Even more revolting, preliminary indications are that Cameron and his family intend to keep Larry at a distance and to treat him strictly as a domestic servant. C'est-à-dire, he is expected to catch mice while simultaneously being denied the affection and veneration that all cats so richly deserve.

As Twain understood so well, merely owning a cat is not sufficient. "A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove title?" he wrote in Pudd'head Wilson.

Described by the staff at Battersea as a lively, confident, and social cat with a "strong predatory drive," Larry should not have any problem getting the mice under control. "I can definitely see Larry holding his own," the rescue group's Kirsty Walker told the Daily Mail in the February 17th article cited supra.

Nevertheless, the Fleet Street crowd claims that during his first two months on the job Larry did not catch a single mouse. It is unclear how they arrived at that conclusion since none of them actually live at 10 Downing Street.

Much more to the point, Japanese researchers have determined that it is not necessary for cats to actually kill mice in order to be effective pest control agents. Often their smell alone is sufficient in order to convince rodents that it is time for them to pack their bags and relocate elsewhere.

In April, however, Larry was spotted with some dead mice and that seems not only to have quieted his critics in the media but to considerably have altered Cameron's estimation of him. "I'm a big Larry fan," he caroled to the Daily Mail on June 12th in an abrupt change of heart. (See "Larry the Cat Makes First Kill at Downing Street...so at Least One of Cameron's Policies Is Working.") "We have got a big mouse infestation in Downing Street and Larry has caught some mice."

Although the magnitude of the problem is not to be discounted, the good news is that it apparently is limited to mice. "I actually took a picture of one in my flat on my mobile phone, because it was looking at me," Cameron continued in the same article. "Rats, I'm frightened of, but I haven't seen any of those."
Larry and Lucy Manning

Aside from the mice, Larry's far bigger problem is going to be staying in the good graces of Cameron and all the other self-important, high-muck-a-mucks who are constantly descending upon the center of power in England. His two most recent predecessors were unable to retain the patronage of their employers and as the result curtly were given their walking papers.

For example, a lovely black and white female named Sybil owned by Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling and his wife Maggie arrived at 10 Downing Street from Edinburgh on September 10, 2007. "Sybil has been brought down because there are mice here," Darling declared on that historic occasion. "She's a really good mouser." (See Cat Defender post of September 19, 2007 entitled "After a Dreary Ten-Year Absence, Number 10 Downing Street Has a New Resident Feline and Her Name Is Sybil.")

Unfortunately, Darling's boss, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, reportedly hated not only cats but all animals as well and as the result Sybil lasted only six months on the job. Even worse, she died July 27, 2009 in exile at the London home of her new guardians. (See Cat Defender post of August 13, 2009 entitled "Sybil, 10 Downing Street's Former First Feline, Dies Unexpectedly from an Undisclosed Illness.")

"As numerous thinkers have noted, cats often have a soothing quality on their owners," The Independent began its eulogy of her on July 29, 2009. (See "Feline Friends.") "Granted, the economy is looking as shaky as a newborn kitten at the moment, but imagine what condition it might be in now without Sybil."

Before Sybil, there was Humphrey, a longhaired tuxedo, who arrived at the prime minister's residence in 1990. He got on famously with prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major but lasted only six months with Tony Blair before being unceremoniously sacked by his cat-hating wife, Cherie, in 1997.

That is the same Cherie Blair that the Countess of Wessex once unflatteringly described as "horrid, horrid, horrid." Former Conservative MP turned scribbler Ann Widdecombe remains to this very day even blunter in her criticism of Cherie's mistreatment of Humphrey.

"The soulless meanie got rid of him, sniffing that he was unhygienic and deleterious to health," she told The Telegraph earlier this year on January 26th. (See "A New Cat for Westminster.") "Not half as unhygienic as your husband's party was for the nation, madam. It wasn't dear Humphrey who filched the profits from pension funds and poisoned the economy."
Scratches on Manning's Arm

During his tenure at 10 Downing Street, an extensive dossier compiled by an unidentified bureaucrat described Humphrey as a "workaholic who spends nearly all his time at the office, has no criminal record, does not socialize a great deal or go to many parties and has not been involved in any sex or drug scandals that we know of." In addition to keeping his chin clean, he also was known as a proficient mouser.

Unlike Sybil, he was able to forge a new life for himself after his eviction from Downing Street and lived another nine years until his death at age eighteen in March of 2006. (See Cat Defender post of April 6, 2006 entitled "Humphrey, the Cat from 10 Downing Street Who Once 'Read' His Own Obituary, Passes Away at 18.")

Politicians are every bit as entitled to adopt cats as private individuals but they should not be allowed to get away with either neglecting or abandoning them. Adopting a cat is a lifetime commitment and politicians who fail to honor their obligations are setting a bad example for everyone else.

Almost as appalling is their steadfast unwillingness to demand that the anti-cruelty statutes be enforced, especially against shelters, vivisectors, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Are Routinely Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")

Cats also need permanent abodes and should not be bandied about like Flying Dutchmen. Just as importantly, responsibility for their safety, health, grooming, and diet cannot be easily delegated.

In particular, Cameron already has demonstrated his gross dereliction of duty by failing to shield Larry from the onslaught of the media. If he were a thinking and considerate individual, he would have given Larry time to settle into his new environment before throwing him to the wolves from Fleet Street.
A Bobby Gives Larry the Boot

Even more outrageously, he stood idly by twiddling his thumbs last month while a no-good, rotten peeler posted outside number 10 kicked Larry.

"Someone showed me the picture of that, but I'm reliably informed that it was a nudge, not anything firmer," Cameron curtly dismissed the flagrant abuse in the June 12th Daily Mail article cited supra.

The incident also brings up the far more dangerous issue of Cameron's allowing Larry to roam the perilous streets of Westminster unsupervised. Humphrey, for instance, narrowly escaped perishing underneath the wheels of Bill Clinton's limousine.

Blair failed Humphrey, the Darlings failed Sybil, and Clinton abysmally mistreated his own cat, Socks. (See Cat Defender posts of December 24, 2008 and March 12, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Former First Cat Socks Is Gravely Ill with Cancer and Other Assorted Maladies" and "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned.")

Rescue groups also are deserving of censure for their failure to hold the high and mighty to the same standards that they impose on the general public. Principally among these would have been for Battersea to have exacted a pledge from Cameron to care for Larry until his last breath.

The problems associated with rescue groups placing more emphasis upon cozying up to those in power than on animal welfare are by no means confined to Battersea. For example, Cats Protection offered to present Cameron with Harry, a ten-year-old homeless cat, who captured the most votes in a poll that the organization conducted on Facebook.

No reason has been offered as to why he was passed over in favor of Larry but Karen Thompson of Cats Protection insists that he would have been perfect for the job. "He's a friendly and affectionate character who used to live in a care home where he would cuddle up to the residents," she told the BBC on January 28th. (See "Harry Voted into Downing Street in Cats Protection Poll.") "As a result, he'd be used to the comings and goings at Downing Street and would be a big hit with the Cabinet and other guests. And you could say he's already done his bit for the Big Society."

Unless he since has secured another home, Harry is still at Cats Protection's shelter in Chelwood Gate, West Sussex. If so, that is a real shame because he most definitely is not only a handsome fellow but also a long-suffering older tom who could use and deserves a break.

The best that can be hoped for as far as Larry is concerned is that he somehow will be able to swim with the political sharks at 10 Downing Street and survive. The inhospitable treatment meted out to Sybil and Humphrey is, worrisomely, a strong indication that he has a rough road ahead of him.

If things do not work out for him, there is the remote possibility that he might be able to procure work a few doors down the street at the Palace of Westminster where both houses of parliament reportedly also are overrun with mice. Specifically, they have been spotted, inter alia, in the Peers Guest Room and Bishops' Bar at the House of Lords as well as in the press gallery at the House of Commons.

Although the Palace currently employs both a full-time exterminator as well as a consultant, they so far have not proven themselves to be up to the job. As a result, both Baroness Ilora Gillian Finlay, a crossbencher from Wales, and Tory backbencher Rodney Elton are calling for cats to be brought in to rid the premises of mice.

"There is a health hazard from mice. They also eat the insulation and electrical wires. That creates a fire hazard," Lady Finlay told the Daily Mail on March 5, 2010. (See "More Parliamentary Fat Cats Needed Fast.") "Parliament has a lot of wood paneling and would burn very fast."

In sentiments strikingly similar to those expressed not too long ago by Cameron's underlings, Lord Brabazon, chairman of committees in the upper chamber, has nixed the idea of bringing in cats on the grounds that some peers are allergic to them. Instead, he has established a mouse helpline where his fellow lords can report rodent sightings. He freely admits however that often by the time that the exterminators arrive the mice wisely have vamoosed.

Hence, he has fallen back on blaming his colleagues for being messy eaters. "If you were a mouse, you would rather eat the crumbs of a smoked salmon sandwich than poisonous bait," he told the Daily Mail in the March 5, 2010 article cited supra.

In days gone by, the upper chamber was blessed with the services of a cat that allegedly caught up to sixty mice a night. In order to have supported a rodent infestation of that magnitude the lords must have been even bigger slobs back then than they are today.

Although they have received a notoriously bad press down through the ages and vivisectors continue to horribly abuse and slaughter them with impunity, mice are not without their supporters. "They (rats) are extremely curious, but man can't abide an animal that is as intelligent and curious as he is," Colin Arundel of the Yorkshire Rat Club told The Independent on March 26, 2009. (See "Why We Should Learn to Love Rats.") "They will acquire and they will learn very quickly."

Feldmäuse are, generally speaking, clean animals who, if kept out of food and grain stores, cause very few problems. Large numbers of city mice can create all sorts of problems, as medieval Europe found out with the bubonic plague, if proper sanitation measures are not taken.

There is one point, however, on which most individuals are in general agreement. "I would rather trust a rat than a politician," Arundel added.

Photos: The Guardian (Larry stretched out), Mirror (Larry in a cage), Daily Mail and Mark Large (Larry coming down the stairs), 10 Downing Street (Larry on the Carpet),  ITV (Manning with Larry and her scratched arm), Daily Mail, Agence France Presse, and Getty Images (peeler kicking Larry), and The Independent (Harry).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed

"There's no (other) data set like this for cats. Without these sensors, it would require a field team of ten to twelve people to collect that data."
-- Jeff Horn of the University of Illinois

Bird advocate Nico Dauphiné of the National Zoo in Washington, who back in May was arrested for attempting to poison a colony of homeless cats, is far from being the only academic who feels that she has a god-given right not only to take the law into her own hands and kill cats with impunity but also to shanghai countless others into becoming research guinea pigs. (See Cat Defender post of July 12, 2011 entitled "The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals.")

In fact, it has become standard practice on college campuses all across the world for ornithologists, wildlife biologists, zoologists, and their like-minded colleagues from other disciplines to steal, kidnap, hideously abuse, and kill untold thousands of cats each year. Although their patently criminal behavior violates every anti-cruelty statute on the books, neither humane groups nor the police will lift so much as finger in order to bring these supremely evil professors and their subalterns to the altar of justice.

To top it all off, just about all of their heinous crimes are paid for by welfare dollars cadged from the public. That in itself makes the politicians who approve their funding and the public which foots the bill complicit in their crimes.

Even worse, all of their bogus, fabricated research is then used in order to justify large-scale eradications and draconian legislation which tramples upon the rights of cats. Although it is not known how many ornithologists and wildlife biologists are actively engaged in abusing and killing cats, anecdotal evidence, their anti-cat rants, and the few of them that have run egregiously afoul of the law and been arrested, tends to suggest that the number is in the thousands.

When they re not actually physically harming cats, they cool their heels by demonizing the species and indoctrinating their students to do likewise. In their grand scheme of things, not only will their brainwashed students carry on their machinations long after they are rotting in their graves but, hopefully, they will take up arms and thus commit the types of atrocities that they are far too cowardly to carry out themselves.

Having honed their manipulative skills to a sharpened razor's edge through centuries of practice, the members of the professorial class are old hands when it comes to exploiting and using the young, impressionable, and naïve for their own ends. They are in fact so accomplished in their métier that they stack up rather well when pitted against such other age-old villains as capitalists, militarists, and salvation hustlers.

Recently, for example, Jeff Horn, Nohra Mateus-Pinella, Richard Warner, and Edward Heske of the University of Illinois announced the results of a two-year study wherein they repeatedly trapped and radio-collared forty-two homeless and domesticated cats in and around Champaign and Urbana. In addition to the radio collars, twenty-three of the cats also were forced to wear activity tracking devices that were equipped with tilt and vibration sensors that allegedly were able to determine whenever any of them killed another animal.

"There's no (other) data set like this for cats," Horn caroled triumphantly May 26th on the university's web site. (See "Researchers Track Secret Lives of Feral and Free-Roaming House Cats" and "Home Range, Habitat Use, and Activity Patterns of Free-Roaming Domestic Cats" in The Wildlife Society's Journal of Wildlife Management, volume 75, issue 5, July 2011, pages 1177-1185.) "Without these sensors, it would require a field team of ten to twelve people to collect that data." (See photo of him above.)

As per usual, Horn and his fellow criminals have not disclosed either where they obtained the cats or what was done with them at the conclusion of the study. The cats, quite obviously, were repeatedly trapped by the professors and fitting them with tracking devices also required that they were sedated each time. While they had them at their mercy, the professors no doubt took blood samples, weighed and measured them, and tested them for the presence of diseases.

In addition to the harmful side effects brought on by both the repeated trappings and the barbiturates, there simply is not any way that being burdened with both radio collars and activity tracking devices could have been beneficial to the cats' health. In particular, being forced to lug around the professors' spyware no doubt impeded their movements, ability to hunt, and diminished the foot speed and climbing agility that they require in order to escape predators.

For instance, on February 3, 2010, Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania, was convicted of piercing the ears, necks, and tails of kittens. Jewelry then was inserted in their ears while submission rings were threaded through their necks and docked tails.

At trial, veterinarian Melinda Merck testified that those piercings had damaged the kittens' delicate hearing, balance, and jumping ability. Extrapolating from Merck's expert testimony, it is hard not to believe that far worse damage was done to the cats so hideously abused by Horn and his subalterns.

Since implanted microchips have been shown to cause cancer in both cats and dogs along with the fact that it is strongly suspected that the use of mobile phones and laptop computers causes similar health problems in humans, the radiation emitted from Horn's tracking devices very well could have done irreparable damage to the cats. (See Cat Defender posts of November 6, 2010 and September 21, 2007 entitled, respectively, "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" and "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" as well as London's Independent, June 1, 2011, "Mobile Phone Users Warned over Cancer Link.")

That is even more so the case because the systematic abuse meted out to the cats dragged on for at least two years and they were living outdoors and on their own for most of that period. Yet Horn and his fellow cat-haters and abusers are walking around as free as birds and are continuing to abuse cats whereas Crawford at least was forced out of business, sentenced to six-months of house arrest, and placed on probation for twenty-one months. (See Cat Defender post of April 24, 2010 entitled "Holly Crawford Hits the Jackpot by Drawing a Judge Who Simply Adores Kitten Mutilators and Dope Addicts.")

Furthermore, there is something not only morally reprehensible but also sadistic about the way in which Horn and his colleagues delighted in the cats' interminable suffering. "That particular male cat was not getting food from humans, to my knowledge, but somehow it survived out there amidst coyotes and foxes," he marveled to the University of Illinois' web site in the article cited supra. "It crossed every street in the area where it was trapped. (It navigated) stop lights, parking lots. We found it denning under a softball field during a game."

Needless to say, any halfway decent human being would have attempted to alleviate the cat's suffering by providing him with food, water, shelter, security, and veterinary assistance. The bottom line on diabolical monsters like Horn, Mateus-Pinella, Warner, and Heske is that they do not have an ounce of either compassion or common decency in their miserable old bones; that alone makes them capable of almost any evil.

H. G. Wells was well acquainted with no-good rotters like Horn and his crew. "To this day I have never been troubled about the ethics of the matter," Dr. Moreau confessed to Edward Prendick in The Island of Doctor Moreau. "The study of nature makes a man at least as remorseless as nature."

At the University of Reading in Berkshire, environmental biologist Rebecca Dulieu and her fellow cat-haters are in the midst of a four-year study that is almost identical to the one just completed by the University of Illinois. The one major difference is that Dulieu somehow has managed to inveigle up to two-hundred-fifty cat owners into donating the services of their companions.

Like the cats in the Illinois' study, those in Reading, Nottingham, and Brighton will be saddled with both radio collars and what Dulieu calls acceleration data loggers. "For the first time, pet cats will be fitted with data loggers attached to a harness which will log their every movement and allow us to identify actions which have distinctive signatures such as eating, drinking and hunting," she boasted to the BBC on February 16, 2009. (See "Cats Tagged in Bird Killing Study.")

In addition to cruelly and inhumanely allowing their cats to be turned into guinea pigs, study participants have consented to respond to door-to-door surveys and to keep logs of the number and types of dead animals that their companions bring home. They also have agreed to store the dead bodies in plastic bags which they in turn will hand over to Dulieu.

Data collected from the study, "What the Cat Brought In," will in turn be used in order to justify feline eradication efforts in England and elsewhere. For example, Dulieu's comrades-in-arms at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds already have conducted extermination campaigns against, inter alia, Lundy rats and ruddy ducks. (See Daily Mail, January 22, 2011, "My Cats Aren't a Danger to Wildlife...but the Power-Crazed RSPB Is.")

"We will be able to work out precisely how many animals a cat is killing every year, and from that estimate a national figure," Dulieu boldly predicted to the Guardian on February 15, 2009. (See "Special Tags to Measure How Often Cats Kill.") "It will be a pretty formidable number."

Her last declaration is an admission that she and her colleagues already have arrived at their conclusions and that the tagging study is being undertaken solely in order to fabricate data desperately needed in order to give their research the semblance of credibility. Much more importantly, both Dulieu's and Horn's extraordinary claims about the reliability of their data loggers are grossly exaggerated to say the least.

First of all, just because a cat occasionally gets its claws on a mouse or a bird and plays with it for a while does not necessarily mean that it will end up killing it. Most of the time these animals escape although they do sometimes sustain injuries. That is due principally to cats' notoriously poor eyesight. They can see practically nothing in front of them and instead are forced to rely almost entirely upon sound and smell when hunting.

Secondly, cats also chase worms, ants, and other insects crawling on the ground. They play with flies, bees, leaves, and other debris blowing in the wind, their mates, and any number of other objects. They also do somersaults in the snow, wallow in leaves, engage in mating rituals, experience cat fits, and chase strings. They additionally act in self-defense when they are attacked by blue jays, hawks, gulls, owls, dogs, and other predators.

Consequently, considerably more than tilt and vibration sensors are required in order to determine what a cat is doing. That, of course, is of no concern to Horn and Dulieu. After all, honesty, integrity, and a commitment to the truth never have been the strong suits of inveterate cat-haters; any manufactured lie, no matter how absurd, is good enough for them.

As for cat owners such as Robert Davey and his daughter, Sarah, who have volunteered the services of their aging cat, Guinness, to Dulieu, they surely must be either closet ailurophobes or the world's biggest dupes. "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," Friedrich Schiller wrote in his 1811 tragedy, Die Jungfrau von Orléans. (See photo above of Davey holding a cat named Hattie, Dulieu with Guinness, and Sarah with Tigger.)

Although the University of Illinois is not saying what it did with the cats that it shanghaied into its cruel web of intrigue, very few cats so abused ever make it out alive. That most definitely was the fate of most of the cats studied on Santa Catalina Island by Darcee A. Guttilla and Paul Stapp of California State University at Fullerton. (See photo of Stapp on the left above.)

"We trapped one-hundred-forty-two cats between May 2002 and October 2004," the authors admitted in the Journal of Mammalogy, volume 91, issue number 2, April 2010, pages 482-489. (See "Effects of Sterilization on Movements of Feral Cats at a Wildland-Urban Interface.") "Forty-one of one-hundred-thirty-four cats tested positive for Feline Leukemia (FeLv) and-or the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and were euthanized."

Since cats suffering from both FeLv and FIV can live perfectly normal lives for many years, Guttilla and Stapp are guilty of mass murder and therefore belong in jail.

Of the remaining one-hundred-one cats, thirty-five were sterilized and their ears tattooed and sixty-six were left intact. Fourteen of the sterilized cats and thirteen of those left intact were radio-collared by the authors and their rambles spied upon until either the batteries in their collars failed or they died. It is unclear whether the cats simply died on their own or were killed off by Guttilla and Stapp.

All one-hundred-forty-two cats used in this study were illegally trapped, anesthetized with ketamine and acepromazine, weighed, and tested for FeLv and FIV. Exactly how many times the cats were trapped and sedated has not been disclosed by the authors. The only thing that they are admitting is that the "feral cats were difficult to recapture; nearly fifty per cent of cats known to be alive in 2002 and 2003 evaded traps." (page 485.)

One thing is perfectly clear, however. That between being electronically monitored, trapped, and hounded at night with spotlights, the cats on Santa Catalina scarcely were granted a moment's peace during their brief existences.

In a lengthy study that stretched over a decade, Roland W. Kays of the New York State Museum and Amielle A. DeWan of Cornell University studied at least one-hundred-five cats living near the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP). Twelve of the cats were radio-collared and monitored between May and August of 1991 and between June and August of 2001 one-hundred-eight scent posts were erected and monitored by motion sensitive camera traps. (See photos of them above on the right.)

The researchers also used binoculars in order to spy on the cats for an additional one-hundred-eighty-one hours during the daytime. At night, they covered headlamps with red filters in order to facilitate additional snooping.

As is the case with the ongoing study at Reading University, six-hundred surveys were hand-delivered to area residents and eight households were inveigled into collecting and freezing prey brought home by the cats. Once again it bears repeating that gegen Dummheit gibt es keine Pillen.

Eleven of the radio-collared cats came from eight families and, presumably, were returned to them at the conclusion of Kays and DeWan's probing. The fate of a tagged homeless cat named Tiger never has been revealed. (See Kays and DeWan, "Ecological Impact of Inside-Outside Cats Around a Suburban Nature Preserve" in volume 7 of Animal Conservation, pages 273-283 (2004) and the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh, June 13, 2010, "The House Cat -- a Major Wildlife Predator?")

Last August, the Municipal Council in Provo, Utah, approved a cruel and inhumane plan that allows wildlife biologist Thomas Smith and his students at Brigham Young University (BYU) to trap and radio collar up to two-hundred cats living on campus. (See photo of him on the right below grinning like Old Nick himself.)

Smith, who during 2009-2010 served as president-elect of the ultra-ailurophobic Wildlife Society, originally wanted to hand over the cats to Animal Control for liquidation at the conclusion of his manipulations. Public opposition, however, forced him and the Municipal Council to accept TNR instead.

In addition to collecting data on feline predation, Smith intends to use the cats in order to teach his students how to trap and tag animals. (See The Salt Lake Tribune, August 18, 2010, "Provo Okays BYU Plan to Trap, Neuter, Release Cats" and the Daily Herald of Provo, August 18, 2010, "Provo Okays Change to Allow BYU Students to Study Cats.")

Although Smith's about-face to spare the cats' lives is a step in the right direction, his naked exploitation and abuse of them as guinea pigs is in violation of the anti-cruelty statutes. First of all, no limits are placed on either the duration of the collaring or on how many times they can be repeatedly trapped.

Repeated trappings always are accompanied by life-threatening sedations, stress, and needless invasive procedures, such as the taking of blood and other fluids. The radio collars also are burdensome, toxic, and interfere with their mobility. They may even injure the delicate muscles in the cats' necks.

Samples of the cats' fur also will be shaved off in an effort to ascertain their diets. Since multiple factors contribute to the types of chemicals that are present in a cat's fur, the accuracy of such testing is highly suspect. (See The Salt Lake Tribune, August 9, 2010, "BYU Students Could Track Feral Cats on Campus.")

Even more outrageously, this plan has the support of both No More Homeless Pets in Utah of Sandy and Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab. Just as it was on San Nicolas and in the Florida Keys, the cats at BYU have been sold down the river by precisely those groups and individuals who are pretending to be their friends. (See Cat Defender posts of April 28, 2009 and June 23, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service" and "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.")

Another well-known ruthless abuser of cats is Stanley Temple of the University of Wisconsin at Madison who forced his own cat, Flynn, to wear a radio collar for eight years. (See University of Wisconsin press release of January 27, 2011, "Stan Temple: A Life of Saving Threatened Species.")

Tel Aviv University for years harbored an even bigger criminal in its bosom in the form of zoology professor Heinrich Mendelssohn who poisoned countless cats from his neighborhood in an effort to protect the green lizards that he employed in order to keep the bugs off of his plants. (See Haaretz, December 24, 2010, "Israeli Cat Lovers' Lament.")

The doyen of professors who kill cats is, arguably, Les Underhill who since 1972 has been using his position as an ornithologist at the University of Cape Town in order annihilate thousands of cats. (See Cat Defender posts of March 23, 2006, April 27, 2006, and March 23, 2007 entitled, respectively, "South Africans, Supported by Ailurophobic PETA, Are Slaughtering More Cats on Robben Island," "Cat-Hating Monster Les Underhill and Moneygrubbing Robben Island Museum Resume Slaughtering Cats in South Africa," and "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats.")

Even when wildlife biologists and ornithologists are not actually imprisoning, abusing, and killing cats, they are libeling them in print. The scurrilous anti-cat screed entitled "Feral Cats and Their Management" which was published last November by Stephen M. Vantassel, Scott E. Hygnstrom, and Aaron M. Hildreth, professional exterminators employed by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, is a classic example of just how hate-filled, criminal minds do their sums. (See photos of them on the right below.)

Contrary to all existing anti-cruelty statutes, the professors recommended that cats assumed to be homeless be either shot in the head, crushed to death in body-gripping traps, or killed with carbon dioxide. Predictably, the American Bird Conservancy was beside itself with glee at the exterminators' conclusions. (See Audubon Magazine, December 3, 2020, "Feral Cat Predation on Birds Costs Billions of Dollars a Year.")

Travis Longcore of UCLA is another thoroughly unscrupulous cat-hating popinjay who devotes all of his time and energy to churning out one-sided, dishonest rants that denounce cats and malign TNR. (See Longcore et alii, "Critical Assessment of Claims Regarding Management of Feral Cats by Trap-Neuter-Return" in Conservation Biology, volume 23, number 4, pages 887-894 (2009) and the Daily Bruin, June 7, 2010, "Cat Management Program Hopes to Curb Feral Feline Population Living on Campus.")

All of Longcore's toil finally paid off in spades in December of 2009 when he and the Urban Wildlands Group succeeded in convincing a local judge to ban the city of Los Angeles from financing TNR programs. (See Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2010, "A Catfight over Neutering Program.")

Back in the days when integrity, objectivity, and a commitment to the truth still mattered, no-account bums and intellectual frauds like Longcore would have been laughed off of campus. As things now stand, he is left to strut around Westwood with his malignant gourd swelled up to twice the size of one of Goodyear's blimps.

In addition to their professors' outright crimes against cats, many college administrators have taken it upon themselves, no doubt at the urging of wildlife biologists and ornithologists, to have all homeless cats living on campus trapped and killed. (See Cat Defender posts of September 11, 2006, February 12, 2007, and July 31, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Selfish and Brutal Eggheads at Central Michigan University Target Colony of Feral Cats for Defamation and Eradication," "God-Fearing Baptists at Eastern University Kill Off Their Feral Cats on the Sly while Students Are Away on Christmas Break," and "Cal State Long Beach Is Using the Presence of Coyotes as a Pretext in Order to Get Rid of Its Feral Cats.")

DeWan's old stamping ground, heartless and ruthless Cornell University, even went so far as to fire an employee who had the audacity to show an ounce of compassion for the upstate New York school's homeless cats. (See Cat Defender post of June 14, 2006 entitled "Kindhearted Dairyman, Sacked for Feeding Feral Cats, Files $20 Million Lawsuit Against Cornell University.")

Back in July of 2007 when alumnus Larry Johnson died and left an estate valued at $6.5 million to his alma mater, Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, administrators quickly gobbled up the windfall but fobbed off his cat, Princess, on a neighbor. (See Cat Defender post of June 9, 2008 entitled "Pennsylvania College Greedily Snatches Up Alumnus's Multimillion-Dollar Bequest but Turns Away His Cat, Princess.")

Irresponsible and just plain wicked students also must be held accountable for their crimes. In addition to being largely responsible for the vast majority of cats that wind up abandoned on college campuses, some students commit unspeakable atrocities against the species. (See Cat Defender posts of September 22, 2005 and August 25, 2008 entitled, respectively, "College Students in South Africa Cook a Cat to Death in a Microwave Oven" and "Danish Journalism Students Procure the Corpse of a Murdered Cat and Then Skin, Cook, and Eat It in Order to Promote Their Careers.")

The studies cited above constitute only a handful of the hundreds of cat defaming efforts that are undertaken by professors each year. The same holds true for the atrocities committed by administrators and students.

They do demonstrate conclusively however that neither wildlife biologists, ornithologists, nor their kindred spirits in related disciplines have the slightest interest whatsoever in saving and protecting wild animals from their number one enemy which is man. Instead, all of their sweat and the bushels of shekels that they are able to coax from the public are devoted to defaming and killing cats.

It is a staggering indictment of these so-called great minds that the sum total of everything that they have learned as the result of a lifetime of scholarship boils down to an irrational hatred of cats. After all, even like-minded serial killers and mental retards are fully capable of arriving at that same pathological conclusion without either attending a single class or so much as cracking open a book.

While they certainly are entitled to wallow in their prejudices, hatreds, and delusions, once they cross the line that separates thought from action and commence abusing and killing cats they should be promptly arrested and jailed. It therefore is incumbent upon all of those who care about cats to take the necessary steps that will ensure that the anti-cruelty statutes are rigorously enforced against these criminal professors.

In particular, they should be stopped from using cats as guinea pigs. That means first of all that they should be precluded by law from illegally trapping homeless cats, adopting cats from shelters under false pretenses, and procuring them from breeders.

In addition to repeatedly illegally trapping cats, they should be barred from fitting them with tracking devices, sedating them, and conducting invasive medical procedures. Above all, they must be stopped from both killing cats once they have finished with them and dissecting their stomachs.

They also should be precluded from trapping and tagging both wild and farm animals as well. (See Cat Defender posts of April 17, 2006, May 4, 2006, February 29, 2008, and May 21, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him," "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals," "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," and "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collard, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

Humane groups for far too long have turned a blind eye to these flagrant violations of the anti-cruelty laws and that cannot be tolerated any longer. Specifically, individuals who care about cats should refrain from financially supporting any organization that continues to steadfastly refuse to protect them from the hideous crimes committed against them by wildlife biologists and bird advocates.

It no doubt must come as a mild shock to the uninitiated that entire academic departments are allowed to get away with perpetuating a virulent hatred of cats, especially on the public's dime. Certainly none of these puffed-up, egomaniacal buffoons would last very long if they vented their spleens on certain segments of the human population. Au contraire, they immediately would be denounced as bigots and fired.

All animal research laboratories and factory farms operated by universities also need to be immediately closed. It additionally is high time that universities got out of the business of developing nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction.

Perhaps the most obvious failure of American colleges lies in their inability to turn out even one halfway honest and decent politician. When Socrates scolded the Sophists for their failure to improve the moral quality of their students it was a valid criticism twenty-four-hundred years ago and remains so today. Sadly, anyone looking for either an intellectual or moral footprint in contemporary American public affairs is destined to come away empty-handed.

That no doubt is attributable to the inherent corruption that exists within the academic establishment itself. For example, if recent studies are to be believed, just about all students cheat their way to their degrees. Likewise, plagiarism and the acceptance of payoffs from various interests in return for producing favorable research appears to have become the norm with many professors.

In order to attract foreign students and new immigrants, most colleges have watered down academic standards to the point that the degrees they issue are practically worthless. Overall, the catalog of illegal conduct and patently unethical behavior that occurs on the average university campus is almost endless.

"After fifteen years in academic life, I have concluded that the vast majority of faculty members are like the vast majority of any comfortable professionals in a corporate capitalist empire: morally lazy, usually cowardly, and unwilling or unable to engage with critics...," Robert Jensen, who teaches journalism at the University of Texas, wrote in Counterpunch on October 25, 2006. (See "The Failure of Faculty in Tough Times. Academic Freedom on the Rocks.") "I find that much of the university with which I am familiar...to be populated with self-important and self-indulgent caricatures. Much of the intellectual work is trivial, irrelevant, and flabby. Most components of the contemporary United States university have been bought off, and bought off fairly cheaply."

A good illustration of Jensen's last point is the Koch (pronounced "Coke") brothers recent purchase of chairs at Florida State and George Mason universities in order to propagate the gospel of Ayn Rand's unfettered capitalism and the benefits of both pollution and global warming. (See St. Petersburg Times, May 10, 2011, "Billionaire's Role in Hiring Decisions at Florida State University Raises Questions.")

In the wastelands of southern New Jersey there is a pipsqueak of a public degree mill known as Richard Stockton College which each year keeps jacking up tuition so that it can continue to expand its financial empire by gobbling up real estate, resorts, golf courses, and theatres. It has circumvented the law that prohibits deficit spending by the states and their subdivisions by establishing a dummy corporation that in turn allows it to borrow almost unlimited amounts of cash.

Whatever the school may lack in both intellectual acumen and integrity it more than makes up for in not only its naked greed but its lawlessness as well. For although it is located in the middle of nowhere it maintains a ruthless gang of more than twenty rogue, fascist cops who routinely engage in wholesale illegal stops and searches of anyone that they catch either walking or biking in the vicinity of the school. Its uniformed thugs and hooligans are so emboldened in fact that they claim to have the authority to arbitrarily deny access to public, taxpayer-maintained highways in the neighborhood.

Ambrose Bierce anticipated Jensen's criticisms a century ago when in his Devil's Dictionary he defined a lecturer as "one with his hand in your pocket, his tongue in your ear and his faith in your patience." Rather than being a positive force in the struggle to protect all animals and Mother Earth as well as to ensure that freedom, equality, and democracy do not go the way of the woolly mammoth, the universities have degenerated into little more than greedy special interests with agendas that are inimical to the common good.

Photos: University of Illinois (Horn), University of Reading (Dulieu with Guinness and Robert and Sarah Davey), Cal State Fullerton (Stapp), New York State Museum (Kays), Linedin (DeWan), BYU (Smith), and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Vantassel, Hygnstrom, and Hildreth.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals

Nico Dauphiné
"We know what she's (Dauphiné) doing would in no way jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife, so we feel perfectly comfortable that she continue her research."
-- Pamela Baker-Masson of the National Zoo

Just as smoke usually is accompanied by fire, there is an inexorable link between the anti-cat screeds of birders and wildlife biologists, their illegal subjugation and abuse of cats as research subjects and, finally, their taking of the law into their own hands. The criminal behavior of Dr. Nico Dauphiné of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is proof of that. 

On May 11th, the high-strutting, big-talking, and self-important Dauphiné was arrested by agents of the Washington Humane Society (WHS) and charged with setting out dishes of food laced with rat poison and antifreeze for intended consumption by a colony of homeless cats residing in idyllic Meridian Hill Park in the Columbia Heights section of the nation's capital.

How long this diabolical monster from the Ivory Towers of academia had been at her deadly game never has been disclosed. Even more disturbingly, it has not been revealed how many cats she may have murdered in Washington and elsewhere. If prior cases of this sort are any guide, there is a good chance that Dauphiné has killed before.

Her trial date has not been announced but it is a foregone conclusion that she will get off with a slap on the wrists thanks to Washington's lenient anti-cruelty statutes under which the severest sentence that she could receive would be a trivial six months in the hoosegow and a minuscule $1,000 fine. Once she lies and kowtows her away out of this jam it is a sure bet that she will resume killing cats in earnest.

The fact that she even was apprehended in the first place is attributable to the diligent and professional police work of the WHS. Alerted to the presence of deadly substances in the cats' food by their dedicated caretakers, the WHS launched a month-long investigation that included not only video surveillance of the park and cats but also matching card swipes of Dauphiné exiting and entering her nearby apartment building.

Being not only a criminal but a lowly coward as well, Dauphiné has denied the charges and now is pretending to be all sugar and spice and everything nice. "Her whole life is devoted to the care and welfare of animals," her unidentified shyster pontificated to ABC News on May 24th. ( See "DC Zoo Employee Denies Charge She Tried to Poison Feral Cats.")

In addition to the incontrovertible evidence amassed against her, Dauphiné also fits the profile of a serial cat killer to a tee. After pocketing a B.A. from Yale, an M.S. from Cornell, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, she snared a sinecure as a postdoctoral fellow at the zoo's Migratory Bird Center. To put it kindly, she is what is known in academic circles as a professional student; to be more accurate, she is a bum and a freeloader who, most likely, never has had a real job in her life.

It would be a mistake, however, to infer that a lifetime spent lounging around college campuses sucking up to her equally mendacious and subservient professors has imbued her with anything remotely approximating a genuine interest in birds. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only thing that this brainwashed puppet of the schoolmen has learned from a lifetime of lowly, down-at-the-knee apprenticeship is to defame, hate, and kill cats. In fact, the only known piece of writing that she so far has offered to the public is an anti-cat diatribe entitled "Apocalypse Meow: Free-Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife."

At long last she finally has been caught committing her dastardly and cowardly crimes and accordingly is destined to spend the remainder of her miserable existence on this earth as a convicted felon. A far more just alternative would be for jurists for once to show some intelligence of their own and accordingly lock her up for life in some hellhole prison where the accommodations are comparable to the oubliettes at the Château d'If; after all, she quite obviously is not only dangerous but crazy as well. No-good rotters like her never amount to a hill of beans in this world.

At the National Zoo, Dauphiné earns her welfare shekels by fitting defenseless cats with video cameras in order to collect data on how many birds and other animals that they kill. "My research focuses on evaluating anthropogenic impacts (including habitat loss, hunting, and invasive species) on wildlife, particularly birds, and developing effective conservation strategies," she blows long and hard on the zoo's web site. "My current project examines predator-prey dynamics in an urban matrix in collaboration with citizen scientists at Neighborhood Nestwatch."

That simply is more of her patented obfuscation of the truth. She and those who employ her hate cats with a passion and the only objective of her so-called research is to produce totally bogus papers which in turn will be used to justify en masse exterminations of the species.

Where she differs from her comrades-in-arms at the unscrupulous United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is that she wants to immediately extend the wholesale slaughter of cats to urban centers whereas they are still groping around for a rationale that will allow them to deploy their death squads in the inner cities and in citizens' back yards. (See Cat Defender posts of June 23, 2011 and June 27, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys" and "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island.")

Besides, the USFWS has other means at its disposal of getting rid of city cats. (See Cat Defender posts of July 19, 2007 and August 28, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers" and " TNR Programs, Domestic Cats, Dogs, and Humans Imperiled by Wildlife Proponents' Use and Abuse of Coyotes and Fishers.")

Since Dauphiné is a serial poisoner, it is highly unlikely that she has spared the lives of any of the cats that she has used as research subjects. It therefore is imperative that the WHS compel both her and the zoo to disclose the number of cats that they have used in research, where they were obtained from, and where they are today. Toward that end, financial records should be subpoenaed and the grounds of the zoo excavated in a search for additional victims of Dauphiné's crimes.

Unlike just about all humane groups and police departments who when confronted with cases of animal cruelty content themselves with high-sounding declarations of moral indignation and offers of insignificant reward money, the WHS is to be commended for once actually getting the lead out and mounting a serious investigation of Dauphiné. In doing so, the organization has established a code of conduct worthy of emulation by all legitimate humane groups and police departments.

Nevertheless, it must not rest on its laurels. Nothing short of an exhaustive investigation of all of Dauphiné's and the National Zoo's dealings with cats will suffice. The zoo, quite obviously, is engaged in large-scale criminal abuse of cats and as such must be exposed and brought to justice.

That is especially so in light of its steadfast and wholehearted support of Dauphiné and her flagrant abuse of cats. "We know what she's doing would in no way jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife, so we feel perfectly comfortable that she continue her research," Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokeswoman for zoo director Dennis Kelly, declared shortly after Dauphine's unmasking and arrest.

Meridian Hill Park

Since Kelly served as president of Zoo Atlanta from 2003 until his appointment as director on February 15th of last year, it is conceivable that he and Dauphiné may have known each other when she was at the University of Georgia. It therefore would be helpful if humane officials in Georgia could be prevailed upon to stir themselves long enough in order to launch an investigation into how cats were treated at both Zoo Atlanta and the University of Georgia during Kelly's and Dauphine's respective tenures.

Much more to the point, Baker-Masson's unqualified support for Dauphiné exposes the ugly truth that birders and wildlife biologists hate both companion and farm animals and therefore are guilty of practicing the worst form of virulent speciesism. With such a warped mindset, they certainly do not feel any compulsion whatsoever to abide by the dictates of the anti-cruelty statutes.

"In standing behind Dr. Dauphiné and her alleged acts of animal cruelty, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian are sending a message to the Washington, D.C., community and all of America that the lives of cats have no value," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies (ACA) wrote in a letter addressed to Kelly on May 25th. (See ACA's June Newsletter.)

"Intentionally poisoning and killing a cat by any means is a felony crime in virtually all fifty states and the District of Columbia," she added in a June 4th interview with Care2.com. (See "Alley Cat Allies Calls for Researcher's Suspension.") "Attempting to perpetuate this cruelty with rat poison and antifreeze -- as Dr. Dauphiné is charged -- is even more stunning in its brutality. Poisoning is a slow and painful death."

Even more troubling than the zoo's steadfast support for Dauphiné is its stubborn refusal to even suspend her until the charges against her are heard in a court of law. "We find it unbelievable that a respected research organization -- one dedicated to the protection of animals -- would keep on staff a researcher who has been caught on videotape trying to poison animals," Robinson continued in her letter to Kelly. "We find it even more shocking given that, according to ABC News, Dr. Dauphiné lists among her research projects one involving 'mounting small cameras on domestic cats that roam outdoors to see how they affect wild bird populations.' Clearly this work puts her in direct contact with the very species she allegedly attempted to poison, contrary to the zoo's assertions."

The WHS's Scott Giacoppo is in complete agreement with Robinson. "If she did do this, then we naturally would be concerned about her being around all animals. Whoever would do such a thing is a threat to all animals," he told ABC News in the article cited supra. "It is a slow and painful death. It was callous and (a) complete disregard for animals' well-being."

In yet still another glaring example of the extent of both ailurophobia and lawlessness that prevails within both bird and wildlife advocacy groups, not a single one of them has had the decency to publicly condemn Dauphiné's behavior. That leads to the inescapable conclusion that in private they are overjoyed and every bit as supportive of her criminal behavior as is her employer.

A few years back when James Munn Stevenson admitted to gunning down hundreds of cats outside his Galveston, Texas, home he not only escaped conviction but also became a hero to birders everywhere.

Not only did business skyrocket at the bed and breakfast that he operates but his bird watching tours also gained in popularity. Best of all, he was rewarded for his heinous crimes with a teaching position at College of the Mainland in nearby Texas City.

"Actually, I gained hundreds and hundreds of clients because of this (killing cats). I'm normally greeted as a hero with the environmental types," he boasted in 2008. "I don't go out of my way to tell people who I am, but a lot of people remember the cat incident and are very complimentary."

He also is very much indebted to the capitalist media for their championing of his cause. "This story was in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times," he crowed like a bantam rooster.

That is merely par for the course as far as the brand of one-sided, biased journalism that is practiced by the Murdochs, Sulzbergers, and The Houston Chronicles of this world are concerned. (See Cat Defender posts of August 7, 2008, December 8, 2007, and May 1, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank," "All the Lies That Fit. Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson," and "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson.")

Another serial cat killer from the world of academia who got away scot-free with his despicable crimes was zoology professor Heinrich Mendelssohn of Tel Aviv University who poisoned countless felines because he was too cheap to buy insecticides in order to keep the bugs off of his precious little plants.

He instead employed green lizards to do the job gratis and since cats were eating some of his exterminators he poisoned them. (See Haaretz, December 24, 2010, "Israeli Cat Lovers' Lament.")

Like Stevenson and Mendelssohn before her, Dauphiné is destined to reap a bonanza as the result of her commission of crimes against cats. She, too, will be hailed as a hero by the bands of thugs, criminals, and domestic terrorists who compromise the ranks of birders and wildlife biologists. The only organization standing in the way of her greatness is the WHS which, if it tried really hard enough, probably would be able to uncover additional evidence against her which would in turn ensure that she is removed from society for a very long time.

In another striking parallel with the USFWS, the USDA's Wildlife Services, and numerous other federal agencies that are dedicated to the eradication of all cats, the National Zoo operates primarily off of welfare dollars. For example, it is currently demanding $797.6 million from the taxpayers this year.

If Congress and the Obama Administration were anything other than thieves, murderers, and liars themselves, the National Zoo not only would be stripped of its welfare shekels but also forced to abide by the dictates of the anti-cruelty statutes. Above all, it is simply reprehensible that an organization which not only harbors a cat poisoner within its malignant bosom but also has sanctioned her criminal behavior and systematic abuse of cats is rewarded with close to a billion dollars of the taxpayers' money annually.

In the land of the dollar bill, cat killers, like Wall Street crooks, war criminals, and polluters, always can be assured of finding not only sanctuary but succor within the corridors of power in Washington. About the only indiscretion that the Washington establishment refuses to tolerate under any circumstances is an unzipped fly.

James Stevenson

In addition to its criminal and inhumane treatment of cats, the zoo's neglect and abuse of its two-thousand inmates is another reason why its federal funding should be stopped. In particular, the zoo killed at least two dozen animals through neglect and mismanagement between 1995 and 2005.

Most notably, in January of 2003 two red pandas died after eating rat poison that was buried in their pen by an exterminator not even licensed to do business in the city. Perhaps that is where Dauphiné is getting her supply of the rodenticide.

In July of the same year, a red fox was allowed to escape from its enclosure and kill a federally protected bald eagle. That is another indication that Dauphiné, Kelly, and the remainder of the zoo's staff should spend more time and money safeguarding their avian inmates instead of trolling the streets of Washington day and night murdering cats.

In 2005, employees of the zoo crushed to death a three-year-old Sulawesi macaque named Ripley by mindlessly closing an hydraulic door on him. In January of 2006, the zoo liquidated an Asian elephant named Toni because she had developed arthritis. In Defense of Animals blamed the inappropriate care that she had received at the zoo as the cause of her premature death.

In December of the same year, slipshod fencing at the compound enabled a clouded leopard to escape from its enclosure. No doubt countless other animals have died from neglect and mistreatment over the years but their deaths and horrific suffering have gone unreported.

That assumption is supported by the disclosure that the zoo's head veterinarian, Dr. Suzan Murray, has been accused of altering medical records in a clumsy attempt to cover up the wrongful deaths of numerous animals. If that is true, she belongs behind bars with Dauphiné.

As horrific as those deaths and abuses were, they nonetheless pale in comparison with the fact that the National and all other zoos are illegally and immorally incarcerating totally innocent animals. None of the National's inmates have committed any jailable offenses and none of them have been provided with due process hearings. All of that is in addition to having been cruelly uprooted from their families and natural habitats and shanghaied into a lifetime of indentured servitude by their capitalist overlords.

Contrary to the blatant lies propagated by zookeepers, an incarcerated animal is a mere parody of its former self. "The tiger is the perfect example of the way that zoos are missing the point about conservation," Adam Roberts of Born Free USA told Salon on January 5, 2008. (See "Tigers Don't Belong in Zoos.") "There's an expenditure of millions if not tens of millions of dollars on captive tigers. If we really want tigers and not just a shell of the beast we call the tiger, the real emphasis needs to be first and foremost in the field."

Caging animals is not only inherently cruel but it completely annihilates the vitally important links that they forge with other animals and their natural environments. "Because animals are always moving about in the wild they can choose their own companions," Craig Redmond of the Captive Animals Protection Society in Manchester told London's Independent on October 1, 2008. (See "Warring Tigers Leave London Zoo with a £5 Million Bill.") "You can't replicate that in captivity; you can't allow the animals free movement."

There also is the disquieting matter of the large number of domestic cats that are forced into slavery as surrogate mothers, blood donors, and playmates to captive wild animals held at both zoos and captive breeding facilities. Even more outrageously, humane societies steadfastly have refused to even look into how these cats are abused.

Fully cognizant of the antipathy that wildlife biologists and birders have for cats, the abuses that they mete out to them could not conceivably be anything other than horrific. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2010 entitled "Muschi Is Left on Her Own in a Perilous Environment after the Berliner Zoo Kills Off Her Best Friend and Protector, Mäuschen.")

Already unspeakably manipulated and abused by factory farmers and the operators of abattoirs, farm animals are treated even far worse than cats by zoos and captive breeding facilities. For instance, scores of rodents, goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, and other animals are fed live each day to zoo animals.

In one particularly gruesome incident, a pet goat was removed from a petting zoo at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin on June 5, 2008 and promptly fed to the wolves in plain view of stunned onlookers. (See Der Spiegel, June 16, 2008, "Berlin Zoo Feeds Goat to Wolves.")

The more that is revealed about zoos and the types of miscreants who are in charge of them the harder it becomes to justify their continued existence. The systematic abuse that they routinely dole out to wild animals is bad enough but the contempt that they exhibit toward cats, other companion animals, and farm animals is even more appalling.

Wildlife biologists and birders regard companion and farm animals to be, at best, objects of exploitation and, at worst, vermin. It therefore is long overdue that individuals who care about all animals became fully aware of the narrow and destructive agenda that these groups are pursuing.

In conclusion, since scientific and technological breakthroughs generally produce far more evil than good, it is extremely rare that there is anything positive to be said about them. Nonetheless, there is a certain amount of poetic justice in how Dauphiné was done in by the very same technology that she so fervently championed and abused.

Specifically, she was unmasked for what she is by snooping technology similar to that which she used against cats. So, in the end, she was not nearly was clever as her towering ego had led her to believe. "A little learning is a dangerous thing," Alexander Pope stated in his 1711 work, Essay on Criticism.

There also is much that cat advocates could learn from Dauphiné's modus operandi. Most obviously, they, too, could employ technology not only to protect cats but also to put birders and wildlife biologists in jail when they break the law.

Photos: Examiner.com (Dauphiné), Ben Schumin of Wikipedia (Meridian Hill Park), and the Galveston Police Department (Stevenson).