.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor

"Murmurings of love on his lips, and murder in his damn black heart."
-- John D. MacDonald

Long-suffering and handsome Marvin spent the lion's share of his all-too-brief sixteen or so years on this earth living in a parking lot off of Stone Pine Road in Half Moon Bay. It was a hard life to be sure but it was still a life just the same.

Along with all the deprivations there no doubt were many happy moments as well and, best of all, during the last decade of his life he had a companion named Mocha who was a tremendous comfort to him. (See photo of him above.)

People occasionally left food for him but generally speaking he was forced most of the time to scrounge around for his next meal. He apparently did not have anywhere to hang his hat either but since the thermometer in the San Franciscoan suburb of twelve-thousand souls rarely dips below 43° Fahrenheit during the wintertime or climbs much above 65° Fahrenheit in the summertime, the elements were the least of his travails.

Not much else is known about the black, reddish-brown, and white tom other than that somewhere along the way he had been neutered and that is a pretty strong indication that at one time or another he belonged to either someone or a managed TNR colony. That also is superficial evidence that he likely wound up on his own as the result of some unforeseen calamity because individuals who are willing to foot the bill in order to sterilize a cat are considerably less prone to simply abandon it.

Most important of all, he likely still would be gracing the parking lot and hanging out with Mocha if it had not been for a chance encounter that occurred about a year ago with a false-hearted Machiavellian journalist named Jane Ganahl who, incidentally, also is co-founder of San Francisco's annual literary festival, Litquake. (See a mug shot of her on the right below.)

"Dude, that's a good way to get killed!" she berated him then and there after nearly stepping on him according to her September 20th column in the Half Moon Bay Review. (See "Parking Lot Cat Opened Eyes and Hearts.")

It just as easily could be argued that Ganahl should keep her head out of her ass and watch where she was strutting. As things eventually turned out, she had a far more sinister fate planned for Marvin than merely squashing him to death underneath her heels as porno actresses routinely do to kittens in crush videos.

After the passage of an unspecified amount of time, Marvin unwittingly succumbed to Ganahl's cajolery and lies and consented to allow her to pet him. That ultimately paved the way for his eventual downfall and untimely demise.

A healthy fear of their number one predator, man, is in most instances beneficial for cats. More often than not, it is precisely domesticated cats that suffer the worst abuses from ailurophobes.

Ganahl does not, however, mention in her column that she ever provided Marvin with any food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. That is in spite of the fact that she claims that he was emaciated, his fur in tatters, and his face shrunken. She furthermore claims that he had a badly mangled ear which could have been sustained in either a fight or as the result of the odious practice that veterinarians have of slicing up the ears of homeless cats so that they can be readily identified as having been sterilized.

Ganahl further insists that Marvin was getting to be too old in order to hunt mice and voles even though she hardly was in any position to make such a declaration considering the minuscule amount of time that she spent with him. Even if that is true, it serves only to underscore how cheaply and shabbily that she treated him because any true lover of the species would have made doubly sure that he received regular meals.

Sometime in early August she cruelly abandoned him to his own devices in order to hightail it to France for a vacation. "I'm going away," she told him according to her column in the Half Moon Bay Review. "Please hold on until I get back."

The exact sequence of events that ensued is unclear because Ganahl, like all members of the capitalist media, only tells her readers what she wants them to know. Based upon the fact that she not only never secured a loving home for Marvin but ran out on him as well, it seems highly probable that she already had signed off on his death warrant long before she boarded her plane to France.

Nevertheless, according to her account of events, an unidentified individual ratted out Marvin to the cold-blooded exterminators at the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) who promptly traveled to Half Moon Bay, trapped him, and removed him to their death camp twenty-one kilometers away in San Mateo. The ease with which PHS corralled Marvin conflicts with Ganahl's assertion that employees and customers of the Half Moon Bay Coffee Company at 20 Stone Pine Road had been unsuccessfully attempting to trap and relocate him for years.

Once the knackers at the PHS got their murderous hands on him they did not waste any time in snuffing out Marvin's precious, albeit fragile, life and he was dead within hours of his capture. Besides Ganahl, the two individuals principally responsible for this heinous crime were her bosom buddies, a woman identified only as Barbara and the PHS's very own reincarnation of Josef Rudolf Mengele, Ken White. (See a mug shot of him on the left below.)

"Animals have so much to teach us about acceptance and forgiveness," is how Ganahl philosophically summed up her brief association with Marvin. "I like to think I helped make Marvin's life a bit more joyful in the end, but the truth is that is just how he made mine."

She could say that again! Not only did she get a newspaper column out of the deal but she is working on a children's book about Marvin and Mocha.

Like Iowa librarian Vicki Myron, she is destined to be laughing all the way to the bank for a long time to come. (See Cat Defender posts of December 7, 2006 and May 10, 2007 entitled, respectively, "After Nineteen Years of Service and Companionship, Ingrates at Iowa Library Murder Dewey Readmore Books" and "Iowa Librarian Vicki Myron Inks Million Dollar Deal for Memoir About Dewey Readmore Books.")

Despite her literary coups, absolutely nothing will ever change the fact that Ganahl's ill-gotten gain is blood money. As for poor Marvin, the only thing that he ever got out of his relationship with her was the gallows.

As far as White is concerned, liquidating Marvin was strictly old hat to him. "Others knew him, I did not," he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 25th. (See "Musings Toward the End of a Long Day, and After Watching a Cat Die.") "I was just there to help see him off, something I've done more times than I can count."

It is truly shocking that an individual could be so morally depraved as not to be able to distinguish any material difference between taking the life of another and seeing someone off, as on either a plane or a train. Nonetheless, revealing statement such as that offer a rare glimpse into the diseased and perverted minds of those individuals who operate and work in shelters.

"He was failing, and this was the last gift from people who cared about him," White continued in an utterly abhorrent line of reasoning that sounds as if it were taken verbatim from PETA's sordid play book. Being a slick blabber like Ganahl, White is careful to omit any mention of exactly what was so terribly wrong with Marvin that necessitated ending his life so cruelly and prematurely.

As Hamlet understood only too well, death is anything but a gift and for White and Ganahl to pretend otherwise is nothing but self-serving sophistry. Marvin persevered in that crummy parking lot for sixteen years and at the very least deserved to have been allowed to die there with Mocha at his side.

Instead he was trapped by strangers, taken for a ride, and then killed off in a sterile and forbidding death house operated by diabolical monsters. The poor fellow's last hours on this earth could not possibly have been anything except a terrifying nightmare.

Afterwards, his body no doubt casually was tossed into the trash and burned. Since low-life scumbags like White and Ganahl do not have a scintilla of respect for the living, it is beyond the pale to believe that they would exhibit any regard for the deceased.

Likewise, White, Ganahl, and everyone else who kills off animals because they allegedly do not want to see them suffer are barefaced liars. In reality, they simply are too selfish and cheap to care for them once they become either sick or elderly. (See Cat Defender posts of March 12, 2009 and October 27, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned" and "Loved and Admired All Over the World, Feline Heroine Scarlett Is Killed Off by Her Owners after She Becomes Ill.")

Rather than allowing Marvin to languish in that parking lot, anyone who truly cared about cats would have made certain that he received the food, shelter, and veterinary care that he so richly deserved and needed. Above all, they would have found him a loving home if for no other reason than to have placed him beyond the reach of Ganahl and White.

That is precisely what he needed, not a jab of sodium pentobarbital. Sixteen is not all that old for a cat and Marvin very well could have lived another ten years or longer if he had received the food, veterinary care, and security that he needed.

Instead, he received something entirely different from Ganahl and White. "Murmurings of love on his lips, and murder in his damn black heart," is how John D. MacDonald in his novel Cinnamon Skin characterized what the victims of serial killer Evan Lawrence received from him and Marvin certainly did not fare any better at the hands of Ganahl and White.

To make matters worse, Ganahl has invoked her Buddhist faith in a burlesque attempt to justify her betrayal and murder of Marvin. She does not make any effort, however, to reconcile her heretical views with her sect's prohibition against both killing and telling lies.

Although he does not profess to be an exponent of any particular religious creed, White nevertheless invokes that old superstition about the immortality of the soul in order to justify not only killing Marvin but countless other animals as well.

"Whatever it is that animates is beyond my ability to understand, but without the religious package that goes along with the word I am comfortable calling that thing a soul," he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle in the article cited supra. "I am convinced that soul is in more of us than just our own species. And I am quite sure it is too big a thing to disappear at the end of what we think of as life."

Leaving aside for now that in the De rerum natura, Lucretius offers up at least two dozen arguments in favor of the mortality of the soul, White's mumbo jumbo is one of the oldest and most successful con games ever invented. In short, he and others like him invoke that old pie in the sky legend in order to absolve themselves of not only all moral responsibility here on earth but to justify the commission of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

Long before there was Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, and numerous other salvation hustlers there was Billy Sunday and here is, in part, what Carl Sandburg had to say about him in his 1915 poem, "To Billy Sunday":

"You, Billy Sunday, put a smut on every human blossom that comes within reach of your rotten breath belching out hell-fire and hiccuping about this man who lived a clean life in Galilee...

"I like a man that's got guts and can pull off a great original performance, but you -- hell, you're only a bughouse peddler of second-hand gospel -- you're only shoving out a phony imitation of the goods this Jesus guy told us ought to be free as air and sunlight..."

"You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it up all right with them by giving them mansions in skies after they're dead and the worms have eaten 'em.

"You tell a $6 a week department store girls all they need is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of age, and you tell him to look to Jesus on the cross and he'll be all right.

"You tell poor people they don't need any more money on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job, Jesus'll fix that all right, all right -- all they gotta do is take Jesus the way you say.

"I'm telling you this Jesus guy wouldn't stand for the stuff you're handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers and corporation lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with the big thieves.

"I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.

"I won't take my religion from a man who never works except with his mouth and never cherishes a memory except the face of the woman on the American silver dollar..."

Correspondingly, Ganahl and White are the absolute last individuals that any legitimate animal rights movement either needs or wants. Jack Kevorkian spent eight years behind bars for helping one-hundred-thirty individuals to end their lives and Ganahl and White most assuredly do not deserve anything less for robbing Marvin of his life without his consent.

The same applies in spades to veterinarians who line their pockets by killing cats, dogs, and other animals. (See Cat Defender post of July 28, 2011 entitled "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.")

Elderly, sick, and injured cats need topnotch veterinary care, compassion, and a secure environment. When their time comes, they should be allowed to die natural and unhurried deaths; no human intervention is either needed or warranted.

Sadly, for Marvin there will not be any more summers or autumns but that is not the case as far as Mocha and the cats who live behind the Odwalla food company at nearby 120 Stone Pine Road are concerned. It therefore is paramount that neither Ganahl nor White get their murderous hands on any of them.

It would be comforting to believe that there is at least one kindhearted individual in Half Moon Bay with a healthy respect for life who would intervene on behalf of these cats and thus thwart Ganahl's and White's evil intentions but given the fact that her column has not attracted so much as one negative comment that does not seem likely. Nevertheless, unless someone steps up and puts a stop to their machinations the lives of these cats are destined to end every bit as abruptly, unjustly, and prematurely as Marvin's.

Mocha's days and nights already must be especially trying now that Marvin is gone. It no doubt would come as a great shock to Ganahl and White that cats have individual personalities and feelings just like every other living creature and suffer deeply whenever a loved one is taken from them.

One-hundred-sixty kilometers to the west in Modesto, another senior cat named Olivia has been living for the past twelve years in a parking lot that separates the Stanislaus County Men's Jail from the Stanislaus County Superior Court. (See photo of her above.)

Although she enjoys the patronage of Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager and others within Modesto's legal establishment, there is not any guarantee that they will not sell her down the river to the knackers one day just as Ganahl and White did with Marvin. Like Mocha and countless other homeless cats, she needs the kind of protection that only someone committed to the sanctity of feline life can provide. (See Cat Defender post of January 29, 2011 entitled "After Scrimping By in a Polluted Parking Lot for Eleven Years, Olivia Is Ready for a Loving and Permanent Home.")

Photos: Half Moon Bay Review (Marvin and Ganahl), San Francisco Chronicle (White), and Debbie Nada of The Modesto Bee (Olivia).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop

"We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it? It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society or find his owners."
-- Dori Stone

Tiny Lebanon, Ohio, located thirty-seven kilometers outside of Cincinnati, is a thoroughly barbaric town that should be avoided at all costs by cats and all individuals who care about them. It is so backward and inhumane that its police officers are allowed to murder residents' cats with the full blessings of both the entire political establishment as well as local humane groups.

That was the shocking and tragic lesson brutally foisted upon Dori Stone after an unidentified officer of the Lebanon Police Department murdered her beloved cat, Haze, in cold blood with a gunshot to the head on August 20th. (See photo of him above.)

The sickening and infuriating chain of events that culminated in Haze's murder began to unfold on Friday, August 19th when he disappeared from Stone's residence on East Silver Street. At a little before 1 p.m. on the following day a man identified only as Vernon who was either visiting or staying with Stone's neighbor, Betty Hayslip, in the 400 block of nearby Mulberry Street telephoned the police in order to complain about what he maliciously labeled as a stray cat with rabies.

Always willing to oblige whenever there is any killing to be done, especially if the intended victim is a cat, the unidentified officer arrived on the scene and without so much as a moment's hesitation promptly shot Haze in the head. Vernon then stuffed the cat in a garbage bag and deposited his corpse in a trash can. Quite obviously, neither he nor the officer have any more regard for the sanctity of feline life than they do for either leftover food or old, moth-eaten clothes.

For whatever it is worth, the officer later claimed that the cat was panting and failed to acknowledge his presence. From that spurious bit of inexpert and uncorroborated evidence he concluded that the so-called stray was suffering and in distress and therefore could not be permitted under any circumstances to go on living for another minute.

All of the available information point to the inescapable conclusion that the officer's assessment of the situation was pure baloney. According to the Weather Channel, the temperature outside that day was 85° Fahrenheit with more than likely a comparable humidity level and based upon that Haze likely was suffering from heat exhaustion which is characterized by a shortness of breath and listlessness. Moreover, the fact that he weighed twenty pounds no doubt put added stress on his tiny cardiovascular system.

Compounding matters further, he likely was accustomed to spending the majority of his time in an air conditioned environment where he readily had access to food and water. Since he had been missing for perhaps as long as eighteen hours, he may not have had access to water during that period and could have been suffering from dehydration as well as heat exhaustion.

Under such circumstances, Haze needed water, food, and an air conditioned environment, not a bullet in the head. All sick cats are entitled to competent veterinary care and anyone unable to tell the difference between heat exhaustion and rabies certainly does not have any business wearing a badge and carrying a gun.

Admittedly, cats suffering from heat exhaustion and rabies both exhibit labored breathing and protruding tongues but the similarities end there. Rabid cats tend to be loud and violent as well as prone to seizures.

Although rabies may be fairly common in certain species of wildlife, it is exceedingly rare in homeless cats and almost unheard of in domesticated ones. Plus, it is likely that Haze previously had been vaccinated against the disease.

Furthermore, there is a good chance that Haze would have been just fine even without veterinary intervention if he had been permitted to have gotten out of the sun and rested until nightfall. He then could have made his way home, which was only four-hundred-seven feet away, safe and sound.

That scenario additionally would explain his failure to return home Friday night. Sometime either overnight or during the early morning hours the heat and humidity may have gotten to him and he wound up stranded, as bad luck would have it, in the yard of an inveterate cat-hater.

As far as Haze's failure to respond to the officer's presence is concerned, that can be explained not only by the heat but his domesticity. Police officers are not nearly as thickheaded as they pretend to be and Haze's lack of fear of him was a clear indication that he was neither a feral nor a stray.

More mundanely, common sense alone would have dictated to any halfway humane individual that since Haze was discovered in a residential neighborhood that he belonged to one of the occupants. The condition of his fur, his overall appearance and demeanor plus, above all, his obesity shouted out the unmistakable conclusion that he had been neutered and was being fed way too much food by a doting owner. As any fool knows only too well, homeless cats that are forced to scrounge around for their next meal do not become obese.

The lawman also makes much ado about Haze not having on a collar. In addition to the difficulty of getting some cats to wear regular buckle-up collars, breakaway Halsbande are specifically designed to come off once they become snagged on an object, and elastic ones are potential death traps. (See Cat Defender posts of May 28, 2008 and June 22, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Collars Turn into Death Traps for Trooper and Que but Both Are Rescued at the Eleventh Hour" and "Hobson Is Forced to Wander Around Yorkshire for Months Trapped in an Elastic Collar That Steadily Was Eating Away at His Shoulder and Leg.")

Linda Lord of Ohio State University and her co-authors discount those concerns by arguing that the benefits of collars clearly outweigh the dangers. They further argue that most cats will gradually accept collars if their owners are persistent. (See "Evaluation of Collars and Microchips for Visual and Permanent Identification of Pet Cats," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, August 15, 2010, volume 237, number 4, pages 387-394 and Pet Peoples Place, September 15, 2010, "Study Shows Most Cats Will Tolerate Wearing a Collar.")

The argument over the merits and demerits of collars and tattoos is largely superfluous owing to the growing popularity of implanted microchips as the preferred method of identifying cats and dogs. That is in spite of the fact that microchips have been linked to cancer and offer absolutely no protection whatsoever against cat-hating policemen who are prone to taking the law into their own hands. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs" and "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.")

Haze's murderer sans doute is acutely aware of this change in pet identification methods as well as everyone else in the civilized world and for him to base his defense on the absence of a collar is just one more of his big, fat lies. It is even doubtful that anyone as bloodthirsty as him would have spared Haze's life even if he had been tethered to one of Goodyear's blimps that announced to the world his name and address in big, block letters.

Whenever cops are not doing either the dirty work of the capitalists and bourgeoisie or lining their pockets in nefarious ways, they amuse themselves by killing defenseless animals and crapping on the poor and downtrodden. It thus is ludicrous to expect any positive behavior out of them and the best that can be hoped for is that they will content themselves with taking bribes, goldbricking, and lapping up the perks that come with their office and accordingly mind their own business.

Anatole France certainly was well acquainted with the codification of injustice. "La majestueuse égalité des lois interdit aux riches comme aux pauvres de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans la rue et de voler du pain," he once wrote.

Even more compelling than all of the foregoing is the fact that no police officer or humane official ever should place a scintilla of credence in the unfounded allegations of cat-haters. The mislabeling of cats as ferals and strays, vicious, and as being eaten up with rabies and other deadly diseases are common ruses that enemies of the species frequently employ in order to justify having them killed.

To make a long story short, the officer's story is a tissue of lies from beginning to end. Both he and Vernon therefore should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and, if convicted, deserve nothing less than jabs of sodium pentobarbital at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

After searching in vain two days for Haze, Stone finally was told by the police on Sunday, August 21st that they had liquidated her cat and that she could find his remains in Hayslip's trash can. Dutifully, she went and did what was necessary but the memory of what she found has become a nightmare that is destined to haunt her dreams for as long as she lives.

"We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it?" she confided to The Western Star of Lebanon on August 26th. (See "Owners Upset over Cat-Shooting Incident; City Says It Was a Public Safety Concern.") "It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society or find his owners."

Press reports fail to disclose how Stone disposed of Haze's body and since the police did not order a necropsy it now is too late to determine if he was ailing in any fashion because a cat's remains will decompose in a matter of days in hot weather. Since it is customary for post-mortems to be conducted on all animals that are suspected of having rabies, the officer's failure to do so is just one more bit of evidence that he is an outrageous liar.

It did not take long for the fallout resulting from Haze's premeditated murder to reverberate throughout Lebanon's population of twenty-thousand residents. Not unexpectedly, it was Stone who got the ball rolling.

"Something needs to (be) done. If this is common practice it needs to be changed," she told The Western Star. "My husband (Randall) and I have not eaten since Sunday morning. We are just sick. We close our eyes at night and see his little face and to think as good of care we took of him for almost seven years, these were his last moments and that was the way he had to die; it's unbearable."

Stone's pet sitter, Cynthia Johnson of Stanwood Drive, immediately called for the establishment of a voluntary task force to come to the aid of sick and injured animals. "I would love to also hear other options. I would love to hear that other people think this is so wrong, that we can come up with some different and better solutions so this doesn't happen again," she told The Western Star in the article cited supra. "This was someone's pet."

Some sort of private initiative desperately is needed because the Warren County Humane Society is so derelict in its responsibilities to the animals that it categorically refuses to come to the aid of those in distress. Although in this instance it never was called, that would not have made any difference despite the fact that its headquarters is located only 1.4 miles from where Haze was murdered.

It will accept animals that are dropped off on its doorstep but even that is problematic since the Lebanon Police refuse to transport them in their cruisers under any circumstances. Plus, the county dog warden will not touch cats with a ten-foot pole.

As if the cold-blooded murder of Haze were not bad enough in its own right, Lebanon's shameful and utterly disgraceful political establishment was quick to close ranks behind the police officer. Right off the bat City Manager Pat Clements came out and ludicrously proclaimed that the animal cruelty statutes did not apply in this case because it was a matter of health, safety, and civic welfare. (See photo of him above on the right.)

"Based on the information I have received, it appears that the officer's actions were necessary and in compliance with departmental policies," he pontificated to The Western Star. If indeed the animal cruelty laws can be suspended either upon a whim or for convenience sake, then no animal's life is any longer worth a plugged nicked in Lebanon. Moreover, Clements' sottise is an open invitation for every sort of abuse imaginable.

Clements' descent into the realm of reductio ad absurdum logic brought a swift response from Bruce Langos of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. "You cannot willfully and without consent of the owner injure an animal in any way," he wrote to Clements according to the August 26th edition of the Dayton Daily News. (See "Couple Seek (sic) Policy Change after Police Officer Shoots Pet Cat.")

As Clements and his fellow cronies within the Lebanon political establishment should know, it is illegal under both state and local law to kill a cat. Consequently, Langos is planning to ask the state to investigate Haze's murder.

Although the handwriting clearly was on the wall as far as Lebanon's intransigent political establishment was concerned, Stone nonetheless persevered and took her case before the City Council on September 13th. Fifty citizens turned out but only seven of them were allowed to speak.

"Regardless of whether he was a stray or was sick or injured, that gave him (the police officer) no right to execute him," Stone told the politicians according to the September 15th edition of The Western Star. (See "Supporters of Shot Cat Want a Dialogue Started.") "No right whatsoever."

The thoroughly heartless, unjust, and self-serving politicians let it be known from the outset that they not only were well beyond all moral and political persuasion but not about to be lectured to by either Stone or anyone else. "We all have different perspectives...absolutely everyone of us up here feels sorry," Mayor Amy Brewer barked back in response to an outburst from some of Haze's supporters. (See photo of her on the right above.)

In addition to serving as mayor, Brewer is a notorious multiple dipper at the public till who, inter alia, teaches art at Donovan Intermediate School and serves on the Warren and Clinton County Mental Health Board. Still not satisfied with all of that, she additionally models for a motorcycle rag and owns along with her husband a printing business downtown. Stone accordingly is wasting her time if she thinks that anyone as ensconced in Lebanon's power structure as Brewer cares one whit about either cats or justice.

Nevertheless, Stone's threatened lawsuit against the city had the politicians shaking so furiously in their silk drawers that they made sure that their legal counsel, Mark Yurick, was on hand in order to read the Riot Act to Haze's supporters. "There's no indication this officer acted maliciously or willfully in any way," Yurick, in an utterly stupefying twisting of both truth and logic, declared to those assembled according to The Western Star.

"Nobody up sitting here, including the police officer, is happy about this situation," he continued to blow long and hard. "Everybody up here is sorry. We're very sorry about it."

The only kernel of truth contained in Yurick's and Brewer's crocodile tears is that they both are indeed sorry excuses for human beings. Totally lacking in all sincerity, the tenor of their apologies makes them sound more like threats than anything else. It is as if the politicians were saying to Stone: "All right, we've said we are sorry. Now, beat it and leave us alone or else!"

If Brewer and her fellow political hacks were the least bit genuine, they would have not only fired the police officer on the spot but arrested him and charged him with murder. After all, it is the duty of politicians to uphold the law. They next would have reached out to Stone by not only apologizing and meaning it, but offering her substantial financial compensation for her loss as well.

Most important of all, they immediately would have rewritten their draconian ordinances regarding the handling of cats. Specifically, police officers in Lebanon would be prohibited from coming within ten feet of a cat, let alone dispensing their own patented brand of barbaric street corner justice.

The City Council furthermore should part with a few of its precious shekels in order to establish a legitimate no-kill shelter in Lebanon where the lives of all animals would be held to be sacrosanct. That would put a permanent end to all of this senseless killing and abuse and for once in their miserable lives the politicians would have done something worthwhile. Instead, they have chosen to wallow in murder, lies, and phony apologies.

In a way, the aberrant behavior of the police and elected officials in Lebanon is merely par for the course as far as how they treat cats throughout Ohio. For example, back on March 27, 2008 E.C. "Betty" Blair, a Lorrain County Commissioner from Elyria, recommended that cats be tasered. (See Cat Defender post of April 8, 2008 entitled "Ohio Politician Proposes Adding Cats to the Growing List of Pigs, Other Animals, and Humans Killed by Tasers.")

On December 13, 2006, Janice L. Rolfe, a retired English teacher from Grandview Heights, was arrested by Hilliard police officer Shane O'Connor and charged with littering as well as illegally sheltering an animal. Her attorney, Mark A. Serrott, successfully argued in court that feeding a cat was not littering and that Hilliard's ban on sheltering animals pertained only to livestock.

Consequently, the charges against his client were dismissed. (See Cat Defender post of February 26, 2007 entitled "Charged with Feeding a Feral Cat Named Fluffy, Retired Ohio English Teacher Beats the Rap.")

In 2004, the statehouse in Columbus was overrun with rats but luckily a dozen cats showed up and quickly brought the situation under control. Instead of being grateful for the cats' excellent work, the politicians ordered their expulsion a year later. (See Cat Defender post of October 20, 2005 entitled "After Ridding the Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction.")

Cruelty to cats in the Buckeye State is by no means confined to police officers and politicians. For example, a male gray and brown cat was killed by an archer in Miami Township, Montgomery County, in July of 2007. (See Cat Defender post of August 2, 2007 entitled "Ohio Cat Shot in the Leg with an Arrow Is Forced to Endure a Long-Drawn-Out and Excruciating Death.")

Unfortunately, the Lebanon Police's cold-blooded murder of Haze was not an isolated incident but rather is a fairly common occurrence all across America from sea to shining sea. For instance, on Labor Day of 2009 the police in Raymore, Missouri, summarily executed Kelly Wesner's nineteen-year-old deaf cat, Tobey. (See photo of him on the right above.)

The events that led to his demise are eerily similar to those that did in Haze. In particular, he went out for a stroll and wound up inadvertently trespassing on a cat-hater's property.

The ailurophobe first trained a garden hose on him and then telephoned the police to erroneously report that a large, vicious feral cat with rabies had scratched a girl. The police promptly arrived johnny-on-the-spot, pumped two shotgun blasts into his tiny head, and then wrapped his bloody corpse in a plastic bag and deposited it in a Dumpster.

Like Stone, Wesner was left with the gruesome and heartbreaking task of retrieving Tobey's corpse. "He was our family member," she later said. "He was the sweetest animal (and he) was always there to be your friend. He didn't know a stranger."

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Raymore Police claimed that Tobey had his claws extended and that it took three officers in order to get the scratching and clawing cat into a box. That undoubtedly qualifies as one of the biggest lies ever told in that Tobey had been declawed and therefore was not in any position to scratch anyone.

He also suffered from Feline Hyperthyroidism and his weight had plummeted to only six pounds and that petit fait makes a barefaced liar out of the neighbor who sicced the cops on him. As was the case with Haze, if the police had truly believed that Tobey had rabies they would have saved his corpse for testing rather than tossing it in the trash.

Finally, although the Raymore Police made a big deal out of Tobey's lack of a collar, they made absolutely no effort whatsoever to scan him for an implanted microchip. (See Cat Defender post of September 16, 2009 entitled "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey.")

In stark contrast to the recalcitrant sticks-in-the-mud who rule the roost in Lebanon, Acting Police Chief Roger Mayberry shortly thereafter changed his department's protocol in order to allow strays to be taken to shelters and clinics and for dead animals to be left with Wayside Waifs in Kansas City. The Humane Society of Missouri pledged to launch its own independent investigation into Tobey's murder but nothing further has been heard from it.

On March 22, 2008, another unidentified cat-hater telephoned the police in Cecil, Pennsylvania, in order to complain about a group of cats loitering on either his or her property. Being neither a trained veterinarian nor an expert on rabies, the caller nonetheless insisted that one of the felines was rabid.

Upon the arrival of a police officer, all of the cats took to their heels except Roger Oldtaker's ten-year-old Persian, Elmo. As a consequence, the officer trapped him, dragged him across the street and into the woods, and then shot him. (See photo of him on the right above.)

"He was not injured. He just didn't know where to run," Oldtaker later said. "Another cat ran away, and the policeman said if my cat would have run, he would have let him go."

Although Elmo was not wearing a collar, the officer most certainly must have known because of his friendly demeanor and where he was found that he belonged to a nearby family. Just as telling, since Persians are expensive, high-maintenance cats that are easily rehomed, not too many of them wind up roughing it. (See Cat Defender post of March 31, 2008 entitled "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo.")

There are several recurring similarities in the deaths of Haze, Tobey, and Elmo. First of all, in each case the police employed lethal force based solely upon the uncorroborated lies of cat-hating neighbors and that type of flagrant police misconduct should not be tolerated in any halfway civilized society. It is not only patently immoral and illegal but police officers are not competent to make those types of life and death decisions; that is the job of judges and juries.

Secondly, although the police claimed that all three cats were rabid, their failure to order necropsies exposes those charges to be lies. Thirdly, the cops willfully ignored all evidence of domesticity in order to falsely brand the cats as ferals and strays.

Fourthly, although the killers in each case gassed long and hard about the cats not wearing collars, their failure to scan for implanted microchips proves that they either did not care or were too lazy in order to conclusively determine the cats' socio-economic status.

The heinous crimes committed against cats by police officers are by no means limited to their rôle as the self-appointed death squads of ailurophobes. Some of them just like to kill cats.

For example, off-duty North Carolina State Trooper Shawn C. Houston of 2851 Icard Ridge Road in Granite Falls trapped and shot to death his neighbor's five-month-old orange and white kitten, Rowdy, in October of 2009 because he allegedly had been climbing on his vehicles. (See photo of Rowdy below.)

At trail, Houston was let off with the payment of $125 in court costs although his employer wisely gave him the boot on January 22, 2010. (See Cat Defender post of July 8, 2010 entitled "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")

In addition to gunning down domestic cats, cops heap some of their worst abuse on those who belong to managed TNR colonies. In particular, they have been known to call in Animal Control officers in order to trap and kill the cats.

Secondly, they often destroy and steal the cats' feeding stations, food and water bowls, and winterized shelters. In doing so they sometimes crush to death cats and kittens living inside them.

Because the cats' caretakers largely are tapped out due to the expense of maintaining the colonies, they therefore are not in any position to hold those lawless cretins accountable in a court of law. In the end, attacking and killing homeless cats is just one more way that cops get their perverted kicks; after all, they do the same thing to homeless men and women.

Cats are not the only companion animals that are forced to suffer at the hands of trigger-happy cops. For example, on April 15, 2003 a ten-month-old pit bull mix named Dosha escaped from the yard of her owner, Louetta Mallard, in Clearlake, California. (See photo of her below.)

She shortly thereafter was mowed down by the driver of a pickup truck. An unidentified officer from the Clearlake Police Department arrived on the scene and immediately pumped a bullet into the collarless dog's head.

Dosha's body was removed to a freezer at Animal Control but, astonishingly, she was found to have regained consciousness two hours later. A veterinarian subsequently removed the bullet and treated her for hypothermia and she eventually was returned to Mallard. (See People Magazine, May 12, 2003, "Dosha the Wonder Dog.")

That is one more glaring example of just why police officers do not have any business shooting animals. In addition to nearly killing Dosha, the gunshot damaged her hearing and she nearly froze to death at Animal Control.

Although not publicized nearly as much, the carnage that they needlessly inflict upon wildlife and farm animals is incalculable. (See Cat Defender posts of May 5, 2008 and January 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Chicago's Rambo-Style Cops Corner and Execute a Cougar to the Delight of the Hoi Polloi and Capitalist Media" and "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by Police.")

Since police officers are seldom if ever held accountable for all the despicable crimes that they commit against cats and other animals, it is imperative that those who care about cats take certain precautions. First of all, they should actively try to ascertain the identities of all cat-haters in their communities and thus keep a close eye on them.

Secondly, they should acquaint themselves with the policies and procedures of police departments, Animal Control officers, humane groups, dog wardens, and private exterminators. That task is not nearly as simple as it sounds in that in order to arrive at the truth it is necessary first of all to wade through the lies and propaganda that these agencies and individuals so liberally disseminate.

One possible way of getting to the bottom of things would be for individuals to complain to these agencies about a fictional lost cat just to determine how big of a runaround and obfuscation of the truth that they receive in return. After all, it is far better to know how these groups think and function beforehand than to become caught up in their endless web of intrigue once a cat's life is on the line.

To attempt and locate a lost cat is to enter a labyrinth of deceit and lies where policemen are cold-blooded killers and Animal Control officers are stealthy characters who only can be reached by either telephone or pager.

On those rare occasions when shelter personnel choose to be somewhat forthcoming it is only to snow aggrieved cat owners with more lies and to waste their time and precious resources. Veterinarians likewise make a pretty penny off of doing in cats and therefore have very little credibility. (See Cat Defender post of July 28, 2011 entitled "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.")

As a consequence, the most heinous of crimes imaginable are committed in this nether world grotesquely misnomered as animal protection. In reality, these groups and individuals form an animal liquidation fraternity operated both for profit and the sheer thrill of killing and abusing the powerless. "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate."

As far as those individuals who have been bamboozled by the American Bird Conservancy's lies and sophistry are concerned, they fail to realize that cats cruelly cooped up inside all the time are not nearly as secure as they believe. For example, cats find all sorts of ways of escaping. Building inspectors and other visitors carelessly allow them to get out and they are left with no choice but to flee during fires and other emergencies. (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2010 entitled "Lumpi Is Unforgivably Left to Die in a Burning Apartment by the Ingrates Whose Lives He Saved.")

Burglars also break in and not only sometimes allow cats to escape but confiscate them as well. (See Cat Defender post of September 9, 2009 entitled "Home Alone in New Zealand, Friendly Little Nookie Is Repeatedly Kicked and Left for Dead by Vicious Burglars.")

Cats additionally get lost both on the way to the veterinarian and while under treatment as well. (See Cat Defender posts of March 7, 2008 and July 2, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Georgia Is Found Safe and Sound After Spending a Harrowing Twenty-Five Days Lost in the Bowels of the New York City Subway System" and "Lexi Was By No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization.")

Traveling with a cat is a nightmare under any circumstances but that is especially the case if the mode of transportation happens to be par avion. (See USA Today, January 24, 2011, "Kitten Dies after Chilly Flight in Cargo," The Record Herald of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, July 21, 2011, "Amy Hamelin's Cat Escapes in Islamabad, Pakistan, Airport," and Cat Defender post of April 7, 2007 entitled "Pregnant Minskin Arrives in Oregon Frozen as Solid as a Block of Ice Following a Fatal Cross-Country Flight in the Cargo Hold of an Airliner.")

The only surefire method of putting a stop to what transpired in Lebanon is to make it illegal for any police officer, Animal Control officer, shelter, or veterinarian to kill cats of any description under any circumstances. If any of these bad actors are given even the slightest bit of leeway the killing is bound to continue.

Having completely struck out with City Council, Stone is contemplating legal action. While the officer in question, Hayslip and Vernon, and the city of Lebanon need to be held accountable, she has a tough road ahead of her.

In particular, the capitalist media's steadfast refusal to even name the killers of Haze, Tobey, and Elmo demonstrates not only how closely the various elements within the establishment stick together but just how committed they are to maintaining a culture dedicated to killing cats and other animals.

She might want to give some thought to getting together with Wesner, Oldtaker, and Mallard in order to explore the possibility of forming an organization similar to Mothers Against Drunk Driving that would be dedicated to putting an end to the police's practice of murdering cats and dogs.

If all else fails and she ultimately is unable to either secure any measure of justice for Haze or satisfaction for herself, she needs to seriously consider leaving Lebanon. Cases of irremediable injustice have an insidious manner of eating away at an individual's psychological health over time and she needs to be wary of that.

Her entire world has been torn asunder by this shocking act of barbaric criminality and it is going to take her considerable time in order to get her feet back on the ground. Worst of all, for Haze there are not going to be any more tomorrows.

Photos: Dori Stone (Haze), City of Lebanon (Clements), Glenn Hartong of The Cincinnati Enquirer (Brewer), Kelly Wesner (Tobey), Roger Oldtaker (Elmo), Andrea Evans (Rowdy), and Acey Harper of People (Dosha).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Coyotes, Swimming from Connecticut, Are Blamed for Killing Twenty Cats on Remote and Exclusive Fishers Island

"I suppose they're kinda cute, but they can be dangerous. They attack cats and dogs."
-- Charles Kadushin

Big, strong, and stealthy, coyotes are accomplished omnivores who enjoy an ever-expanding habitat that already stretches from Canada to Costa Rica. Just as importantly, their only enemies, besides man, are cougars, bears, wolves, eagles and, occasionally, large dogs.

Their already formidable repertoire is further augmented by their uncanny swimming prowess. They apparently are so adept in the water that they now have successfully navigated the three kilometers of current that separate the southeastern coast of Connecticut from remote and exclusive Fishers Island, ten miles off of the North Fork of Long Island. (See photo above of Linderman House on the island.)

The animals first began showing up on the fourteen kilometer long and 1.6 kilometer wide island two years ago and, predictably, cats started disappearing. All totaled, at least twenty of them have vanished, including ten during the first week of August alone.

"The community board at our local post office is covered with missing posters for cats," Charles Kadushin, one of the tiny enclave's two-hundred-eighty-nine well-heeled permanent residents, told the New York Post on August 12th. (See "Why Cats Hate Water? Coyotes.")

His cat, three-year-old Habibi, disappeared around Memorial Day and is presumed dead. "Now I know for sure it will never be seen again," he added to The Suffolk Times of Mattituck on August 10th. (See "Fishers Island Man to Town: Coyotes Are Killing Our Cats.")

Since the island is accessible only by ferry and airplane, the coyotes surely must be fording Fishers Island Sound unless someone is smuggling them in and that is unlikely. "They're known to be good swimmers," Kadushin averred to The Suffolk Times.

Nevertheless, it does seem odd that they would take to the water like latter-day Christopher Columbuses without knowing what was in store for them on the other side. Of course, it is conceivable that either the authorities or developers could be driving them out of the Nutmeg State and as a consequence they do not have any alternative other than to take to the waves.

Regardless of how they arrived, they soon became a familiar sight on the island whether it was simply by prowling around or leaping over garden fences. Some residents even claim that they can be heard howling to the tune of the Fire Department's noontime whistle.

Whereas both locals and the island's two-thousand summer residents initially viewed their presence as a quaint addition to their remote getaway, all of that radically changed once their cats started getting eaten. "I suppose they're kinda cute, but they can be dangerous," Kadushin told The Suffolk Times in the article cited supra. "They attack cats and dogs."

As far as it is known, residents of the island have not resorted to trapping the animals and that perhaps is a good thing because they sometimes are confused with dogs. That is what happened to Lori Goodlett's Sheba Inu, Copper, last summer in Frankfurt, Kentucky. (See photo of her above.)

After somehow escaping from Goodlett's fenced-in yard on July 3, 2010, Copper was picked up by a police officer who deposited her with the Frankfurt Humane Society (FHS). Upon examination, the FHS erroneously concluded that she was in fact a coyote and telephoned the police to come and collect her.

To their credit, the officers spared her life by taking her to an open field and setting her free. As far it could be determined, that was the last anyone has seen of Copper.

"I know in my head Copper is gone for good, but in my heart I would like to think some nice family found her and took her in," Goodlett told CBS-TV on July 24, 2010. (See "Dog Mistaken for Coyote, Released into Wild.")

She was not nearly so forgiving, however, when it came to the FHS. "They acted more inhumane than humane," she told WKYT-TV of Lexington on June 22, 2010. (See "Dog Mistaken for Coyote Released into Wild.")

Moreover, she is consternated as how the organization could have confused a small dog of Japanese descent with a coyote. "People would say when Copper was young, she looked like a fox with her pointy ears and red coloring," she added to CBS-TV. "But no one has ever mistaken her for a coyote."

Instead of taking matters into their own hands, Kadushin and his fellow aggrieved cat owners brought the issue to the attention of the Southold Town Board when it paid its annual visit to the island on August 10th. (See photo below of the high-muck-a-mucks arriving on the island by ferry.)

All that they received in return for their bother was a plea of ignorance and a heartless joke from Southold supervisor Scott Russell. "I have to be candid. I didn't know there was a problem with coyotes on Fishers Island," he told those assembled according to The Suffolk Times. "I wish I could marry your coyote problem to my deer problem on my side of the island."

Bereft of even the tiniest shred of decency, this blowhard and buffoon does not have a smidgen of regard for either animals or his constituents. The trip to the island was merely a convenient excuse for him and his do-nothing colleagues to get out of the office for a day, strut about like lords of the manor rubbing elbows with their vassals and serfs, and to act cute. It no doubt would come as a great shock to American politicians that some of their constituents expect considerably more out of them than bullshit, spam, and junk mail.

The condescending public servants did not send the residents away completely empty-handed, however, and in a parting act of beau geste pledged dutifully to pass along their concerns to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). As they assuredly know only too well, the only action that the wildlife biologists at DEC are likely to take is to celebrate the cats' demise with a few beers at some seedy tavern. (See Cat Defender posts of October 2, 2006 and September 15, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State" and "Ravenous Coyotes, Cat-Haters, and Old Man Winter All Want Her Dead, Buried, and Gone but Brave Little Half Mask Is Defying the Odds.")

In addition to hating cats with a passion, wildlife biologists are not exactly doing coyotes any favors either. For example, on March 30, 2006 the DEC's Dan Bogan and Mike Putnam suffocated to death a male named Hal by sealing shut his mouth with an elastic bandage while attempting to attach an electronic snooping device to one of his ears. (See photo of him below.)

Hal, who earlier on March 20th had wandered into Manhattan's Central Park, suffocated on his own blood and a necropsy later detected the presence of thirty-five heartworms and the rodenticide Chlorophacinone in his corpse. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2006 entitled "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him.")

The DEC further undermined its rapidly evaporating credibility last week by enthusiastically endorsing hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale formation in upstate New York. On September 8th, the right-wing lunatics who comprise the editorial board of the New York Post were quick to endorse the proposal by claiming that there was "scant chance of environmental harm" from fracking while simultaneously smearing opponents of the harebrained scheme as "greenie Luddites." (See "No Reason to Wait" and the accompanying news story entitled "Hydrofracking to Spur Job Boom: State.")

That is hardly the case. In neighboring Pennsylvania where fracking is spreading like wildfire, the water in those locales has become so contaminated with methane and other chemicals that it not only has become flammable but will not freeze even in sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures. It therefore is unfit to drink and some residents cannot even bathe in it. (See Science Magazine, May 9, 2011, "Study: High-Tech Gas Drilling Is Fouling Drinking Water.")

Some residents have been diagnosed to be suffering from barium poisoning and increased heart rates, spikes in blood pressure, skin rashes, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, labored breathing, and tremors are frequently reported. Adding insult to injury, the twenty-thousand out-of-state workers brought in to man the pumps are blamed for an increase in venereal disease, prostitution, and crime.

Fracking also is believed by some to be the source of the more than seven-hundred minor earthquakes that have jolted Greenbrier and Guy, north of Little Rock, during the past year. (See AOL News, February 17, 2011, "Swarm of Earthquakes Rattle Arkansas Residents and Seismologists.")

The presence of dozens of nuclear power plants up and down the densely-populated east coast makes drilling through thousands of feet of rock in order to get at gas deposits an especially risky business. In fact, the area was jolted late last month by, up until now, a rare tremor that damaged both the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral in the nation's capital.

As is the case with all economic development and political upheaval, it is precisely Mother Earth and the animals that are forced the bear the brunt of man's savagery and unchecked greed. In addition to irremediably destroying the earth and killing off vegetation, there are reports of cows dying and pets losing their fur in areas of the Keystone State where fracking is permitted.

In particular, forty-nine-year-old Sherry Vargson of Bradford County told the Philadelphia Weekly on September 14th that her dogs now are forced to drink bottled water, her cows spring water, and her ducks rainwater. (See "The Drilling Fields." The online version is entitled "Natural Disaster: How Did the Gas Industry Get So Fracked Up?")

The impact upon wildlife, coyotes included, will be even more catastrophic, In addition to having their once pristine habitats obliterated, they no longer will be able to either safely drink the water or to consume flora and fauna. Genetic and reproductive abnormalities, perhaps not altogether that different from those experienced by wildlife at Chernobyl, are likely to ensue in quick order.

Coyotes, like cats and all other animals, have an inalienable right to live but there is scant chance of wildlife biologists and other governmental officials ever allowing that to happen. If they are not slaughtering them en masse, as the USDA's Wildlife Services does every year, they are either killing them during tagging exercises or using them to go after cats and dogs which sometimes ends up with them being killed as well.

Man's destruction of the environment through fracking and other exploitative activities is making it impossible for all animals, himself included, to survive. In spite of that looming catastrophe, wildlife biologists and ornithologists remain committed only to killing cats and pimping for various economic interests.

"If our only legacy is a dead planet, what does that say about us as a species?" Samuel Turvey of the Zoological Society of London poignantly asked London's Independent on August 9, 2007. (See "The Big Question: Should We Worry About Extinctions, or Are They Just a Part of Evolution?")

In his 2005 collection of essays entitled A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut had an answer for Turvey. In a poem entitled "Requiem," he opined:

"When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon
'It is done.'
People did not like it here."

Photos: Irish Kevin of Wikipedia (Fishers Island), Frankfurt Police Department (Copper), Beth Young of The Suffolk Times (politicians), and James Carbone of Newsday (Hal).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ravenous Coyotes, Cat-Haters, and Old Man Winter All Want Her Dead, Buried, and Gone but Brave Little Half Mask Is Defying the Odds

"The days of the cat colony are over, one way or another. Those that we don't find homes for will be eaten."
-- Robert Brydges

High atop the rocky bluffs of Lake Ontario in Toronto's Scarborough district a lovely black and white female known as Half Mask is maintaining a lonely vigil. She is the sole survivor of the once thriving Bluffers Park TNR colony that in its heyday numbered around twenty-five members. (See photos of her above and below.)

That was before coyotes, cat-haters, and Toronto Animal Services (TAS) declared war on the cats. Having rebuffed all attempts to trap and relocate her, this latter-day Robinson Crusoe of the feline world so far has been wily enough to avoid both the ravenous coyotes and area residents who are bent upon her destruction.

It is anybody's guess as to how long her luck is going to hold out and since apparently none of her caretakers can get within ten feet of her it would appear that her fate has been sealed one way or the other. For although dogs belong to people, cats belong to places.

Nevertheless, every time that she fails to show up for one of her daily meals the hearts of her devoted caretakers skip a beat or two. Otherwise, she appears to be the very picture of health and if her brave little heart pangs for the camaraderie of her long-departed mates she certainly does not show it.

Although it is not known exactly how long cats have been living in Bluffers Park, the present colony has been fed, watered, sheltered, and protected since 2004 by Robert Brydges and his associates. Over the course of the years, their excellent work has greatly benefited from a generous donation made by an unidentified elderly woman and that has made it feasible to get the cats sterilized, vaccinated, and medicated when necessary.

(I never have seen) "a colony as plump, healthy, well-groomed and happy as the Bluffers Park gang," Jack Lakey of the Toronto Star wrote in a column on June 19, 2009. (See "Fur Flies over Bluffers Park Cats.") That is indeed not only high praise for their caretakers but completely destroys as well the myth that homeless cats lead short, miserable existences. (See photo of him on the right below.)

They also were sans doute a hardy group of cats in order to have survived Toronto's notoriously cold and snowy winters. (See photos below of some of the cats in the snow.)

They were not, however, any match for the pack of hungry coyotes (canis latrans) that unexpectedly descended upon the park last February. Press reports fail to disclose either where they came from, how many of them there are, or why they chose last winter to set up residence in the park.

Two of the cats were eaten by the predators during the first week of February and that forced Brydges and his helpers to embark upon an ambitious emergency trap and removal plan that saw them successfully remove twenty cats. In order to achieve that herculean task, they mounted all-night patrols in the ice-cold park where they used sticks, flashlights, and whistles in order to chase away the coyotes.

"The days of the cat colony are over, one way or another," Brydges declared sang-froid to the Toronto Star on February 8th. (See "Coyotes Dining on Bluffers' Feral Cats.") "Those that we don't find homes for will be eaten."

Two of those removed were immediately adopted by an unidentified woman while the remainder wound up in basements. Not unexpectedly, the free-spirited cats did not at first cotton to life indoors but are now said to be making progress and that petit fait has given Brydges hope that homes eventually will be secured for all of them. (See photo further down the page of him feeding the cats.)

"All of these cats, though labeled feral, are tame," he told the Toronto Star in the February 8th article cited supra. "All would make beautiful pets if given a chance."

Although considered to be nothing less than heresy by none other than Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies, the countless volunteers who actually attend to colonies of homeless cats know only too well the accuracy of Brydges' assessment. In reality, a cat is a cat and all of them are fully capable of being socialized.

The only difference is that some of them require more time, patience, and effort than most individuals are willing to invest in them. Policemen, Animal Control officers, death camp operators, and others who earn their daily bread by exterminating cats en masse quite naturally do not have so much as a second to invest in socialization. Consequently, labels such as feral, stray, homeless, aggressive, and sick are arbitrarily assigned to impecunious cats as convenient excuses in order to justify extinguishing their fragile lives.

On the other hand, Robinson and others are most assuredly on the right track when they point out the numerous obstacles involved in relocating a colony of cats. In addition to the arduous task of trapping them, either a new location or individual homes must be procured for them tout de suite.

If neither of those options are viable, the cats often wind up being warehoused in cages for months. Nevertheless, once either a pack of coyotes or the authorities put out a contract on their tiny heads they must be trapped and removed regardless of the cost.

The deaths of the two cats and the demise of the colony are all the more outrageous in that the coyotes were baited into attacking the cats by someone who piled roast beef, cold cuts, and hot dogs near their winterized shelters. The perpetrator of this despicable act of ailurophobia even went so far as to leave behind a trail of dog food that led right up to the cathouses.

A similar incident occurred a few years back in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park when individuals were witnessed feeding hot dogs and raw meat to coyotes. In contrast to what occurred in Bluffers Park, it is believed that those individuals were motivated by a concern for the animals' well-being as opposed to indirectly targeting cats.

The culprit in Scarborough has not been publicly identified but suspicion centers on a boater who claims that the cats scratched her dog back in 2009. Advocates for the cats counter that it actually was she who sicced her dog not only on the cats but on another dog as well.

While it is impossible to say what actually transpired without having been present, both logic and history are on the cats' side. (See Cat Defender posts of October 18, 2009, October 23, 2009 and March 24, 2010, entitled, respectively, "Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His Turf Against Canine Intruders," "Essex Welfare Bum Who Sicced His Dog on Cats and Beat Them with His Cane Is Now Pretending to Be the Victim of an Assault," and "Seven-Month-Old Bailey Is Fed to a Lurcher by a Group of Sadistic Teens in Search of Cheap Thrills in Northern Ireland.")

The dog owner's complaint did succeed, however, in bringing down the long and diseased arm of the law on the cats and their caretakers in the form of TAS. In short, TAS ordered Brydges to either license the cats or it would trap and kill them.

The organization's Eletta Purdy even went so far as to trot out the familiar red herrings that the shy and reclusive cats posed not only a health hazard to the public but were likely to attack children. Spirited opposition led by Lakey ultimately forced Purdy not only to rescind her kill and remove edict but to even deny ever issuing it in the first place.

"That would not be something that we would ever normally say," she told the Toronto Star in the June 19, 2009 article cited supra. She conceivably could be telling the truth in a roundabout, dishonest fashion in that it is customary for Animal Control officers to strike without warning like thieves in the night.

Even when TAS is not out for feline blood the best that it has to offer homeless cats is benign neglect. That is what seventy-two-year-old Elizabeth Hayman of Sandrift Square in Scarborough found out last autumn when she complained to the agency about a dozen homeless cats frequenting her yard. (See Toronto Community News, October 14, 2010, "Senior Concerned for Feral Cats in Her Yard.")

Because of its past record of horrific abuse and neglect, handing over the Bluffers Park cats to the Toronto Humane Society's (THS) notorious River Street shelter was totally out of the question. In particular, a raid conducted by the Ontario SPCA (OSPCA) in November of 2009 even discovered the mummified remains of a cat in the ceiling. (See the gruesome photo below.)

"It sends chills down my spine," Kevin Strooband, the OSPCA's lead investigator, told the Toronto Sun on November 28, 2009. (See "Humane Society: 'It Seems Like a House of Horrors'.")

As it later was revealed, the THS baited the trap and then completely forgot all about it and that act of gross negligence robbed the cat of its life due to a complete lack of both food and water. Far from being an isolated incident, such callous and patently criminal behavior is far more common than generally acknowledged. (See Cat Defender post of August 23, 2010 entitled "Valley Oak SPCA Kills a Cat by Allowing It to Languish in the Heat in an Unattended Trap for Five Days at the Tulare County Courthouse.")

Living conditions at the THS are in fact so bad that Strooband's boss, Rob Godfrey, is on record as stating that the facility is not suitable for habitation. "Here is Hope and she is eight weeks old. She was found abandoned by the side of the road and she had a better chance of survival at the side of the road than she would have had at the Toronto Humane Society," he proclaimed to the Toronto Sun on August 17, 2010. (See "'Too Much Evidence' to Drop Charges: OSPCA.") "...Ontario is your home if you are an abuser of animals." (See photo of him and Hope at the bottom of the page.)

Despite that damning indictment, the government ultimately chose to ignore the OSPCA's report and dropped all charges against the THS. (See The Standard of St. Catharines, August 16, 2010, "St. Catharines' Investigator Stands Behind Toronto Probe" and The Globe and Mail of Toronto, August 17, 2010, "Toronto Humane Society Aims to Win Back Public Support.")

Although there is not any evidence that either wildlife biologists or ornithologists were behind the baiting of the coyotes, that sans doute is a tactic that would be right up their alleys. For some years now, wildlife biologists in the United States have been systematically eradicating up to eighty-thousand coyotes annually at the request of ranchers, farmers, and other economic interests while simultaneously championing their right not only to resettle in urban and suburban areas but, more importantly, to prey upon cats and small dogs with impunity.

"If all cat owners committed to keeping cats inside, then only feral cats would be available to coyotes," Shannon E. Grubbs of the University of Arizona and Paul R. Krausman of the University of Montana wrote in the ultra-ailurophobic Wildlife Society's scurrilous rag, Journal of Wildlife Management, in June of 2009. (See "Observations of Coyote-Cat Interactions" in volume 73, number 5, page 684.) "Recognizing the negative impact that feral cats have on wildlife and their potential to spread disease, coyote predation on feral cats could have benefits for wildlife."

As a consequence, wildlife biologists are winning all the way around and, ironically, their feline eradication campaigns are being unwittingly financed by cat and dog owners through the taxes that they pay. Of course, once a coyote attacks either a child or an adult, as occurred in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue in April of 2006, the wildlife biologists immediately double-cross their designated assassins and have them liquidated as well.

Their stratagem has been so successful that coyotes are now found from Alaska to Costa Rica and in every state except Hawaii. Chicago has more than two-thousand of them and, in addition to San Francisco, they also are found in Boston, Detroit and Washington as well as in innumerable smaller cities. (See Cat Defender post of October 2, 2006 entitled "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State," KXLY-TV of Spokane, May 4, 2010, "Coyotes Going after Pets in Coeur d'Alene Neighborhood," and West Seattle Herald, December 14, 2010, "Determined High Point Coyote May Be after Your Cat.")

Even the thoroughly reprehensible United States Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) sellout of gray wolves to hunters and ranchers is an integral part of the biologists' grand scheme to eradicate cats because it removes one of the coyotes' few natural predators from the environment. (See Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, 2011, "Gray Wolves, Once Near Extinction, Lose Protection.")

Ornithologists, likewise, make no attempt whatsoever to conceal their elation every time that a coyote kills a cat. For example, the New Jersey chapter of the National Audubon Society breaks out the champagne every time that a coyote eats a cat on Higbee Beach in Cape May.

A few years back, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County posted on its web site an article entitled "Coyotes: A Songbird's Best Friend?" Featured prominently in it were photographs of two missing cats along with a glowing endorsement of the cats indoors agenda advocated by the American Bird Conservancy and The Wildlife Society. Staff at the museum could not refrain from gleefully pointing out that the locales with the most coyotes have the fewest cats.

The point of this rather long-winded digression is to demonstrate that increased coyote predation of cats is no more of a natural occurrence than is fisher predation of them. (See Cat Defender post of July 19, 2007 entitled "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers.")

Au contraire, it is a fiendish back-door plot hatched by wildlife biologists and ornithologists in order to exterminate cats. Whenever their overt machinations are thwarted by widespread public opposition, they still have coyotes, fishers, and other feline predators that they can manipulate into doing their dirty work for them.

It is, to be sure, a devilishly clever enterprise but it can be checkmated. First of all, public funding can be taken away from the USFWS and those professors who stooge for it and other governmental agencies dedicated to demonizing, abusing, and killing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of June 23, 2011 and July 18, 2011 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 "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Are Routinely Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")
Secondly, both the owners of domestic cats and those who attend to managed colonies must be willing to go the extra mile in order to thwart the machinations of coyotes, wildlife biologists, ornithologists, and other ailurophobes. Sometimes that may even entail placing their own lives in grave danger.

That was the predicament that Jennifer Foster of Thousand Oaks, California, found herself in on November 15, 2007 when a coyote snatched a ten-year-old cat named Cosmo. Regardless of the risks involved, she did not hesitate to intervene and thus was able to save Cosmo's life. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2007 entitled "Grieving Widow Risks Her Life in Order to Save Cosmo from the Jaws of a Hungry Coyote in Thousand Oaks.")

Regardless of who was behind the baiting of the coyotes, the demise of the Bluffers Park colony can only be chalked up as a stunning victory for those individuals and groups who hate cats. "It would be a sorry end for a group of cats that have lived peacefully in the park for many years and bothered nobody, except for a few feline haters," Lakey eulogized them in the February 8th edition of the Toronto Star cited supra.

When homes are found for all of its members and a colony dies a natural death it is a time for celebration but when one is prematurely destroyed, especially under the circumstances that transpired in Scarborough, it serves as a wake-up call for all individuals who care about the welfare of the species. For all too long cat advocates either have turned the other cheek or foolishly ignored the clamoring and criminal acts of cat-haters and that needs to stop.

As for the situation in Bluffers Park, it does not appear to be salvageable. To their credit, Brydges and the other caretakers have not deserted Half Mask and hopefully they ultimately will be able to find some way of saving her life. She is, after all, far too adorable, courageous, and too much of a survivor for her supporters to ever allow her enemies to get the best of her.

In a way, her indomitable will to live and refusal to be cowered is the best response that can be delivered to all the cat-haters in Scarborough and elsewhere.

Photos: Scarborough Bluffs Feral Cats on Facebook (Half Mask), Toronto Star (Lakey), Jack Lakey of the Toronto Star (cats in the snow), Carlos Osorio of the Toronto Star (Brydges feeding the cats), Chris Young of the Canadian Press (mummified cat), and Dave Thomas of the Toronto Sun (Hope and Godfrey).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lucky Is Saved from Starvation by a Kindhearted Woman after Her Mouth Is Glued Shut by an Assailant in West Hartford

"She (the Good Samaritan) was able, with a little bit of warm water and a towel...to pry it open gently. And I think she was the one that really saved Lucky's life, because if she wasn't able to do that, who knows how long she would have lasted out there."
-- Lisa Shackett of Mary's Kitty Korner

An innocuous tube of glue normally is not thought of as a lethal weapon but, as both history and experience have demonstrated, nothing ever can be taken for granted where cats are concerned. That god-awful truth was brought home to a malnourished, nine-week-old kitten named Lucky over the long July 4th weekend when someone in West Hartford, Connecticut, glued shut her tiny mouth.

Fortunately for her, she was discovered in the parking lot of an apartment complex by a good-hearted woman who saved her life by removing the glue before taking her to Mary's Kitty Korner (MKK) in nearby Granby. (See photo of her above.)

"She was able, with a little bit of warm water and a towel...to pry it open gently," Lisa Shackett of MKK told WFSB-TV of Hartford on July 6th. (See "Kitten Found with Mouth Glued Shut.") "And I think she was the one that really saved Lucky's life, because if she wasn't able to do that, who knows how long she would have lasted out there."

As things stood, Lucky weighed less than two pounds and had a swollen eye which, most likely, was sustained during the attack. Worst still, with her mouth glued shut she sooner or later would have succumbed to either malnutrition or dehydration.

Back in November of 2007, a cat named Wild Oats from Bartlett, Tennessee, was forced to go without food and water for nineteen days after her head became trapped in a discarded peanut butter jar. (See Cat Defender post of December 18, 2007 entitled "Wild Oats Survives Nineteen Days with a Peanut Butter Jar Stuck on Her Head.")

Although it is not known how long Lucky's mouth had been glued shut, there are several factors which distinguish the two cases. For starters, Wild Oats was an adult cat who had reserves of body fat in order to sustain her. Secondly, she may have been able to take advantage of the condensation that formed overnights inside the jar. Lucky, on the other hand, had none of those advantages.

Following a short stay at MKK, Lucky was placed in foster care and since has been adopted. According to an untitled July 21st posting on MKK's Facebook page by Cathleen E. Gonyer, Lucky's weight increased from 1.9 to 2.3 pounds within two weeks of her rescue and her eye is said to be healing.

A report has been filed with the West Hartford Police but, as per usual, they are not expected to take any action other than to deep six it and to pretend that animal cruelty does not exist.

Glue traps, designed to catch mice, also have become a hazard for cats and other small animals. For example, a four-week-old, twelve-ounce Boston kitten named Elma with beautiful blue eyes became trapped in one of these deadly devices just after the dawning of the new year back in January and nearly starved to death as the result. (See photo of her immediately below.)

"Her hindquarters were covered in glue," Brian Adams of the Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA) told the Boston Herald on January 8th. (See "Cat Saved from Sticky Situation by a Whisker.") "Her tail was glued to one leg and her back legs were glued together."

As was the case with Lucky, Elma was malnourished when she was surrendered to the MSPCA on January 6th. It is not known either how long she was trapped in the glue or the name of the individual who discovered her plight.

Multiple scrubbings with dishwashing detergent were required in order to remove the glue from her fur and, because of her tender years, staff at the MSPCA were forced to hand-feed her with a syringe. Named after Elmer's Glue, she was expected to make a full recovery and then to be put up for adoption in February.

Earlier in July of 2010, a twelve-week-old kitten dubbed Sticky from the Sparkhill section of Birmingham also became ensnared in a glue trap set out in a garden. As a result, her paws, legs, and sides became coated with glue and other assorted debris.

In addition to requiring multiple baths like Elma, the fur on Sticky's right side had to be removed and she was forced to don an Elizabethan collar. (See Cat Defender post of August 17, 2010 entitled "Sticky Loses Much of Her Fur after She Is Ensnared in a Glue Trap Inhumanely Set in a Birmingham Garden.")

Although both the RSPCA and the MSPCA are on record as being opposed to the use of glue traps, they remain legal in both Angleterre and the United States but wisely have been outlawed in Ireland. More often than not, animals caught in these devices die of starvation and thirst.

One of the most ruthless and barbaric uses of glue on record occurred in April of 2005 when seventeen-year-old Wirimu Karena and eighteen-year-old Sahn Papa of Huntly, an hour south of Auckland, doused a trio of caged kittens with it and then set them on fire. The conflagration killed one of the kittens and the authorities polished off the other two badly burned survivors.

In August of that same year, Karena was sentenced to two years in jail while Papa was ordered to serve nine months. It is doubtful, however, that either of these remorseless cretins served their full sentences. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2005 entitled "Two New Zealand Teens Douse Three Caged Cats with Glue and Burn Them to Death.")

In addition to glue, male teens are known to use firecrackers, air guns, bows and arrows, and spray paint in order to maim and kill cats. For example, on August 23, 2010 two unidentified thirteen-year-old students at Horseshoe Bend High School in New Site, Alabama, shot a kitten named Jane Doe in the eyes with a can of spray paint in a deliberate attempt to blind her. (See photo of her below.)

They also tossed Jane around like she was a football and in the process broke one of her legs. One way or another, the police were notified and she was rushed to Twin Creeks Veterinary Services in nearby Ashland where she underwent emergency surgery.

The good news is that she soon recovered from her injuries and subsequently was adopted. Hopefully, her eyesight has not been impaired by the paint.

The bad news is the utterly disgraceful lengths that the authorities in New Site have gone to in order to condone the boys' horrific crime. "It has been handled according to Tallapoosa County's Code of Conduct, which I believe is the appropriate action for us to take," Casey Davis, principal of Horseshoe Bend, told the Press-Register of Mobile on September 10, 2010. (See "Alabama Teens Who Spray-Painted Kitten's Eyes, Broke Its Leg Go to Court September 16th.") "Beyond that we have no reason to comment further because our response to the issue has been handled as it should have been and that has been within our school system guidelines."

If Casey's total unwillingness to even condemn this dastardly act of premeditated animal cruelty were not bad enough in itself, the sympathy expressed for the teens by Chief of Police John McKelvey was even more revolting. "These kids are living people, that they're living organisms themselves," he defended them to the Press-Register. "I've seen people convicted of murder be received back into the community better than these kids have been."

The only conceivable way to interpret McKelvey's comments is that he has an extremely low opinion not only of cats but of those who own and care deeply about them. Moreover, they foreshadowed by about a year the shocking lovefest staged by Judge Gerhard Simon and state prosecutor Beate Miksch in Landgericht München last month for Rocco's cold-blooded murderer and torturer. (See Cat Defender post of August 17, 2011 entitled "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")

The callous disregard for feline lives and blatant dereliction of duty demonstrated by McKelvey, Casey, Simon, Miksch, and countless other public officials takes all of the mystery out of why the number and severity of attacks perpetrated against the species continue to escalate. As long as those in authority continue to wink at animal cruelty while simultaneously lavishing all of their pity on the abusers no other outcome is possible.

As far as Jane Doe's attackers are concerned, they were scheduled to have appeared in Juvenile Court last September 16th but it was a foregone conclusion from the outset that they would be let off scot-free. It is conceivable that they may have received a scolding from the presiding judge but that likely was the extent of their punishment. There was some talk in the days leading up to the trial that their parents would be held liable for the $600 tab that Jane Doe ran up at Twin Creeks but even that is doubtful.

Since the legal establishment only rarely ever holds adults accountable, it is not about to punish juveniles who abuse cats. That is in spite of the clearly observable fact that the suffering inflicted upon cats is no less egregious regardless of the ages of the perpetrators.

Much more poignantly, even juveniles know the difference between right and wrong and it is ludicrous for jurists to pretend otherwise. Besides, individuals that morally depraved are destined to commit even far worse crimes once they grow into adulthood. The only thing that they ever learn from their adolescent brushes with the law is not to get caught again.

Photos: Cathleen E. Gonyer of Mary's Kitty Korner (Lucky), Brian Adams of MSPCA (Elma), and New Site Police Department (Jane Doe).