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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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

After Scrimping By in a Polluted Parking Lot for Eleven Years, Olivia Is Ready for a Loving and Permanent Home


"She still recognizes my car when I stop by some weekends to check on her, and she comes running."
-- District Attorney Birgit Fladager


Olivia is a beautiful cat. She is in fact such an attractive and appealing feline that is is nothing short of amazing that no one wants her. (See photos of her above and below.)

As a consequence, she has been forced to spend the past eleven years eking out a living in the parking lot that separates the Stanislaus County Men's Jail and Stanislaus County Superior Court in downtown Modesto. Where she came from and her exact age are not known; suffice it to say that she is a senior cat without means.

Since her arrival in the parking lot in 1999, she has been cared for by a constantly changing assortment of lawyers and clerks. Most notably, then Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Birgit Fladager began feeding and watering her shortly thereafter and even eventually had her sterilized.

She additionally was able to find homes for a pair of Olivia's kittens. During that period the two became quite close, so intimate in fact that Olivia would not allow anyone else to pet her. (See photo of Fladager on the right below.)

All of that came to an abrupt end in 2004 when Fladager was called away to Redwood City in order to be an integral part of the prosecutorial team that successfully convicted murderer Scott Peterson. Not only was she able to help land Peterson on death row but she also succeeded in humbling his multimillion-dollar attorney, Mark Geragos, in the process.

At last report, Geragos had graduated from defending murderers to representing miscreants who abuse caged tigers at the San Francisco Zoo. (See Cat Defender post of January 28, 2008 entitled "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by the Police.")

In 2006, Kathy Fortune took over as Olivia's primary caregiver and she in turn was succeeded in 2008 by another clerk, Nancy Phillips, who cares about and watches out for cats even though she is allergic to them. "She's not too friendly...I can't pet her," Phillips told The Modesto Bee on January 1, 2011. (See "Food, Friends Keep Cat at Court.") "I just feed her."

Over the years Olivia has developed a discriminating palate and, according to Phillips, will not eat any other dry food except Meow Mix Original. That notwithstanding it is a good bet that she eagerly would chow down on fish, chicken, and other meats if the wealthy attorneys and clerks were not quite so cheap.

A daily saucer of milk accompanied by an occasional ration of thick cream also would be much appreciated. Cats, like women, must be spoiled rotten in order to bring out the very best that is in them.

Not much else is known about Olivia's living arrangement. It can however be said with certainty that in addition to a minimalist regimen of water and kibble, she surely needs some type of shelter even in warm and sunny California.

For example, the average overnight temperature this time of the year in Modesto is only 37° F. In July, by contrast, the thermometer soars to a blistering average daily high of 94° F with many afternoons posting readings in excess of 100° F.

Cats are not any different from people in that they, too, are prone to the debilitating effects of both hypothermia and hyperthermia. In extreme cases, both can produce respiratory difficulties and even heart failure.

Flooding also is a concern since Modesto does not have an adequate storm drainage system. That may not be much of a concern for humans but for cats it is an entirely different scenario.

In El Cerrito, one-hundred-twenty kilometers away, Bootsie also lives outdoors but he is able at least to hold up underneath the city manager's trailer during inclement weather. (See Cat Defender post of March 20, 2007 entitled "El Cerrito's Bureaucrats Distinguish Themselves by Showing Compassion for a Waif Known as Bootsie.")

Olivia also needs vaccinations, someone to remove the parasites from her fur, and competent veterinary care whenever she becomes ill. The administration of those vital life-saving interventions is made all the more problematic by there not being anyone that she trusts enough to get close to her.

She has, however, enjoyed the exceedingly good fortune to have avoided any major tragedies over the years. Most importantly, she has not been either run down or maimed by any motorists. Nevertheless, auto emissions slowly could be destroying her delicate lungs, just as they are killing humans, and that is another negative aspect of being forced to live in a parking lot.

As far as it is known, she also has been able to avoid the machinations of poisoners and other abusers who feast upon homeless cats. In that respect, residing near a courthouse and a jail provides a certain level of protection against ailurophobes. Being essentially yellow-bellied cowards, they are unlikely to attack a cat residing under the watchful eye of the authorities.

The only recent incident worth mentioning occurred in December when an unidentified prospective juror stole and ate her food. He was caught flagrante delicto by Phillips but was rewarded for his thievery by being dismissed from the jury pool.

"He was a nicely dressed man," Phillips told The Modesto Bee. "He obviously had issues."

The need to get Olivia into a permanent, loving home is all the more urgent now that she is the equivalent of sixty years old in human terms. Sooner or later her senses and reflexes are going to start to wane and as a consequence she may not be able to avoid either motorists or other abusers.

The logical person to adopt her is Fladager who is now the county's district attorney. "She still recognizes my car when I stop by some weekends to check on her, and she comes running," she told The Modesto Bee in the article cited supra.

An admission such as that is so woefully inadequate as to be downright disgraceful. The sand is fast running out of the hourglass as far as Olivia is concerned but there still is enough time left for Fladager to make up for her years of neglect and do the right thing.

Hopefully, she will not procrastinate until it is too late and Olivia mysteriously disappears just as City Kitty vanished without a trace last year from City Hall in Naples. (See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2010 entitled "Mayor of Naples Fears the Worst Now That City Kitty Has Not Been Seen in Several Weeks.")

Even if neither Fladager nor any of her colleagues within Modesto's legal establishment are willing to come to Olivia's aid, there surely must be countless area residents who would be willing to give her the secure and loving home that she so richly deserves. Since she already is accustomed to being around people, she certainly is more than capable of making such an adjustment.

Photos: Debbie Noda of The Modesto Bee (Olivia) and Brian Ramsay of The Modesto Bee (Fladager).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Colin Sherlock, an Admitted Boozer and Dope Addict, Pulls Out All the Stops in His Unsuccessful Attempt to Torture Roxy to Death


"The offense is so serious that only custody is justified because of the high level of cruelty imposed on the cat, which was sustained over a period and involved three appliances. It caused serious harm and torture to a domestic cat, causing it lasting mental trauma."
-- Magistrate Marigold Seager-Berry


As every ailurophobe knows only too well, the means of abusing and killing cats are almost endless. For instance, some of them cook cats to death in microwave ovens whereas others scald them to death in washing machines and scorch them in driers. (See Cat Defender posts of September 22, 2005 and October 31, 2009 entitled, respectively, "College Students in South Africa Cook a Cat to Death in a Microwave Oven" and "Stefan W., Who Publicly Boasted of Scalding Kitty to Death in a Washing Machine, Is Let Off by a Berlin Court with a Measly Fine.")

Still others specialize in either freezing them to death or drowning them. (See Cat Defender posts of April 8, 2010 and July 3, 2006 entitled "Frozen Food Purveyor Knowingly Condemns Frosty to Spend Five Weeks in Its 28° Fahrenheit Warehouse Without Either Food or Water" and "Crooked Massachusetts Cops Allow Politician to Get Away with Attempting to Drown a Kitten Named Lucky Girl.")

Rarely, however, do abusers subject an individual cat to all four types of torture. Nevertheless, that was the sequence of horrific abuse visited upon a one-year-old tuxedo named Roxy from Teignmouth in Devon last April. (See photo of her above.)

While Roxy's unidentified owner, a seven-year-old boy was away, his uncle, forty-four-year-old Colin Sherlock from Third Avenue in nearby Dawlish, microwaved her for eight seconds, spun her around in a clothes drier for another seven seconds, locked her up in a freezer for twenty seconds and, to top it all off, submerged her in a bowl of dishwater. Laughing all the while, Sherlock was assisted in his devilry by a pair of unidentified seventeen-year-old males who chronicled for posterity his abuse on a mobile phone.

As things eventually turned out, it was precisely Sherlock's and his accomplices' desire to relive over and over again their abuse of Roxy that ultimately proved to be their undoing. In particular, in their exuberance to share their wanton moral depravity with their friends they mistakenly sent the video to an unidentified adult woman who was not amused and promptly contacted the police.

Once again Sherlock was done in by his vanity in that the crescent-shaped black tattoo that he sports on his left cheek made it easy for the police to identify him. He subsequently was arrested on June 9th and charged with animal cruelty.

On November 5th, he pled guilty in Torquay Magistrates Court and was sentenced to one-hundred-twenty-six days in jail and barred from owning any animals for ten years. (See photo of him below.)

"The offense is so serious that only custody is justified because of the high level of cruelty imposed on the cat, which was sustained over a period and involved three appliances," Magistrate Marigold Seager-Berry ruled according to a report in the Daily Mail on November 6th. (See "Jail for Tattooed Torturer Who Put Cat in a Microwave Oven, a Tumble Drier and a Freezer.") "It caused serious harm and torture to a domestic cat, causing it lasting mental trauma."

It is not known if either of the youths are substance abusers, but Sherlock readily admits to being a boozer and a doper. "It was a drunken, stupid, drugged-up mistake and if I have harmed anyone I apologize," he told the Herald Express of Torquay in Devon on October 9th. (See "Cat Torturer: I'm Sorry.")

His conviction apparently has not done anything to diminish his popularity with the opposite sex because he had a young girl waiting for him outside of court. (See photo below.)

In a study published November 1st in Lancet, Professor David Nutt and his colleagues at the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs concluded that although illicit drugs, such heroin, crack, and crystal meth, are more harmful to their individual abusers, alcohol does more damage to society as a whole. (See Daily Mail, November 1, 2010, "Alcohol 'More Dangerous Than Crack, Heroin and Ecstasy'.")

That in no way detracts from the substantial toll that alcohol inflicts upon those who abuse it. "Im Glas ersaufen mehr als im Meer," as an old German Sprichwort stipulates.

There certainly cannot be any denying that alcohol abuse and cats are a bad mix. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2010, August 17, 2009, and September 18, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Drunken Bum Is Foiled in a Macabre Plot to Make a Meal Out of Kittens, Nirvana and Karma, That He Allegedly Ran Down Earlier with His Truck," "America's Insane Love Affair with Criminals Continues as Drunkard Who Sliced Open Scatt with a Box Cutter Gets Off with Time on the Water Wagon," and "Drunken Brute Beats, Stabs, and Then Hurls Fifi to Her Death Against the Side of a House in Limerick.")

Even shelter cats and big cats cruelly incarcerated at zoos are not safe from the crimes committed by drunkards. (See Cat Defender posts of August 31, 2006 and January 28, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Animal Control Officer Goes on Drunken Binge and Leaves Four Cats and a Dog to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Heat at Massachusetts Shelter" and "Hopped Up on Vodka and Pot, Trio Taunted Tatiana Prior to Attacks That Led to Her Being Killed by Police.")

Drug abuse and cats are another lethal mix. (See Cat Defender posts of May 10, 2010 and April 24, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Lunatic Rulings in Cats with No Name Cruelty Cases Prove Once Again That Pennsylvania Is a Safe Haven for Cat Killers and Junkies" and "Holly Crawford Hits the Jackpot by Drawing a Judge Who Simply Adores Kitten Mutilators and Dope Addicts.")

As bad as the crimes of drunkards and dope addicts are, they nonetheless pale in comparison with the cold, calculated, methodical abuse inflicted upon cats by shelters, Animal Control, wildlife biologists, PETA and, especially, birders. (See Cat Defender post of January 19, 2011 entitled "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period.")

Sherlock's two unidentified accomplices later were found guilty in Newton Abbot Youth Court on January 13th but remain free on bail pending their sentencing on February 9th. In particular, by filming and assisting Sherlock in the commission of his crimes the pair was found to have violated the Joint Enterprise Law, which has been on the books for three-hundred-years.

"Their failure to act (to stop Sherlock) speaks volumes," prosecutor John Wyatt told the Herald Express on January 14th. (See "Jail Warning for Teenagers in Shocking Cat Torture Case.")

In their defense, the youths contended that they went along with Sherlock because he was a "dodgy bloke." Earlier at his trial, Sherlock had maintained just the opposite and that in fact it was the youths who had egged him on to torture Roxy.

Even the youths' attorney, Simon Coleman, could not come up with anything good to say about them. "Neither come out of this with much credibility," he told the Herald Express. "Neither of them acted correctly. Neither of them come up smelling of roses."

Worst of all as far as they are concerned, Magistrate Jan Gant is threatening to get tough with them. "This was so serious a custodial sentence may be justified," she told them according to the Herald Express.

If past precedent is anything to go by, Gant is merely playing to public opinion by shooting off her mouth in such a fashion. For example, back in 2008 a sixteen-year-old miscreant named Jessica received only nine months of probation and an order to author a letter of apology after she was convicted by District Judge Sue Green in Camberwell Youth Court of drowning the HMS Belfast's mascot, Kilo, in the Thames. (See Cat Defender post of November 24, 2008 entitled "Kilo's Killer Walks in a Lark but the Joke Is on the Disgraceful English Judicial System.")

As for Roxy, she was seized by the RSPCA in April and placed in foster care where she languished for most of 2010 because she was too traumatized in order to be adopted. She finally was placed in a new home sometime within the past two months and is said to be progressing although she, quite understandably, is still frightened of humans.

An unidentified older cat also was seized from the home but it is not known either if it, too, was abused or if it has been rehomed.

Photos: Daily Mail (Roxy and Sherlock with girl) and Small World News (Sherlock).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period


"Ich konnte Rocco nicht helfen. In zehn Jahres als Tierärztin habe ich nie zuvor etwas Schrecklicheres gesehen. Das war purer Sadismus."
-- Birgit Schwarzmann


Egged on by the hate-filled rants of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the various chapters of the National Audubon Society, and others, bird advocates all over the world kill and injure with impunity scores of cats each year. They are aided and abetted in the commission of their cold-blooded crimes by, inter alia, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Washington Times, various branches of the United States government but especially the disreputable United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and wildlife biologists. (See Cat Defender post of December 8, 2007 entitled "All the Lies That Fit: Scheming New York Times Hires a Bird Lover to Render His 'Unbiased' Support for James M. Stevenson.")

That certainly is not anything new and it is not about to stop. It is reasonable to assume, however, that if they are so willing to endorse violence and lawlessness as the centerpieces of their public policy that they and their minions are committing even far worse atrocities against cats, such as torture, in the course of their private lives.

Only rarely are any of these degenerate scumbags ever apprehended but on Christmas Eve seventy-three-year-old Ernst K.¹ from the Moosach section of northwest München was witnessed torturing to death a three and one-half year old Norwegian Forest Cat named Rocco. (See photo of him above.)

Rocco's demise began on December 13th when Ernst K. baited a trap with fish and illegally abducted him. His owner, fifty-year-old insurance broker Andreas O., put up two-hundred Lost Cat posters, offered a reward of €100 for his return, and contacted Tasso of Hattersheim am Main in Hesse which specializes in locating lost animals. All of his efforts were, sadly, in vain.

The days crept agonizingly by and still there was not any trace of Rocco until finally on Christmas Eve Andreas O. and his family received a shocking telephone call from Tierrettung München informing them that it had found Rocco but that he was dead. The identification was made from an implanted microchip.

As the details of exactly what Rocco was put through during his last eleven days on this earth slowly began to emerge, Andreas O. and his distraught family were subjected to a cram course in not only just how much evil lurks in the black hearts of birders but the diabolical lengths that they are prepared to go in order to harm cats. The police investigation that ensued also set in motion a chain of events that were destined to catapult Ernst K. from an obscure Rentner into the new poster boy for the ABC, NAS, and other groups dedicated to torturing and killing cats. (See photo of him directly below.)

The final chapter in the macabre plot that Ernst K. had so finely crafted began to unfold at around 9:40 a.m. on Heilig Abend when his seventy-one-year-old neighbor Erika S. witnessed him shove the still caged Rocco into a trash can and then take turns alternately bombarding him at point-blank range with powerful bursts of water from sort of hose and dousing him with pepper spray. The temperature of the water used has not been disclosed.

"Verschwinde, das hier geht dich nichts an!" he reportedly barked at her according to the December 29th edition of the Abendzeitung of München. (See "Grausam: Dreiundsiebzig-Jähriger quält Kater zu Tode.")

Undeterred, Erika S. promptly telephoned the police but by then it was too late in order to save Rocco whom Ernst K. had deposited in a garbage bag and secreted away in his garage. The cat, who was barely alive when veterinarian Birgit Schwarzmann of Tierrettung München arrived on the scene, died shortly thereafter.

"Ich konnte Rocco nicht helfen," she told the Abendzeitung in the article cited supra. "In zehn Jahren als Tierärztin habe ich nie zuvor etwas Schrecklicheres gesehen. Das war purer Sadismus."

Since Erika S. had been hearing a cat crying from inside Ernst K.'s garage for more than a week, it is highly likely that Rocco had been caged since his disappearance on December 13th. Furthermore, it is doubtful that Ernst K. either fed or watered him during that interval.

If he did, it was only in order to keep him alive so that he could continue to torture him with water, pepper spray, and whatever other means he had at his disposal. As soon as the details of the necropsy are released a clearer picture should emerge as to the extent of Rocco's abuse.

For the time being all that can be said is that he could have died of drowning, burns from the pepper spray, suffocation, dehydration, starvation, or a combination of all five. It also is highly likely that Ernst K. was planning on continuing to abuse Rocco for an indefinite period of time and only killed him off when Erika S. inadvertently stumbled upon what he was doing.

With his death, Rocco became the second Norwegian Forest Cat to die a horrible death in Deutschland within the past six months. On August 21st, a nameless cat of the same breed was stuffed into a locker and left to die at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof. (See Cat Defender post of September 3, 2010 entitled, "Pretty Norwegian Forest Cat, Already Suffering from Kidney Trouble, Is Abandoned to Die of Thirst in a Schließfach at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof.")

In his defense, Ernst K. has stated that he was justified in torturing Rocco to death for eleven days because cats from the neighborhood had been preying upon the blackbirds, chaffinch, and titmice that live in eight bird houses that he has erected in his yard. "Hier laufen ständig Katzen durch mein Grundstück (und) die fressen meine Vögel," he told Bild of Berlin on December 30th. (See "Er hat Nachbars Kater mit dem Wasserschlauch tot gespritzt.")

Later, however, he freely admitted that he was not even sure that Rocco was one of the offenders. Even more shocking, Andreas O. was blindsided by Ernst K.'s criminal behavior in that, as far as it is known, the two men had never met before and there had not been any prior conflicts between them.

Ernst K.'s actions prove once again that birders do not have any interest in either peacefully resolving disputes or respecting the law. They simply want to torture and kill cats.

Such an attitude is all the more reprehensible because in Deutschland, unlike America, there are mediators who specialize in resolving these types of disputes. (See Cat Defender post of June 10, 2010 entitled "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard.")

Even more revealing, when Andreas O. asked him why he had killed Rocco Ernst K. simply grinned back at him with devilish delight. As Aristotle once observed, the worst criminals are those who derive infinite pleasure from the commission of their evil deeds and that description certainly fits Ernst K. to a tee.

"Ich würde es weider tun," he later declared to the police according to the December 29th article in the Abendzeitung cited supra. To reinforce his point, he has festooned his house and garage with placards accusing his detractors of hating birds. (See photo above.)

Furthermore, either he or some of his supporters have put up several posters in the neighborhood threatening to torture and kill additional cats. "Bitte riskieren Sie nicht, dass auch Ihre Katze einen ebenso grausamen Tod wie Rocco erleiden muss," one of them reads according to the January 4th edition of the Abendzeitung. (See "Hat er noch mehr Tiere getötet? Katzen-Krieg in Moosach.")

It goes almost without saying that the loss of the cat that he had loved and cared for ever since it was eight weeks old has been nothing short of devastating for Andreas, his wife, and their small children. "Wir vermissen Rocco sehr, er war wie ein Familienmitglied," he told the Abendzeitung on January 4th.

To have lost Rocco at Christmastime has not helped either. "Unser Weihnachtsfest war gelaufen," he added to the Dorfener Anzeiger on December 29th. (See "Rentner quält Katze zu Tode.") "Wir haben alles abgesagt."

The police, to their credit, have charged Ernst K. with animal cruelty but it is extremely doubtful that he has spent so much as a minute in jail. Worst still, even if convicted the severest sentence that he could receive would be three years in the clink.

Andreas O. has pledged to hold him accountable in a civil court but such an undertaking will be lengthy and cost him considerable money. Even more disheartening, the outcome of such a proceeding is far from being guaranteed.

German jurists are old hands when it comes to adjudicating disputes between cat owners on the one hand and birders and gardeners on the other hand. Generally speaking, it is illegal for the latter to either trap or harm a cat in any way and they can be fined and imprisoned for doing so.

Likewise, the owners of cats are liable for any damage that their companions do to their neighbors' property and, presumably, that includes killing birds. (See Cat Defender post of August 26, 2010 entitled "In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland.")

The strongest reprimand that Ernst K. is likely to receive already has come from his enraged neighbors. To begin with, his name, ugly mug, and address have been plastered all over lampposts, garden fences, and parking lots in Moosach. (See photo above of his image accompanied by a page torn from the Abendzeitung.)

Even more telling, two-hundred-sixty supporters of Rocco marched in the cold and snow through Moosach on January 8th. "Tiere sind Lebenwesen, keine Sache!" they chanted. (See photos above and below.)

"Höchststrafe für den Katzenmörder! Drei Jahren Haft ohne Bewährung," one placard read. Another one labeled Ernst K. as a "Bestie."

"Heute Tiermord! Was morgen?" another sign poignantly asked. A large banner carried aloft by a man and a woman read: "Tierquäler in den Knast." (See photo below.)

The Tischaufsatz was, however, a touching memorial consisting of photographs of the deceased, wooden crosses, flowers, and lighted candles that was erected at the corner of Magdalena and Bräu Weg. (See photo below.)

As soon as Ernst K. got wind of what was foot he showed his true colors by hightailing it out of town. He is a brave man when it comes to torturing a caged cat but when it comes to facing his neighbors he is far too cowardly to even show his face.

Ten police officers were deployed in order to protect his house and the demonstrators were not allowed any closer than one-hundred-twenty meters. He can run and hide but he never will be able to escape public censure because Tierschutzverein München, which organized the rally, plans to stage further demonstrations, inter alia, in the street, at the courthouse when he is tried, and even outside the state parliament.

The organization's Eveline Kosenbach was not the least bit put off by the fact that he had done a runner. (See photo below of her with a megaphone.)

"Das wird ihm nichts nutzen, wir lassen das hier nicht einschlafen," she told TZ-Online of München on January 9th. (See "Zweihundertsechzig Münchner fordern Höchststrafe für Tierquäler.")

In addition to the brutal torture and murder of Rocco, Ernst K. is suspected in the disappearance of at least eight other cats from the neighborhood. "Mein Romeo wurde vergiftet, das hat die Tierärztin bestätigt," area resident Renate Schwarz told the Abendzeitung on January 9th. (See "Demo gegen Katzen-Hasser: 'Wir klagen den Mörder an'.")

Dogs, such as Ronja owned by Patricia Kussinger, also have been poisoned in and around Ernst K.'s residence. Fortunately, Ronja recovered.

Appropriately enough, he was on hand January 8th in order to lend his support for the apprehension and punishment of Ernst K. The sign draped across his slim body recants both his sad story and the reason for his activism: "Ich wurde Opfer eines feigen Giftköderanschlags. Nein zu Tierquälerei." (See photo of him below.)

Although Rocco is now beyond all mortal assistance, it is encouraging to see how the residents of Moosach and, especially, Tierschutzverein München have rallied to his cause. The situation was totally different last summer in Saginaw, Michigan, when cat-hating gardener Mark Oberschmidt illegally trapped Tammie Tilot's cat, Music Lessons, and Teresa J. Jurden's cat, Buggsey, and in turn gave them to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center to liquidate.

On that occasion there were neither any demonstrations in support of Music Lessons and Buggsey nor any assistance offered by local animal protection groups. Most staggering of all, the local rag, The Saginaw News, published a scurrilous editorial in praise of Oberschmidt's patently criminal behavior. (See Cat Defender post of August 19, 2010 entitled "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

Oberschmidt is far from being the only cat-hater to illegally trap his neighbors' companions and then give them to a shelter to exterminate. In West Islip on Long Island, Richard DeSantis was doing the same thing until he was apprehended, but never punished, in 2006. (See Cat Defender posts of June 15, 2006 and March 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Serial Killer on Long Island Traps Neighbors' Cats and Then Gives Them to Shelter to Exterminate" and "Long Island Serial Cat Killer Guilty of Only Disorderly Conduct, Corrupt Court Rules.")

Also in 2006, bird lovers Robert and Debbie McCallum from the Seattle suburb of Edmonds were caught illegally trapping neighbor Laura Martin's two-year-old cat Turbo and then handing him over to a shelter to be killed. Fortunately, Martin was able to ransom him in the nick of time. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2006 entitled "Collar Saves Cat Named Turbo from Extermination After He Is Illegally Trapped by Bird-Loving Psychopaths.")

Earlier this month an unidentified bird lover from the 3200 block of Elmhurst Drive in Indianapolis trapped a gray cat named Maestro because it allegedly was hanging out near a bird feeder. The property owner then telephoned the knackers at Animal Care and Control in order to have the cat picked up and killed.

Luckily, Animal Control failed to show up and eventually IndyFeral took possession of Maestro on January 6th and it plans on either releasing him into a managed colony or putting him up for adoption. (See Indianapolis Star, January 7, 2011, "IndyFeral to the Rescue of Stray Trapped Cat.")

None of that in any way mitigates the fact that the bird lover left the caged cat outside in the cold for four days and nights. Secretly hoping that Maestro would freeze to death, it is doubtful that the property owner either fed or watered him.

Given Maestro's friendly demeanor, he likely is someone's beloved companion. (See photo of him at the bottom of the page.)

Another favorite tactic of bird lovers is to trap and abduct their neighbors' cats and then dump them at faraway, undisclosed locations. A kindred spirit of Ernst K. who was operating out of the Bramley Crescent section of Southampton even went so far as to send letters to the owners of the cats that he had stolen boasting of the success of his fiendish plot. (See Cat Defender posts of October 30, 2007 and November 16, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Crafty Bird Lover Claims Responsibility for Stealing Six Cats from a Southampton Neighborhood and Concealing Their Whereabouts" and "Fletcher, One of the Cats Abducted from Bramley Crescent, Is Killed by a Motorist in Corhampton.")

Still other birders prefer to use guns. The most infamous of all is James Munn Stevenson of Galveston who claims to have gunned down more than two-hundred cats.

When John Newland, a toll collector at the San Luis Pass Bridge, spotted him shooting cats he, like Ernst K., ran like a coward before he finally was arrested. (See Cat Defender posts of November 22, 2006, May 1, 2007, November 20, 2007, and August 7, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Evil Galveston Bird Lover Is Finally Arrested After Having Gunned Down Hundreds of Cats," "Houston Chronicle Launches a Propaganda Offensive on Behalf of Serial Cat Killer Jim Stevenson," "Bird Lovers All Over the World Rejoice as Serial Killer James M. Stevenson Is Rewarded by Galveston Court for Gunning Down Hundreds of Cats," and "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.")

In November of last year when Aaron M. Hildreth, Stephen M. Vantassel, and Scott E. Hygnstrom, exterminators working for the now thoroughly discredited University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL), published an anti-cat screed entitled "Feral Cats and Their Management" it immediately was lauded to the high heavens by both the ABC and NAS even though it advocated that cats be either shot in the head or crushed to death with body-gripping traps. (See Audubon Magazine, December 3, 2010, "Feral Cat Predation on Birds Costs Billions of Dollars a Year" and the Associated Press via the Huffington Post, December 2, 2010, "Feral Cats Should Be Killed with 'a Gunshot to the Head' to Control Population: UNL Undergraduates Report.")

No one was more thrilled by the exterminators' conclusions than disgraced bottom-of-the-barrel rocker Theodore Anthony Nugent who operates a canned hunting ranch known as Sunrize Acres near Jackson, Michigan. "Always has been, always will be on the Nugent farm, where I have instructed my family, friends, hunting buddies and casual passer-by to blast every cat they see," he wrote in The Washington Times on December 3, 2010. (See "Nugent: The Time for Kitty Killing Has Come.")

Since it is illegal to shoot cats, Nugent should be in jail. Moreover, the fact that he is still walking the street is proof positive that humane officials in Michigan are not doing their jobs.

PETA's head of feline liquidation, Teresa Chagrin, was quick to endorse Nugent's proposal that all cats should be removed from the streets, fields, and woods with the caveat that they should be handed over to shelters to kill. (See The Washington Times, December 8, 2010, "Wild Cats Deserve Care Rather Than Cruelty.")

It is not surprising that the Moonies who own The Washington Times would be in the sack with the likes of PETA and Nugent. After all, birds of a feather do flock together. Nevertheless, the banding together of this terrible threesome is tantamount to Jim Jones, Joseph Goebbels, and Son of Sam pooling their resources and purchasing Dignitas.

Likewise, it is only fitting that a so-called animal rescue group that kills an astounding ninety-eight per cent of the cats and dogs that it annually takes in at its Norfolk, Virginia, shelter would so wholeheartedly support the roundup and en masse extermination of all cats. That is because it is far too cheap, lazy, and bloodthirsty to feed, shelter, medicate, and find homes for any of them.

In addition to its in-house crimes, it also indiscriminately kills cats and dogs in its vans and then dumps their corpses in private Dumpsters. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")

Later on December 13th, Chagrin sent an e-mail letter to Chuck Svokas of Hancock County in West Virginia bellyaching about the local shelter's decision not to take in any more cats trapped in the town of Weirton. She proceeded to sing the praises of how a two-hundred-fifty milliliter bottle of sodium pentobarbital was more than sufficient to do away with eighty-three cats.

This twenty-four-karat creep added that the cost of the deadly drug was "extremely minimal" when compared to the cost of rabies vaccinations, property damage, and wildlife predation by cats. Leaving aside for the time being her blatant lies about cats being harmful to property and wildlife, it is sufficient to point out that based upon her warped logic all that America needs to do in order to solve its health care crisis would be to roundup and exterminate a significant portion of its citizens.

Besides, as shelter director Lorrie Byo pointed out, trapping and killing cats involves considerably more money than the cost of sodium pentobarbital, not to mention the staggering moral and emotional toll exacted. (See Wheeling News-Register, December 16, 2010, "PETA Peeved at Hancock County's Feral Cat Problem.")

The truth of the matter is that PETA cannot abide the sight of a live cat and kills as many of them as it can. For a while it had put a damper on its anti-cat rhetoric in the United States and instead directed its venom overseas but now, emboldened by the successes of the ABC, NAS, and UNL, it has reverted to its true form.

It is paramount that neither birders, wildlife biologists, nor PETA be underestimated. They and their colleagues already have exterminated cats on more than one-hundred islands around the world. Their most recent successes include, inter alia, San Nicolas, Robben, Macquarie, and Tory. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, March 23, 2007, September 21, 2006, and January 5, 2010 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island," "Bird Lovers in South Africa Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate the Merciless Gunning Down of the Last of Robben Island's Cats," "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie," and "Tourists and Consumers Alike Should Boycott Ireland and Its Exports in Response to Its Extermination of the Homeless Cats on Tory Island.")

Back in 2007, USFWS attempted to eradicate all cats from federal property in the Florida Keys and now it is back to finish the job with another mass slaughter scheduled to begin as early as March 1st. (See Cat Defender post of May 24, 2007 entitled "USDA and Fish and Wildlife Service Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key" and The Miami Herald, January 2, 2011, "Feds Hope to Rid Keys' Refuges of Exotic Predators, Including Feral Cats.")

Birders, gardeners, and others who hate cats with a passion have numerous nonlethal methods, such as sound, fences, and natural repellents, in order to dissuade them from entering their yards and therefore do not have a valid excuse for either trapping or injuring them under any circumstances. Furthermore, that is precisely what wildlife biologists tell cat owners whenever they complain about coyotes, fishers, raccoons, and birds preying upon their companions. (See Cat Defender posts of October 2, 2006, July 19, 2007, August 28, 2006, and July 31, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Coyotes, Cheered on by Wildlife Officials, Join Raccoons in Killing Cats and Dogs in Washington State," "Up to Their Old Tricks, Wildlife Officials Reintroduce Fishers to the Northeast to Prey Upon Cats and to Provide Income for Fur Traffickers," "Marauding Pack of Vicious Raccoons Rip Ten House Cats to Shreds and Terrorize Residents but Wildlife Officials Refuse to Intervene," and "Fifteen-Year-Old Cat Named Bamboo Miraculously Survives Being Abducted and Mauled by a Hoot Owl in British Columbia.")

Furthermore, many coyotes and fishers have invaded residential areas after they were driven out of their natural habitats by wildlife biologists pimping and whoring for various financial interests. (See Cat Defender post of August 28, 2007 entitled "TNR Programs, Domestic Cats, Dogs, and Humans Imperiled by Wildlife Proponents' Use and Abuse of Coyotes and Fishers.")

Most knowledgeable cat owners are fully acquainted with the agenda being advocated by birders, wildlife biologists, and PETA and as a consequence those hate-filled criminals can be neutralized to a certain extent. The real danger to cats lies in the backroom deals being engineered with their sworn enemies by the Humane Society of the United States, Neighborhood Cats in Manhattan, the American Humane Association, and others.

Those groups preach compromise and capitulation when the events in Moosach and elsewhere prove over and over again that no entente is possible with cat-haters. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2009 entitled "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")

In fact, no animal is safe in that their agenda extends far beyond the eradication of all cats. (See Cat Defender post of March 15, 2007 entitled "Connecticut Audubon Society Shows Its True Colors by Calling for the Slaughter of Feral Cats, Mute Swans, Mallards, Canada Geese, and Deer.")

In conclusion, it is sincerely hoped that the residents of Moosach will not give in to the threats of bird lovers and cruelly take away their cats' freedom. Cats not only have a right to be outside but such a concession would hand the criminals a victory that they certainly have not earned and do not deserve.

Cat owners in Moosach and elsewhere must be vigilant, however, because birders are not only ruthless but capable of almost any devilry. They first of all should attempt to learn the identity of all cat-haters who live in their neighborhoods as well as be wary of both strangers and new arrivals.

If it is at all feasible, they should know where their cats are at all times. Toward the realization of that objective, they should band together so as to be able to watch out for each other's companions. The installation of surveillance cameras is another idea worth exploring.

The establishment of neighborhood-based cat advocacy groups also is worth a try. For example, no cat lover should either vote for or donate money to any politician that will not pledge to safeguard the lives and liberties of cats.

Above all, cat owners in Moosach and Tierschutzverein München must keep the heat on both the local prosecutor and courts in order to ensure that Ernst K. does not escape justice. That is the very least that they can do for Rocco.

Photos: Dorfener Anzeiger (Rocco), Bild (Ernst K.), Daniel von Loeper of the Abendzeitung (Vogelhasser and Ernst K. posters), Petra Schramek of the Abendzeitung (Kosenbach, and Ronja), Bodmer and Westermann of TZ-Online (demonstrators, Tierquäler in den Knast, and memorial), and Indianapolis Star (Maestro).

Note:
¹Since the German media usually do not publicly identify either the accused or witnesses in criminal investigations, some of the names used in this post are either fictitious or abbreviations. For example, although both Bild and TZ-Online refer to Rocco's killer as Ernst K., the Abendzeitung refers to him as Werner H.; the Dorfener Anzeiger refers to him simply as a Rentner. Also, the face of the accused is intentionally blurred in all photographs.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gunned Down by an Assassin and Then Mowed Down by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Big Bob Loses a Leg but Survives and Now Is Looking for a Home


"We believe once they get here the animals have value and we're going to do everything that we can to take care of the ones we have."
-- Kristi Herr of the Humane Society of Indianapolis


No one ever said that being a homeless cat was an easy row to hoe but the deprivations associated with such and rough and tumble lifestyle are compounded by society's steadfast refusal to punish motorists and other ailurophobes who take full advantage of these defenseless animals' vulnerability. A good case in point is the wholesale criminal abuse recently heaped upon the tiny head of a handsome four-year-old Russian Blue cat named Big Bob in Indianapolis. (See photo above.)

It is not known where Bob came from but considering his pedigree and friendly demeanor he most likely was abandoned and eventually wound up living in a colony on the north side of town that is cared for by IndyFeral. Somewhere along the way he was divested of his tail and contracted the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Those misfortunes were, however, merely the apéritif before a full course of life-threatening miseries eventually were served up to him. The sequence of events is not exactly clear, but fairly recently he suffered a gunshot wound to his thigh and was deliberately run down and left for dead by a hit-and-run motorist.

IndyFeral noticed that he was limping and brought him to the Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI) on either December 11th or December 12th where one of his rear legs was removed. It is not known if HSI was able to remove the shrapnel from his thigh but the fact that most of his fur was shaved away is a pretty good indication that such a procedure was at least attempted. (See photo below.)

Considering Bob's numerous maladies it would have been easy for HSI to have turned its back on him but resident veterinarian Kristi Herr stated from the outset that cruelly snuffing out his fragile life was not an option. "We believe once they get here the animals have value and we're going to do everything that we can to take care of the ones we have," she pledged to WRTV of Indianapolis on December 14th in a video. (See "Cat Hit by Car, Shot Gets Second Chance.")

Like Geoffrey Weech of the Monmouth Small Animal Hospital in Monmouth, Illinois, Herr belongs to that select group of practitioners who place saving lives ahead of profits. (See Cat Defender post of November 17, 2010 entitled "Penniless and Suffering from Two Broken Legs, It Looked Like Curtains for Trace Until Geoffrey Weech Rode to Her Rescue on His White Horse.")

Cats with three legs can get along just fine and FIV can be managed so as to prevent it from detracting too much from either their quality of life or longevity. The larger task awaiting HSI is finding Big Bob a permanent home.

Although HSI originally had hoped to place him in a new home by Christmas, no additional information about him has been posted on its web site. Hopefully his being FIV-positive is not scaring off potential adopters as it did with a cat named Valentine from Treasure Valley. (See Cat Defender posts of March 5, 2010 and June 1, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Struck Down by an Archer and Shunned by an Uncaring Public for More Than a Year, Valentine Finally Finds a Home" and "Blind and Deaf on Her Left Side as the Result of a Bow and Arrow Attack by a Juvenile Miscreant, Valentine Is Still Looking for a Permanent Home.")

"He's been a very good boy. He's always been in good spirits. He's been friendly. He's been easy to work with," Herr told WTHR-TV of Indianapolis on December 14th. (See "Cat, Hit by Car, Survives Shooting.") "Once he's all healed up, he's going to be just like a normal kitty. He's just going to look a little different as he moves." (See bottom photo of him recuperating in an Elizabethan collar.)

HSI's shelter director Christine Jeschke also has been impressed by Bob's total lack of malice. "He's purring, he's content," she stated in the video cited supra. "He is seeking attention and he deserves to be cranky and mean after all of that. He's so grateful to be here and alive."

Jeschke's testimony bears out an observation made long ago by Mark Twain in his illuminating essay, The Lowest Animal:

"In the course of my experiments I convinced myself that among the animals man is the only one that harbors insults and injuries, broods over them, waits till a chance offers, then takes revenge. The passion for revenge is unknown to the higher animals."


Although the lack of malice exhibited by cats like Bob is highly commendable, it would not make much difference if they were vengeful because they are pretty much powerless against the machinations of man. They accordingly must be protected and their abusers and killers dealt with one way or another.

Inexcusably, neither the police nor HSI are even looking for either the gunman or motorist who nearly killed Bob. "Around the holidays, it's especially abhorrent that someone would shoot a cat and leave it to die," is all that HSI's John Aleshire had to say on that subject when he was interviewed by WRTV on December 14th. (See "Animal Expected to Recover.")

First of all, it is no less repugnant to either gun down or run down a cat in either May or August than it is to do so in December. The pain, injuries, and deaths of cats during the other eleven months of the year are no less egregious than those suffered at Christmastime.

Secondly, since neither the police nor humane groups have any interest at all in protecting homeless cats it is imperative that practitioners of TNR, such as IndyFeral, assume that task. Considering the phenomenal job that volunteers all across the world are doing feeding, sheltering, sterilizing, and medicating homeless cats it is difficult, albeit necessary, to ask more of them because without proper security all of their good work could very easily be for naught.

For example, surveillance cameras could be installed at the colonies and the volunteers could take turns guarding the cats. Since only time and dedication are needed for the latter, no additional funding would be required.

Such an intimate involvement also would greatly enhance the cats' sociability and thus make them more readily adoptable. Dropping off food and water twice a day does little or nothing to socialize them, but by spending several hours a day with them their caretakers become an intricate part of their environment.

There are, admittedly, more sophisticated and quicker ways of socializing cats but spending considerable time in a colony can work wonders. It also is a method that precludes the need to use tricks and gimmicks.

After all, "a cat's a cat and that's that" as an old American proverb stipulates. Labeling some cats as ferals and others as strays is a dishonest way of justifying their removal and executions. No one would dare to label orphans and impoverished children as strays and ferals just so that they could be slaughtered en masse and the odious practice of branding cats as such should be immediately stopped.

Even Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is guilty of spreading that blatant falsehood. "But feral cats are not wildlife. They are the same species as pet cats, but are not socialized to people and are therefore unadoptable," the organization's Becky Robinson declared in a press release on August 21, 2010. (See "BYU Taking the Wrong Route for Feral Cats" at www.care2.com.)

Even if that is the declared public policy of ACA it nonetheless is odd that it operates an adoption service for them in conjunction with PetSmart in Mays Landing, New Jersey, and, presumably, elsewhere as well.

TNR is a good start but it never should be viewed as an end in itself. Providing homeless cats with security, socialization, and new homes are the logical extensions of such a policy.

In Big Bob's case, for example, if IndyFeral had secured a home for him in a timely fashion there is a good chance that he could have been spared the quintuplicate tragedy of losing his tail, becoming infected with FIV, being shot, run down, and losing a limb. Moreover, because of his pedigree that should have been as easy as pie.

Back in 2005 and 2006, for instance, another Russian Blue named Oliver Gatsby found himself in just the opposite predicament when a legal tug-of-war broke out between his old owner and his new guardian. (See Cat Defender post of January 3, 2006 entitled "Manhattan Court to Rely Upon 1894 Dog Law to Decide Custody over a Russian Blue Cat Named Oliver Gatsby.")

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about motorists who get their kicks from running down defenseless cats and other animals. In fact, they do the same thing to pedestrians and bicyclists with society's blessings.

Nevertheless, cat crossing signs and roadside memorials are worth a try. (See Cat Defender posts of January 26, 2007 and October 9, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Cat Activists Succeed in Getting Connecticut Town to Erect a Cat Crossing Sign" and "Feline Traffic Fatalities Are Unworthy of Commemoration According to a Möhnsee Bureaucrat Who Orders the Destruction of a Roadside Memorial to Jule.")

Finally, anyone willing to provide long-suffering Bob with a permanent home can contact HSI at (317) 872-5650.

Photos: WISH-TV of Indianapolis (Big Bob alone and in an Elizabethan collar) and Reed Parker of WIBC Radio of Indianapolis (Bob after surgery).

Monday, January 03, 2011

Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves


"I don't know if they're even bothering. Nobody has even contacted me, and they haven't contacted the neighbor who saw the cats running in afterward either."
-- Jennifer Szoke


It is open season on cats in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster thanks to the dereliction of duty of both the police and Animal Control. For example, on December 8th a two-year-old black cat named Vincent became the third one to be deliberately dunked in turpentine in less than six months.

Fortunately, he was discovered shortly after the attack and that gave his owner, Rob Stainton, time to rush him to a local veterinarian who, nonetheless, was forced to bathe him three times in order to remove the corrosive from his fur. Even after all of that it was necessary to shave away most of the fur from around Vincent's neck and part of his face. (See photo above.)

"We're hoping for a full recovery, but we can't really be sure because whatever long-term damage there is would be to his liver and lungs from inhaling it, so it could be a couple of years down the road," Stainton told the Vancouver Sun on December 15th. (See "Third New Westminster Cat Dipped in Paint Thinner.") "He's been in for a couple of checkups, and I'm happy to say he seems to be doing better."

In addition to being extremely harmful to the miniature lungs, kidneys, livers, and eyes of cats, turpentine also can irrevocably damage their tongues and esophagi if they attempt to remove it from their fur. The good news is that Vincent apparently was rescued before he was able to ingest very much of the deadly substance.

As things now stand, Stainton, who is on sabbatical at Simon Fraser University in nearby Burnaby from his regular post at the University of Western Ontario in London, has shelled out C$1,000 in veterinary bills and the incident has unnerved his daughters, Moonisah and Saima. (See photo below of the family with Vincent.)

From all indications, Vincent was not illegally trapped and then dunked in the turpentine, but rather was victimized by his domestication. Homeless cats generally speaking do not have a great deal going for them with the notable exception of their healthy fear of the mega-predator man and that is, in many respects, a real blessing.

"He's very gentle," Stainton told the New Westminster News Leader on December 14th. (See "New West Man Believes His Cat Was Dipped in Solvent.") "It's only someone that hates cats who would hurt him."

That is true enough in that there certainly is not any shortage of ailurophobes in this world. For instance, a number of gardeners as well as subscribers to the diabolical American Bird Conservancy's cruel and inhumane cats indoors agenda have been gloating online over Vincent's horrible injuries. (See Cat Defender posts of August 19, 2010 and June 15, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw" and "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")

Although Stainton dutifully reported the attack to the police he promptly was told to go and drop dead. In fact, Sergeant Gary Weishaar told the Vancouver Sun in the article cited supra that his department would not touch an animal abuse case with a ten-foot pole and instead referred Stainton to Animal Control and the SPCA in Vancouver.

Inexcusably, Animal Control does not want any part of such an investigation either. The agency's James Short, for example, even went so far as to cavalierly dismiss the attack as an isolated incident. "The first time it happened this summer, it was in a different area completely, so it is very hard to pinpoint or trace anything," he jawboned to the Vancouver Sun. "As of now, nothing has come to life from it."

His colleague, Dave Cole, was in wholehearted agreement with him and his total abdication of duty. "This one is in a different part of the city and appears the cat was splashed," he blowed to the New Westminster News Leader in the article cited supra.

That is hardly the case. While it is true that Vincent lives near Eighth Avenue and McBride Boulevard whereas the two incidents in July took place at the intersection of Queens Avenue and Tenth Street, they are separated by only three kilometers and seven minutes of driving time. "I wonder if maybe the person is driving around in a car or van," the philosophy professor astutely pointed out to the Vancouver Sun.

He also disputes Cole's unfounded assertion that Vincent was splashed with turpentine as opposed to having been deliberately dunked in it. "It looked like someone picked him up and dunked him in it," he told the New Westminster News Leader.

The picture therefore is perfectly clear. Animal Control, whose primary function is to operate a removal and extermination service, has absolutely no intention of investigating this case and is simply concocting ludicrous excuses in order to discredit Stainton.

Such ruses are common practice not only with Animal Control and the police but with most so-called humane groups as well. (See Cat Defender post of December 23, 2010 entitled "Tavia's Desperate Pleas for Help Fall Upon the Deaf Ears of the Evangelical Who Abandoned Her and the Heartless Officials and Citizens of Kissimmee.")

Back on July 2nd, a cat named Harley belonging to Jennifer Szoke and her eight-year-old son, Nate, was dunked up to his waist in turpentine by an unknown assailant who is still at large. After a valiant, roller coaster attempt to live, he died on August 14th as the result of severe burns suffered to both his tongue and esophagus as well as a collapsed lung. (See photo below of Szoke and Nate at his bedside in the hospital.)

On that same occasion, a yellow and white cat named Linden belonging to Szoke's neighbor, Corrine Ritchie, also was dunked in turpentine. Luckily, he was discovered before he was able to lick off very much of the chemical and, as far as it is known, is still alive today.

Just as they are now doing with Vincent, both the police and Animal Control categorically refused to open an investigation into the attacks on Harley and Linden. "I don't know if they're even bothering," Szoke said at that time. "Nobody has even contacted me, and they haven't contacted the neighbor who saw the cats running in afterward either." (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")

As the horrific damage done to Harley clearly demonstrates, poisoning a cat with turpentine is an especially cruel and hideous form of abuse. Furthermore, the intransigence exhibited by both the police and Animal Control is a warning sign that something is terribly wrong with both agencies because any halfway responsible and decent public servant would be willing to move mountains in order to get the perpetrator of these despicable attacks off the street and into a jail cell.

Under these trying circumstances the only option left open to cat owners in New Westminster is to band together so as to be able to look out after each other's companions. They also might want to install surveillance cameras outside their residences.

It was precisely one such device that spared the life of Darryl and Stephanie Andrews-Mann's four-year-old moggy, Lola, back in August after she was abducted and deliberately stuffed in a trash can outside her home on Bray Lane in Coventry. Not only did a review of the surveillance tape reveal where she had been for the past fifteen hours, but it also identified her assailant to be a forty-five-year-old employee of the Royal Bank of Scotland named Mary Bale.

Even armed with that damning bit of incontrovertible evidence, it took the almost worthless RSPCA a month to indict Bale. More than likely it was too busy rounding up and killing cats itself to be bothered. (See Cat Defender posts of October 23, 2010 and June 5, 2007 entitled, respectively, "RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband" and "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")

When Bale finally was forced to face the music in a Coventry court on October 19th she heard nothing but sweet notes in that she was let off with a measly £250 fine plus £1,171 in court costs. (See The Sun of London, October 20, 2010, "Cat Chucker's Claim Trashed.")

Due to the fact that cat abusers are seldom arrested and even then rarely punished, owners need to arm themselves with digital cameras and tape recorders. The photographs and words of the killers and abusers then can be distributed throughout the neighborhood and even posted on the Peephole to the World. At least under that scenario they would know who to be on the lookout for and accordingly could take suitable precautions.

Mercifully, Stainton's stay in the feline hellhole known as the Royal City is destined to be a brief one, but even permanent residents, such as Szoke and Ritchie, should consider pulling up stakes and relocating elsewhere. After all, it is insane to continue to live in a city where there not only is a serial cat killer on the loose but one who enjoys the protection of the legal and political establishment as well.

That is, admittedly, a sad commentary upon conditions in New Westminster but it only underscores the necessity for cat owners to be self-reliant and to make the tough decisions that will ensure the well-being of their companions. They, like their cats, are truly on their own.

Photos: Stainton (Vincent), Les Baszo of the Vancouver Sun (Vincent with the Staintons) and Gerry Kahrmann of Global Toronto (Harley with Szoke and Nate).