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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Thursday, June 30, 2011

No Cat Is Safe Any Longer in New Hampshire Resort Town after a Local Court Sets Free Molly's Shotgun Murderer with a Trivial $200 Fine



"It kills me that he (Eiras) had the audacity to shoot a little animal because it was in his yard. All he had to do was stomp his foot and the cat would have run off."
-- Susan McGee


At around 5 p.m. on November 8, 2009, fifty-four-year-old Jeffrey Lee Eiras of Winnacunnet Road in Hampton, New Hampshire, shotgunned to death a gray cat with black stripes named Molly when she strayed into his yard. He then nonchalantly tossed her ensanguinated corpse into the trash. (See photo above of her with her kittens.)

He sans doute would have gotten away scot-free with this heinous crime if he had not been observed by an unidentified employee of Comcast. In fact, Eiras was so brazen that he proudly announced his intentions beforehand by telling the conscientious observer, "I hope you're not an animal lover." (See photo of Eiras on the right below.)

Not about to be buffaloed, the employee promptly telephoned the Hampton Police. "We responded to the residence in question and he confirmed that he did, in fact, destroy a cat with a shotgun," Deputy Police Chief Richard Sawyer told the Portsmouth Herald on March 2, 2010. (See "Man Shoots Cat with His Shotgun.")

Despite that incontrovertible evidence, the dregs that comprise the ranks of the Hampton Police failed to take any action against Eiras. Since he had maintained from the outset that Molly was homeless, it can only be surmised that the police accepted Eiras's story at face value and dropped the investigation.

In doing so, their dereliction of duty points to the inescapable conclusion that they do not see anything either inhumane, illegal, or morally repugnant about citizens gunning down cats that allegedly do not have owners. Sawyer gives the game away when he uses the morally neutral word destroy in order to characterize Molly's unprovoked, cold-blooded murder.

In his diseased mind, snuffing out the life of a cat is not altogether different than dismantling inanimate objects, such as houses and model airplanes. With such an abhorrent philosophy, it is doubtful that he and his fellow officers would so much as stir themselves in order to protect the lives of orphans and homeless adults.

Like Eiras, the Hampton Police ultimately were done in by their own prejudices and callousness. The chain of events that ultimately led to that denouement began when Molly's distraught owner, Susan McGee, read about the incident in the Hampton Union and correctly surmised that the murder victim was her beloved companion.

"I knew something was wrong because every time I would drive in my driveway she would run and meet me at the door," she related to the Portsmouth Herald on January 6, 2011. (See "Owner Claims Killed Cat Was Pet, Not Feral Feline.") She accordingly took a photograph of Molly to Police Officer Peter MacKinnon, who doubles as the tiny seaside resort's Animal Control officer, and he duly confirmed her worst fears.

"She was not a feral cat," McGee added in the January 6th article. "I had the cat since she was a baby. This whole ordeal has truly been heartbreaking."

No longer able to shirk their responsibility both to protect cats and to uphold the anti-cruelty statutes, the totally worthless Hampton Police finally arrested Eiras on February 19, 2010 and charged him with animal cruelty and the unauthorized use of a firearm. Although press reports fail to indicate exactly when McGee came forward with her suspicions, the petit fait that it took the police three and one-half months in order to arrest Eiras constitutes prima facie evidence that they look the other way when cats are killed and abused.

"The problem is you can't shoot feral cats," Sawyer belatedly told the Portsmouth Herald in the March 2, 2010 article cited supra. His prior abdication of duty paints an entirely different picture, however.

Despite McGee's initial success in eventually getting Eiras charged, the short shrift that both she and Molly later received from what masquerades as the Hampton judicial system illustrates the myriad of obstacles involved in obtaining justice for murdered and abused cats. To begin with, prosecutors right off the bat gave Eiras a sweetheart deal whereby the charge of animal cruelty was reduced to disorderly conduct.

C'est-à-dire, they do not think any more of individuals killing cats than they do of either public drunkenness or pissing in the street. On January 5th of this year, Eiras pleaded nolo contendere to disorderly conduct and the unauthorized use of a firearm and was fined an insultingly measly $200 by an unidentified judge in Hampton District Court.

Despite the fact that all cats have an inalienable right to live, this case makes it perfectly clear that homeless cats are not provided an iota of protection by the Hampton Police and that even the lives of domesticated ones are valued at only a couple of hundred bucks by local jurists. Since it is impossible to determine the socio-economic status of a cat except under extremely rare circumstances, the net effect of such patently inhumane policies is to declare it to be open season on all cats in Hampton.

The only satisfaction that McGee received for her steadfastness and perseverance was $3,000 in damages that Eiras agreed to pay her after she threatened him with a civil lawsuit. Even though that is small potatoes in return for the life of a beloved family member, it is still substantially more than the $1 that Margaret Reynard of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, received on January 8, 2010 from the Delaware County SPCA after it had stolen and murdered her eight-year-old cat, Keecha, earlier on April 11, 2006. (See Cat Defender post of March 19, 2010 entitled "Trapped and Killed by the Delaware County SPCA, Keecha's Life Is Valued at Only $1 by a Pennsylvania Arbitration Panel.")

Of course, it goes almost without saying that it is primarily the poor and uneducated who are punished whenever they disobey the law. Police officers, shelters, Animal Control officers, vivisectors, the United States military, governmental agencies such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA's Wildlife Services, as well as professors involved in anti-cat research are allowed to abuse and kill millions of cats each year with impunity.

As part of the plea bargain arrangement, Eiras also agreed to fork over $1,000 to the local SPCA. Instead of rejecting his blood money and insisting that he be given a lengthy jail term, the shameless SPCA greedily snatched up his offering without demur.

Since he was so willing to part with $4,000 plus whatever he doled out to his shyster, Eiras obviously is a man of considerable means. In spite of the moral imperative that no animal killer be allowed to buy his way out of jail, this case demonstrates conclusively that justice is for sale to the highest bidder in Hampton.

Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing in the record to suggest that Eiras ever has either apologized to McGee or uttered so much as a syllable of contrition. Consequently, there is a good chance that he has killed other cats in the past and, tant pis, will do so again in the future.

"He wouldn't even look me in the eye at court," McGee told the Portsmouth Herald in the January 6, 2011 article cited supra. "If I could say something to him, it would just be 'Why would you do this?' She was just the sweetest little cat."

Molly's cold-blooded murder not only has taken a heavy toll on McGee but also on her other cat, Matty. "Matty and Molly were very close," she told the Portsmouth Herald. "I miss Molly. This has been going on for over a year and I'm just glad it's over."

That is by no means meant to imply that she feels that justice has been done. "It kills me that he had the audacity to shoot a little animal because it was in his yard," she added. "All he had to do was stomp his foot and the cat would have run off."

That is not the way that cat-haters like Eiras operate, however. Just as it is inconceivable that they would use lethal force in order to rid their yards of birds, Feldmäuse, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, and other animals, it is equally unimaginable that they ever would humanely shoo away a cat.

The only hero to emerge from this sordid affair is the Comcast employee. "I got to thank him, which was nice," McGee told the Portsmouth Herald on January 6th. "He could have just ignored what happened but he didn't."

History continues to demonstrate that municipalities that steadfastly refuse to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes invite further abuse and the commission of even more despicable crimes and that certainly is the case in Hampton. For example, on May 12, 2008 an obese, ten-year-old dark-gray domestic cat suffering from heart disease was sealed up in a black Spalding gym bag with between forty to fifty pounds of rocks and abandoned on the beach.

Once the tide came in the doomed cat drowned when the bag became submerged in four to six feet of water. "I was horrified," MacKinnon protested at that time. "I deal with live and dead animals all the time. I never saw anything like it."

MacKinnon's moral outrage apparently did not translate into any action because, as far as it is known, no arrest ever was made in that disturbing case. (See Cat Defender post of May 20, 2008 entitled "Malice Aforethought: Upstate New York Cat Is Saved from a Watery Grave by a Dead Tree and a Passerby; New Hampshire Cat Is Not So Fortunate.")

Anyone curious as to why cases of animal cruelty are continuing to escalate need not look any further than Hampton. In fact, any other result would be unthinkable so long as the police refuse to investigate and arrest, prosecutors do not prosecute, jurists do not punish abusers, and humane groups continue to be as corrupt as hell.

If Molly has received a small measure of justice, it is due only to the diligent and unstinting efforts of her aggrieved owner. Even then all of her efforts were opposed at every step along the way by the political and legal establishment.

Apparently, Molly's remains eventually were returned to McGee who in turn had them cremated and buried. Hopefully, that has provided her with a measure of closure that is so often denied to other cat owners who lose their beloved companions to the despicable crimes of ailurophobes.

Photos: Susan McGee (Molly) and Portsmouth Herald (Eiras).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Streets for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late


"Katzen sind sehr saubere Tiere. Und da sie mehrere Tage unterwegs war, bevor wir sie behandeln konnten, hat sie natürlich selbst versucht, sich zu reinigen. Damit kamen aber Giftstoffe in den Körper, die Schäden verursachten, von denen sich das Tier nicht mehr erholen konnte."
-- Uwe Dindas of Tierschutzvereins Offenburg-Zell am Harmersbach


Another cat has been doused with gasoline and burned to death by an ailurophobe. The latest victim was a brown and white female with captivatingly beautiful green eyes from the Ichenheim section of Neuried in Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. (See photo of her above.)

The attack took place during the early days of January and the badly burned cat was forced to wander around Ichenheim in excruciating pain for many days before finally an unidentified citizen telephoned Tierschutzvereins Offenburg-Zell am Harmersbach (TSV) on January 10th. If just one resident had shown an ounce of compassion and acted sooner, there is a good chance that the nameless cat might still be alive today.

In addition to the burns and other injuries that she suffered on the outside, the cat also sustained unspecified damage to her internal organs as the result of instinctively attempting to lick off the gasoline and bits of charred fur. The staff at TSV attempted to cleanse her fur and to treat her injuries but they were much too late and she died on January 13th.

"Katzen sind sehr saubere Tiere," Uwe Dindas of the rescue group told the Badische Zeitung of Freiburg on January 17th. (See "Katze wird mit Benzin übergrossen und stirbt.") "Und da sie mehrere Tage unterwegs war, bevor wir sie behandeln konnten, hat sie natürlich selbst versucht, sich zu reinigen. Damit kamen aber Giftstoffe in den Körper, die Schäden verursachten, von denen sich das Tier nicht mehr erholen konnte."

Although there can be little doubt that the attack was intentional, Dindas points to the conspicuous absence of gasoline on the cat's head and tail as being definitive. "Wir vermuten, dass es ein Katzenhasser auf das Tier abgesehen hatte und es in Brand stecken wollte," he told the Badische Zeitung.

As per usual in cases of this sort, no arrest has been made and none is expected. Instead, the rescue group has fobbed off responsibility onto the shoulders of the ten-thousand residents of Neuried who have been warned to be vigilant against similar such attacks in the future.

Sadly, little is known about the victim. She very well could have had a family but, since none is mentioned in press reports, apparently no one has come forward in order to claim her remains.

Consequently, her corpse in all likelihood was burned. She already has been forgotten while her murderer still walks the streets of Ichenheim as free as a bird.

In late August of 2010, a black cat named Lätzchen from Karsdorf in Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, suffered life-threatening burns when she, too, was doused with an accelerant and set on fire. The attack left her blind and cost her half of her fur. (See photo of her below.)

Her ears were reduced to stumps and she suffered flesh wounds to her nose. If she is still alive, it is only thanks to multiple skin grafts and specialized care that she will require for as long as she lives.

As was the case with the cat in Ichenheim, the attack upon Lätzchen was deliberate and premeditated. "Die Täter haben vorsätzlich gehandelt," a spokesman for the local police department averred at that time. "Sie wollten, dass die Katze einen qualvollen Feuertod stribt."

Despite what was done to Lätzchen and the grief that the attack has caused her guardian, Ulrike Bach, and her eight-year-old son, David, the assailant remains at large. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2010 entitled "Lätzchen Is Deliberately Set on Fire and Burned Within an Inch of Her Life in Karsdorf.")

Like all animals including man, cats are ruled by their instincts which sometimes promote their well-being while at other times just the opposite. In particular, because of their incessant grooming all poisons, carcinogens, and pollutants are lethal to cats.

For example, on July 2nd of last year an orange-colored tom named Harley from New Westminster in British Columbia was deliberately dunked up to his waist in turpentine. In an instinctive effort to remove the toxin from his fur, he suffered severe burns to his tongue and esophagus as well as a collapsed lung.

If he had known that the turpentine was deadly, he would have refrained from attempting to cleanse his fur and consequently very well might still be alive today. As things eventually turned out, he died on August 14th. (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.")

All medications that are applied topically constitute another reason for concern. That is especially true in the case of flea and tick retardants. For example, Jennifer Leyton-Purrier of Ashford Carbonel in Shropshire failed to pay attention to what she was dousing her cats with and that oversight nearly killed them. (See Cat Defender post of September 15, 2010 entitled "Shy and Huli Buli Go into Convulsions and Wind Up in the Hospital for Four Days after They Are Doused with a Topical Flea Insecticide.")

Both indoor and outdoor pollutants have a far more insidious effect on cats. Of particular concern are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which are used as fire retardants in, inter alia, electronics, carpeting, mattresses, and furniture.

The presence of these chemicals in the home is blamed for the spiraling increase in the number of cases of Feline Hyperthyroidism. (See Cat Defender post of August 22, 2007 entitled "Indoor Cats Are Dying from Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Various Toxins in the Home.")

They additionally have been blamed for impaired fertility in women, reduced testosterone levels in men, neurological problems in children, and undescended testicles in male babies. (See Deborah Watkins et alii, "Exposure to PBDEs in the Office Environment: Evaluating the Relationship Between Dust, Hand Wipes, and Serum," to be published online June 30th in Environmental Health Perspectives.)

As is the case with PBDEs, the fumes and residue from tobacco and other drugs that are smoked also settle into the the fur of cats and are subsequently ingested with dire consequences when they groom themselves. (See Cat Defender post of October 19, 2007 entitled "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence.")

The fallout from aerosol sprays, asbestos, household cleaning products, and even mold retardants secreted away inside furniture also are killing cats. (See Cat Defender post of October 21, 2010 entitled "Two Thoughtless Old Biddies Crush Thirteen-Month-Old Sheba to Death Underneath an Electric Recliner.")

Even dish and bath water can sicken cats, especially if they should accidentally tumble into either an unattended sink or bathtub and then attempt to lick their fur clean. The same logic applies to other harmful substances, such as paint and oil, that can adhere to their fur and paws.

Since it is well documented that auto, train, and airplane emissions as well as pollutants from coal-fired and nuclear power plants have a deleterious effect upon human health, the same is even truer as far as cats and other animals are concerned. Gritting salt and other chemicals indiscriminately applied to streets and roads during the wintertime in order to melt snow and ice likewise can be lethal to cats. (See Cat Defender post of March 25, 2011 entitled "Compassionate Construction Workers Interrupt Their Busy Day in Order to Rescue Chabot-Matrix from a Stream in Maine.")

Save for relocating elsewhere, there is not a great deal that guardians can do about either outdoor pollution or the machinations of cat-haters. Indoor environments are another matter altogether.

The removal of carpeting, rugs, drapes, and other items that tend to serve as repositories for toxins and dust particles is an essential first step in making indoor environments safe for cats. Twice daily brushings and frequent baths also can go a long way toward reducing the amount of harmful substances that cats ingest while grooming themselves.

Since they are such fastidious animals, cats are going to continue to instinctively groom themselves regardless of the consequences. It therefore is incumbent upon their guardians to ensure that their fur is clean and as free of harmful chemicals and particles as humanly possible.

Photos: Badische Zeitung (Ichenheim cat) and Steffen Schnellhorn of Bild (Lätzchen).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys


"Due to extensive habitat loss from human development, these species (rabbits and rats) have declined to such low numbers that management intervention is necessary to ensure their survival. Secondary impacts from development include the introduction of non-native predators, such as cats and other exotic animals. While we can't turn back the clock to return the Keys to its (sic) once pristine condition, we can take action now to control current threats from cats and other exotic animals."
-- Anne Morkill, United States Fish and Wildlife Service


The diabolical cat-hating fiends who comprise the ranks of the rogue United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are once again targeting all cats living in the Florida Keys for either outright en masse extermination or subjugation. The latest sinister plot to be hatched by these totally unscrupulous and highly paid welfare bums was scheduled to have begun in early March but due to widespread public opposition from cat advocacy groups outside the region it was delayed for several months..

"We were a little bit too optimistic in thinking we would be able to start in March," the USFWS's Anne Morkill is quoted as conceding in an article posted online April 12th at Care2.com by Alley Cat Rescue of Mount Rainier, Maryland. (See "Update: Feral Cats in the Florida Keys.") "...it probably will be another couple of months before we physically start (trapping and killing)."

Although accurate information is about as scarce as hens' teeth, it is believed that the USFWS began its killing spree on June 4th. Every bit as worrisome, no data have been released to the public as to the number of cats trapped and killed. (See "Florida Keys Treasures.com, May 19, 2011, "Feral Cat Trapping Delayed.")

While waiting for the uproar to subside, Morkill and her fellow henchmen kept busy by mounting yet still another massive propaganda offensive designed to convince a skeptical public that this slaughter is not only necessary but justified in order to save an endangered rabbit and a rat. "They (opponents of the plan) think we're dealing with cat colonies on the streets of Key West or Marathon," she fumed to the Keynoter of Marathon on January 29th. (See "Cat-Trapping Foes Hit Refuge with Ten-Thousand E-Mails.") "It shows we need to do a better job explaining that the scope of the program is limited to national wildlife refuges." (See photo above of her plotting strategy with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during a tour of the Keys on January 8th.)

Arrogant, outright lies such as that reveal the USFWS's utter contempt not only for cats but their advocates as well. Contrary to the sottise that drips from Morkill's gaping maw, the tens of thousands of individuals who wrote letters in opposition understand only too well what the USFWS intends and no amount of double talk from her is going to pull the wool over their eyes.

Earlier on January 2nd, she cavalierly belittled the concerns of cat advocates in particular and animal lovers in general by sneering down her long, dirty nose to The Miami Herald that "...some people believe every animal has a right to live." (See "Feds Hope to Rid Keys' Refuges of Exotic Predators, Including Feral Cats.")

Therein lies the crux of the disagreement between animal lovers and wildlife biologists such as Morkill. Whereas the former recognize the inalienable right of all animals to live, the latter maintain that they have a god-given right to eradicate all species that they either hate or simply find unprofitable. If applied to human affairs, such an ideology would fall under the rubric of either genocide or ethnic cleansing and its adherents would be duly charged with crimes against humanity.

As outlined in its January 3rd propaganda publication entitled "Draft Integrated Predator Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA), the USFWS is planning on liquidating all cats either living or straying into the National Key Deer Refuge and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, both located on Big Pine Key, Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge on North Key Largo. Those four parcels of land are collectively known as the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex (FKNWRC).

Being not only virulent cat-haters but inveterate liars as well, the USFWS is attempting to fob off this eradication scheme as humane since the cats will be trapped and then handed over to a shelter. Although the USFWS has elevated shading the truth to something akin to an art form, it knows as well as everyone else that very few cats that enter shelters ever come out alive.

In this particular instance, those cats trapped in the Lower Keys will be handed over to a notorious death camp operated by the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West. "Rarely has anyone wanted to adopt a feral cat," the shelter's commandant, Connie Christian, freely confessed to the Keynoter on January 5th. (See "Not Everyone Happy with Refuges' Predator Plan.") "Then there is no option."

Her last statement is a blatant lie in that the fair and humane alternative is neither to harm nor incarcerate cats in the first place. Cats simply do not belong in shelters under any circumstances and that is an opinion which is shared by University of Pennsylvania veterinarian Michael Moyer and others. (See Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2011, "Shelter Shock.")

Cats that are trapped on Key Largo will not fare any better. "This (removal) program has been going on for years," is how Tom Garrettson of the Humane Animal Care Coalition, which operates the Upper Keys Animal Shelter for Monroe County, shrugged off the concerns of cat lovers to the Keynoter on December 29, 2010. (See "Keys' Refuges to Target Animal Predators.") "As far as the volume of cats, it hasn't been a problem."

That is because Garrettson and his minions exterminate most of them. "If the cat has a tag or has obviously been cared for, we make every effort to return it to the owner," he added almost as an afterthought.

Based upon that admission, his shelter presumably does not ever bother to scan cats for implanted microchips. Furthermore, collars and tags can and do come off and even domesticated cats that get lost can look haggard after a few days of sleeping rough.

Much more to the point, he is being not only dishonest but grossly unjust by killing cats based solely upon their socio-economic status. A cat is a cat and that is that as an old Sprichwort stipulates and a vagabond of the street has just as much of a right to live as a pampered princess. Besides, anyone who claims to be able to distinguish between a domiciled and a homeless cat with any measurable degree of accuracy is a barefaced liar.

Following upon the heels of the successful ouster and, presumably, cold-blooded murders of twenty cats at the Key West Naval Air Station on Boca Chica in 2005 and 2006, the USFWS and its sister agency, the USDA's Wildlife Services, embarked upon an earlier feline eradication campaign in the Florida Keys during the spring of 2007. On that sad occasion, the trapped cats were transferred to so-called no-kill shelters operated by Stand Up for Animals on Big Pine Key and in Marathon.

Those that were not adopted allegedly were placed either in sanctuaries or released elsewhere through the combined efforts of Forgotten Felines of Marathon, Caring for Cats of Islamorada, and Whiskers and Paws Forever of Monroe County. Even under that seemingly humane scenario, those deemed to be either sick or injured were promptly dispatched to the devil.

Although it never has been disclosed what pretext Stand Up for Animals employed in order to justify those wanton and totally uncalled for killings, it is not uncommon for shelters to kill cats suffering from such insignificant ailments as common colds and lethargy. Under such circumstances, there is not any way of knowing how many cats were killed.

Just as importantly, no evidence has been presented to the public that would confirm that those cats supposedly humanely removed are still alive today. (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.")

Whereas it is remotely conceivable that there might be a few no-kill shelters that operate on the up and up, the movement is, generally speaking, a grotesque fraud. (See Cat Defender post of July 29, 2010 entitled "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No Kill Shelter.")

Adding insult to injury, officials from Monroe County last August accused Stand Up for Animal of financial improprieties and as a result both of the shelters that it operated are not shuttered. Forgotten Felines is still in operation and presumably the same holds true for Caring for Cats and Whiskers and Paws Forever but what role, if any, they are playing this time around is unknown.

The difficulty of obtaining accurate and current information is further complicated by the fact that the USFWS likes to commit its atrocities in secret and the capitalist media are more than willing to allow it to do so. It is, however, the deafening silence emanating from cat advocacy groups both within and outside the Keys that is unforgivable.

In keeping with its longstanding, pigheaded policy of no compromises, the USFWS steadfastly has refused to consider any alternative to trap and kill. Most notably, it has rejected TNR out of hand.

In defense of this policy, the USFWS claims that studies have "proven" that cats' hunting instinct is unrelated to hunger and as a consequence TNR does little to curb their predation of wildlife. (EA, page 16.) That is pure nonsense.

While it is true that some cats hunt instinctively, others do so solely for food. Some do so only in self-defense and still others do not hunt at all.

Moreover, in many parts of the country and world inclimate weather and a lack of game make hunting a total waste of time for up to as much as six months a year. Anecdotal evidence also tends to suggest that the proficient hunters are almost exclusively females and that eliminates half of the feline population right there.

Furthermore, it stands to reason that a cat in a managed colony with a reliable source of food and water will hunt considerably less than one that has no alternative other than to kill in order to live.

The USFWS goes on to erroneously claim not only that TNR does not reduce the size of homeless colonies but actually contributes to their enlargement because their very existence promotes cat dumping. (EA, page 16.) It is, first of all, interesting to note that that the big-brained, big-talking wildlife biologists at the USFWS apparently believe that sterilized cats keep reproducing. Secondly, since most managed colonies are located in remote areas, cat dumping is kept to a minimum. Besides, all newcomers are trapped and sterilized.

As per usual, the thoroughly dishonest USFWS has cherry-picked the scientific data so as to give TNR a black eye. "The plan is based on a deeply flawed interpretation of TNR research, and several studies were omitted," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies (ACA) told the Cat Channel on February 10th. (See "Alley Cat Allies Addresses Federal Plan to 'Trap and Remove' Cats.") "Similar plans by the agency have already killed feral, stray and pet cats with no benefit whatsoever."

The USFWS goes on to claim that TNR is not only prohibited on national wildlife refuges but that its practice is in violation of both the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918. TNR is illegal on refuges only because the USFWS arbitrarily has declared it to be so. As far as the ESA and MBTA are concerned, both predate TNR and do not even mention it.

Not contented with merely clearing the FKNWRC of all cats, the USFWS additionally is demanding that they and their feeding stations be removed from all "public properties that are adjacent to or near refuge lands." (EA, page 13.) Despite what Morkill has said, such an open-ended mandate will allow the USFWS and its death squads to trap and kill cats on, inter alia, city streets, country roads, and in municipal parks.

Removing cats from nature reserves because they allegedly are a threat to wildlife is merely the first step in an intricate plan designed to eradicate the entire species. Moreover, such thinking is by no means peculiar to the USFWS; au contraire, it is a goal shared by wildlife biologists and birds worldwide.

"As long as the feral cat populations continue to rise there is no choice but to introduce regulations to permit the trapping and killing of cats in any area that is not distinctly urban, and in urban areas where the density of feral cat population exceeds a certain level," bird lovers Yoram Yom-Tov and Eli Gefen of Tel Aviv University wrote in an online essay last year. "In ancient Egypt the cat was a sacred animal. In Israel there is no justification for this. (See Haaretz, May 9, 2010, "Street Cats Are Paying the Price for Saving the Birds.")

The USFWS also is pressuring officials in Monroe County to enact stringent anti-roaming statutes that would require all cats "owned, sold, adopted, licensed, or taken to a vet" be either microchipped, tattooed, or tagged. (EA, page 13.) Shelters and veterinarians sans doute already are licking their chops in eager anticipation of the financial windfall that is destined to come their way.

Backed up by the massive power of the entire national government, the USFWS has numerous ways of strong-arming local and state officials into knuckling under to its will. For example, a few years back in Cape May, New Jersey, it had funds earmarked for beach replenishment withheld until the city belatedly complied with its edict and evicted all cats from Higbee Beach.

If city officials had had an ounce of moxie in their subservient old bones they would have told the USFWS to have stuck its shekels up its crack and instead found an alternative source of funding. Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing is never a sound policy especially when dealing with a government as tyrannical and criminal as the one headquartered on the Potomac.

It is interesting to note in passing that the USFWS arrived at its one-sided, jaundiced opinion of TNR by relying, in part, upon data supplied by the cat-hating frauds at PETA. The organization should feel vindicated in that, like the USFWS, it always has been more concerned with killing cats and other animals than saving them. After all, birds of a feather flock together.

Having made short shrift of TNR, the USFWS next categorically rejects trapping the cats and relocating them elsewhere. "Translocation of exotic species to their respective native habitats is not practical or economically feasible given that they originated in other states or countries, such as the Burmese pythons...Given that cats are domesticated they have no true native range to be relocated to," the USFWS, as proud as punch of itself, thunders triumphantly. (EA, page 17.)

Called upon to deliver the finishing touch to her agency's mindless indulgence in reductio ad absurdum logic, Morkill let it be known in no uncertain terms that not so much as one penny of her haul from the taxpayers was to be used under any circumstances in order to save the life of a cat. "We can't spend taxpayer money on (TNR) programs," she bellowed to the Keynoter in the January 29th article cited supra. "Feral cats are not native, even if they live in the wild."

It is bad enough that the vast majority of Americans live off of a combination of welfare, freebooty, and borrowed money but their total unwillingness to share is even more unbecoming. In the case of the USFWS, Congress has given it $50,000 for this feline eradication effort, just as it did likewise in 2007.

While that is a far cry from the $1,854,100 that it was given to shotgun to death one-hundred-fifty cats on San Nicolas in 2008 and 2009, it is not chicken feed either. Much more importantly, the money in both instances could have been far more productively spent in sparing the cats' lives.

Taken in toto, the USFWS's plan represents the embodiment of its long-held belief that the only good cat is a dead one. By foreclosing all options except the gallows, the agency's scheme brings to mind what Ambrose Bierce once said concerning the institution of private property.

"Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right to exclusively occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted whenever property in land is recognized," he wrote in his Devil's Dictionary. "It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B, and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist."

To put it succinctly, if place of birth does not establish both a right to live and a right to occupy a certain habitat then nothing else does. Furthermore, the rejection of such natural, inherent rights can serve only as a blueprint for the commisssion of all sorts of unspeakable atrocities.

Besides being absurd, the USFWS's reasoning is totally bogus. First of all, the agency is comprised of a gaggle of cat-hating freeloaders who do not own a single centimeter of public land. If sufficient public opposition could be mounted, the agency could be replaced and its hateful, prejudicial policies reversed.

Secondly, if the agency were the least bit serious about protecting endangered species it would be bending over backwards in order to reach a compromise with cat advocates and the supporters of other animals that also are on its hit list. In particular, it should be willing to either fund TNR programs or to humanely relocate cats elsewhere.

It therefore should not come as any surprise that the USFWS's stated objectives in the Florida Keys cannot possibly be achieved. "Sending cats to senseless deaths to 'protect' other animals does nothing to address the true threat to these species: humans. And so the plan doesn't have a real chance of successfully protecting endangered species," ACA wrote in a letter sent to the USFWS in January. (See "I Want TNR -- Not Trap an Kill -- in the Florida Keys.") "The problems caused by people kill millions of animals per year: habitat loss, urbanization, pollution, and environmental degradation."

Since neither the USFWS nor any other federal or state agency will do much of anything about protecting the animals and environment from developers and polluters, they instead have made cats the scapegoats for all that is wrong in nature. As Morkill and her colleagues understand so well, demonizing and killing cats is not only easy but strikes a responsive chord in the diseased minds of ailurophobes and fascists.

"Due to extensive habitat loss from human development, these species (rabbits and rats) have declined to such low numbers that management intervention is necessary to ensure their survival," she admitted to the Keynoter in the December 29, 2010 article cited supra. "Secondary impacts from development include the introduction of non-native predators, such as cats and other exotic predators. While we can't turn back the clock to return the Keys to its (sic) once pristine condition, we can take action now to control current threats from cats and other exotic animals."

Her partner in crime, Chad Anderson of National Key Deer Refuge, has made a career out of sawing on the same old, worn-out and out of tune fiddle. "We don't want to further make it harder for all the critters to make their living by this uncontrolled experiment of non-native species," he whined to The Miami Herald in the January 2nd article cited supra. "The native species have been playing the back and forth game for thousands of years. But all within the last fifty years, we've dumped in all these new species that don't have the system of checks and balances, down to the germs and viruses."

Bird advocates play the same dishonest, hypocritical game of demonizing and killing cats while steadfastly being too craven to confront developers and polluters. "They (cats) are, however, one of the causes that we have some control over," bird advocate and teacher Drew Morkman declared to The Petersborough Examiner of Ontario on January 27th. (See "Save a Bird, Keep the Cat Inside.")

Of all of Morkill's and Anderson's blatant lies, their labeling of cats are exotic, non-native predators is the most ludicrous and hypocritical. That is especially so in light of the fact that with the notable exception of Native Americans all occupants of the Western Hemisphere fall into the same category.

In particular, the employees of the USFWS are the very epitome of exotic, non-native predators who do far more damage to wildlife and Mother Earth in a single day than cats and other species have done in the past thousand years.

Furthermore, thousands of fauna and flora have been imported into this hemisphere ever since, at least, the arrival of the Vikings. Some, such as cats, have been extremely beneficial whereas others have provoked ecological chaos.

For example, tamarisk trees were imported around 1850 but soon grew out of control and that led to the introduction of the tamarisk beetle from Afghanistan. Now, the trees are under assault and that has imperiled the willow flycatcher which nests in them. (See CBC's As It Happens, April 25, 2011, "Munching Beetle.")

Trade, tourism, and immigration continue to bring in more and more new species of animals, plants, and viruses every day. For instance, the Emerald Ash Borer currently is laying waste of trees in New England while Chinese Mitten Crabs are creating problems in New York's Hudson River.

Even microorganisms living in the bilge tanks of cargo ships cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year when they are flushed into American harbors. The only sure-fire way of stopping these invasions would be to seal off the country to both foreigners and commerce and that is not about to happen.

Genetically modified crops are invasive species which are harmful to both native fauna and flora and yet the phony-baloney USFWS has sanctioned their planting in more than eighty national wildlife refuges that it oversees. (See Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) press release of March 24, 2009 entitled "Lawsuit Ends Genetically Engineered Crops on Wildlife Refuge. Ruling on Delaware's Prime Hook May Affect Farmers on Scores of Other Refuges.")

Even more outrageous, the USFWS, Wildlife Services, and other federal agencies systematically exterminate millions of native animals, such as bears, bobcats, badgers, coyotes, fishers, cougars, beavers, rabbits, foxes, birds, and prairie dogs, each year.

In May, the Obama Administration signed off on the USFWS's plan to allow almost six-thousand indigenous gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes region to be hunted. (See photo above of one of them.)

That marked the first time in history that Congress, a president, and the USFWS had conspired to strip a species of its protections under the ESA. (See Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, 2011, "Gray Wolves, Once Near Extinction, Lose Protection.")

The USFWS has done absolutely nothing to protect native animals and plants from the horrific destruction caused by coal mining and, in particular, mountaintop removal in Appalachia. (See The New York Times, August 11, 2009, "Enviro Groups Tread Lightly with Endangered Species Act in Appalachia.")

Similarly, the USFWS allows endangered Florida manatees to be harassed and abused by tourists. (See PEER press release of July 15, 2009, "Move to End Harassment of Florida Manatees. Legal Filing to Outlaw Manatee 'Swim-With' Dives by One-Hundred-Thousand Tourists Annually.")

The USFWS also steadfastly has refused to designate a single acre of critical habitat in order to protect either the Florida Panther or the American Jaguar. (See PEER press release of July 9, 2009, "Fish and Wildlife Service in Florida: Portrait of a Failed Agency," Center for Biological Diversity's press release of February 18, 2010, "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sued over Repeated Failure to Protect Endangered Florida Panther" and Cat Defender post of May 21, 2009 entitled "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

On the Columbia and Williamette rivers in Washington and Oregon, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are killing, hazing, and harassing migrating California sea lions in order to stop them from eating salmon and steelhead. That is in spite of the fact that all three species are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. (See photo above of Trevor Diemer, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, firing delayed explosive ammo called cracker shells from a shotgun at sea lions on the Williamette River in Oregon City.)

The sea lions have been made the scapegoats for dwindling fish stocks even though both commercial, recreational, and Native American fisherman as well as the operators of hydropower dams kill far more fish than they do. Like cats in the Florida Keys, sea lions visiting the northwest, which is an integral part of their historic habitat, are being singled out for slaughter while the feds suck up to the capitalists.

C'est-à-dire, the operators of the dams and fishermen are entitled to prey upon fish but not the sea lions. Of course, the fish cannot win under any circumstances. (See The Oregonian, November 10, 2010, "Task Force Recommends Killing More Sea Lions at Bonneville Dam to Protect Endangered Species" and the opinion by Judge Raymond C. Fisher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Humane Society of the United States v Locke, delivered on November 23, 2010.)

The long and the short of the matter is that the USFWS and other federal agencies are always up to something dishonest when it comes to their stewardship of both the animals and the environment. Instead of implementing policies that revere and respect the animals and nature, they are motivated by ingrained prejudices and an arrested development that makes them fit only to serve as the bootlicks of the money men. The natural treasures of this once great land could not possibly be in worse hands.

The endangered rabbit at the center of the USFWS's feline eradication campaign is the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). As its Latin name implies, its cause has been championed in the past by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. (See photo of one of them above on the right.)

According to the USFWS's one-sided research, cats are responsible for half of all marsh rabbit mortalities. Responsibility for the other half is parceled out amongst bald eagles, snakes, raccoons, motorists, hunters, developers, pesticides, and hurricanes.

The rat in question is the Key Large wood rat (Neotoma floridana smalli). Once its population had plummeted to approximately three-hundred, the USFWS, Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, and the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa embarked upon an ambitious captive-breeding program in 2002.

Even then it took the scientists eight years to produce seven wood rats that were deemed fit enough to be reintroduced to the wild. (See photo below of one of them.)

Those seven pioneers were released in February of 2010 with another group of septuplets scheduled to have been reintroduced later that month. (See The Miami Herald, February 10, 2010, "Key Largo Gets Some Wood Rats Back.")

True to form, the USFWS is not about to disclose either how many of them died at Disney World or how terribly they and their parents were treated by the scientists. The meager results would tend to suggest, however, that the mortality rate was high which in turn no doubt forced the scientists to further deplete the dwindling stock of those few that remain in the wild in order to obtain additional guinea pigs.

All of those reintroduced at Crocodile Lake were fitted with surveillance collars by the USFWS whose batteries had a life span of sixty days. More than likely the USFWS has been continuously trapping them ever since in order to fit their transponders with new batteries.

As the result of this surveillance, the USFWS has concluded that cats were responsible for seventy-seven per cent of the mortalities suffered by the reintroduced wood rats. The USFWS arrived at that figure based solely upon the "personal conclusion" of the manager of Crocodile Lake, S. Klett. (EA, page 3.)

For an agency that is all the time running off at the mouth about how that its decisions are grounded in incontrovertible science, no matter how biased and contrived, that is an astounding admission. If truth and honesty any longer mattered in governmental and academic circles, life and death policy decisions based solely upon "what a little birdie told me" would be laughed at as opposed to being rubber-stamped as gospel.

The USFWS is so corrupt, biased, and insecure that it not only systematically ignores all research data that are contrary to its feline liquidation agenda, but it goes to gargantuan lengths in order to exclude all cat advocates from its decision making process. It has done that in the Florida Keys just as it did in 2008 when it hired an unprincipled gaggle of like-minded wildlife biologists from H.T. Harvey and Associates of Fresno to prepare a one-sided indictment against the cats then living on San Nicolas. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2008 entitled "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas.")

Obviously the USFWS either does not recognize any difference between science and prejudice or simply is too dishonest, criminal, and fanatical to care one way or the other. It accordingly is a foregone conclusion that it is every bit as morally bankrupt as it is intellectually deficient.

"Western civilization, unfortunately, does not link knowledge and morality but rather it connects knowledge and power and makes them equivalent," Native American scholar Vine Deloria Jr. once observed. As a consequence, the USFWS and other federal and state agencies are allowed to kill millions of cats and other animals each year simply because no individual or group is willing to stop them.

Even in the wild wood rats have a low birth rate and that undoubtedly is contributing mightily to their demise. Other factors include predation by Burmese pythons and, possibly, a roundworm found in the feces of raccoons.

All of those factors pale in comparison, however, to moneygrubbing developers ravaging their habitat. Even more startling, the rat's precipitate decline since 1995 has occurred while its remaining habitat was under the control of the USFWS and the state of Florida. That development alone calls into question the competence of the USFWS to protect any species.

Whereas the USFWS acknowledges the primacy of habitat destruction, it not only is totally unwilling to curb development but is working hand and glove with developers and politicians to destroy what remains of the Keys. For example, the number of building permits that Monroe County is authorized to issue on Big Pine Key, and presumably elsewhere as well, is contingent upon its safeguarding the marsh rabbit and other endangered species.

If the USFWS had anything remotely resembling a coherent and consistent policy toward the preservation of either endangered species or the Keys it would insist that in addition to cats that developers, polluters, and hunters be given the heave-ho. Since it is unwilling to do that it should allow cats and other species on its hit list to remain in the Keys.

That list includes Virginia opossums, nine-banded armadillos, boa constrictors, Burmese pythons, Gambian pouch rats, black rats, green iguanas, Nile Monitors, black spinytail iguanas, red fire ants, and raccoons. With the notable exception of some raccoons, which are native, all of these species will be liquidated on the spot and the stomachs of iguanas, lizards, snakes, and no doubt other species, will be dissected and inventoried so as to collect data which then will be used to justify future eradications. (EA, page 14.)

The national government's collusion with developers, polluters, and hunters can be seen not only in the machinations of the USFWS but especially those of Wildlife Services. Each year it spends close to $120 million of taxpayers' money gassing, trapping, poisoning, and shooting between two and three million wild animals at the beckoning call of developers, ranchers, farmers, mineral extraction companies, hunters, airports, the military, swimming pool operators, and golf courses. (See Cat Defender post of September 15, 2005 entitled "United States Government Exterminates Millions of Wild Animals at the Behest of Capitalists," USA Today, June 21, 2009, "NYC to Euthanize (sic) Geese," and the CBC's As It Happens, April 29, 2011, "JFK Falcons Fired.")

All of that is in addition to the death squads maintained by the individual states. For example, Game, Fish, and Parks and the Agriculture Department in South Dakota annually spend hundred of thousands of dollars poisoning prairie dogs on private ranches. (See USA Today, May 25, 2011, "South Dakota: Rapid City" news brief.)

Whenever they are not actually doing the killing themselves, the states give free rein to hunters and trappers. For example, hunters slaughtered more than six-hundred defenseless black bears in New Jersey last autumn and another killing spree already has been scheduled for later this year.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) licensed seven-thousand-nine-hundred-eighty-seven trappers in 2009 and 2010 who in turn killed 498,643 animals. Moreover, that number does not even include hawks, eagles, owls, small mammals, and cats unintentionally trapped and killed.

Another 182,211 gray and red foxes, raccoons, and coyotes were killed by archers and shooters. Innumerable deer, bears, turkeys, mourning doves, crows, ducks, and geese also were obliterated by hunters.

An unspecified number of mink, skunks, muskrats, fishers, weasels, and river otters were killed for their lucrative pelts. In 2010 alone, 37,425 of Wisconsin's remaining 66,800 beavers were drowned in traps. Quail, partridges, and sharp-tailed grouse have been hunted almost into extinction.

Four-hundred-ninety-three of the state's remaining bobcats were mowed down by hunters in 2010 and, worst still, most cubs are killed in steel-jaw traps before they even reach the age of two. (See The Capital Times, February 6, 2011, "Patricia Randolph's Madravenspeak: Wisconsin Hates Wildlife" and Cat Defender post of February 5, 2011 entitled "Left Stranded by His Mother, Almond Finds a Home in the Hollow of a Maple Tree That Comes with Private Catering.")

In addition to allowing wildlife biologists and hunters to slaughter species both for profit and out of malice, human predation is contrary to natural predation where it typically is the smaller, weaker, and older animals that are killed. By allowing the killing of large, healthy, reproductively-mature animals, human predation is causing rapid evolutionary changes within species. Specifically, such policies are producing animals that are twenty per cent smaller than their predecessors and who in turn give birth twenty-five per cent earlier and, as an added consequence, less often.

According to researchers, that is not only occurring in mammals but also in fish, plants, and invertebrates. (See Chris Darimont et alii., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Human Predators Outpace Other Agents of Trait Change in the Wild" and National Parks Traveler, January 18, 2009, "Humans as 'Super-Predators' -- New Study Offers Startling Information about Hunting and Fishing.")

Wisconsin's flagship school, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, is not only home to a gaggle of cutthroat vivisectors who torture and slaughter defenseless animals at no fewer than sixty different locations on campus, but it also is where Stanley A. Temple earns his blood money. It was back in 2005 that his totally bogus study of alleged feline predation of birds prompted the authorities to seriously consider allowing the Badger State to join the ranks of Minnesota and South Dakota as the only states that hunt cats.

Not surprisingly, the USFWS provided the funding for Temple's lies and is to this very day quoting them in the EA as if they were nothing less than the unvarnished truth. Temple is such an unscrupulous scoundrel that he even shanghaied his cat, Flynn, into wearing a radio collar for eight years so that he could collect data for his study. (See photo below of him with Flynn.)

Despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence to indicate that Temple ever has so much as raised his voice against the carnage inflicted upon countless scores of defenseless animals by the DNR, trappers, and hunters, he is hailed as a hero by the sleazy, unprincipled institution that employs him. (See UW-Wisconsin press release of January 27, 2011, "Stan Temple: A Life Saving Threatened Species.")

Nico Dauphiné of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo in Washington is another bird advocate who systematically abuses cats by mounting cameras on them in order to record their interactions with birds. That is not all that she does, however.

Late last month she was caught on closed circuit camera setting out dishes of food laced with antifreeze and rat poison for homeless cats that live near her apartment in the Columbia Heights section of the city. She subsequently was arrested by the Washington Humane Society and charged with animal cruelty and could receive up to six months in jail and be fined $1,000 if convicted.

Despite her criminal behavior, the National Zoo is standing by her and steadfastly has refused to even suspend her. (See ABC-TV News, May 24, 2011, "DC Zoo Employee Denies Charge She Tried to Poison Feral Cats.")

At Tel Aviv University, Yom Tov's mentor, Professor Heinrich Mendelssohn, made a career out of poisoning his neighbors' cats in order to protect green lizards. "They fall asleep and that way the lizards can eat harmful insects on the plants," he confessed in 2000. (See Haaretz, December 24, 2010, "Israeli Cat Lovers' Lament.")

The cat protection movement faces many challenges and both time and money are in short supply. Nevertheless, it is long overdue that decisive action was taken against academics such as Temple and Dauphiné who turn cats into guinea pigs in order to collect data which they later use as a pretext in order to eradicate scores of other felines.

Others who deliberately either kill or attempt to kill cats, such Dauphiné, must be promptly arrested and severely punished to the fullest extent that the law allows. Mendelssohn, thankfully, is rotting in his grave but the evil that he sowed in the hearts of his brainwashed students lives on after him.

Just as it did on San Nicolas, it is highly probable that the USFWS arrived at its estimates of feline predation of marsh rabbits and wood rats by trapping and killing cats and then inventoring their stomachs. As is the case with forcing cats to wear burdensome cameras and radio collars, this odious practice must be outlawed and the anti-cruelty statutes rigorously applied to birders and wildlife biologists both inside and outside of governmental institutions.

The National Zoo is by no means the only animal penitentiary that abuses cats. The Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam, Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire, and the Berliner Zoo, just to name a few, hold domestic cats hostage to serve as surrogate mothers, playmates, and blood donors for wild animals. (See Cat Defender post of December 4, 2010 entitled "Muschi Is Left on Her Own in a Perilous Environment after the Berliner Zoo Kills Off Her Best Friend and Protector, Mäuschen.")

Wildlife refuge centers, such as Carolina Wildlife Care near Columbia, South Carolina, also shanghai domestic cats into becoming surrogate mothers. (See AOL, April 30, 2010, "Bobcat Cubs Milk Attention from Adopted Moms.")

Because of their avowed hatred of the species, it is inconceivable that any wildlife biologist or birder is capable of humanely treating cats. Consequently, it is imperative that they be prevented not only from adopting them but of even going near them.

Since the USFWS makes no bones about its virulent hatred of cats, few individuals knowingly are taken in by its lies. The same cannot be said for the phony-baloney rescue groups in the Keys who are supposedly protecting cats.

The sellout of the cats began in 2008 when the USFWS, still smarting from the failure of its liquidation effort of a year earlier, decided to try a new tack. Realizing that it is easier to catch flies with sugar than vinegar, it set out to inveigle the cat people into doing its bidding for it.

Toward that end, it staged four public meetings with cat and other animal protection groups. Out of those bull sessions, a new group called One Animal Family was formed under the aegis of the existing Friends and Volunteers of the Refuges (FAVOR).

The fact that FAVOR was involved in any way was a dead giveaway from the outset that the cats were about to meet their Waterloo. That is because the organization's Sandy Brown and, presumably other members as well, is an apostle of the American Bird Conservancy's (ABC) cats indoors agenda. In fact, One Animal Family now freely admits on its web site that it is affiliated with the ABC and fully endorses its cats indoors agenda.

"The ultimate hope is that all Keys's residents -- not just residents within the National Key Deer Refuge -- start taking action that will benefit the health of their own pets, stop overpopulation, and help folks live next door to nature, thereby protecting wildlife," Alison Higgins of One Animal Family told the Keynoter in the December 29th article cited supra. "Specifically, we hope to limit the numbers of domestic animals from ever being trapped."

Jerry Dykhuisen of Forgotten Felines of Marathon was ecstatic about the formation of One Animal Family and told The Miami Herald in the January 2nd article cited supra that he gave the USFWS "kudos for making a genuine effort to get everyone together."

Once the USFWS announced its intended killing spree, he did an abrupt about-face and began singing an entirely different tune. "We are not very pleased," he bellyached to the Keynoter in the January 5th article cited supra.

"This is going to be a death sentence for some of the cats," he told The Miami Herald in the January 2nd article cited supra.

He later feebly attempted to explain away his decision to throw in with the USFWS by telling the Keynoter "but that was when we had a no-kill shelter on Big Pine Key."

Both Higgins and Dykhuisen are lying through their rotten teeth. They knowingly sold the cats down the river to their arch-enemies and as a consequence they now have blood all over their hands.

Despite their vociferous disavowals to the contrary, both of them knew only too well that the USFWS is a cat-killing machine that has been involved in countless extermination efforts before and as a consequence they had no business of going into cahoots with it. At the bare minimum they should have insisted that the agency change its policies and renounce demonizing and killing cats. Toward that objective, they should have exacted a pledge in writing from the USFWS that it would support either TNR or the humane relocation of the cats.

They both likewise are fully cognizant of the fact that there always will be homeless cats. That is because just about all so-called shelters are in reality extermination camps. Faced with the Hobson's choice of either signing a cat's death warrant or dumping it, compassionate individuals always will choose the latter alternative.

Despite that reality, Dykhuisen has gone over to the other side and is now pimping for the cat killers. "One of the major enclaves of the refuge is No Name Key," he told The Miami Herald in the January 2nd article cited supra. "People go out there and abandon their animals where nobody sees them do it. That's got to stop."

On that point, he is in full agreement with the USFWS. More importantly, if he and the USFWS are allowed to prevail all homeless cats in the Keys plus innumerable domiciled ones will be killed.

Sellouts within the feline protection movement are, sadly, the rule as opposed to the exception. For example, the Humane Society of the United States sold out San Nicolas's cats to the USFWS in 2008 and Neighborhood Cats in Manhattan seemingly is always on the lookout to make some sort of weasel deal with the species' sworn enemies. (See Cat Defender posts of April 28, 2009, November 20, 2009, and June 15, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service," "Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island," and "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form an Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")

"I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight," Warren G. Harding once observed. "But my damn friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at night!"

To put it another way, with friends like Dykhuisen and his cohorts, what do the cats need with enemies?

The future for cats in the Keys, both homeless and domesticated, looks especially grim. There conceivably still might be time to interrupt this en masse slaughter if sufficient public opposition could be mounted but given the collusion of local humane groups with the USFWS and the ABC that is, admittedly, a long shot.

Nevertheless, if the USFWS is not confronted and stopped now it is a foregone conclusion that it will embark upon future eradications in the Keys either next year or the year thereafter. Besides, stopping the USFWS in the Keys would go a long way toward putting an end to its crimes against cats elsewhere.

Photos: Tami Heilemann of the Department of the Interior (Morkill and Salazar), Yellowstone National Park (wolf), Everton Bailey Jr. of The Oregonian (Diemer), Neil Perry of the USFWS (marsh rabbit), Lowry Park Zoo (wood rat), and UW-Madison (Temple and Flynn).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rocco's Abduction, Systematic Torture, and Cold-Blooded Murder by a Bird Lover in München Was the Number One Cat Story of 2010

"Man produces evil as a bee produces honey."
-- William Golding


(This article originally was written for publication on 23 March 2011.)

The year 2010 was a traumatic one for cats around the world. Although bird lovers have been maligning and killing them for a very long time, the abduction and death by torture of a cat named Rocco in München last December vividly demonstrated for all to see not only how much enmity resides in their black hearts but, more importantly, the diabolical extremes that they are prepared to go to in order to achieve their objectives.

Every bit as evil as birders, wildlife biologists continued to kill cats with impunity thanks to the welfare dollars that they are able to cadge from the public. Most notably, the United States Army Corps of Engineers last spring evicted the cats from Lake Lanier in Georgia.

Gardeners, the third spoke in this age-old Achse des Bösen, also continued to prey upon cats. For example, in Saginaw, Michigan, one such individual illegally trapped Buggsey and Music Lessons and promptly handed them over to an obliging shelter to be killed. In Nordrhein Westfalen, a cat named Ziegelchen was illegally trapped by a gardener but fortunately escaped an identical fate when he was rescued in the nick of time by his devoted owners.

Individuals without any known political agenda also continued to commit horrible, despicable acts of unprovoked violence against the species. For example, a cat named Lätzchen was intentionally set on fire and burned within an inch of her life in Sachsen-Anhalt.

In Tampa, a cat named Lovey was shot at least thirty times with an air gun, caged, and then dumped in a bay by a devil worshiper. In New Westminster, British Columbia, a cat named Harley died a prolonged and painful death after he was deliberately dunked up to his waist in turpentine.

If all of that were not horrific enough, several trusting and loving cats were abandoned to die under truly abominable circumstances by their owners. In particular, a cat named Lumpi in Baden-Württemberg was left to die in an apartment fire after he had saved his owners' lives by awakening them.

At the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof, a beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat was abandoned in a locker where she shortly thereafter died of thirst. In Kissimmee, Florida, an unrepentant, god-fearing evangelical allowed a nine-year-old Persian named Tavia to die after leaving her all alone in an unheated house for two months.

Although it is well-known that animal shelters are little more than dressed-up death camps, the full extent of their hideous crimes was brought into sharper focus last year after several of them were caught killing cats and dogs that had homes waiting for them. Almost as revolting, several no-kill facilities were exposed to be total frauds.

Likewise, the veterinary profession was revealed to be rife with incompetence and prejudice as well as runaway greed. Unfortunately, it looks like practitioners who implant cancer-causing microchips in cats and dogs are going to escape punishment although the manufacturers and distributors of these deadly devices have a date in court sometime this year thanks to a civil suit filed by Andrea Rutherford of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Motorists continued to run down and kill cats with impunity but a public official in Möhnesse had the audacity to order the destruction and removal of a roadside memorial erected in honor of one of them. With the seal of approval from the courts, drunkards and dope addicts in Pennsylvania continued to abuse and kill cats at their pleasure.

In Henley-on-Thames, George Harrison's widow belatedly bowed to public pressure and removed razor-wire fencing from around Friar Park. Finally, the one notable bright spot in an otherwise generally unhappy year belonged to a bachelor in Sachsen, who tied the knot with his ailing, fifteen-year-old companion, Cecilia.

For previous year-end reviews, see Cat Defender posts of January 4, 2007, January 11, 2008, February 2, 2009, and March 16, 2010 entitled, respectively, "The Continuing Mass Extermination of Millions of Cats at Shelters Across the World Heads the List of Top Ten Cat Stories of 2006," "Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Courtroom Heads the List of the Top Stories of 2007," "The Creation of Clones That Glow in the Dark for Vivisectors to Torture and Kill with Impunity Was the Most Disturbing Cat Story to Come Out of 2008," and "The Humane Society's Sellout of San Nicolas's Felines to the Assassins at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Was the Biggest Cat Story of 2009."

1.) München Bird Lover Tortures Rocco to Death.

Rocco

One of the most horrendous and despicable acts of animal cruelty ever recorded was perpetrated in late December against a three and one-half year old Norwegian Forest Cat named Rocco from the Moosach section of München by a bird lover identified only at Ernst K.  The atrocities began on December 13th when Ernst K. illegally trapped and kidnapped Rocco. Over the course of the following eleven days this diabolical monster repeatedly tortured the caged cat with both water and pepper spray.

The temperature of the water never has been disclosed and it is not even known if Rocco was fed during this period. If he was, it only was enough in order to keep him barely alive so that Ernst K. could continue to get his cheap thrills.

Ernst K.'s sadistic little game came to abrupt end on Heilig Abend when one of his neighbors, seventy-three-year-old Erika S., accidentally stumbled on to him torturing Rocco and telephoned the police. The cowardly Ernst K. then stuffed the dying cat into a garbage bag and secreted him away in his garage.

By the time that the police and Tierrettung München arrived it was too late in order to save Rocco. "Ich konnte Rocco nicht helfen," Birgit Schwarzmann of the rescue group later said. "In zehn Jahres als Tierärztin habe ich nie zuvor etwas Schrecklicheres gesehen. Das war purer Sadimus."

The cold-blooded, premeditated murder of Rocco left his owner, fifty-three-year-old insurance broker Andreas O., and the other members of his family heartbroken. "Wir vermissen Rocco sehr, er war wie ein Familienmitglied," he said.

When asked by Andreas O. why he had murdered Rocco, Ernst K. simply grinned back at him with fiendish delight. "Ich wurde es wieder tun," he later told the police.

Ernst K.

True to his word, Ernst K. festooned his house and garage with placards accusing Rocco's supports of hating birds. Either he or one of his supporters also has threatened to kill additional cats. "Bitte riskieren Sie nicht, dass auch Ihre Katze einen ebenso grausamen Tod wie Rocco erleiden muss," one such poster read.

At least eight other cats have disappeared from the neighborhood surrounding Ernst K.'s house and there is a good chance that he was responsible in each case. Plus, at least one cat and a dog from the area have been poisoned.

The police charged Ernst K. with animal cruelty but he remains free to continue killing cats. Andreas O. has vowed to hold him accountable in a civil court but such an undertaking will take time and the outcome is uncertain.

On the positive side, two-hundred-sixty supports of Rocco marched in the cold and snow through Moosach on January 8th. A touching memorial consisting of photographs of the deceased, wooden crosses, flowers, and candles was erected at the corner of Magdalena and Bräu Weg. Tierschutzverein München, which organized the rally, has vowed to keep the pressure on both the courts and lawmakers in order to make certain that Ernst K. is punished to the fullest extent of the law.

His criminal behavior was not an aberration; im Gegenteil, it merely is par for the course as far as bird advocates and wildlife biologists are concerned. "Man produces evil as a bee produces honey," author William Golding once opined and that certainly defines to a tee these two groups of rabid cat-haters.

All cat lovers accordingly must remain vigilant because Ernst K. and his fellow criminals have proven time and time again that they will stop at absolutely nothing when it comes to abusing and killing cats. If there is anything positive to be learned from Rocco's sadistic murder it is to be found in the writings of Agatha Christie.

"Remember that now you can have confidence in yourself always," Hercule Poirot told Norma Restarick in The Third Girl. "To have known, at close quarters, what absolute evil means is to be armored against what life can do to you." (See Cat Defender post of January 19, 2011 entitled "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period.")

2.) Lumpi Saves His Guardians' Lives but They Abandon Him to Die in an Apartment Fire.

Lumpi

The abandonment and willful neglect of cats and kittens takes on many forms. It can be as mundane as either handing them over to shelters to kill or dumping them in fields, streams, and traffic.

Mailboxes, used clothing bins, and even the trash will suffice for any number of individuals. Whenever there is a will, a way surely will be found of getting shed of unwanted cats.

Abandoning a beloved cat to die in an apartment fire after he has just saved his owners' lives is, arguably, the cruelest form of ingratitude imaginable. Nevertheless, that is what happened to a nine-month-old cat named Lumpi from Altshausen in Baden Württemberg on New Year's Eve of 2009. 

The end for him came at 4 a.m. on that tragic day when a fire broke out in the newly renovated second floor apartment that he shared with his sister, Sissi, and his owners, forty-six-year-old Edgar K. and forty-four-year-old Susi S. The conflagration is believed to have originated in a defective television set.

"Plötzlich kratzte und miaute es an unserer Schlafzimmertür. Als ich öffnete stürmten unser Kater Lumpi und unsere Katze Sissi ins Zimmer," Edgar K. later recalled. "Ich sah Qualm auf dem Flur, aus dem Wohnzimmer schlug mir eine beißende Rauchwolke entgegen."

Thanks to being awakened by their cats, the couple was able to get out of the burning apartment alive. Too selfish to return the favor, they did not even attempt to save their rescuers.

"Die Katzen haben geschrien," Susi S. added. "Wir wollten nach ihnen schauen, aber wir sahen kaum noch etwas und konnten nicht mehr atmem."

Lumpi, who died of smoke inhalation, later was found wedged between the mattress on the couple's bed while Sissi miraculously survived by hiding underneath the bed. The apartment was completely destroyed.

The death of her brother has left Sissi brokenhearted. "Sie ist verwirrt, miaut herzzerreißend, Susi S. said. "Sie sucht den ganzen Tag nach ihren Bruder."

For whatever it is worth, Susi S. at least has acknowledged the couple's debt to Lumpi. "Jetzt verdanken wir ihm unser Leben." (See Cat Defender post of April 3, 2010 entitled "Lumpi Is Unforgivably Left to Die in a Burning Apartment by the Ingrates Whose Lives He Saved.")

A more common, albeit no less hideous, way of disposing of an unwanted cat is to stuff it into a locker at a train station. That precisely is the cruel fate that befell a nameless mixed-breed Norwegian Forest Cat on August 21st when she was left at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof to die.

Schließfach Katze

Deutschen Bahn riders scurrying through the busy transportation hub overheard her plaintive cries for help from inside locker number 457 at 11:50 p.m. and telephoned the police. Rushed to a local veterinarian she died shortly thereafter.

A preliminary necropsy performed by the Institut für Hygiene and Unwelt revealed that she had died of thirst. That in and of itself is not surprising in that she already was suffering from kidney trouble.

Confined in an area hardly large enough for her even to turn around, she spent the last day of her tragic life in total darkness, without either food, water, or even an adequate supply of fresh air to breathe.

As far as it is known, no arrests have been made in this case. Not only are the police and humane groups at fault for not vigorously investigating this abysmal act of animal cruelty, but so too are the railroad, terminal staff, and commuters for heartlessly ignoring her pleas for help for at least twenty-four hours.

All of them have blood on their hands. If just one of them had acted compassionately and responsibly, she still would be alive today. (See Cat Defender post of September 3, 2010 entitled "Pretty Norwegian Forest Cat, Already Suffering from Kidney Trouble, Is Abandoned to Die of Thirst in a Schließfach at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof.")

Sometimes an owner can be so negligent that her behavior is tantamount to outright abandonment. Black evangelist Royal Poinciana Sprewell's unconscionable decision to leave her nine-year-old white Persian, Tavia, all alone is an unheated house in Kissimmee, Florida, for two months last fall is a prime example of such patently cruel behavior.

It has not even been conclusively established if Tavia had an adequate supply of either food or water throughout her extended period of neglect.

Tavia

When the derelicts from Osceola County Animal Control (OCAC) in nearby St. Cloud finally stirred their lazy bones and belatedly entered the dwelling on December 6th Tavia already was dead. A cosmetic necropsy commissioned by Osceola County Public Safety later revealed that this beautiful cat had died from a combination of liver and kidney failure.

Despite that finding, Sprewell insists that Tavia died of loneliness. "Because we gave her so much love and affection, and by us being away for basically a two-month period, she felt a lack of affection," she maintained.

Instead of accepting responsibility for killing Tavia, Sprewell elected to blame those who refused to help her pay her bills. "No, I don't. To be honest with you," she defiantly declared. "I feel it's the responsibility of a lot of individuals who didn't help us."

Compounding her criminal and inhumane neglect of Tavia, Sprewell also admitted to sedating her numerous times in order to shave away the tangles from her long fur. As any simpleton knows, longhaired cats should be groomed twice daily, not sedated and shaven. Moreover, there is a good chance that the barbiturates contributed to Tavia's death.

The negligence demonstrated by OCAC was almost as egregious as Sprewell's conduct. "Our hands are tied in that there has to be probable cause to ask a judge for a warrant to go into a private dwelling or business," is how the organization's Lee Radevaugh explained away his dereliction of duty. Quite obviously, he does not consider saving the life of a dying cat to constitute probable cause.

He also is a bean counter par excellent. "We're in a very economic distressed time and our resources are limited," he whined. "We really limit our responses to truly emergency situations (such as) injured animals, bite cases and car accidents."

Others who turned blind eyes to Tavia's plight include, inter alia, Sprewell's neighbor Santiago Sandoval who waited a full month before contacting OCAC, her landlord, local humane groups, the Kissimmee Police, and the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

OCAC even refused to charge Sprewell with animal cruelty. (See Cat Defender post of December 23, 2010 entitled "Tavia's Desperate Pleas for Help Fall Upon the Deaf Ears of the Evangelical Who Abandoned Her and the Heartless Officials and Citizens of Kissimmee.")

Of course, it must be kept in mind that Christianity always has been hostile to cats. (See Cat Defender post of July 30, 2009 entitled "Ferals Living at a Baltimore Church Find Out the Hard Way That Hatred of Cats Is Every Bit as Christian as Unleavened Bread and Cheap Wine.")

If the thinking and behavior of Israelis is in any way indicative of how Jews elsewhere feel about cats, they are every bit as contemptuous of the species as Christians. (See Cat Defender posts of November 11, 2005, August 10, 2006, and October 12, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Israeli Colonialists in Gaza and the West Bank Leave Behind Thousands of Cats to Die of Thirst, Hunger, and Predation," "Death Toll Mounts for Cats and Other Animals Slaughtered and Left Homeless in Lebanon by Israeli War Criminals," "A Few Hundred Cats and Dogs Are Airlifted Out of Lebanon but Cluster Bombs and an Oil Slick Continue to Kill Animals and Marine Life." Also see Haaretz of May 9, 2010 and December 24, 2010, "Street Cats Are Paying the Price for Saving the Birds" and "Israeli Cat Lovers' Lament.")

Poisonings, satanic sacrifices, and mutilations are so widely accepted that they seldom evoke much of a response from either the police or the public. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2007 entitled "Israeli Police Turn a Blind Eye to the Poisoning of Fifty-Three Cats and Dogs in Kiryat Tivon" as well as The Jerusalem Post of August 19, 2010 and October 17, 2010, "'Satanic Cult' Tries to Sacrifice Cat" and "Cat Mutilated, Impaled in Tel Aviv.")

In addition to Lumpi, the Schließfach cat, and Tavia, thousands of nameless cats and kittens from around the world were stuffed into sacks and bags and then thrown out with the trash. Others were drowned in rivers whereas still others were abandoned in the middle of busy thoroughfares where they in due course were run down and killed by equally malevolent motorists.

3.) Crimes Against Cats Are Becoming More Horrific.

Lätzchen

Every calendar year is chock-full of horrendous crimes committed against cats but what distinguished 2010 was a marked increase in the gruesomeness of such attacks. Zum Beispiel, a black cat named Lätzchen from Karsdorf in Burgenlandkreis, Sachsen-Anhalt, was blinded after she purposefully was set on fire in late August. 

Half of her fur was burned off, her ears reduced to stumps, and she suffered flesh wounds to her tiny nose. She therefore will require skin grafts and specialized care for the remainder of her life.

There can be no doubt that the attack was intentional. "Die Täter haben vorsätzlich gehandelt," a spokesperson for the local police said after the attack. "Sie wollten, dass die Katze einen qualvollen Feuertod stirbt."

The attack has been particularly disturbing for owner Ulrike Bach's eight-year-old son, David. "David ist vernarrt in seine Katze," she said. "Lätzchen' kam bei uns zur Welt."

For his part, little David had a question for his mother that she was unable to answer: "Warum tun Menschen so etwas Böses, Mama?" (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2010 entitled "Lätzchen Is Deliberately Set on Fire and Burned Within an Inch of Her Life in Karsdorf.")

In yet still another horrific case of animal cruelty, a black and white cat named Lovey was tortured over an extended period of time by a self-proclaimed devil worshiper and his accomplice before finally being caged and dumped in McKay Bay in the Ybor City section of Tampa on September 1st. Fortunately for her, an unidentified Good Samaritan happened along at 3 a.m. and saved her from drowning.

Lovey

Attending veterinarians discovered thirty air gun pellets lodged in her abdomen and needlessly shaved away most of her fur before ultimately changing their minds and electing not to surgically remove them. She soon thereafter was placed in a new home but the pellets potentially could become so toxic as to shorten her already tragic life.

The pet carrier in which she was found contained the following stenciling on the outside: "Kitty Penitentiary," "Est. 2010," "Cell 666," "Jailer Missy," and "Warden" with the name erased. A tally maintained on the outside indicated that she had been disciplined at least twenty times.

On September 16th, nineteen-year-old Giovanni Estrada of Town 'n' Country was identified as the warden and arrested. His girlfriend, Mildred Marie "Missy" Krack inexplicably was not charged with animal cruelty even though there can be little doubt that she is the jailer referred to on the outside of the cage. (See Cat Defender post of September 27, 2010 entitled "Caged, Shot Thirty Times with an Air Gun, and Then Tossed into a Bay to Drown, Lovey Is Rescued in the Middle of the Night by a Good Samaritan.")

Elsewhere around the world, more than half a dozen cats were lynched during 2010 whereas others were cut in half and dismembered. Others were murdered during the making of crush videos.

In one particularly disturbing case, an unidentified white teenage male stuffed two adorable kittens into a plastic bag and then used a vacuum cleaner in order to methodically suck the oxygen out of both the bag and their lungs. He then uploaded his handiwork on the Internet.

As if that were not macabre enough, a cacophony of adults, apparently unaware of what he was doing, can be overheard socializing in the background to the accompaniment of the familiar strains of John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." (See Kidsolo's Newspaper, December 29, 2010, "Teen Kills Kittens and Posts It on the Internet.")

4.) Shelters Continue to Excel at Killing Cats and Telling Big, Fat Lies.

Bay City Kitten

It is well established that shelters in the United States systematically exterminate tens of millions of cats and dogs each year. As horrific and patently immoral as that is, it is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as their duplicitous and criminal behavior is concerned.

Perhaps most egregious of all are shelters that kill animals that have homes waiting for them. That is precisely what happened to an adorable, nameless six-week-old kitten last May 26th at the Bay County Animal Shelter in Bay City, Michigan.

Although a woman in Washington State had offered to give it a home, shelter manager Mike Halstead went ahead and killed it anyway because it allegedly had contracted a common cold. Individuals in California, Iowa, and Sweden also had expressed an interest in adopting the kitten.

Not surprisingly, the shelter killed a staggering ninety-seven per cent of all the cats that it took in during the first three months of 2010. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")

Later in August, the horribly mismanaged Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, New Jersey, systematically slaughtered twenty-six pit bulls despite there having been rescue groups willing to have taken them. (See The Jersey Journal, September 3, 2010, "Vigil Outside Jersey City Animal Shelter Is Led by 'No Kill' Activist from New York Demanding It End All Euthanasia" and "Liberty Humane Uncensored" on Facebook.)

Some good eventually may emerge from it but right now the so-called no-kill movement is rife with fraudsters and liars. For example, although the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society (BVHS), located west of San Francisco, advertises itself as being a no-kill facility, that designation only applies to the few animals that it arbitrarily designates as being adoptable. The remainder are surreptitiously handed over to Solano County Animal Control (SCAC) in nearby Fairfield for liquidation.

That was the disturbing reality foisted upon kindhearted Kimberly Marshall last July when she surrendered eight orphaned kittens to BVHS. "I was told by two employees that theirs is a no-kill facility and that foster homes would be found for the kittens," she related. "If I had thought they'd be sent somewhere else to be killed, I would never have given them those babies."

Adding insult to injury, when Marshall demanded that SCAC return the kittens to her it initially attempted to shake her down for a cool $200. "I cried and screamed until the supervisor there said I could have the kittens back," she added. "I was there for four hours in the blazing sun."

She quite obviously is an exceptional human being because not many individuals have either her perseverance or compassion.

Kitty City, another so-called no-kill operation in La Luz, New Mexico, operates in a similar fashion. First of all, it greatly reduces the number of cats that might potentially show up on its doorstep by attempting to starve to death all homeless cats through its vociferous support of a feeding ban.

It then takes in only those cats that Animal Control in nearby Alamogordo arbitrarily designates as being adoptable. (See Cat Defender post of July 29, 2010 entitled "Benicia Vallejo Humane Society Is Outsourcing the Mass Killing of Kittens and Cats All the While Masquerading as a No-Kill Shelter.")

The Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia, California, is such a slipshod, uncaring operation that it left a nameless gray cat to die in one of its unattended traps last July. The trap, which was set on the grounds of the Tulare County Courthouse on July 22nd, was not checked again until July 27th when the rancid smell of the dead cat's carcass finally began to pique the sensitive nostrils of the bureaucrats who work nearby. (See Cat Defender post of August 23, 2010 entitled "Valley Oak SPCA Kills a Cat by Allowing It to Languish in the Heat in an Unattended Trap for Five Days at the Tulare County Courthouse.")

If any additional evidence were needed as to how the moral degenerates at Valley Oak think and behave, the organization's Kandi Stevens provided it gratis on January 22, 2011 when she authored a column in the Visalia Times-Delta imploring the public to help with the clearing of the streets and countryside of homeless cats. (See "Kandi Stevens: The Difference Between Feral and Stray Cats.") Not surprisingly, the only options that she provided concerned individuals were to either practice TNR at their own expense or to trap the cats and surrender them to Valley Oak which in turn would be only too happy to promptly snuff out their fragile lives.

The RSPCA, on the other hand, is every bit as proficient a trapper of cats as the Valley Oak SPCA is incompetent; nevertheless, the end result for cats caught in its snares is the same. For example, at 6 p.m. on August 31st it stole seventy-nine-year-old Ann Baker's cat, Nightshift, off the streets of Selby in Yorkshire and killed him ninety minutes later.

Nightshift

"She (the RSPCA inspector) just grabbed him off the street, bundled him into a van and had him destroyed," Baker said of the beloved cat that she had cared for ever since 1992. As it earlier had done with a nineteen-year-old cat named Mork from Ruislip in Middlesex, the RSPCA lied by claiming that Nightshift had a cold and kidney woes and therefore had to be immediately dispatched to the devil. (See Cat Defender post of June 5, 2007 entitled "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated.")

Later, the RSPCA admitted that it reserves the right to kill all cats that it arbitrarily deems to be either sick or injured as well as those without either strangulation collars or cancer-causing microchips. As the cases of Nightshift and Mork have demonstrated, it also considers old age to be a capital offense. (See Cat Defender post of October 23, 2010 entitled "RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband.")

The enforcement of recently enacted draconian anti-roaming laws have given shelters another excuse to steal and kill cats. That is precisely what happened to an eight-year-old cat named Keecha in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on April 11, 2006. Keecha's owner, Margaret Reynard, filed a $50,000 wrongful death lawsuit against the Delaware County SPCA in Media but was awarded only $1 in compensation by an arbitration panel on January 8, 2010. (See Cat Defender post of March 19, 2010 entitled "Trapped and Killed by the Delaware County SPCA, Keecha's Life Is Valued at Only $1 by a Pennsylvania Arbitration Panel.")

Shelters and Animal Control officers are such a thoroughly unscrupulous pack of rotters that even giving them money in order to procure food for surrendered cats does not ensure their well-being. That is the hard truth that Donna Pruitt learned when she surrendered two stray kittens to Animal Control in Sugar Land, Texas, at 9 a.m. on July 8th.

Although she gave Animal Control $20 in order to purchase food for them, she was informed when she returned at 11:45 a.m. that the kittens had been killed almost as soon as she was out the door. That was in spite of the fact that the shelter is supposed to telephone all previous owners before killing surrendered animals so as to provide them with an opportunity to reclaim them.

Based upon its internal guidelines, Sugar Land also was obliged to have held the kittens for at least seventy-two hours before killing them. Clearly, most shelters tell the public one thing and do another when nobody is watching. (See Cat Defender post of August 9, 2010 entitled "Sunday Afternoon Boater Plucks Splat Out of Clouter Creek after She Is Thrown Off of the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge in Charleston.")

Despite the truly barbaric manner in which all societies treat cats, there is a glimmer of hope that things possibly could be about to change. In particular, a growing number of veterinarians and animal welfare advocates belatedly are coming to the realization that cats do not belong in shelters of any sort.

The alternatives are managed colonies, sanctuaries, and an increased emphasis upon adoption. One recent convert to this way of thinking is University of Pennsylvania veterinarian Michael Moyer who had his epiphany while working at a Chester County shelter.

Specifically, he now realizes that the stress brought on by being caged at a shelter causes dormant diseases to emerge and spread and makes cats anti-social and therefore difficult to place in new homes.

He also believes that even the disinfectants used at shelters not only sicken but alienate cats. Moreover, cats need space to roam and their food dishes and litter boxes should be kept separate, as opposed to being placed near each other in their cages. Environmental stimulation, such as human contact and videos, also are essential.

All of those factors thus have prompted him to endorse TNR over the more prevalent trap and kill policies practiced by shelters and Animal Control. "Cats can live a pretty respectable cat life (in the city)," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 11th. (See "Shelter Shock.") "We tend to think their lives must be nasty, brutish, and short (Thomas Hobbes' description of the state of nature) but they live about as long on average as house cats."

Hopefully, Moyer now will turn his attention to reforming shelters in Philadelphia which last year either killed outright or allowed to die through neglect an astounding fifty per cent of all felines that passed through their portals. Furthermore, if cats do not belong in shelters, neither do dogs nor other animals as well.

Carrying his reasoning to its logical conclusion, all animal research laboratories, factory farms, slaughterhouses, zoos, and captive-breeding facilities should be outlawed. So, too, should be the use of animals in sports, entertainment, and law enforcement. Finally, wildlife biologists should be prohibited from radio-collaring and microchipping animals.

5.) The Practice of Veterinary Medicine Is Revealed to Be Dominated by Greed, Incompetence, and Prejudice.

Chattanooga Kitten

A series of troubling disclosures during 2010 revealed the practice of veterinary medicine to be dominated by uncaring, moneygrubbing practitioners on the one hand and grossly incompetent simpletons on the other hand. Arguably, the most disturbing case of all concerned at least two unidentified veterinarians in Chattanooga who knowingly allowed an unnamed five-week-old kitten to die.

Tossed out the window by a speeding motorist on Interstate 24 at around noon on July 8th, the injured kitten was rescued by David Livesay who spent the remainder of the afternoon unsuccessfully attempting to procure emergency veterinary care for it. "It's a life! It's a life! Anything alive is worth saving," he pleaded in vain.

The untreated kitten later died of internal injuries at McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center. (See Cat Defender post of July 16, 2010 entitled "Tossed Out the Window of a Car Like an Empty Beer Can, Injured Chattanooga Kitten Is Left to Die after at Least Two Veterinarians Refused to Treat It.")

Even when veterinarians elect to treat impecunious cats they most always are on the lookout for a way to recoup their time and expenses. That is why Nine Lives Foundation's Feline Well-Care Clinic in Redwood City, California, steadfastly is refusing to offer up Christopher for adoption now that it has discovered that he has rare Type B blood flowing in his veins. (See Cat Defender post of November 13, 2010 entitled "Christopher, Who Has Persevered Through Tragedy and Given Back So Much, Is Now Being Held Captive for His Valuable Blood.")

When it comes to gross incompetence Woosehill Vets in Woosehill, Berkshire, takes the cake. In 2010, it not only badly botched a pair of routine sterilizations but also allowed a cat named Lexi owned by Maria Brown of nearby Woodley to disappear through an open window.

Lexi

A year earlier in July of 2009 it also allowed a cat named Buffy owned by Muriel Horsnell of Wokingham to escape through another window that inexplicably had been left open at the surgery. (See Cat Defender post of July 2, 2010 entitled "Lexi Was by No Means the First Cat to Be Lost by Woosehill Vets Any More Than Angel Was Their Last Victim of a Botched Sterilization.")

The level of incompetence demonstrated by some veterinarians strains credulity. For example, an unidentified veterinarian practicing in the vicinity of Denise Traynor's home in the village of Charford in Bromsgrove, Worcester, failed to detect the presence of a ball bearing in the left eye of her seven-month-old cat, Molly.

The veterinarian instead insisted that she was suffering from only an eye infection. (See Cat Defender post of July 19, 2010 entitled "Molly Loses an Eye to an Assailant with a Ball Bearing Gun Only Later to Be Victimized by an Incompetent Veterinarian.")

Veterinarians employed by Northwest Animal Companions in Boise initially claimed that a two-month-old kitten named Raisin had been the victim of a chemical attack that had severely damaged her eyes, throat, and esophagus. That was in addition to reportedly having been tossed and kicked around by a group of teenage males at Meridian High School.

After her death on September 6th, a necropsy conducted by Washington State University failed to detect not only any evidence of chemical poisoning, but any broken bones, abrasions, and signs of trauma as well.

Raisin

Instead, the pathologists claimed that Raisin had died from a respiratory infection. (See Cat Defender post of September 18, 2010 entitled "Another Kitten, Raisin, Is Horribly Killed in Treasure Valley but It Is Unclear Whether Yobs or Incompetent Veterinarians Are to Blame for Her Death.")

Compounding matters further, oversight of the profession is so lax that complaining about incompetent care is largely a waste of time. That is what Heather Irwin of Blaydon Burn in northeast Angleterre discovered when she complained to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) about how grotesquely Silke Birgitt Lindbridge of Consett Veterinary Center in Consett, County Durham, had botched the setting of a broken leg that her cat, Felix, had sustained in 2007.

When the RCVS finally got around to acting on her complaint in the autumn of 2009 it did pull Lindbridge's license for three months but it was not in retaliation for what she had done to Felix. Au contraire, it was for her failure to pay her dues to the RCVS. (See Cat Defender post of June 17, 2010 entitled "Veterinarian Gets Away with Almost Killing Felix but Is Nailed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Not Paying Her Dues.")

The worst rotters in the veterinary woodpile belong, however, to the thoroughly disreputable American Veterinary Medical Association which never passes up an opportunity to declare its irrational hatred of all homeless cats. (See "Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats" at www.avma.org.)

Grossly overpriced, uncaring, incompetent, and unregulated pretty much describes the current state of the veterinary profession. Fortunately, tons of valuable information about cats and their health is available on the Internet. Nonetheless, when selecting a practitioner it is strictly a case of caveat emptor.

That also applies to women foolish enough to get romantically involved with married veterinarians. That was the fatal mistake that twenty-seven-year-old veterinary technician Jennifer Snyder of Lower Macungie, Pennsylvania, made when she consented to become the mistress of thirty-year-old veterinarian David A. Rapoport of Upper Gwynedd Township.

Now, she and her unborn fetus are dead and he is facing double homicide charges and conceivably could have his own miserable existence snuffed out by the state. (See Philadelphia Inquirer, March 24, 2011, "Police Say Veterinarian Killed Pregnant Lover.")

6.) Manufacturer and Distributor of Cancer-Causing Implanted Microchips Are Sued in Court.

Bulkin

Implanted microchips have been known to cause cancer in dogs, mice, and rats since the 1990s and the same has been assumed for cats as well.  (See Cat Defender post of September 21, 2007 entitled "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs.")

Now, chipmaker Digital Angel of St. Paul, Minnesota, and its distributor, Merck Sharp and Dohme of West Trenton, New Jersey, stand accused of causing a cat named Bulkin from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to develop cancer.  Bulkin's owner, Andrea Rutherford, filed suit in Cambridge District Court on October 4th and is seeking compensatory damages plus interest. The case most likely will be heard sometime this year.

Bulkin's miseries began of February 2, 2005 when Paul Constantino of South Bay Veterinary Group in Boston surgically implanted one of Digital Angel's HomeAgain® microchips in her. On October 17, 2007, an unidentified veterinarian at the same surgery removed a lump that subsequently had materialized around the chip.

A biopsy conducted a day later by Antec Diagnostics of Lake Success on Long Island confirmed that the lump was indeed a fibrosarcoma of moderate malignancy. A little later, Michelle A. Silver, an oncologist at the New England Veterinary Oncology Group in Waltham, theorized that Bulkin's cancer "likely" was caused by the implanted microchip.

Bulkin was treated with chemotherapy and radiation and, at last report, is still alive. "We're about to find out whether this is a big problem or a small problem," Rutherford's attorney, Steven M. Wise of Coral Springs, predicted in October.

Cats and dogs are far from being the only animals to have been killed by implanted microchips. For example, a necropsy performed upon a female brown bear found dead last year in Älvdalen, central Sweden, confirmed that she had been killed by an implanted microchip.

"For some reason fluid had forced its way into the transmitter and has led to the implant corroding and caused a sharp metal wire to break free and cause injury which has led to peritonitis," Professor Jon Martin Arnemo of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project told The Local of Stockholm on September 22, 2010. (See "Faulty Transmitter Behind Bear Death.")

In addition to faulty and toxic chips, veterinarians have killed cats by stupidly implanting them at vaccination sites. They also have caused cats to become paralyzed by implanting these devices on top of their spinal cords. (See Cat Defender post of November 6, 2010 entitled "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

Besides the toll that cancer-causing microchips exact from cats and dogs, wildlife biologists intentionally kill scores of other animals each year by repeatedly hounding them down and fitting them with radio collars. (See Cat Defender posts of May 21, 2009, February 29, 2008, April 17, 2006, and May 4, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Macho B, America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona," "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him," and "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")

7.) Uwe and Cecilia Finally Tie the Knot.

Cecilia, Uwe Mitzscherlich, and Christin-Maria Lohri

The social event on all cat calendars last year was the spring wedding of thirty-nine-year-old Uwe Mitzscherlich and his fifteen-year-old cat, Cecilia. The two were joined together in a simple garden ceremony presided over by Schauspielerin Christin-Maria Lohri in Possendorf, Bannewitz, twelve kilometers south of Dresden in Sachsen.

Uwe was resplendent in a tuxedo and a black top hat while Cecilia wore a white dress. Uwe's twin brother, Erik, served as best man.

The ceremony featured flowers, a wedding march, and the cutting of the bridal cake. As is customary with all such affairs, the deal was sealed with a kiss. Frühstuck the following morning consisted of fish and cow squeezings for Cecilia while Uwe contented himself with fish and champagne.

A few toms from the neighborhood reportedly questioned the appropriateness of the bride's decision to wear white, but otherwise the festivities came off as planned. It was the first trip down the aisle for both parties although they had been living in sin for the past eight years.

"Es klingt verrück aber ich will meine Cecilia heiraten," Uwe declared at the outset. "Cecilia hat so ein zutrauliches Wesen. Wir schmus ständig, sie schläft seit Anbeginn in meinem Bett. Zwischen uns ist solch innige Verbindung, ein Gleichklang der Herzen; es ist einzigartig."

Following the announcement of their nuptials, Uwe and Cecilia found themselves at the center of a media storm. "Pausenlos muss ich Interviews geben," Uwe confirmed. "Aber für meine geliebte Cecilia mache ich es gern."

Sadly, a dark cloud in the form of Cecilia's asthma is hovering over the happy couple. Already seventy-six-years-old in human terms, it is feared that she does not have long to live.

Nevertheless, the newlyweds are determined to make the best of whatever time they have left together. "Alle sollen sehen, wie glücklich wir sind," Uwe added.

Alles gute, Cecilia und Uwe! (See Cat Defender post of May 20, 2010 entitled "A Simple Ceremony in a Garden Outside of Dresden Joins Forever an Unlikely, Albeit Devoted, Pair of Lovers.")

8.) An Ailurophobe Is Attacking Cats with Turpentine in New Westminster.

Harley

Two-year-old, orange-colored Harley was the love of Jennifer Szoke's life and her eight-year-old son, Nate, felt the same way. All of that ended abruptly on August 14th when he died as the result of injuries that he sustained on July 2nd when he deliberately was dunked in turpentine near his New Westminster, British Columbia, home.

He put up a valiant fight but the severe burns to his tongue and esophagus on top of a collapsed lung were just too much for him to overcome. "He had a relapse and went into distress, and although the vets were able to stop it, they discovered that the scar tissue in his esophagus had caused it to be so small they couldn't even fit in a (feeding) tube," is how Szoke summed up Harley's sad predicament. "There was nothing they could do."

Harley's murder was especially devastating for Nate. "He doesn't understand why the cat had to go to kitty heaven," she added.

Even though she was left with an exorbitant veterinary bill of C$18,000, Szoke was not complaining. "It was totally worth it," she explained. "He is family after all."

Along with Harley, a yellow and white cat named Linden also was dunked in turpentine at the same time but he promptly was discovered and, thankfully, survived. (See Cat Defender posts of July 30, 2010 and August 30, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Harley Suffers Severe Burns to His Tongue and Mouth as Well as Lung Damage after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine" and "Hope, Prayer, and Veterinary Intervention Ultimately Prove to Be Insufficient in Order to Save Harley after He Is Deliberately Dunked in Turpentine.")

Later on December 8th, a two-year-old black cat named Vincent also was dunked in turpentine. The attending veterinarian was forced to bathe him three times and to shave away a substantial portion of the fur from around his face and neck but he also survived.

Vincent

"We're hoping for a full recovery, but we really can't be sure because whatever long-term damage there is would be to his liver and lungs from inhaling it, so it could be a couple of years down the road," his distraught owner, Rob Stainton, said shortly after the attack.

Both the New Westminster Police and Animal Control steadfastly have refused to investigate these three attacks and as a result the perpetrator is still at large. (See Cat Defender post of January 3, 2011 entitled "Another Cat, Vincent, Is Dunked in Turpentine in New Westminster as the Police and Animal Control Continue to Laugh Up Their Dirty Sleeves.")

Cretins who attack cats with chemicals are not confined to either the West Coast or to Canada. For example, on January 29th a Good Samaritan in Beacon, New York, found a cat named Sarah shivering and lethargic in the road. The woman brought her to Mid-Hudson Animal Aid where a veterinarian determined that she had suffered severe chemical burns to her eyes and fur.

The chemical has not been publicly identified and Sarah was scheduled to have undergone emergency surgery on January 31st in order to remove scar tissue from around her eyes and to clean out assorted debris. Although the shelter filed a complaint with the Beacon Police, no arrests have been made in this case. (See Poughkeepsie Journal, February 1, 2011, "Fundraising Drive to Aid Cat Suffering from Chemical Burns.")

9.) United States Army Corps of Engineers Evicts Lake Lanier's Cats.

One of the Residents of West Bank Park

Spouting its old familiar litany of lies that cats are, inter alia, a danger to children, pregnant women, and natural resources, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) set its sights on those residing in West Bank Park on Lake Sidney Lanier, north of Atlanta, last March. Working hand in glove with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department, it began trapping and removing the park's estimated thirty to one-hundred cats on March 28th.

The unfortunate cats then were handed over to the knackers at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter who were planning on holding them for only a week before liquidating them. Under public pressure, the USACE was forced to relent and to thus allow the Humane Society of Forsyth County, the Georgia SPCA, Backyard Sanctuary, and the Feral Cat Program of Georgia to participate in the trap and removal initiative.

The game plan called for those groups to find homes for part of the cats and to relocate the remainder to another location where they would be allowed to live out their brief lives in a managed colony. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to determine how many cats these groups were able to save from the murderers at the USACE.

"The cats, to me, are as much a part of this park as the squirrels, the birds, and the people," local resident Bessie Lamica declared. "I don't see them as any more of a threat, a danger, or nuisance than the geese that poop everywhere or the squirrels that get in the garbage and knock everything over."

In announcing its trap and kill policy, the USACE categorically rejected TNR in spite of the fact that area resident Carmela Quinlan has sterilized one-hundred-fifty of the park's cats over the course of the preceding four years. In keeping with its cruel and inhumane policies that are in situ at the hundreds of dams, lakes, reservoirs, coasts, harbors, wetlands, levees, and navigation locks that it controls, the USACE fervently believes that the only good cat is a dead one.

Its thinking thus is in tune with that of its sister agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, the USDA's Wildlife Services, the Pentagon, and government research laboratories. Worst still, the general public remains largely ignorant of these agencies' ongoing undeclared war on cats. (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2010 entitled "Lake Lanier's Cats Face an Uncertain Future Following Their Ouster by the Liars and Defamers at the United States Army Corps of Engineers.")

10.) Cats Run Down and Killed by Motorists in Möhnesse Are Deemed to Be Unworthy of Roadside Memorials.


Jule Memorial

Roadside memorials to human victims of vehicular mishaps are a common sight, but in the borough of Körbecke in Möhnesse, Nordrhein Westfalen, those erected in the memory of felines are strictly verboten. That is why Heinrich-Georg Trelle of Abteilung Straßenwesen des Kreises Soest last year ordered the Bauhof des Kreises to destroy one established in honor of a hit-and-run victim named Jule.

The touching memorial consisted of a wooden cross bearing the dead cat's name and a commemorative candle. A photograph of the deceased was tacked to a tree and bore the following inscription: "Warum ich? Ich war doch erst drei Jahre alt."

Although Trelle hypocritically admitted that memorials honoring human victims do more to save lives than do speed limit signs, he was not about to logically extend his thinking to include memorials honoring cats. "Das geht bei aller Tierliebe zu weit," he bellowed. "Das finde ich auch den Angehörigen gegenüber, die wirklich einen Menschen im Straßenverkehr verloren haben, befremdlich."

Berlin Memorial Honoring Brösel, Isis, and  Tibbels

In the Oberschöneweide section of the borough of Treptow-Köpenick in Berlin, forty-seven-year-old Andreas Schidlowski last year erected three wooden crosses and two signs in the median of a busy thoroughfare near his home in honor of his three dead cats, Brösel, Isis, and Tibbels. One sign poignantly asked, "Wieviele noch?"

The other one was a heartfelt plea for motorists to slow down and watch out for cats and other animals. "Als Mahnung an die Autofahrer, heir doch bitte nicht so zu rasen," it reads. "Aus Rücksicht auf meine Katzen."

He and other cat lovers across Deutschland therefore are advocating for the establishment of thirty kilometer speed limits in certain residential neighborhoods. Cat Crossing signs erected in Milford, Connecticut, and on the remote Japanese island of Iriomote also would be worth a try. (See Cat Defender post of October 9, 2010 entitled "Feline Traffic Fatalities Are Unworthy of Commemoration According to a Möhnesse Bureaucrat Who Orders the Destruction of a Roadside Memorial to Jule.")

11.) Public Opposition Forces George Harrison's Widow to Remove Razor-Wire Fencing.

Friar Park

Persistent and spirited opposition from her neighbors finally forced George Harrison's widow, Olivia Trinidad Arias, to remove almost one-thousand meters of razor-wire fencing from around the ex-Beatle's mansion, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Since its installation in 1999, at least four cats from the neighborhood are known to have been impaled on it.

Over the past decade the wooden portion of the fence had rotted and the wire itself had aged and that prompted Arias to seek approval from the South Oxfordshire District Council to replace both. Her decision in June of last year to replace the fence without the razor wire was applauded by actor and comedian Rodney Bewes whose six-year-old cat, Maurice, had been one of its victims.

"I am very pleased. The fence is up, without the razor wire, and it looks rather lovely," he said. "I am very grateful to Mrs. Harrison for her decision." (See Cat Defender posts of January 11, 2010 and July 15, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Razor-Wire Fencing Surrounding George Harrison's Mansion, Friar Park, Is Taking a Heavy Toll on Cats from the Neighborhood" and "In a Major Victory for Cats, George Harrison's Widow Changes Her Mind and Decides Not to Install More Razor-Wire Fencing at Friar Park.")

Along about the time of Arias's about-face, a twelve-week-old kitten named Bridget found out firsthand just how injurious razor wire can be when she tumbled into a strand of it strung between two buildings in Cypress, California.

Bridget

Bleeding from head to tail, she suffered deep lacerations to her paws, abdomen, and back. Rescued by a Good Samaritan, she ultimately was relocated to Fuzzy Dog and Cat Rescue in Santa Monica to recuperate. (See Cat Defender post of July 12, 2010 entitled "Bridget Sustains Horrific Injuries after She Slips and Tumbles into a Stand of Razor-Wire Fencing Inhumanely Strung Between Two Buildings.")

Even old-fashioned spiked fences can be hazardous to cats as three-year-old Jack from Rotherham in south Yorkshire discovered last September when his right front leg and midsection became impaled on one of them. Luckily, he is expected to make a full recovery.

His owner, thirty-two-year-old Nicola Milbourn, later petitioned the Rotherham Council to remove the rusty fence. (See Cat Defender post of October 1, 2010 entitled "Jack Slips and Falls while Pussyfooting Along the Top of an Old Fence and Is Speared Through His Midsection by a Rusty Spike.")

12.) Gardeners Are Becoming Emboldened by Their Successes in Killing Cats.

Mark Oberschmidt with His Dog

Gardeners are quickly demonstrating that when it comes to doing in cats they are every bit as ruthless as bird advocates and wildlife biologists. Take, for example, fifty-eight-year-old real estate tycoon Mark Oberschmidt of Saginaw, Michigan, who has made a career out of illegally trapping his neighbors' cats and then turning them over to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center (SCACC) to be killed.

His latest crimes were committed in late July against Tammie Tilot's one-year-old tuxedo, Music Lessons, and Teresa J. Jurden's one-year-old gray and white cat, Buggsey. For his part, Oberschmidt claims that he was justified in taking the law into his own hands because the cats allegedly were defecating in a community garden that he owns in Heritage Square.

On August 19th, the editors of the local rag, The Saginaw News, concurred and wholeheartedly endorsed his criminal behavior. He also has found a willing accomplice in the form of SCACC which during the first four months of 2010 liquidated 77.20 per cent of all the cats that it impounded. (See Cat Defender post of August 19, 2010 entitled "Music Lessons and Buggsey Are Murdered by a Cat-Hating Gardener and an Extermination Factory Posing as an Animal Shelter in Saginaw.")

Along about the same time that Oberschmidt was having Music Lessons and Buggsey murdered, a gray-striped tomcat named Ziegelchen narrowly escaped death when he, too, was illegally trapped by a gardener in the Altstädten-Burbach section of Hürth in Rhein-Erft Kreis, Nordrhein Westfalen. Fortunately for him, he was rescued by his guardians, Monika Schwibbert and Marcus Breinig, before he came to any harm. (See Cat Defender post of August 26, 2010 entitled "In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland.")

When they are not trapping cats and handing them over to shelters to kill, gardeners are not the least bit hesitant about doing their own dirty work. For example, in December of 2009 a gardener in the Niederembt section of Elsdorf, also in Rhein-Erft Kreis, set out both a Nagelbrett and a board studded with mousetraps in an attempt to seriously injure a cat belonging to his neighbor, Manuela Lisken. (See Cat Defender post of June 10, 2010 entitled "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard.")

Whereas Oberschmidt's conduct was sanctioned by the political and legal establishment in America, the thinking is totally different in Deutschland. Generally speaking, gardeners and others are required by law to tolerate up to two cats trespassing on their property.

Under no circumstances are they allowed to harm roaming cats in any way and should they do so they can be held both criminally and civilly liable. Even cats mistakenly trapped must be promptly released.

13.) Pennsylvania Is Madly in Love with Dopers and Boozehounds Who Abuse, Neglect, and Kill Cats.


Holly Crawford

Long known as a social and cultural backwater, Pennsylvania continues to distinguish itself by the abiding affection that it bestows upon dope addicts and drunkards who abuse cats. Most prominently, Holly Crawford of Sweet Valley was let off on April 12th by Judge Tina Polachek Gartley of Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre with six-months of house arrest and twenty-one months of probation for piercing the ears, necks, and tails of so-called Gothic kittens that she in turn peddled on eBay.

That was in spite of the fact that the former heroin addict had seventeen prior arrests for, inter alia, selling drugs, drunk driving, and stealing guns. (See Cat Defender posts of April 24, 2010, February 27, 2010, February 26, 2009, and January 9, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Holly Crawford Hits the Jackpot by Drawing a Judge Who Simply Adores Kitten Mutilators and Dope Addicts," "Sweet Valley Mutilator Is Convicted of Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Tiny Kittens That She Later Sold on eBay," "Dog Groomer Who Sold Mutilated Gothic Kittens on the Internet Is Finally Identified and Ordered to Stand Trial," and "Pennsylvania Pet Groomer Is Caught Piercing the Ears, Necks, and Tails of Cats and Dogs and Then Illegally Peddling Them on eBay.")

Virginia Kresge Justiniano of Enola and Andy J. Oxenrider of Tower City are even far worse villains than Crawford. As the proprietors of the Cats With No Name sanctuary in Pine Grove, they knowingly allowed at least eighty cats to die of hunger, dehydration, and a total lack of veterinary care because they spent all of the money that they took in on heroin and methamphetamines. 


Virginia Kresge Justiniano

Despite being convicted of one-hundred-seventeen counts of animal cruelty plus almost two dozen counts of drug possession, Judge Charles M. Miller of Schuylkill County Court sentenced Justiniano on February 18th to only twenty-three months of probation, $800 in fines, $1,360 in restitution, and fifty hours of community service. A day earlier, Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin, sitting in the same court, meted out an identical sentence to Oxenrider. (See Cat Defender post of May 10, 2010 entitled "Lunatic Rulings in Cats With No Name Cruelty Cases Prove Once Again That Pennsylvania Is a Safe Haven for Cat Killers and Junkies.")

On October 17th, a drunken Francis McGinley returned to his Edward Street rooming house in Chester with a couple of injured and bloody kittens subsequently named Nirvana and Karma. "I ran over them with my truck so I could eat them for dinner," he proudly announced.

Ratted out by his conscientious fellow lodgers, he later was arrested and, at last report, Nirvana and Karma had recovered and are still alive. (See Cat Defender post of October 30, 2010 entitled "Drunken Bum Is Foiled in a Macabre Plot to Make a Meal Out of Kittens, Nirvana and Karma, That He Allegedly Ran Down Earlier with His Truck.")

Across the pond, another drunkard and dope addict named Colin Sherlock from Dawlich in Devon was sentenced on November 5th to serve one-hundred-twenty days in jail by Torquay Magistrates Court for hideously torturing a one-year-old tuxedo named Roxy from Teignmouth. The cat was fried in a microwave oven, burned in a clothes drier, chilled in a freezer, and dunked in dishwater but somehow survived. (See Cat Defender post of January 22, 2011 entitled "Colin Sherlock, an Admitted Boozer and Dope Addict, Pulls Out All the Stops in His Unsuccessful Attempt to Torture Roxy to Death.")

In February of this year, his accomplices, a pair of unidentified seventeen-year-old males, were put on probation for a year and ordered to perform ninety days of community service by Judge Jan Gant of Newton Abbot Youth Court in Devon. (See BBC, February 9, 2011, "Teignmouth Youths Sentenced for Microwave Cat Cruelty.")

Photos: Dorfener Anzeiger (Rocco), Bild of Berlin (Ernst K., Lumpi, Lätzchen, and Cecilia and Uwe), Hamburger Polizei (Schließfach cat), Santiago Sandoval (Tavia), Hillsborough County Animal Services (Lovey), John Ehlke of The Bay City Times (kitten killed by shelter), Ann Baker (Nighshift), WTVC-TV of Chattanooga (kitten), Daily Telegraph and INS (Lexi), KLEW-TV of Lewistown, Idaho (Raisin), Steven M. Wise (Bulkin), Jennifer Szoke (Harley), Rob Stainton (Vincent), Jim Dean of the Forsyth County News (Lake Lanier cat), Soester Anzeiger (memorial to Jule), Sven Meissner of the Berliner Zeitung (memorial to Brösel, Isis, and Tibbels), Henley Standard (Friar Park), KTLA-TV of Los Angeles ( Bridget), Jeff Schrier of The Saginaw News (Oberschmidt), Mark Moran of The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre (Crawford), and Care2.com (Justiniano).