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

Cat Defender

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Alvin Amazingly Survives on His Own for a Fortnight Until Help Arrives after a Low-life Scumbag Blows Off Most of His Rear End with a Firecracker

"Alvin had burns right down his legs, his fur was burnt and his whiskers had been burnt off. He had severe damage around his anus and severe burning inside. When we were cleaning him up we actually found the burnt wick from the firecracker."
--Rachelle Beardsworth of Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital

As the rest of the world was merrily ushering in 2012, a still unidentified assailant in Ballina, New South Wales, was getting either his or her jollies by shoving a firecracker up the rear end of a then five-week-old brown and white trusting kitten named Alvin. As it readily can be imagined, the damage done by the blast was nothing short of horrific.

"Alvin had burns right down his legs, his fur was burnt and his whiskers had been burnt off," Rachelle Beardsworth of Racecourse Road Veterinary Hospital (RRVH) in Ballina told the Northern Star of Goonellabah on February 8th. (See "Firecracker Used to Blow Up Kitten.") "He had severe damage around his anus and severe burning inside. When we were cleaning him up we actually found the burnt wick from the firecracker."

If the injuries that he suffered were not sufficient in themselves to have killed most kittens, the unrelenting pain, infections, and trauma that always accompanies such barbaric acts of cruelty would have done the job in time. Against all odds, Alvin somehow managed to survive for two weeks on his own until he was rescued in mid-January by Northern Rivers Animal Services (NRAS) of Ballina.

By that time he also had become emaciated. That most likely was due to a combination of a lack of food and the inability to properly digest and eliminate what little he was able to procure.

At first Beardsworth and the staff at RRVH were not certain that Alvin was going to make it but, at last report, his condition had stabilized. Nevertheless, he has a long road ahead of him and probably never will be completely healthy again. The important thing, however, is that he is alive. (See photo above of him with fourteen-year-old Charlotte shortly after his arrival at the hospital.)

"He is doing great," Beardsworth told the Northern Star on March 8th. (See "Alvin's Amazing Road to Recovery.") "We're doing procedures on Alvin about two or three times a week because we are trying to get his bottom to function properly."

He also has been placed on a special diet and the veterinarians are attempting to slow down the healing process so as to minimize scarring. "With burns, there can be a lot of scar tissue, which wouldn't be good for him in that location," Beardsworth added. "But compared to the little kitten that came here weeks ago, it is just an amazing transformation."

Because of the severity of his injuries and his need for continual veterinary care, RRVH has decided against putting him up for adoption. Instead, he will live out the remainder of his life at the clinic.

"He rules the roost here," Beardsworth told the Northern Star in the March 8th article cited supra. "Now he greets everyone in the waiting room; he is a gorgeous-natured little fellow. But he's also a bundle of mischief." (See photo of him directly above after several weeks of treatment.)

Perhaps that is the best that can be done for him under the circumstances in that there are not too many individuals in this wicked and greedy old world who are willing to take on the financial and time-consuming responsibilities involved in caring for a severely injured cat. Nonetheless, it is the norm for veterinarians to ruthlessly exploit their office cats as blood donors.

The best that therefore can be hoped for Alvin is that his veins do not contain the rare Type B blood and as a consequence he will not be as nakedly exploited as Christopher at Nine Lives Foundation's Well-Care Clinic in Redwood City. (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.")

Although RRVH is to be commended for saving Alvin's life, it is nothing short of revolting that it now has to exact its pound of flesh from him. There is perhaps nothing more disgusting about man than his steadfast refusal to do anything beneficial for the animals, Mother Earth, and his fellow human beings unless he receives something in return.

"We have all fallen in love with him," Beardsworth cooed to the Northern Star in the February 8th article cited supra. "He was purring when he was brought into the clinic."

If she is even halfway sincere, she should medicate, attend to his needs, and love him without turning him into a guinea pig. He has been put through enough hell and deserves a better future than that.

The attack has been reported to both the Ballina Police and the Australian RSPCA but, typically, no arrest has been made and none is expected. It is highly doubtful that either agency has stirred so much as a bone in order to even investigate the matter.

Equally disturbing, no one has come forward to claim him. Since he was discovered at the Ballina Fair Shopping Center it is highly likely that he either was owned by a resident from the area or that a shopkeeper saw him being dumped on the grounds.

If either the police or the RSPCA cared about stopping horrific acts of animal cruelty of this nature they would canvass the neighborhood door-to-door. Specifically, any resident or shopkeeper with a litter of kittens would have some explaining to do.

"Alvin is so trusting. He would have trusted the person that did this to him (and) that's what makes my blood boil," Beardsworth correctly deduced for the benefit of the readers of the Northern Star in the February 8th article cited supra. "I have never seen anything this nasty."

Even at the tender age of five-weeks-old, a kitten is not all that easy to corral and on top of that there is the difficulty of holding it down while an explosive is rammed into its anus. All of that strongly suggests not only that Alvin knew his assailant but that he was cornered either indoors or within a confined area. It even is conceivable that two or more individuals were required in order to perpetuate this diabolical act of animal cruelty.

The residents and shopkeepers in and around Ballina Fair do not come off as looking much better in that they callously allowed him to walk the streets in severe pain and near death for a fortnight without even bothering to come to his aid. Far from being alone in their moral depravity, the citizens of Ichenheim in Baden-Württemberg likewise ignored for several days a cat that had been set on fire in January of 2011. (See Cat Defender post of June 27, 2011 entitled "Citizens of Ichenheim Callously Allow a Torched Cat to Walk the Streets for Days Before Summoning Veterinary Help That Arrived Too Late.")

Even though this despicable crime was unable to elicit a positive response from either the Ballina Police or the RSPCA it did succeed in generating the usual torrent of moral outrage. "This was all caused by some heartless, sick person placed a firecracker in Alvin's bottom and lit it," Robyn Mostyn of NRAS told the Northern Star on February 8th.

Moral indignation has its place but it certainly is not any substitute for enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes. Moreover, Mostyn is incorrect in chalking up this violent attack to a heartless and sick individual. Au contraire, Alvin's assailant is an evil criminal who should be dealt with as such. Above all, neither he nor she is worthy of either society's compassion or forbearance.

For the sake of analysis, cat abusers and killers can be divided into individual ailurophobes and professional killers, such as ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and governmental officials. Although it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between professionals who earn their daily bread and get their perverted kicks by defaming, abusing, and killing cats on the one hand and individual, randomized acts of cat abuse on the other hand, there surely is a connection of some sort. After all, there is safety in numbers and individuals can be profoundly influenced by the words and deeds of elites.

For example, earlier this year Steve Austin, president of the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), went hunting in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and gunned down an unspecified number of homeless cats. He was in fact so proud of his murderous rampage that he had the audacity to pose with one of his trophies. (See photo of him above grinning like Old Nick himself as he dangles a murdered cat from the end of a rope.)

Even though Australia perennially vies with South Africa for the dubious title of being the most cat-hating nation in the world, Austin's criminal behavior ultimately proved to be too much for even his callous countrymen. "It's in really poor taste. It is just so disrespectful to the animal, and as president of the pet industry he needs to stand down," Debra Tranter of Oscar's Law told the Herald Sun of Melbourne on March 7th. (See "Outrage over Photo of Pet Industry Group President Posing with Dead Cat.") "I mean, the pet industry are (sic) advising government on animal welfare and he's not an appropriate person to sit as the president of the PIAA."

At last report, Austin was still on the job even though an online petition inaugurated by Alley Cat Rescue of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and calling for his ouster had collected in excess of fifteen-hundred signatures. (See "Remove Feral Cat Killer as Head of PIAA at www.thepetitionsite.com.)

All over the world ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and governmental entities, such as the Pentagon, eradicate cats not only with impunity but, just as importantly, with welfare dollars cadged from taxpayers. Austin's genius, if it may be called that, is to use the money that he makes off of cat owners in order to turn around and finance his feline killing sprees.

His and PIAA's criminal and dishonest behavior stand in stark contrast to that of PetSmart Charities of Phoenix who since 2007 have donated $26.3 million in order to sterilize more than one-million cats and dogs. Quite obviously, any humane and civilized approach to dealing with homeless cats is an anathema as far as Austin and the majority of Australians are concerned. Besides, he enjoys killing defenseless cats far too much to ever mend his evil ways.

Not only his deeds but his words leave little doubt as to which side he is playing on and the extraordinary dishonest and underhanded means that he is willing to engage in order to achieve his objectives. "Feral cats, like the one pictured, are not like our friendly pet moggy but are a devastating problem that decimate and kill our Australian wildlife in the millions," he blew long and hard to the Herald Sun in the article cited supra. "I am pleased to be working with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to prevent feral cats from destroying our wildlife inside our native sanctuaries."

That is pure nonsense in that there is not a scintilla of difference between a cat who has an owner and one that is cruelly abandoned to its own devices. "A cat is a cat and that's that," as an old American proverb stipulates.

To advocate such a patently dishonest and morally repugnant rationale for the purpose of eradicating the impecunious is tantamount to rounding up and killing orphans. That, by the way, is precisely what the Australians came perilously close to doing to the so-called "Lost Generation" of poor and unwanted children that were shipped out of Merry Old England at the behest of good Christians and governmental officials during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Instead of killing them outright, the Australians converted them into slave laborers and objects of sexual exploitation. That is in addition to permanently separating siblings.

Cats, like the tens of millions of other domesticated animals that the Australians imported, exploited, and then abandoned, are entitled to humane treatment, not eradication. Furthermore, it is the moral imperative of every Australian to ensure that they not only belatedly receive justice but that their abusers and killers are punished for their diabolical crimes. (See Agence France Presse, September 15, 2005, "Millions of Animals Face Death Sentence in Australia.")

Sadly, the majority of the exiles from High Gate are of such inferior stock as to be totally incorrigible. In particular, their en masse feline eradication efforts continue unabated on Macquarie, Tasman, and elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2006 and January 6, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Aussies' Mass Extermination of Cats Opens the Door for Mice and Rabbits to Wreak Havoc on Macquarie" and "DNA Tests Confirm that 'Big Cat' Killed in Australia Was a Feral Tabby and Not a Puma.")

Whenever they are not gunning down cats, Australians excel in developing all sorts of deadly poisons. They even make a joke out of their diabolical crimes by giving their concoctions such contemptuous names as "Curiosity" and "Eradicat." (See Australian Broadcasting Company, April 30, 2010, "'Curiosity' About to Kill (Tasman) Island Cats," Herald Sun, June 18, 2010, "Cats Poisoned in Bid to Save Endangered Western Ground Parrot," and Cat Defender post of August 11, 2005 entitled "Barbaric Australians Come UP with an Ingenious New Poison in Order to Exterminate Cats.")

Private entrepreneurs even have gotten in on the cat killing craze by trafficking in their flesh and fur. (See Cat Defender posts of September 7, 2007 and July 14, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Australians Renounce Civilization and Revert to Savages with the Introduction of a Grotesque Plan to Get Rid of Cats by Eating Them" and "Australian Park Ranger and a Seamstress Team Up to Go into Business as Cat Killers and Fur Traffickers.")

Although Australia certainly does not have a monopoly on phony-baloney humane groups and unscrupulous veterinarians who make their livings by defaming and killing cats, they are nonetheless a major problem Down Under as well as elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of April 22, 2008 and August 24, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Australian RSPCA Sells Out by Readily Agreeing to Gun Down Charles Sturt's Defenseless 'Rock' Cats" and "Self-Defense Is Against the Law in Australia after a Woman Who Attacked a Cat Gets Away with Her Crime Whereas Her Victim is Trapped and Executed.")

Like air guns, fireworks more often than not are the weapons of choice for those individuals intent upon abusing cats. Also, their victims most often are trusting domesticated cats like Alvin.

In one especially disturbing and heartbreaking case, a four- to five-year-old white cat named Sparkles was killed after a firecracker was rammed into her left ear and detonated on October 29, 2008 outside The Old Ship at 44 Main Street in Arklow. The blast was so powerful that it blew off her ear and part of the left side of her face.

She also suffered a broken jaw and was left deaf by the blast. (See photo of her further up the page.)

She valiantly clung to life for more than a month and even was adopted during the interim. The intense pain, seizures, infections, and disorientation refused to abate, however, and veterinarians at Avondale Veterinary Hospital ultimately elected to end her life. (See Cat Defender posts of November 20, 2008, January 12, 2009, and January 25, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Trusting Domestic Cat Has Her Left Ear Blown Off with a Firecracker by Cretins Outside an Irish Bar," "Disoriented and Racked with Excruciating Pain, Seizures, and Infections, Sparkles Loses Her Long Struggle to Live" and "Sparkles, Who Was Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price for Belonging to the World's Most Abused Species, Tops the List of the Most Memorable Cats of 2008.")

Earlier on October 31, 2006, a twelve-year-old cat named Tigger from the London suburb of New Addington was killed when fireworks either were strapped to or rammed into his rear end and then ignited. (See photo above of his guardians, Roy and nine-year-old Stephanie Purkiss, holding a picture of him.)

Two days earlier on October 29, 2006, a one-year-old gray tom named Syd was found severely burned and covered in blood in a garden in the Edinburgh suburb of Granton. (See photo of him directly above with veterinary nurse Cheryl McKenzie.)

As was the case with Tigger, there is evidence that the explosives were strapped to his tiny body with masking tape. (See Cat Defender post of November 30, 2006 entitled "Yobs Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day Kill Twelve-Year-Old Cat Named Tigger with Fireworks; Cat Named Syd Is Severely Burned.")

Dogs also often are horribly abused by miscreants armed with firecrackers. For instance, on September 15, 2010 a small tan-colored female retriever estimated to have been between two and three years old was held down by a group of punks in the Dublin suburb of Finglas while a firecracker was stuffed into her mouth. The blast blew out all of her front teeth, the bottom portion of her jaw, and part of her face.

She later was killed off by a veterinarian. (See Cat Defender post of October 2, 2010 entitled "History Repeats Itself Only This Time Around It Is a Dog as Opposed to a Cat That has Her Head Nearly Blown Off by Irish Punks with a Firecracker.")

It thus seems clear that private individuals do not have any business possessing pyrotechnics of any denomination. Even public displays sometimes leave cats, dogs, and wildlife so traumatized that they are forced into committing desperate acts that ultimately end up costing them their lives. (See Cat Defender post of July 11, 2005 entitled "Thirty Dogs Killed Fleeing Fireworks in Tucson.")

In addition to the horrific toll that fireworks, both those used in private mischief as well as in public displays, take on cats and other animals, they are loud and obnoxious intrusions into the tranquility that some citizens covet. Since societies are so unwilling to outlaw them, restricting their use to enclosed public venues, such as stadiums, would be a positive step in the right direction.

Their devotees then would be free to indulge their passion for loud bangs and sparkling light shows whereas the animals and lovers of peace and quiet would be left in safety and tranquility. Perhaps, over time, these fanatics will succeed in blowing each other to kingdom come and the world will be shed of them once and for all time.

"I can't believe how many people cared," Beardsworth told the Northern Star on March 8th in reference to the outpouring of public concern for Alvin. "The support has been phenomenal; we would just love to thank everyone."

Nevertheless, Alvin's ongoing treatment is expensive and a fund established in his name is still soliciting donations from the public. Anyone wishing to contribute can contract RRVH either by mail at 25-A, Racecourse Road, Ballina, New South Wales 2478 or by telephone at 61-02-6686-9333. Donations also can be made to NRAS either by mail at 2/268 River Street, Ballina, New South Wales 2478 or by telephone at 61-02-6681-1860.

Most important of all, it is vitally important that Alvin, Sparkles, Tigger, Syd, and the countless other cats and dogs that are maimed and killed each year by assailants armed with fireworks never be forgotten. In time, perhaps, all those who abuse animals in such a hideous fashion will be identified, apprehended, and punished severely. A day of reckoning also is surely coming for all police officers and so-called humane officials who continue to turn a blind eye to these types of attacks.

Photos: Northern Star (Alvin and Charlotte and Alvin by himself), The Herald Sun (Austin), Belfast Telegraph (Sparkles), Croydon Guardian (Tigger), and Rob McDougall of the Edinburgh Evening News (Sid).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In Another Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice, Rogue Cop Jonathan N. Snoddy Is Let Off with a $50 Fine for Savagely Bludgeoning to Death an Injured Cat

"Given (Jonathan N.) Snoddy's conviction of animal cruelty in the fatal beating of a defenseless animal, we are deeply disappointed with the minimal sentence he received. To retain someone found guilty of a violent crime against an animal as an officer of public safety is dangerous for the community."
-- Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies

On November 11th of last year, a forever nameless cat of undisclosed pedigree and description was run down and left for dead by a hit-and-run motorist on Settlers Lane in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Area resident Wayne Meadows went to its aid but, typically, was unable to persuade either the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA, Animal Control, or several unidentified local veterinarians to intervene. Most likely they were too busy either killing other cats or counting their money to be bothered.

In desperation, he committed the fatal mistake of calling in the Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD). Twenty-five-year-old hotshot cop Jonathan N. Snoddy arrived on the scene but instead of rushing the injured cat to the nearest veterinary clinic, which was only thirty minutes away, he proceeded to bludgeon it to death with his night stick.

Although he was inside his townhouse at the time of the unprovoked attack, Meadows overheard approximately twenty blows being struck on his front steps. (See photo above of him on the steps.)

The attack was so brutal and prolonged that blood stains were left on his porch and the siding and rockwork damaged. (See photo below.)

Normally, that would have been the end of the matter and this defenseless cat simply would have joined the legions of other nameless felines who are murdered each year by police officers in the United States. Instead of turning a blind eye to Snoddy's murderous rampage, Meadows demonstrated his true mettle by contacting the media and several animal rights groups.

That in turn prompted thousands of cat-lovers from around the world to sign petitions demanding that Snoddy be investigated and punished. The fix already was in place, however, and even that public outpouring was insufficient in order to force the HPD to come clean.

"An internal investigation was conducted into this matter and appropriate action has been taken internally," the HPD told WHSV-TV of Harrisonburg on November 30th. (See "Man Who Reported Officer Beating Dying Cat Speaks on Outcry.") "In addition, the department continues to review the current procedures in handling animal complaints to determine if any changes or modifications need to be made."

Earlier on November 22nd, a meeting of the Harrisonburg City Council produced more of the same palaver but not any substantive action. "We just want to acknowledge that it is a story, and say in a public forum that it is something that the city is addressing," councilman Kai Degner told WHSV-TV on November 23rd. (See "Harrisonburg City Council Still Discussing Cop Killing Cat Case.") "We have a lot of confidence in the city staff's ability to deal with it appropriately. (See photo of him on the right below.)

Absolutely no one outside of Harrisonburg's notoriously corrupt political and legal establishment was about to concur with him on that point, especially Meadows. "The police department hasn't released any information about it," he told WHSV-TV in the November 30th article cited supra. "You know, everything is an internal investigation and they don't want to release the information about what's happened, what things have changed because of this, what, if any, punishment has gone against the officer in question."

Thanks to the persistence of Meadows, WHSV-TV, and cat-lovers, the Virginia State Police belatedly opened an investigation into the matter in early December that culminated in Snoddy being charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty on January 12th. A public whitewash dressed up to faintly resemble a trial was held March 8th in Rockingham County General District Court in Harrisonburg and it quickly degenerated into an even bigger farce than the HPD's internal investigation.

Specifically, Snoddy was let off with an insultingly lenient $50 fine and so far has been allowed to hold on to his job. Emboldened by their easy as pie victory, Snoddy's shysters, John C. Holloran and William W. Eldridge, announced afterwards their intention to appeal the adverse judgment to the Rockingham County Circuit Court.

Snoddy's appeal accordingly has been scheduled for April 9th before Judge James V. Lane and this time around a jury will decide his fate. It is quite obvious that the only reason Holloran has demanded a jury trial is that he is confident that Snoddy's fellow good old boys from Rockingham County will acquit his client and thus allow him to hang on to his precious $50. (See the Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg, March 12, 2012, "Cop in Cat Beating Scheduled for Jury Trial.")

In what masquerades as justice in Virginia, retired judge Steven Helvin was called in to try the case after Richard A. Claybrook and William Heatwole recused themselves because of their prior dealings with Snoddy. Even that sounds a little fishy in that Heatwole normally is not even assigned to the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District in which Harrisonburg lies, but rather holds court in the Twenty-Fifth Judicial District. No reason has been given as to why either David Shaw Whitacre, W. Dale Houff, or Amy B. Tisinger could not have tried the case since they sit on the same bench as Claybrook.

Always willing to be of service to the same legal and political establishment that has kept him high and dry and in clover throughout his lifetime, old reliable Helvin wasted no time in letting everyone know that he is anything but an impartial trier of facts. "It's difficult for a judge to second-guess law enforcement," he candidly admitted according to the account of the proceedings rendered in the Daily News-Record on March 9th. (See "City Cop Loses a $50 Case.") "But I think the way he killed the cat was in violation. The way he killed the cat was unnecessary."

Although Snoddy could have been sentenced to up to a year in jail, Helvin could not bear the thought of one of his beloved police officers spending so much as a minute behind bars. "He doesn't deserve to go to jail," he caroled according to the Daily News-Record.

This is by no means the first time that Helvin has shortchanged both cats and their owners. For example, on August 22, 2006 he inexcusably let off used car dealer George A. Seymour Jr. of the affluent Bentivar subdivision outside of Charlottesville with a minuscule ten-day jail sentence plus an unspecified amount of community service for murdering Klaus Wintersteigner's cat, Carmen, with a rifle. Even with that love tap on the wrists it is far from certain that Seymour ever spent so much as a minute in the can. (See Cat Defender post of June 22, 2006 entitled "Used Car Dealer in Virginia Murders Sweet Three-Year-Old Cat Named Carmen with a Rifle Shot to the Neck.")

His prejudice against animals is by no means limited to cats because on March 19th of this year he postponed ruling on twenty-eight counts of animal cruelty that had been lodged against seventy-one-year-old David Tracy Davis and his sixty-one-year-old wife, Joyce, of 142 Rooster Ridge Road in the Roseland section of Nelson County concerning their neglect and mistreatment of fifty dogs, two pigs, eleven chickens, nine ducks, one rabbit, two horses, and numerous guinea hens. He did not waste any time, however, in nailing Davis for making and selling moonshine as well as possessing illegal firearms.

In Helvin's view of the law, only moonshine and firearms are worthy of his time; he could care less about the fate of animals. (See Nelson County Times, March 20, 2012, "Moonshine, Firearms Charges Certified Against Nelson County Man.")

Based upon his past record and admitted prejudice in favor of cops, Helvin had about as much business trying Snoddy as the man in the moon. It is difficult enough under normal circumstances to convince courts to hold rogue police officers accountable but what occurred in Helvin's kangaroo court was nothing short of a travesty of justice.

The performance of prosecuting attorney Cristabel Elizabeth Opp was every bit as disgraceful as Helvin's jaundiced jurisprudence. "The cat didn't need to die that way. It wasn't instantaneously," she declared during her opening remarks.

After having for the sake of appearances admitted that much, she immediately switched sides and proceeded to defend Snoddy on the grounds that he did not act maliciously but rather inappropriately. C'est-à-dire, as far as she is concerned a police officer may take the law into his own hands and kill cats with impunity so long as he does it quickly and without malice. The only drama that is therefore left in Snoddy's appeal concerns whether Opp even will so much as bother to show up and, if she does, what role she will elect to play.

Quite obviously, Snoddy's trial was a carefully choreographed theatrical production designed to hoodwink the public into believing that a measure of justice had been meted out to a rogue police officer. The exact same thing occurred in München back in August when Ernst Bernhard K. escaped justice and again in December when Nico Dauphiné did likewise in Washington. (See Cat Defender posts of August 17, 2011 and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer" and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

As is the norm with all cops, Snoddy lied his ugly head off once he took the witness stand. In particular, he claims to only have struck the cat four times with his collapsible night stick although he does admit to banging it on the sidewalk six times in order to get it to close. Even if against all odds he should be telling a facsimile of the truth, that still leaves ten thumps that Meadows overheard to be explained.

"If it was fifteen to twenty blows, the cat's head would have been flattened," Holloran declared in his closing remarks according to the March 9th account in the Daily News-Record. That is pure baloney because even cats run down by motorists do not always suffer skull fractures; their brains, eyeballs, and entrails often are squeezed out like toothpaste from a tube but their craniums remain intact.

A necropsy possibly could have resolved this issue but there is not anything in the record to even suggest that one was performed. Every bit as disturbing, the disposition of the cat's remains have not been disclosed. It nevertheless seems highly unlikely that they received anything remotely resembling a proper burial.

There can be no doubt however that Snoddy beat the defenseless cat to a bloody pulp and that its last moments on this earth were nothing short of pure hell. Furthermore, based upon the damage done to Meadows' townhouse, he most likely swung the cat against the side of it also.

To top it all off, the smooth-tongued Holloran delved into his bag of dirty and dishonest tricks and pulled out the same tall tale that ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other ailurophobes long have improvised in order to excuse their horrendous crimes. "It's a charge that should never have been brought," he gassed to the Daily News-Record in the March 9th article cited supra. "(He) owns two cats. He's a cat-lover." (See photo of him on the right further down the page.)

While it is conceivable that other members of his family might own cats, Snoddy is the antithesis of an ailurophile. Absolutely no one with so much as an ounce of respect for an injured cat would savagely bludgeon it to death in the manner that Snoddy did to this cat. To pretend otherwise is to turn all truth and logic on their heads.

Like all cops, Snoddy is an accomplished liar, thespian, and criminal. That is what he and his fellow officers are taught every day in the police academies and once hired and out on the street they pick up additional pointers on how to subvert the law from their jaded colleagues.

Like the respectable Dr. Henry Jekyll, Snoddy may tolerate the presence of cats at home but, as his behavior on Settlers Lane has vividly demonstrated, when no one is watching he is a real-life Edward Hyde. Besides, any halfway legitimate judge weighs the facts and in turn applies the law instead of, like Helvin, wallowing in a cesspool of lies and prejudice.

Since more than a dozen of his fellow officers were in the gallery cheering him on, the only logical conclusion to be drawn from such a show of support is that anti-feline sentiment must be the norm within the HPD. Based upon their total abdication of duty, the same holds true for Helvin and Opp.

"Given Snoddy's conviction of animal cruelty in the fatal beating of a defenseless animal, we are deeply disappointed with the minimal sentence he received," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies said in a Market Watch press release dated March 13th. (See "Alley Cat Allies Praises Virginia Authorities for Guilty Verdict in Cat Beating Death; Calls for Officer's Dismissal.") "To retain someone found guilty of a violent crime against an animal as an officer of public safety is dangerous for the community."

Although correct, she is whistling through a graveyard. Given all the time and money that the HPD, City Council, Helvin, and Opp have invested in sparing Snoddy any jail time they are not about to fire him. The official word from Mary-Hope Vass of HPD is that a decision on his job will be made at some time in the future, presumably long after the public furor has died down and few individuals any longer care one way or the other. The American public, after all, has the attention span of a butterfly pollinating flowers.

At last report, he still was on administrative leave and, presumably, drawing his customary fat welfare check and lucrative health and retirement benefits. More than likely, the HPD also is footing the bill for his legal team.

Taking bribes, breaking the law, and plundering the public till for obscene amounts of termination payments for unused vacation time, sick days, compensatory time, and other accrued holidays is the norm in all police departments but in Nassau County on Long Island Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan, Chief of Patrol John Hunter, and Detective Sergeant Alan Sharpe are making out like Jesse James. (See New York Post, March 16, 2012, "Cashing Out of the Force.")

Others, such as narcotics cop Joseph Sulpizo of the Philadelphia Police, repeatedly have stolen money from drug dealers that they should have been arresting and yet, amazingly, are still on the job. (See Philadelphia Daily News, February 27, 2012, "Fired Cop Is Back.")

Whenever there is not either a cat to kill or money to steal cops, such as Michael Pena of the New York Police Department and Keith Corley of the Philadelphia Police, bide their time sexually assaulting women. (See New York Post, March 16, 2012, "Twisted 'No Rape' Tactic" and The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 16, 2012, "Officer Admits to Sex on Duty.")

The idea of even a halfway honest cop is a figment of Helvin's imagination; every one of them is rotten to the core and as such their words and deeds must be backed up by hard evidence. For him to simply accept their testimony at face value is tantamount to deciding guilt and innocence based upon such totally irrelevant factors as appearance, skin color, ethnic identity, social standing, and income. He therefore should be investigated by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department in Washington.

Admittedly, some officers are capable of occasionally acting decently and even honorably if left to their own devices, but the fact that they cover up for all the bad apples that they work with makes them every bit as corrupt. After all, cops take an oath to uphold the law and implied in that is the often unpleasant task of exposing and arresting their fellow officers whenever they break the law.

As for Meadows, the cat's murder left him so traumatized that he was forced to miss an unspecified amount of work. Plus, he was forced to invest considerable time and expense going to court and meeting with the media. At last report, the damage that Snoddy inflicted upon his townhouse had not been repaired and it is highly unlikely that the HPD ever will make good on that.

"I'm back working now. It doesn't really affect me as much as it did," he told WHSV-TV on January 13th. (See "Witness of Alleged Cat Beating Feels Relieved After Officer Is Charged.") "For the first week or two afterwards, I guess I was pretty much a wreck at that point."

He has not, however, been able to put the terrible ordeal behind him just yet. "I still have my moments," he added to WHSV-TV in the January 13th article cited supra. "The memory is never gonna go away, but it (the indictment) sorta brings a little closure to it."

In choosing to stand up for this voiceless and defenseless murder victim, Meadows acted not only honorably but courageously. He is precisely the type of individual that this morally deprived society so desperately needs.

Nevertheless, his bravery has exposed him and left him vulnerable and, sooner or later, the HPD and its supporters are bound to retaliate. He therefore had better be careful so as not to so much as spit in the street.

Looking on the positive side, this marked the first time in recent memory that a cop who had killed a cat had been either publicly identified or prosecuted. For example, the identities of the cold-blooded murderers of Elmo, Tobey, and Haze remain to this very day protected by a veil of secrecy and official lawlessness. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, and September 22, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Cecil, Pennsylvania, Police Officer Summarily Executes Family's Beloved Ten-Year-Old Persian, Elmo," "Acting Solely Upon the Lies of a Cat-Hater, Raymore Police Pump Two Shotgun Blasts into the Head of Nineteen-Year-Old Declawed and Deaf Tobey," and "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop.")

Additionally, there is not anything in the record to suggest that either the HPD or any animal protection group in Harrisonburg has lifted so much as a finger in order to bring the hit-and-run motorist to justice. That seems to be par for the course in that none of them acted back in July of 2010 when an eight-week-old kitten named Harrison was found with his ears removed. (See Cat Defender post of September 2, 2010 entitled "Only Eight-Weeks-Old, Harrison Is Maimed for Life When an Assailant Cuts Off Both of His Ears with a Pair of Scissors.")

It would be a gross oversimplification to assume that the abuse and murder of cats by Virginians is limited to Harrisonburg. In addition to Carmen, the brutal murder of Luke as well as the horrific injuries suffered by Little Man demonstrate that feline abuse is widespread all across the state. (See Cat Defender posts of January 17, 2006 and November 8, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Loony Virginia Judge Lets Career Criminal Go Free After He Stomps to Death a Fourteen-Year-Old Arthritic Cat" and "After Having Had His Throat and Leg Ripped Open in a Savage Assault, Little Man Needs the Public's Financial Support.")

Since jurists in Virginia are so unwilling to punish ordinary cat abusers, it is a foregone conclusion that they are not about to take action against those that are affluent and well-connected. (See Cat Defender posts of May 14, 2009, August 21, 2008, and January 19, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Virginia Is for Cat Killers, Not Lovers, Now That Its Legal Establishment Has Sanctioned Donald Curtis Hunt's Drowning of Five Kittens," "Justice Denied: Exterminator Who Gassed Three Cats at the Behest of Fox-35 in Richmond Gets Off with a Minuscule Fine," and "Public Outcry Forces Army Navy Country Club to Scrap Plans to Evict and Exterminate Long-Term Resident Felines.")

The state also is known as a safe haven for hoarders. (See Cat Defender posts of August 11, 2005 and December 23, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Virginia Woman Caught Hoarding 105 Cats; Montana Woman Discovered with 74 Cats and 14 Dogs" and "Virginia Cat Hoarder Who Killed 221 Cats and Kept Another 354 in Abominable Conditions Gets Off with $500 Fine.")

Finally, it hardly could be a coincidence that PETA chose Norfolk as the location of its notorious extermination factory. Birds of a feather, after all, do flock together. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007, February 9, 2007, and October 7, 2011 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom," "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs," and "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag About Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")

The record is abundantly clear: Virginians are hostile toward cats. Not only do the authorities steadfastly refuse to seriously investigate cases of animal cruelty but the courts tend to always side with the abusers. All of that combines to make cat killers, PETA, and Virginia perfect together.

By necessity, the care, protection, and well-being of cats has become purely a private matter. The police never should be summoned under any circumstances and pretty much the same advice applies to most animal welfare groups as well. That is because none of them can be trusted to respect feline life and to take morally correct action.

If an individual is either unwilling or unable to help a cat in distress, it is best to let it be. Perhaps it will be able, in time, to either recover on its own or someone else will happen along who is able to help it. At the very least, it should be allowed to die on its own. Anything is preferable to allowing the cops, shelters, Animal Control, and PETA to get their murderous hands on any cat.

Photos: WHSV-TV (Meadows and damaged townhouse), City of Harrisonburg (Degner), and Law Offices of John C. Holloran (Holloran).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Sick Wife Defense Works Like a Charm for Cunning Patrick Doyle after He Traps a Cat and Then Shoots It with an Air Rifle While Still In Its Cage

"You don't understand he's been digging up my flowers."
-- Patrick Doyle

Nearly every bit as violently antagonistic toward cats as ornithologists and wildlife biologists, some gardeners likewise believe that they are justified in committing almost any crime in order to keep them out of their flowerbeds and vegetable patches. The patently criminal behavior of seventy-one-year-old Patrick Doyle of Fields Road in the village of Wootton in southwest Bedford, Bedfordshire, is a prime example of the extraordinary lengths that some of them are prepared to go in order to achieve their objectives. (See photo of him above with his face covered as he sneaks out of court.)

On June 16th of last year he baited a trap with fish and camouflaged it in his garden. Soon thereafter a forever nameless black unneutered tom with white markings on his front left paw and chest unsuspectingly stumbled into it.

The arch-criminal Doyle then shot the caged cat with an air rifle from a point-blank distance of two feet. More than likely he would have continued to bombard the defenseless animal with steel pellets until it finally died if his neighbor, Caroline Benbow-Hunt, had not courageously intervened.

That is exactly what amateur ornithologist Ernst Bernhard K. of München did to Rocco in December of 2010 once he had him at his mercy. The only difference being that he used pepper spray and water as opposed to an air rifle. (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.")

"You don't understand he's been digging up my flowers," was the lame excuse that Dole gave Benbow-Hunt for his criminal behavior according to the February 5, 2012 edition of Bedfordshire on Sunday. (See "Old Age Pensioner Shot at Trapped Cat for 'Digging Up his Flowers'.")

At her insistence, Doyle carried the trap over to her yard where she foolishly opened it and allowed the wounded and frightened cat to escape. (See photo below of it in the trap.)

Since the expertise of a veterinary surgeon is required in order to remove an air gun pellet the only thing that Benbow-Hunt's precipitate action accomplished was to ensure the success of Doyle's murderous stratagem. Instead, she should have attempted to stop the cat from thrashing around in the cage by speaking softly to it as she rushed it to the nearest veterinary hospital.

As things turned out, the horribly abused cat never was seen again in the neighborhood and is presumed dead. His only chance would have been to make it home, if he had one, where emergency veterinary care hopefully would have been procured for him.

Otherwise, he was destined to die a prolonged and agonizing death. Even if the pellet somehow had miraculously missed his vital organs, he eventually could have either bled to death or been done in by its toxicity.

When the case finally came to trial on February 29th in Bedford Magistrates' Court, Doyle was let off with a twelve-week suspended sentence and court costs totaling £1,311.64. Just to demonstrate that they are a jolly old bunch of rotters with a wicked sense of humor, the magistrates banned him from owning any animals for five years and placed him under a 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for two months. It is preposterous to believe that those restrictions are going to do much in order to curb the wicked old goat's lust for feline blood in that he is highly unlikely to either want to acquire a cat anytime soon or to stay up much later than the chickens.

"This was a deliberate act of cruelty against an innocent animal and we are satisfied with the sentence handed out today," the RSPCA's Dave Braybrooke declared to the Daily Mail on March 1st. (See "Pensioner Trapped and Shot a Cat Because It Was Ruining His Flowers but Walks Free from Court.") "We hope that this case acts as a deterrent and sends a clear message that acts of cruelty like this will not be accepted and the RSPCA will investigate and prosecute offenders. It is shocking to think that someone deliberately set up a cat trap with the intention of snaring a cat and then shot at it."

Au contraire, heinous acts of this sort have become the order of the day all across England and it is precisely the courts' steadfast refusal to punish cat abusers and killers that is truly revolting. Just as importantly, as long as the RSPCA continues to applaud such lopsided miscarriages of justice villains like Doyle are destined to continue committing their dastardly deeds.

For example, the RSPCA's response was the same last October 26th when King's Lynn Magistrates' Court in Norfolk turned loose bird lover Eric Reeves after he, too, used an air rifle in order to kill Nicholas Townley's cat, Hartley. (See Cat Defender post of March 9, 2012 entitled "Amateur Ornithologist Guns Down Hartley with an Air Rifle, Feigns Remorse, and Then Cheats Justice by Begging and Lying.")

Obviously feeling their oats and enjoying themselves to the hilt, the magistrates tossed out the beau geste suggestion that Doyle's sentence would have been considerably more severe if they had been duly apprised of the extent of the cat's injuries. That is hardly likely even if it had been feasible given the fact that there is very little in the record to suggest that the RSPCA made any halfway serious attempt to track it down.

As best it could be determined, the only positive action entertained by the organization was to appeal to the public for information regarding the cat. (See Bedfordshire on Sunday, June 18, 2011, "RSPCA Appeal for the Owner of Missing Cat" and Bedford Times and Citizen, July 20, 2011, "Do You Know This Feline Gun Crime Victim?")

If the organization truly had cared one whit about saving its life it would have canvassed the neighborhood door-to-door for it and made doubly sure that it received the prompt emergency care that it required. Based upon it past record, however, the RSPCA is more accustomed to rounding up and killing cats than saving their lives. (See Cat Defender posts of June 5, 2007 and October 23, 2010 entitled, respectively, "RSPCA's Unlawful Seizure and Senseless Killing of Mork Leaves His Sister, Mindy, Brokenhearted and His Caretakers Devastated" and "RSPCA Steals and Executes Nightshift Who Was His Elderly Caretaker's Last Surviving Link to Her Dead Husband.")

Like Reeves, Doyle was astute enough to put a damper on his virulent hatred of cats, feign remorse, and to throw himself on the mercy of the court. "He is sorry," his shyster, Nicky Daily, told the judges according to the Daily Mail. "...this was a moment of foolishness borne out of frustration."

The facts do not, however, support such a cavalier twisting of the truth. On the contrary, Doyle's purchase of the trap at an antiques fair and his possession of an air rifle point to the inescapable conclusion that his trapping and shooting of the cat were premeditated. He even went so far as to admit to the RSPCA that the trap was to catch what he derogatively called vermin who were "mucking all over the garden."

Since air rifles historically have been the traditional weapons of juvenile miscreants, the only conceivable reason that an old fart like Doyle would have one in his possession would be to attack cats. He quite obviously does not use it for target practice because even Daily admits that his "sole pleasure" in life is gardening.

Instead of taking the law into his own hands, Doyle alternatively could have given the cat to an animal protection group but even that would not have guaranteed its safety. For instance, in 2010 real estate tycoon Mark Oberschmidt trapped at least two of his neighbors' cats and gave them to the Saginaw County Animal Care Center which in turn did his dirty work for him. (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.")

Another option would have been for him to have employed such common nonlethal deterrents as fences, organic matter, sprinklers, and ultrasound. As any fool knows, scaring off an unwanted cat is a rather simple task.

"It kills me that he had the audacity to shoot a little animal because it was in his yard," Susan McGee of Hampton, New Hampshire, said of Jeffrey Lee Eiras after he shotgunned to death her cat, Molly, in 2009. "All he had to do was stomp his foot and the cat would have run off." (See Cat Defender post of June 30, 2011 entitled "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.")

Gardeners, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists have time and time again rejected all nonlethal methods of settling disputes involving cats. They accordingly should be recognized for the criminals that they are and suitably punished for their despicable crimes.

It additionally is a good bet that any halfway serious inquiry into Doyle's activities would reveal that he does not go berserk whenever a child, dog, bird, mouse, mole, snail, rabbit, squirrel, or other creature ventures into his garden. Since it is only cats that bring out his murderous tendencies, it is highly likely that he not only has maimed and killed numerous cats before but, more importantly, will do so again in the near future.

By comparison, gardeners in Deutschland are not permitted to harm roaming cats in any fashion and that includes setting out boards of nails. (See Cat Defender posts of August 26, 2010 and June 10, 2010 entitled, respectively, "In Stark Contrast to Ailurophobic America, Ziegelchen's Illegal Trapping by a Gardener in Altstädten-Burbach Is Roundly Condemned in Deutschland" and "Cat-Hating Gardener in Nordrhein-Westfalen Is Told by the Local Authorities to Remove a Board of Nails from His Yard.")

To top it all off, Doyle had the bloody cheek to beg the court for mercy on the grounds that he cares for his elderly wife. Even more outrageously, the judges went along with him.

As it might be recalled, Ernst Bernhard K. used the same defense in order to get away with his crimes. (See Cat Defender post August 17, 2011 entitled "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")

Along about the same time that Doyle was polishing off a keg of Guinness in celebration of the roaring success of his sick wife defense, fifty-five-year-old bird lover Clive Price of Exeter Street in Stafford, Staffordshire, was doing likewise and he had even more reason to be overjoyed. On May 18th of last year, he used an air rifle in order to shoot a cat out of a tree because it was chasing birds. Not contented with that bit of devilry, he immediately set upon it once it fell to the ground and either clubbed it to death or bashed its brains out against the side of a wall.

In addition to being charged with animal cruelty, police discovered a passel of illegal firearms at his residence. For example, the air rifle that he used in order to shoot the cat had a muzzle velocity above the legal limit and therefore required a permit.

He additionally was in the possession of a gun disguised as a walking stick that he admitted using in order to intimidate people as well as a handmade pistol with a silencer. He even had decorated the handlebars of his motorcycle to resemble revolvers. On the gun charges alone he could have been sentenced up to five years in the can.

Instead Judge Stephen Linehan of Crown Court in Stafford let him off with a one-year suspended sentence and three-hundred-hours of community service. For the far more serious crime of brutally killing the cat, Linehan gave him only an eighteen-week suspended sentence.

"In many respects you are a foolish man with an interest in firearms that a child or a teenager might exhibit," Linehan scolded him according to the account of the trial given in the February 27th edition of the Staffordshire Newsletter. (See "Gun Fanatic Spared Jail for Killing Cat.") "You better recognize...that you are going home now instead of prison. I suggest you rid yourself of anything that feeds that fascination -- empty shells or whatever."

Apparently Linehan could care less about how many cats this cowardly scumbag kills because there is absolutely nothing in the record to suggest that he even gave him so much as a good tongue-lashing for that. Instead, all of his sympathies were lavished on Price's disabled wife and elderly mother. (See the judge's smiling mug on the right above.)

Since Price is living on the dole after having been laid off from his job as a metalworker with J.C. Bamford Excavators of Rocester, the world's third largest construction, demolition, and agricultural concern, he no doubt has plenty of time left over after attending to the needs of his wife and mother, if they truly exist, in order to indulge himself in killing cats and, perhaps, individuals as well. So, in the end, Linehan has failed not only to protect cats but the general public as well by allowing Price to get away scot-free with his crimes.

Thanks to the slipshod reporting of the Staffordshire Newsletter, no additional information is available concerning the murder victim. The cat therefore could have been either someone's beloved companion or another friendless stray forgotten by an uncaring public.

Doyle, Ernst Bernhard K., and Price are identical peas shelled from the same perverted pod and for judges to allow them to escape justice just because they allegedly have ailing spouses is outrageous. It is totally inconceivable that jurists would give bank robbers, murderers, war criminals, or even petty thieves anywhere near that type of consideration.

Finally, it is nothing short of stupefying that any civilized society would permit the manufacture and sale of air guns in the first place. That is even more so the case in that they only are used in order to inflict punishment upon defenseless animals and, in rare cases, humans.

It is bad enough that they often are used as the weapons of choice by juveniles but it is far worse when mean-spirited and hate-filled old men like Reeves, Doyle, and Price appropriate them in order to kill cats. They most assuredly are old enough to have known better and the courts accordingly should have thrown the book at them.

Photos: Masons and Daily Mail (Doyle), Bedford Times and Citizen (caged cat), and St. Philips Barristers (Linehan).

Friday, March 09, 2012

An Amateur Ornithologist Guns Down Hartley with an Air Rifle, Feigns Remorse, and Then Cheats Justice by Begging and Lying

"...the defendant explained he feeds wild birds that come to his garden and after seeing a cat chasing the birds, he just lost it and didn't realize it was his neighbor's cat."
-- Jonathan Eales of the RSPCA

Another amateur ornithologist has gotten away scot-free with killing a cat. The latest such miscreant to cheat justice is sixty-eight-year-old retired construction worker Eric Reeves of Bradenham Hall Cottages in Bradenham, eight kilometers southwest of East Dereham in Norfolk. (See photo of him above.)

On August 8th, he used an air rifle to kill a five-month-old brown and white cat named Hartley that belonged to his neighbor, Nicholas Townley. Even more tragically, Townley only had adopted Hartley a few weeks previously in July. (See photo of him below.)

After Reeves confessed to Townley that he had killed Hartley, the RSPCA was called in to investigate. "...the defendant explained he feeds wild birds that come to his garden and after seeing a cat chasing the birds, he just lost it and didn't realize it was his neighbor's cat," Jonathan Eales, who prosecuted the case for the RSPCA, told King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on October 26th according to a report in the Dereham Times on the same date. (See "Bradenham Resident Shot an Ex-Neighbor's Pet Because It Was Chasing Birds in His Garden, Court Hears.")

Speaking through his mouthpiece, Ian Graham, Reeves then threw himself on the mercy of the court. "He accepts he had the air rifle, that he fired the shot and that only he was responsible for the animal's death," Graham told the judges according to the account in the Dereham Times. "He has shown a lot of remorse and is horrified by the pain the cat suffered. He is a bird lover and likes to spend his money on bird feed."

In order to make doubly sure that his client got away with his heinous crime, Graham did not hesitate to give the truth a good sound bashing. "He used to have a cat himself," he caroled to the judges. "He has no bad attitude toward animals or cats and offered to pay the vet bill but that offer was refused."

All of Graham's groveling and outrageous lies on behalf of his client worked on the judges like a charm bracelet because in the end they let off Reeves with one-hundred-hours of community service and £400 in court costs. So, in effect, the magistrates in King's Lynn have decreed that the lives of cats are without value and they as a consequence can be mercilessly gunned down with impunity.

Even in defeat the RSPCA's spin doctor, Dave Padmore, would have the public to believe that his organization had prevailed and that the lives of cats are now more secure than before. "This sends out a clear message that it is unacceptable to go around shooting animals," he declared, supposedly with a straight face, to the Daily Mail on October 28th. (See "Pensioner Kills Neighbor's Cat with Air Rifle as It Was Chasing Birds Away.")

A day earlier on October 27th Padmore had feebly attempted to reassure the readers of The Telegraph that his organization was poised to remain vigilant. "The RSPCA will continue to investigate incidents of this nature and where possible will always seek to bring a prosecution," he pledged. (See "Pensioner Shot Neighbor's Cat with Air Rifle.")

Despite Padmore's best effort to put a good face on a miserable situation it is extremely unlikely that very many cat owners will feel any better in knowing that the RSPCA is standing by to mount impotent prosecutions and to mouth platitudes that stand the truth on its head every time that it takes a drubbing in court. That is especially true in this case because if ever there was a cat-hating devil who deserved to put away for the remainder of his days on this earth it is Reeves.

First of all, since he freely admitted to Townley that he shot Hartley because he erroneously believed him to be a feral, Reeves obviously thinks that it is permissible to gun down cats that do not have owners. Carried to its logical conclusion, Reeves sans doute feels that he is entitled to shoot all cats because absolutely no one can tell the difference between a domesticated and an unsocialized cat au premier coup d'oeil. Almost as shockingly, there is nothing in press reports to indicate that the RSPCA even challenged him on this vitally important point.

Secondly, the only conceivable reason that a sixty-eight-year-old bird enthusiast would have in his possession an air gun would be to shoot cats. It accordingly is highly probable that Reeves has maimed and killed countless other felines over the years.

With cat-killers there never seems to be any middle ground. All of them are long-term serial killers who never will mend their evil ways. Reeves certainly will be more careful from now on but he is destined to continue killing cats. (See Cat Defender posts of August 7, 2008 and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Crime Pays! Having Made Fools Out of Galveston Prosecutors, Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson Is Now a Hero and Laughing All the Way to the Bank" and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")

That is not any secret and the RSPCA, courts, and law enforcement community most assuredly are cognizant of that reality. If they were dealing with either homicidal maniacs or pedophiles, the legal establishment would not be nearly so eager to turn them loose; it is only cat killers that enjoy the protection of the establishment.

Despite Reeves's air gun attack, Hartley somehow might have pulled through if he had not been victimized by yet still another case of staggering veterinary incompetence. Although wounded, he was able to make it home on his own but when Townley took him to an unidentified practitioner the only thing that he received in return for his trouble was a recitation of the obvious.

Specifically, the veterinarian diagnosed Hartley to have suffered a puncture wound to his right side that could have been caused by either a fall or an air gun pellet. Since Townley, obviously naïve to the machinations of cat-haters, did not believe that Hartley had been attacked, the veterinarian prescribed antibiotics and merrily sent the both of them on their way. Hartley died from the untreated wound at 6:45 a.m. the following day.

A post-mortem x-ray later confirmed that Hartley had been shot in his intestines with an air rifle. (See photo directly below.)

It simply boggles the mind that a veterinarian called upon to treat a cat bleeding from a wound in its side would not order an x-ray and, if advisable, remove the pellet. Sadly, veterinary incompetence appears to be the rule rather than the exception.

For example, in early July of 2010 a cat named Molly from Charford in Bromsgrove, Worcester, lost her left eye because, in part, the attending veterinarian was unable to tell the difference between a wound inflicted by a ball bearing gun and a common eye infection. As unbelievable as it may sound, that was after two examinations and the removal of the eye itself! (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.")

Moreover, the incompetence demonstrated by the practitioner who treated Hartley is all the more inexcusable in that it is widely known that attacks upon cats by individuals armed with air guns have reached epidemic proportions all across England. (See Cat Defender post of May 7, 2007 entitled "British Punks Are Having a Field Day Maiming Cats with Air Guns but the Peelers Continue to Look the Other Way.")

Heartbroken at the death of his beloved cat and, without a doubt, thoroughly disgusted by the total lack of anything remotely resembling justice that was meted out by the sorry excuses for judges who sit on King's Lynn Magistrates' Court, Townley has pulled up stakes and relocated to parts unknown. It nevertheless might be worthwhile for him to consider attempting to hold Reeves accountable in civil court.

That is precisely what Janeen Bubien of Vista, California, was able to accomplish back in 2007 after then forty-seven-year-old Robert Eugene Brunner shot and killed her beloved cat, Bill, with a bow and arrow. Specifically, a civil court awarded her $2,500 in damages plus an additional $5,000 in order to help her relocate elsewhere. (See Cat Defender posts of August 14, 2007 and September 24, 2007 entitled, respectively,"Grieving Owner Seeks Justice for Orange Tabby Named Bill That Was Hunted Down and Savagely Killed with a Bow and Arrow" and "California Man Who Slew His Neighbor's Cat with a Bow and Arrow Is Sentenced to Three Years in Jail.")

On July 11th of last year, amateur ornithologist Ernst Bernhard K. likewise was ordered by a civil court in München to pay Andreas O. €500 in damages for torturing and killing his cat, Rocco. (See Cat Defender posts of January 19, 2011, August 8, 2011, and August 17, 2011 entitled, respectively, "Bird Lover in München Illegally Traps Rocco and Then Methodically Tortures Him to Death with Water and Pepper Spray over an Eleven-Day Period," "Ernst K.'s Trial for Kidnapping, Torturing, and Murdering Rocco Nears Its Climax in a München Courtroom," and "Ernst K. Walks Away Smelling Like a Rose as Both the Prosecutor and Judge Turn His Trial for Killing Rocco into a Lovefest for a Sadistic Cat Killer.")

Even Susan McGee of Hampton, New Hampshire, was able to scare $3,000 out of Jeffrey Lee Eiras just by threatening to sue him in civil court after he adroitly evaded justice for shotgunning to death her beloved cat, Molly, on November 8, 2009. (See Cat Defender post of June 30, 2011 entitled "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.")

Despite Bubien's, Andreas O.'s, and McGee's successes, holding cat killers accountable in civil court is seldom easy and the overwhelmingly majority of these detestable and cowardly murderers escape without being forced to part with any of their precious shekels. The long odds have not, however, deterred devoted cat-lover Kevin Kimes from the East Bay city of Brentwood from seeking justice for his murdered cat, Pumkin. (See photo of him below.)

On October 28, 2005, Pumkin was left paralyzed in his back legs and tail after he was shot with an air gun while pussyfooting across a backyard fence. Up until his death in November of 2009, Kimes doled out $36,000 in veterinary care for Pumkin who, as a consequence, eventually was able to stand up again and to take ten to twenty steps at a time. Despite that progress, his last years no doubt were filled with excruciating pain and unremitting suffering.

In the aftermath of the attack suspicion immediately fell upon Kimes's neighbors from Hell, Joseph Grosser and his son, Charles, who it is alleged previously had attacked Pumkin with a water gun in order to scare him away from a birdbath in their yard. It also is alleged that they owned at least one air gun at the time of the attack.

Initially, Judge Barbara Zuniga of the Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez ruled that even if Kimes were able to prove that it was indeed the Grossers who had shot Pumkin he would be limited to collecting damages equal to the cat's market value. For their part, the Grossers have maintained from the outset that Pumkin was "an adopted stray of very low economic value." C'est-à-dire, only birds have any value as far as they are concerned.

On May 31, 2011, the California Court of Appeal for the First District in San Francisco reversed Zuniga in a 3-0 decision. While the court freely acknowledged that cats are considered to be property under existing laws, it broke with precedent by ruling that a different standard applies to property that has a special value to its owner.

That certainly was the case with Kimes and the footloose stray who showed up on his doorstep in 2003. "I don't have kids, and my animals are my kids," he told the San Francisco Chronicle on June 1, 2011. (See "Brentwood Man Cleared to Sue over Cat's Shooting.")

The case now will go back to trial court where Kimes, should he prevail, will be eligible for compensatory damages equal to what he paid out in veterinary expenses. "In this case, plaintiff is not plucking a number out of the air for the sentimental value of damaged property; he seeks to present evidence of costs incurred for Pumkin's care and treatment by virtue of the shooting -- a 'rational way' of demonstrating a measure of damage apart from a cat's market value," Justice James Marchiano wrote for the court in Kevin Kimes v Charles Grosser. (The court's full opinion can be found at www.caselaw.findlaw.ca.)

The court left unsettled for the time being the issue of whether a cat owner can collect damages for the loss of companionship and emotional stress. If Kimes additionally should be able to prove that the Grossers deliberately shot Pumkin he would be entitled to punitive damages as well.

"The people that perpetuate these crimes against domesticated animals are going to have to pay," Kimes, who is employed as an engineer in the semiconductor industry, vowed to the Chronicle in the article cited supra. "Maybe, over time, people will start to think twice."

Nothing in this big, wide world ever will be able to bring back Pumkin, Rocco, Bill, Molly, and the thousands of other cats that are murdered by ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other fiends each year. Nevertheless, cat-lovers all over the world are indebted to Kimes, Andreas O., Bubien, and McGee for their tenacity, spirit, and perseverance. They are doing what all the so-called cat protection groups should be doing if they were not, like the RSPCA, total phonies.

One way or another, these monsters who feel that they have a right to kill cats with impunity are going to be dealt with and severely. It is going to take a while, but hopefully sometime in the not too distant future the courts will be compelled to recognize cats as something more than mere property. Progress is slow, however, and as recently as 1857 the United States Supreme Court in Dred Scott v Sandford ludicrously declared that black-Americans were nothing more than mere property.

Photos: Matthew Usher of the Dereham Times (Reeves and x-ray), Albanpix and the Daily Mail (Hartley), and Kimes (Pumkin).

Friday, March 02, 2012

Homeless Man in Washington State Pauses in Order to Take a Snooze and It Ends Up Costing Him His Beloved Cat, Herman

"I'd rather have the cat back than the truck. It's stupid people that say it sounds stupid, but I'd rather have my cat back than the truck."
-- Jeff Young

One of the first things that those who are new to the street learn is that it is extremely dangerous to even fall asleep. The consequences of such normal behavior almost always are robbery and, sometimes, violent assault. Even being beaten to death by gangs of teens armed with baseball bats and golf clubs is a distinct possibility.

Since, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, an estimated five to ten per cent of all rough-sleepers own cats and dogs, taking even a brief snooze also can have dire repercussions for them as well. That was the terrifying lesson driven home firsthand to Jeff Young on February 9th when he and his gray, brown, and black cat, Herman, elected to settle in for the night underneath a canopy in the back of his 1989 silver Toyota pickup truck at the Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Washington. (See photo of him above.)

He rudely was awakened sometime during the night when a thief, after gaining entry into the cab, started the engine and sped out of the parking lot. Using his mobile phone, Young alerted the peelers but they were unable to catch up to the thief because he had an accomplice in a chase car blocking their pursuit.

The carjacker belatedly became cognizant that he had a stowaway on board and as soon as he turned off Highway 101 he stopped the truck and went to investigate. "The guy steps around the vehicle and he has a huge knife," Young related to KOMO-TV of Seattle on February 13th. (See "Man Sleeping in Back of Stolen Truck Pleads for Cat's Safe Return.") "I bolt out the back and he bolts back up to the front and takes off with my vehicle with my cat Herman in it."

A few days later one of the thieves was arrested and Young's truck was recovered. Sadly, Herman no longer was inside the vehicle. As best the authorities can determine, he most likely is on the loose in the vicinity of the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, west of Olympia.

Young may be down on his luck but that has not addled his brains in that he still knows what is important in life. "I'd rather have the cat back than the truck," he told KIRO-TV of Seattle on February 10th. (See "Possessions, Cat Still Missing from Man's Stolen Truck.") "It's stupid people say that it sounds stupid, but I'd rather have my cat back than the truck."

In addition to the perils associated with catching a few winks, the homeless would do well to steer clear of the vino. Sixty-two-year-old Henriette Henault violated that proscription on September 29, 2010 and it ended up costing her the continued companionship of her cat, Precious.

In the midst of a divorce, she had been living in a thirty-two-foot RV for two years with Precious and her dog, Mimi. On the night in question she had parked her RV in the lot beside the South Cariboo Visitor's Center in the town of 100 Mile House in central British Columbia. (See photo below of the town's misleading welcome sign.)

After polishing off a bottle of wine, she made the mistake of falling across the steering wheel with her arm on the horn. Someone called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and she promptly was arrested and unceremoniously carted off to the clink for the remainder of the evening.

The RCMP impounded her RV for thirty days which left her completely homeless. The officers did hold Mimi for her but in what appears to have been an act of extreme prejudice they callously allowed Precious to escape to parts unknown.

"I never drove and I have witnesses to prove it," she told The Province of Vancouver on October 2, 2010. (See "Woman Loses 'Parked' Motorhome, Cat, Misses Court Date in Divorce.") "The police decided I had been drinking and driving, and gave me this paper and gave me a Breathalyzer. They said I refused but I have asthma so I couldn't take it."

Even though Henault had received prior approval form the Visitor's Center to use its lot for up to a week, the RCMP treats that area as part of the highway. Apparently if she had been parked at a private campsite the RCMP would not have had the authority to arrest her.

"This individual is found in care and control of a motor vehicle," Dan Moskaluk, a corporal with the RCMP, told The Province in the article cited supra. "From there, there's an investigation."

Not totally without funds, she was able to lease an unfurnished apartment for a month at $550. She also was scheduled to have her RV returned to her and on top of that she was due to receive a settlement from her impending divorce.

She therefore probably came out all right financially in the end and she still has Mimi. None of that in any way detracts from the fact that her sipping on the grape cost her Precious.

Worst of all, Precious lost her home and, possibly, even her life. As far as it is known, she never was located.

As a general rule, individuals who have been drinking above the legal limit should not be caught within ten feet of an automobile. Even if they are spotted so much as sitting in a parked car the police are going to assume that they have been driving and accordingly will arrest if alcohol is involved.

That is precisely what happened to country singer Randy Travis last month in Sangor, Texas. The crooner, who has recorded such standards as "I Told You So," was sitting in his parked car outside a church when the police drove up and asked him if he had been hitting the sauce.

"Yes, sir, I have," he responded according to the February 17th edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. (See "New Randy Travis Vid: You Kidding Me?") "But I'm not driving, as you can see."

After searching his car without a warrant and discovering a bottle of wine, the police arrested Travis and carted him off to jail. "Really? Are you kidding me?" a stunned and obviously very drunk Travis can be heard exclaiming incredulously in a police video posted February 16th on YouTube. (See "Randy Travis Arrest Video Released.")

Fortunately, he did not have a cat with him for the police to either purposefully lose or confiscate.

Fifty-nine-year-old vegetarian Barbara Morrell of Levittown, Pennsylvania, was not nearly so fortunate in her numerous encounters with the authorities. More or less homeless for the past few years, she had been reduced to living in her broken-down Ford Taurus at the Queen Anne Plaza just off the Levittown Parkway in Bristol Township. (See photo of her and her female cat above.)

For companionship she had a black and white male named Sea who had been with her for several years. In late September of last year she also acquired a brown-colored female, name unknown, who had been spayed and microchipped by the Pennsylvania SPCA in Philadelphia.

That organization then fobbed her off onto an unidentified no-kill group who in turn released her into a managed colony. Morrell reportedly took custody of her when she started following her around.

Morrell's downfall began on November 3rd when no-good, rotten Bristol Township Animal Control Officer Bill O'Brien came nosing around her parked car and detected a whiff of urine. He wasted no time in ratting her out to Nicole Thompson and Kathy Myron of the Bucks County SPCA (BCSPCA).

They arrived on the scene a day later and attempted to strong-arm Morrell into surrendering her cats. When she categorically refused, the Bristol Township Police were summoned and they confiscated her cats after one of the officers forcibly ripped her car keys from around her neck.

The cats, both of whom appear to be not only perfectly healthy but friendly as well, were removed to the BCSPCA's shelter in Lahaska. On November 9th, the organization filed two charges of animal cruelty against Morrell for confining the cats in cages that contained urine.

When Morrell failed to show up in court on December 6th, Bucks County District Court Judge Robert Wagner convicted her in absentia on both counts and awarded custody of her cats to the brazen thieves at the BCSPCA. (See Courier Times of Levittown, December 7, 2011, "SPCA Wins Custody of Cats Removed from Homeless Woman's Car.")

The female was renamed Ford while Sea's name was changed to Taurus. The BCSPCA held them for thirty days and, when Morrell failed to appeal Wagner's outrageous ruling, it put them up for adoption. Since neither cat is listed as being available on Petfinder, it is likely that both of them already have been adopted. (See photo of them directly below with Lisé Henkensiefken of the BCSPCA.)

As for down-and-out Morrell, there seemingly is no end to her miseries. Not contented with having stolen her beloved cats, the authorities in Bristol Township also have ticketed her disabled auto as a prelude to stealing it also.

Anywhere that injustice ever is allowed to prevail the truth also takes a severe beating. "This is what nightmares are made of," Thompson bellowed to the Courier News earlier on November 6th. (See "Woman in Cat Fight.")

People from the neighborhood who were familiar with Morrell and her cats tell an entirely different story. One unidentified woman recalls Morrell dressing Sea in sweaters in order to keep him warm during the wintertime and taking him to fast-food restaurants in the summertime in order to ensure that he did not succumb to hyperthermia.

"She obviously was doing her best to care for the animal (Sea), and it was also clear that she cared about it very much," another unidentified woman told the Courier News on November 11th. (See "SPCA Cites Homeless Woman for Animal Cruelty.") "When you live with all your belongings in a cramped Taurus, I would think that any kind of companionship is very important to you."

Mark Twain would have wholeheartedly concurred. "For where women and children are not, men of kindly impulses take up with pets, for they must love something," he observed in, appropriately enough, Roughing It.

Even more compelling, based upon the BCSPCA's trumped up charges against Morrell any individual who confines a cat in a cage would be guilty of animal cruelty. This would include those who lock up their companions in pet carriers in order to transport them to the veterinarian as well as to take them on vacation with them.

Since these cages are not equipped with functioning toilets, cats so confined, no matter how briefly, sooner or later are bound to urinate and defecate. If these jokers from the BCSPCA camped out in front of any veterinarian's office and confiscated all cats and arrested their owners every time that they smelled urine they would be laughed out of court. The same holds true if the BCSPCA pulled this stunt at any airport check-in station.

Even more outrageously, it is a sure bet that the smell of both urine and feces at shelters operated by the BCSPCA would be more than sufficient in order to flatten a bloke almost as quickly as a tornado topples a house. It therefore is the very pinnacle of hypocrisy for the BCSPCA to hold Morrell to a standard of conduct that it flaunts with impunity.

It was, however, the BCSPCA's head honcho, Ann Irwin, who unwittingly gave the game away. "Our preference is always to help animals and people together, but if we are unable to help the person, it is our job to give priority to helping the animals," she blowed to the Courier Times in the November 11th article cited supra. "The sad thing is that if she (Morrell) refuses (help) there is not anything that anyone can do."

That is hardly the unvarnished truth in that the BCSPCA had been badgering Morrell since July to surrender her cats and to enter a shelter. Morrell and her cats therefore never were presented with any genuine help or feasible alternatives.

To significantly condense a long story, there has been a war going on in this country for more than thirty years that pits the establishment against the homeless. Even that in itself is hypocritical because it was precisely the authorities who deliberately created the problem in the first place through their destruction of almost all affordable housing, their promotion of unchecked immigration, both legal and illegal, and the outsourcing of jobs. Runaway deficit spending additionally has fueled the fires of inflation which in turn has made other basic necessities, such as food, medical and veterinary care, and education, unaffordable for a sizable portion of the population.

In return for pulling the rug from underneath what used to be known as the working poor, the authorities have set up a shelter system that is far more sinister, degrading, and exploitative than the workhouses of Victorian England that Charles Dickens so vividly described. Other than lining the pockets of unscrupulous social workers, Christians, and Jews, the only thing that these violent and disease-ridden hellholes accomplish is to occasionally save a handful of souls from succumbing to hypothermia.

In return for a few hours of warmth each evening, individuals are forced to relinquish their tents, personal possessions, and cats. Above all, to enter a shelter an individual must forfeit all freedom, dignity, self-reliance, and hope for a better tomorrow.

While some of these diabolical institutions are under court orders to procure permanent housing for women and their children, no such mandate exists in regard to homeless individuals. Despite the billions of dollars that these institutions receive each year from various sources, they do almost nothing in order to secure permanent housing and jobs for homeless individuals.

Being a poverty pimp is, sans doute, a very lucrative profession. For example, Ocean County, New Jersey, claims to spend $19 million annually on its homeless contingent and yet most of them are relegated to either sleeping in the woods or temporary stays at welfare hotels. That is in addition to those individuals that it conveniently gets rid of by buying them one-way, no return bus tickets from Toms River to Atlantic City.

In Fairfax, Virginia, social workers rake in $75,000 per annum plus all that they can steal by delivering food and other basic necessities to the homeless camped out in the woods near Dulles International Airport. Elsewhere, it is not uncommon for some of these so-called advocates for the homeless to knock down six-figure salaries for doing practically nothing.

In Manhattan back during in the 1980's, Columbia University, Baruch College, New York University, the New School for Social Research, and other institutions of so-called higher learning confiscated blocks of low-income housing and in the process turned thousands of New Yorkers into street dwellers. Even that bit of devilry was insufficient in order to pacify these rapacious cretins because once they had accomplished that they turned around and cashed in a second time by offering courses on the homeless crisis. Being anything but honest and forthright scholars, these phony-baloney professors were careful to redact from their long-winded lectures any mention of the role that they had played in creating this human tragedy in the first place.

If therefore should not come as any surprise that any homeless person who categorically refuses to knuckle under to the the authorities' diktat is soon marked for retaliation. That is precisely what happened to Morrell. The BCSPCA and its allies in Bristol Township knew that they could not bend her to their will so they in turn went after her cats.

If the BCSPCA is guilty of overzealousness and misplaced priorities, the opposite is definitely true of the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS). For example, in the retail district of downtown Honolulu known as Kakaako an unidentified homeless woman has been operating a de facto street corner animal shelter for more than a dozen years.

Specifically, she keeps up to several dozen cats and an occasional rabbit in tiny cages that she wheels around by using shopping trolleys and a bicycle. (See photo of her above.)

Some of the cats are confined three to a cage where urine, feces, fleas, flies, and the Hawaiian heat are their constant companions. It also has been alleged that she curses and beats them. To top it all off, these atrocities are going on directly in front of the state Department of Health! (See photo directly below of some of the caged cats.)

"We believe the way that the animals are being kept in these small cages and never allowed to leave ... that it's inhumane and that it's a violation of the state of Hawaii's anti-cruelty statutes," Pamela Davis of the Animal Advocate told the now defunct Star-Bulletin of Honolulu on October 20, 2009. (See "'Cat Lady' Relinquishes Twenty Pets.")

As difficult as it may be for some to believe, the HHS is assisting the woman in her abhorrent treatment of these cats. In particular, it has been providing her with traps and cages as well as defending her against her numerous detractors.

A representative of the organization visits her once a week in order to check on the well-being of the cats and has taken an unspecified number of them away from her. Most recently on October 9, 2009, it relieved her of nineteen cats and one rabbit.

"We've been working with her for more than five years, and finally we're starting to build trust with her and an understanding," the HHS's Keoni Vaughn declared to the Star-Bulletin. "We're just so delighted that we've got her to reduce her numbers."

For its part, the HHS defends its lack of action by arguing that the woman is not breaking any laws. It also disputes Davis's claim that she never lets the cats out of their cages.

Quite obviously, if the woman is not in violation of any of Hawaii's anti-cruelty statutes they could not possibly be worth very much. Secondly, it is amazing that she has not been cited under Honolulu's health and public nuisance ordinances.

To hear Vaughn tell it, however, the woman is a model cat owner. "She treats those cats like they were her kids," he gushed to the Star-Bulletin in the article cited supra.

Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the HHS is too lazy, cheap, and uncaring in order to humanely attend to Honolulu's homeless cat population and as a result it tolerates this curbside shelter. If there is some credence to that supposition, it is perhaps best after all that the cats remain with the woman because with that sort of attitude the HHS likely would only snuff out their lives.

Animal Advocate has posted on YouTube a video entitled "The Failure of the Hawaiian Humane Society" which certainly is worthwhile viewing for all those who care about cats.

A similarly disturbing incident occurred recently in San Francisco that involved a pug-nosed Himalayan with orange-colored eyes named Samantha and a fifty-eight-year-old homeless panhandler named Daniel Harlan. (See photo of them directly below.)

On February 5, 2010, Harlan left Samantha tethered to his tent at a homeless camp underneath a freeway exit ramp near Eighth and Brannan streets and when he returned she had disappeared. He took his case to the police, SPCA, and Animal Control but, typically, none of them were about to lift so much as a finger in order to help either a cat or a homeless man.

Undeterred, he next contacted the San Francisco Chronicle which on February 9th published an article about him and Samantha and that did the trick. (See "Homeless Man Offers Reward for Missing Cat.")

As luck would have it, Samantha had been picked up by kindhearted Tom Neville who feared that her life was threatened by some nearby dogs. Once he read the story in the Chronicle he contacted Harlan and unsuccessfully attempted to purchase her from him.

In the end, he reluctantly returned Samantha to Harlan along with some cat food and $40. "I wanted to to the right thing," he told the Chronicle on February 10th. (See "Homeless Man Reunited with Cat.") "He does love her. No question about it. He cried when he saw her."

Actually, it probably would have been far better for Samantha if Neville had not been so selfless. In addition to the dogs at Harlan's camp, Samantha's fur was matted, she was infested with fleas, and had sores.

Even more revealing, Harlan admitted to the Chronicle that he receives $975 each month from Social Security on top of what he cadges begging and that is more than sufficient in order to secure some form of lodging even in San Francisco. For instance, a fairly recent perusal of the advertisements on craigslist revealed numerous furnished rooms going for between $575 and $800 per month with hotel rooms averaging $175 a week.

Food Not Bombs and other charities hand out food in the street every day and San Francisco has numerous soup kitchens and food pantries. Harlan undoubtedly also receives food stamps and there always is plenty of free clothing available from various sources.

The only logical conclusion to be drawn from all of that is that Harlan is homeless by choice. Since his half-brother, Stephen Kent of Oklahoma, claims that he no longer drinks, he surely must be a drug addict and that does not bode well for Samantha.

Not only is cigarette smoke hazardous to cats, but so too are drugs that are smoked. (See Cat Defender posts of October 19, 2007 and September 27, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Smokers Are Killing Their Cats, Dogs, Birds, and Infants by Continuing to Light Up in Their Presence" and "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.")

On July 5th of last year, twenty-one-year-old Danielle Blankenship of Boulder, Colorado, was arrested and charged with killing her neighbor's cat, Muffin, by deliberately blowing heroin smoke into its face. (See Daily Mail, July 8, 2011, "Muffin's Overdose: Young Woman Accused of Killing Neighbor's Cat...by Blowing Heroin Smoke in Its Face.")

Although as far as it is known the custody tussle over Samantha was handled as a purely private matter without any outside involvement, it seems clear that Harlan should have been given an ultimatum to back up his professed love for Samantha with concrete, positive action. Specifically, since he obviously has sufficient funds in order to provide her with a home he should have been ordered to have done so as a condition for retaining custody of her.

Group homeless camps are far different from individual settings in that they attract all sorts of individuals and not all of them are kindly disposed toward cats. Even homeless shelters that have experimented with keeping cats as morale boosters have reported radically mixed results. (See Cat Defender posts of May 5, 2009, May 6, 2009, and August 17, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Gracie Brings a Ray of Hope and Good Cheer to the Down-and-Out at a Women's Shelter in Fredericton," "Resident at a Church-Run Homeless Shelter in Seattle Uses a Box Cutter in Order to Gut Scatt from Collarbone to Tail," and "America's Insane Love Affair with Criminals Continues as Drunkard Who Sliced Open Scatt with a Box Cutter Gets Off with Time on the Water Wagon.")

Secondly, he should have been ordered to get off drugs and into a treatment program. If he was unwilling to fulfill both of those requirements, Samantha should have been given to Neville.

Although few homeless cat owners attract quite the notoriety that has enveloped Morrell, the woman in Honolulu, and Harlan, just about all cities nowadays have at least one. Recently, for example, a senior citizen known only as Joan was living on the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey, along with her twelve-year-old white cat, Sugar. (See photo of her above.)

Although Joan has a full-time job as a maintenance worker, she apparently does not earn enough money in order to pay rent on a regular basis. Consequently, whenever the weather is bad she is forced to shell out $130 for a room for the night for Sugar and herself.

Other than for the unprovoked attacks that all homeless individuals suffer sooner or later, she and Sugar are persevering. "Most people are nice," she told the Hudson Reporter of Hoboken on March 14, 2009. (See "Travels with Sugar.") "Some of the kids, when they get drunk, are just plain mean."

From all appearances, Sugar looks to be healthy thanks in no small part to all the Fancy Feast cat food that Joan procures for her. "She's not exactly skinny. We have food," she added to the Hudson Reporter. "But I'd give anything for an affordable home again."

At last report, she was looking forward to retiring and collecting Social Security in 2010. That undoubtedly will make life a little easier for her but it is difficult to understand how she is going to be able to pay rent on what little the government gives her when she is unable to do so now working five days a week.

With all of her relatives long dead, Sugar is all that she has left in this world. "That's my family," she told the Hudson Reporter in the article cited supra.

In Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, a now fifty-two-year-old German expatriate known only as Brigitte has been living at Son Sant Joan Aeropuerto with a white male Persian named Mumu for close to fourteen years. (See photo of them directly below.)

Her worldly possession consist of three suitcases, a few blankets, and some books that she pushes around the terminal in a trolley. Mumu rides in a stroller.

"Er est wie ein Hund," she said in 2008. "Ich gehe mit ihm kurz nach draußen und dann erledigt er sein Geschaft." (See Cat Defender post of November 3, 2008 entitled "Down and Out in Paradise: Against All Odds, Brigitte and Mumu Strive to Forge New Lives for Themselves at Mallorcan Airport.")

Brigitte keeps herself and Mumu clean and works whenever she can but it is difficult being a German national in a Spanish enclave. From all appearances, however, Mumu looks to be in excellent health and doing well under extremely trying circumstances.

On a purely psychological level, there can be little doubt that cats cared for by the homeless are treated far better than those who live with domiciled families. These men and women are totally devoted to their cats and that is demonstrated by the inordinate amount of time that they spend with them.

Most conventional owners on the other hand have little or no time for their cats. They feed and water them twice a day but about ninety-nine per cent of their time is devoted to shekel chasing, mindless self-indulgence, and sleeping.

More likely than not if cats could talk they would express a strong preference for being cherished by their homeless guardians as opposed to being treated like wall decorations by considerably more affluent domiciled owners. After all, cats are not nearly as impressed with the material trappings of the modern world as humans.

Much the same is true of TNR practitioners in that most of them spend little or no time with the cats under their care. In addition to all the safety issues involved in allowing cats to live exclusively outdoors, such behavior contributes very little toward socializing them for future adoption.

Dealing with the pets of the homeless is, quite obviously, an extremely complicated affair that needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis. Just as importantly, it is extremely problematic as to who has the right to adjudicate legitimate animal welfare issues whenever they arise.

Since they have proven themselves time and time again to be little more than dressed-up extermination camps, all conventional shelters and Animal Control officers have forfeited their moral prerogative to sit in judgement of the homeless and anyone else for that matter. As verified by the callous treatment that Morrell's female cat, Ford, received, no kill operations and TNR practitioners are suspect as well.

Additionally, shelters that confiscate the cats of the homeless only to later turn around and kill them are far worse guardians of them than the impecunious. In the final analysis, it is preferable to allow the homeless to keep their cats so long as they are well-fed, sheltered to some degree, and not in any immediate danger.

Animal welfare groups could be helpful if they were willing to provide the homeless with food and veterinary care for their cats but, as the BCSPCA's treatment of Morrell and her cats has demonstrated, that is the farthest thing from their diseased minds. They have their own agendas and they do not include helping either cats or the homeless.

The one notable exception to that rule is Feeding Pets of the Homeless. Based in Carson City, Nevada, this worthy organization donates pet food to food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens in America and Canada. It also sometimes pays veterinarians to treat the pets of the homeless.

Like it or not, homeless cats and individuals are now a permanent part of the modern landscape. Communities can either treat them as vermin to be eradicated or they can adopt a more compassionate approach that respects the rights of both groups to live.

Photos: KIRO-TV (Young), Andrew Bremmer of Wikipedia (welcome sign at 100 Mile House), Courier News (Morrell, Ford and Taurus), Animal Advocate (cat woman of Honolulu and caged cats), Mike Kepka of the San Francisco Chronicle (Samantha and Harlan), Hudson Reporter (Sugar), and S. Llompart of the Mallorca Zeitung (Brigitte and Mumu).