The Inexcusable Refusal of Washington's Derelict Legal Establishment to Punish Nico Dauphiné and the Smithsonian for Their Despicable Crimes Was the Most Momentous Cat Story to Come Out of 2011
"If she did do this, then we naturally would be concerned about her being around all animals. Whoever would do such a thing is a threat to animals. It (poisoning) is a slow and painful death. It was callous and complete disregard for animals' well-being."
-- Scott Giacoppo of the Washington Humane Society
The calendar year 2011 was another preeminently successful one for cat-killing ornithologists, both professionals and amateurs, who recorded major victories in court. In Washington, Dr. Nico Dauphiné of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo got away scot-free with attempting to poison a colony of homeless cats. Meanwhile, in a thoroughly ludicrous miscarriage of justice that is destined to live on forever in infamy, Ernst Bernhard K. was turned loose by a court in München after he earlier had tortured Rocco to death over an extended eleven-day period.
The diabolical and despotic United States Fish and Wildlife Service went on another of its periodic cat-killing rampages through the Florida Keys while in rural Zanesville, Ohio, a hick sheriff and his deputies used the unfortunate release of dozens of tigers, lions, and other large carnivores as a convenient excuse in order to go on a great safari hunt that left all of the animals dead. Trigger-happy cops likewise murdered defenseless cats in Lebanon, Ohio, and Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The complete frauds and cat-hating maniacs who comprise the ranks of PETA killed yet still another defenseless cat and then went online in order to brag about their foul deed. In New York City, a TNR practitioner did his level best to emulate the organization by deliberately killing off at least sixty-two of his cats.
Veterinarians continued to demonstrate not only their gross incompetence but total lack of morality as well while in both rural and urban locations redtailed hawks emerged as another menace to cats. As per usual, the year also saw innumerable unspeakable acts of cruelty perpetrated against the species.
In Austria, a cat named Odin was placed under house arrest for straying into a neighbor's yard while in Deutschland a kindhearted woman was sent to jail for shoplifting food in order to feed her twelve cats. There were, of course, many other stories but here are some of the more significant ones in this, admittedly, rather tardy look back at the year in cats that was 2011.
For previous year-end reviews, see Cat Defender posts of January 4, 2007, January 11, 2008, February 2, 2009, March 16, 2010, and June 20, 2011 entitled, respectively, "The Continuing Mass Extermination of Millions of Cats at Shelters Across the World Heads the List of Top Ten Cat Stories of 2006," "Serial Cat Killer James Munn Stevenson's Victory in a Galveston Courtroom Heads the List of the Top Stories of 2007," "The Creation of Clones That Glow in the Dark for Vivisectors to Torture and Kill with Impunity Was the Most Disturbing Cat Story to Come Out of 2008," "The Humane Society's Sellout of San Nicolas's Felines to the Assassins at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Was the Biggest Cat Story of 2009," and "Rocco's Abduction, Systematic Torture, and Cold-Blooded Murder by a Bird-Lover in München Was the Number One Cat Story of 2010."
1.) Serial Cat Killer Nico Dauphiné Is Finally Apprehended but Not Punished.
|Nico Dauphiné Out on the Prowl Poisoning Cats|
A good deal of 2011 was consumed with the arrest, trial, and conviction of Dr. Nico Dauphiné, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo in Washington. The saga began in March when caretakers of a colony of homeless cats living in Meridian Hill Park discovered antifreeze and rat poison in their charges' feeding dishes.
The Washington Humane Society (WHS) was alerted and began a monthlong investigation that culminated in Dauphiné's arrest on May 11th. Ironically, this big brain from the ivory towers of academia was done in by technology very similar to that which she regularly has employed in her work in order to abuse cats.
Specifically, at the National Zoo, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, Dauphiné was fitting cats with mini-cameras so as to collect data on their predation of birds and other small animals. She and her colleagues in turn plan on using this data in order to justify en masse feline eradication efforts.
Technology, like all science, is morally neutral and therefore can be put to good as well as evil purposes and that is exactly what the WHS did by installing surveillance cameras near the cats' feeding station. Having committed similar, if not indeed identical, atrocities many times before and therefore believing that she was above all legal as well as moral constraints, Ph.D. Dauphiné had her dirty schnoz poked so high in the air that she failed to spot the cameras and as a result was captured redhanded on tape poisoning the cats' food.
Since she previously had lobbied apartment building managers in the neighborhood to ban the feeding of cats on their grounds, she immediately was a prime suspect in the Meridian Hill Park attempted poisonings. The WHS therefore began monitoring her movements in and out of her swanky abode on Fifteenth Street in the northwest quadrant of the city. That task was greatly facilitated by the organization's gaining access to the data recorded every time that she swiped her security card in order to gain entry into the building.
On October 31st, she was convicted of attempted misdemeanor animal cruelty in District of Columbia Superior Court in a bench trial presided over by Judge Truman A. Morrison III. Despite the incontrovertible evidence amassed against her by the WHS, Dauphiné remained defiant until the bitter end.
"Absolutely not!" she bellowed like the consummate liar that she is from the witness box when asked if she had attempted to poison the cats. Rather, she countered that she merely was attempting to starve them to death by stealing their food.
Whatever small measure of satisfaction that cat advocates may have derived from her conviction was quickly dashed when Morrison turned around and let her off the hook scot-free on December 14th. In particular, he fined her only a measly $100, which is equivalent to the cost of a parking ticket in the nation's capital.
Not that it really matters, he also tacked on the customary six-month suspended jail term that seemingly all cat abusers receive, plus one-hundred-twenty hours of community service and twelve months of probation during which time she was ordered to stay away from cats. Overall, Morrison seemed to have been more preoccupied with the impact that this light tap on the wrists was going to have on her budding career as a cat defamer and killer than anything else.
That assessment is borne out by the fact that nowhere in press reports is there any indication that he ever expressed so much as an iota of concern for either her intended victims or the demands of justice. Given the enormity of her crime plus her past record, he at the very least should have banned her for life from having any contact with members of the species.
Even in disgrace and defeat, remorse was the last thing on Dauphiné's twisted little mind. "I plan to go back to the community (of fellow cat killers) and work to repair all the damage that has been done," she declared.
On January 13th of this year her new attorney, Molly Cannon of O'Toole, Rothwell, Wassau and Steinbach, filed a notice of appeal with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals but it has not been possible to determine the status of that matter. If history is any judge, Dauphiné more than likely eventually will succeed in having her conviction overturned and the Superior Court then will have to return the $100 fine that she grudgingly ponied up on December 15th.
This is mere speculation but the Smithsonian could even be footing the bill for her highly-priced legal team. If it is not, like-minded birders and wildlife biologists are almost certain to be financially backing her.
It also is probable that she already has secured both sanctuary and succor at either a university or another cat-hating public institution. After all, birds of a feather tend to stick together much like pigeon poop to shoe leather.
Consequently, all the tears that Morrison cried and his sleepless nights spent walking the floor worried sick about Dauphiné's career and pocketbook likely were a complete waste of time. Au contraire, it is highly likely that she is living high on the hog and killing cats with renewed vigor.
Lisa LaFontaine of WHS only added to the burlesque nature of the proceedings by championing the outcome. "Justice was served today," she mindlessly caroled after sentencing was pronounced.
|Cat Poisoner Nico Dauphiné|
Throughout the entire affair starting with Dauphiné's unmasking and culminating in her sentencing neither a single ornithologist nor wildlife biologist uttered so much as a syllable of criticism of her criminal behavior. Her friends, colleagues, and supporters even went so far as to inundate Morrison with a slew of letters arguing in favor of not only leniency but her complete innocence as well.
In that light it would be interesting to know precisely what is in those letters and, more importantly, who actually wrote them but that likely is going to remain a closely guarded secret in that Cannon filled a motion on December 21st in Superior Court in order to prevent them from being made public. That is terribly wrong because individuals who occupy high positions within the universities and public institutions should be held accountable, at least in the court of public opinion, and that is doubly true for those who wholeheartedly support the poisoning of cats.
The Smithsonian, which receives around a billion dollars annually in welfare from the taxpayers, stood staunchly behind Dauphiné all the way. "We know what she's doing in no way would jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife, so we feel perfectly comfortable that she continue her research," Pamela Baker-Masson, as spokeswoman for zoo director Dennis W. Kelly, declared shortly after her arrest. Her colleague, Jen Zoon, was still singing the same tune even after Dauphiné was convicted.
Non sequiturs of that nature reveal the profound dishonesty and moral depravity that afflicts Kelly and his minions. After all, it is well understood by one and all that it was not the zoo's inmates that she was attacking but rather cats.
"In standing behind Dr. Dauphiné and her alleged acts of animal cruelty, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian are sending a message to the Washington, D.C., community and all of America that the lives of cats have no value," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies wrote to Kelly on May 25, 2011.
It even could be argued that anyone who would poison cats is certainly capable of doing likewise to other animals as well. "If she did do this, then we naturally would be concerned about her being around all animals. Whoever would do such a thing is a threat to animals," Scott Giacoppo of WHS correctly deduced in the aftermath of Dauphiné's arrest. "It (poisoning) is a slow and painful death. It was callous and complete disregard for animals' well-being."
Although Dauphiné has resigned from the zoo, its use and abuse of domestic cats as guinea pigs in order to fabricate evidence designed to hang the entire species continues unabated as do concerns over their welfare. In particular, where does the zoo get its cats? It is conceivable that it could be obtaining them from the WHS under the pretext of providing them with loving homes just as former United States Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, a vivisector, did when he was studying medicine at Harvard.
Of even greater concern is the treatment that they receive at the hands of researchers at the Smithsonian. Those issues pale in comparison, however, with the much more important matter of what happens to them once the zoo no longer has any further use for them.
Additionally, since just about all zoos, captive breeding facilities, and wildlife rehabilitation centers shanghai domestic cats into nursing orphaned wild animals, the same animal welfare issues pertain to them as do to those that are used as guinea pigs. The Smithsonian therefore should be compelled to come clean regarding the care and welfare of all cats that it employs as surrogate mothers.
As things now stand, it is difficult to believe that any of them or those that it nakedly exploits as guinea pigs ever get out alive. That assumption is based not only upon Dauphiné's behavior in Meridian Hill Park but also her actions in Athens while she was studying at the University of Georgia (UGA).
The details are far from clear, but it is believed that she illegally trapped two dozen or more cats in Athens which she promptly handed over to the local authorities in order to exterminate. Since she allegedly was using snares provided by UGA that makes the school complicit in her crimes.
Like the Smithsonian, Dauphiné's kindred spirits at UGA and National Geographic are still fitting cats with cameras so as to collect data on their predatory behavior. They obtain their research subjects by hoodwinking individuals into lending them the services of their cats without first informing them of the nefarious motives behind their totally bogus research . (See Athens Banner-Herald, April 24, 2012, "Kitty Cams Show What Athens' Roaming Cats Are Up To" and WGCL-TV of Atlanta, April 24, 2012, "Kitty Cameras Show Athens Cats on the Prowl," and Cat Defender post of April 15, 2005 entitled "National Geographic Trying to Exterminate Cats.")
The universities of Bristol and Reading plus a joint study conducted by the New York State Museum and Cornell University likewise employed the same deceitful tactic in order to obtain their thousands of unwitting feline guinea pigs. (See University of Bristol press release of May 9, 2012, "'Bristol Cats' Study Needs More Kittens.")
Despite the wealth of information available online, some cat owners around the world remain as clueless as ever about the evil intentions of ornithologists and wildlife biologists. That in and of itself is arguably the most disgusting aspect of this entire sordid business because they are precisely the ones who should have more bon sens than to cooperate with the sworn enemies of the species.
In addition to those devious universities and institutions, countless others nakedly exploit, abuse, and kill cats in a similar fashion but are careful so as not to disclose either how they acquire or, more importantly, dispose of them. Some of the worst known offenders are the University of Illinois, Cal State Fullerton, and Brigham Young University. (See Cat Defender post of July 18, 2011 entitled "Evil Professors Have Transformed College Campuses into Hotbeds of Hatred Where Cats Routinely Are Vilified, Horribly Abused, and Systematically Killed.")
"Every animal regardless of breed, age, condition or any other factor deserves protection from cruelty and abuse," LaFontaine declared after Dauphiné's sentencing. Yet, the WHS steadfastly refuses to even investigate the Smithsonian, let alone area vivisectors, zoos, slaughterhouses, circuses, and shelters, such as the two extermination factories that it operates on New York and Georgia avenues.
The situation is every bit as deplorable and lawless at UGA and other universities around the world. When it comes to enforcing the anti-cruelty statutes there obviously is one set of rules for private individuals and another for unscrupulous professors, lawless bureaucrats, and bloodthirsty cops. (See Cat Defender posts of July 12, 2011, November 18, 2011, and January 6, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The Arrest of Nico Dauphiné for Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats Unmasks the National Zoo as a Hideout for Ailurophobes and Criminals," "Nico Dauphiné, Ph.D., Is Convicted of Attempting to Poison a Colony of Homeless Cats but Questions Remain Concerning the Smithsonian's Role," and "Nico Dauphiné Is Let Off with an Insultingly Lenient $100 Fine in a Show Trial That Was Fixed from the Very Beginning.")
2.) Rocco's Sadistic Torturer and Murderer Escapes Justice.
|Ernst Bernhard K.|
Justice for abused and murdered cats is about as rare as hens' teeth under even normal circumstances but what transpired August 9th in Landgericht München can only be described as a farce. That is when presiding judge Gerhard Simon and prosecutor Beate Miksch put their warped gourds together and conspired to turn loose a sadistic cat killer.
On December 13, 2010, seventy-four-year-old amateur ornithologist Ernst Bernhard K. baited a trap with fish in order to snare a three and one-half year old black Norwegian Forest Cat named Rocco who belonged to his neighbor, fifty-year-old insurance broker Andreas O. This illegal behavior allegedly was prompted by the deaths of three blackbirds that frequented Ernst K.'s yard in the borough of Moosach even though he later admitted that he did not have so much as a scintilla of evidence that Rocco was indeed the culprit.
Over the course of the next eleven days Ernst K. proceeded to methodically bombard the caged cat at point-bland range with violent bursts of both pepper spray and highly-pressurized water from a garden hose. It is highly improbable that he either fed, watered, or even cleaned Rocco's cage during that extended period of time.
Ernst K.'s sadistic little game sans doute would have continued until Judgment Day if it had not been for the intervention of his neighbor, seventy-one-year-old Erika S., on Heilig Abend. Although she had been overhearing Rocco's anguished cries for more than a week, no explanation has been given as to why it took her so long in order to confront Ernst K. and to alert the authorities.
Realizing that the game was up, Ernst K. stuffed the soaking wet and near death cat into a blue trash bag and secreted him away in his garage. By the time that the police and animal rescue personnel arrived on the scene it already was too late in order to save the life of the beloved family cat that Andreas had purchased as an eight-week-old kitten in order to give to his wife, Nicole, as a wedding present.
"Ich konnte Rocco nicht helfen," Birgit Schwarzmann of Tierrettung München said afterwards. "In zehn Jahres als Tierarztin habe ich nie zuvor etwas schrecklicheres gesehen. Das war purer Sadismus."
A necropsy later attributed the cause of death to drowning. It thus would appear that Ernst K. deliberately drowned him in either a trash can or a rain barrel after Erika S. discovered what he was up to and that, as opposed to the cumulative effects of the eleven days of torture, is what ultimately killed him.
Even if his death was relatively quick that does not begin to tell how egregiously he suffered at the hands of his sadistic murderer. Although he also likely suffered severe burns to his face from the pepper spray and possibly the water if it were hot, a truer measure of what he was put through is better attested to by the worn-down claws on his front paws.
"An der vorderpfoten waren krallen abgerissen," an unidentified representative of Tierrettung München testified July 28th at Ernst K.'s bench trial before Simon. "Man sah, dass sich die Katze aus der Falle zu befreien versuchte."
As for Ernst K., even his unmasking could not in any way dampen the elation that he felt at the roaring success of his diabolical stratagem. "Ich wurde es wieder tun," he vowed to arresting officers.
Even their subsequent confiscation of his trap failed to dent his resolve. "Dann kauf ich mir halt eine andere," he retorted.
Since Ernst K. already had pleaded guilty, the only drama remaining in his trial concerned his punishment and Miksch early on gave the game away by only asking for a twelve-month suspended jail sentence and a €1,500 fine. Even that ultimately proved to be too much for Simon to stomach.
He accordingly gave Ernst K. only a ten-month suspended jail sentence, three years probation, and a fine of €1,500. That utterly ludicrous excuse for justice left Rocco's more than one-hundred supporters in the courtroom shocked and outraged and they responded with shouts of Morder and Falsch.
"Das Urteil entsprach in keiner Weise dem was tatsächlich am Weihnachtstag des Jahren 2010 in dem Garten des Einfamilienhauses des Renters geschehen ist," Judith Brettmeister of Aktion Tier accurately summed up the absurdity of Simon's asinine ruling. "Dort wurde ein Tier eingesperrt und qualvoll zu Tode gequält -- und dies uber die entsetzliche lange Zeit von fünfzehn Minuten. Was muss eigentlich noch an Qualen einem Tier, an erheblichen Schmerzen oder fruchbaren Leiden zugefügt werden, damit ein Gericht das im Tierschutzgesetz vorgesehene Strafmaß in Gänze ausschöpft."
Simon's utter failure to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes was abhorrent enough in its own right but he did not stop there but instead joined with Miksch in engaging in a lovefest for Rocco's killer. Specifically, he called attention not only to Ernst K.'s advanced years but to both his and his wife's allegedly poor health as mitigating factors.
In doing so he deliberately ignored the salient fact that if Ernst K. was healthy enough in order to trap and torture Rocco to death over such an extended period of time he quite obviously is as healthy as a horse. Equally important, if Erika S. was able to overhear Rocco's plaintive cries for help, Ernst K.'s wife undoubtedly heard them also and her failure to intervene makes her as accessory to his crimes.
Simon also selectively and dishonestly condemned the protests mounted by Rocco's supporters as a hate campaign while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the inflammatory posters that Ernst K. festooned his house with and the veiled threats that either he or one of his supporters made against other cats in the neighborhood. Besides, Rocco's supporters merely were exercising their right to free expression granted them under German law.
Simon capped it all off by boldly predicting that Ernst K. never would kill again and therefore no longer posed a threat to cats in Moosach. First of all, he is hardly in any position to know what Ernst K. may or may not do in the future. It even could be argued that by allowing him to get away scot-free with murdering Rocco, Simon has given him a green light to kill additional cats.
Secondly, in making such a ridiculous prediction Simon deliberately chose to ignore the fact that at least eight additional cats have disappeared from the neighborhood in recent years and Ernst K. would have to be considered to be the number one suspect in all of those unsolved cases. Dogs also have been poisoned and shot with air guns.
"Es tut mir ja leid um die Katze," Ernst K. testified at his trial but no one in the courtroom believed so much as a single word of his crocodile tears. Moreover, he grinned so much during testimony detailing how that he had tortured Rocco that he was forced to cover his face with his hands in order to conceal his mirth.
"Der Rentner zeigte während der zwei Prozesstage weder Reue noch Einsicht obwohl seine Tat an Rohheit und Grausamkeit kaum zu überbieten war," Brettmeister said of Ernst K.s total lack of contrition. "Jetzt geht es für den Rentner nur noch darum, in den nächsten Jahren strafrechtlich nicht mehr aufzufallen. Er kann sich beruhigt in seinem Einfamilienhaus zürucklehnen und weider seine Vögel beobachten."
Having poured out their hearts to Ernst K. and his spouse, neither Simon nor Miksch had so much as an ounce of sympathy to spare for either the murder victim or his grieving family. "Wir vermissen Rocco sehr, er war ein Familienmitglied," Andreas O. said shortly after his murder.
The only measure of satisfaction that Andreas O. has received out of this terrible tragedy came on July 11th when a civil court judge ordered Ernst K. to pay him €500 in compensatory damages for killing Rocco. He also sought and received from the court a cease and desist order preventing Ernst K. from trapping and killing any more of his cats. Should he violate that injunction, he could be fined up to €250,000.
This disturbing case demonstrated once again not only the true criminal nature of ornithologists, both amateurs as well as professionals, but every bit as importantly the diabolical lengths that they are prepared to go in order to inflict wholesale pain and suffering upon cats. It additionally reaffirmed the total unwillingness of prosecutors and judges alike to take crimes committed against the species seriously.
Since the legal establishment is so adamantly opposed to punishing a diabolical monster like Ernst K., it is difficult to believe that it ever will seriously punish any cat abuser. That is despite the fact that its members are sworn to uphold the law and that most definitely includes the anti-cruelty statutes.
The one encouraging development to emerge from this horrible affair and grotesque miscarriage of justice was the passionate response that it evoked from cat and animal lovers in München. In addition to the hundred or so of them who assembled both inside and outside the Justizgebaüde during Ernst K.'s trial, at least two-hundred-sixty of them marched in the cold and snow through Moosach on January 8th in a spirited show of support for Rocco that was organized by TSV.
They nevertheless must remain ever vigilant, especially with a monster like Ernst K. still at large. (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.")
3.) United States Fish and Wildlife Service Eradicates Additional Cats in the Florida Keys.
|Anne Morkill and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Plot to Kill Cats|
The cat-hating fiends who comprise the ranks of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ramped up their ongoing extermination efforts in the Florida Keys last year. Specifically, they declared war on all felines living in the National Key Deer and the Great White Heron National Wildlife refuges on Big Pine Key, the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Key Largo. Collectively, those four parcels of real estate are known as the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex (FKNWRC).
The trapping, removal, and killing is believed to have begun sometime in June and, likely, is still continuing to this very day. Since the USFWS is operated along the lines of a secretive, despotic criminal syndicate, it never has revealed how many cats that its agents either trapped and killed outright or coopted others into killing for it.
Those cats removed from the Lower Keys were scheduled to have been taken to the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West where it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that they were killed upon arrival. "Rarely has anyone wanted to adopt a feral cat," the death camp's head honcho, Connie Christian, has freely admitted. "Then there is no option (but to kill them)."
Those trapped on Key Largo were to have been taken to the Upper Keys Animal Shelter for Monroe County in Key Largo where a similar fate awaited them. "This (removal) program has been going on for years," is how the shelter's Tom Garrettson nonchalantly shrugged off the killing spree. "As for the volume of cats, it hasn't been a problem. If the cat has a tag or has obviously been cared for, we make every effort to return it to the owner."
Since homeless cats rarely have either tags or owners, Garrettson's beau geste is every bit as insulting and disingenuous as it is irrelevant. It therefore is highly unlikely that any of the cats trapped on Key Largo by the USFWS ever made it out of his shelter alive.
This is by no means the first time that the USFWS and other entities of the national government have killed cats in the Florida Keys. For example, in 2005 and 2006 twenty of them were removed and, presumably, killed at the Key West Naval Air Station on Boca Chica.
In 2007, the USFWS and its sister agency, the USDA's Wildlife Services, trapped and killed an undisclosed number of cats on National Key Deer Refuge. (See Cat Defender post of May 24, 2007 entitled "USDA and Wildlife Service Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key.")
These feline eradication schemes have been undertaken ostensibly in order to protect the marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) in the Lower Keys and the wood rat (Neotoma floridana smalli) on Key Largo. Despite these en masse feline slaughters, the USFWS is yet to produce any evidence that either species is faring any better.
Wood rats in particular have an uphill fight. Bred in captivity, they are radio-collared and then reintroduced into a forbidding landscape where they are subjected to repeated trappings by the USFWS and its minions. It accordingly is difficult to imagine that they ever see so much as a moment of peace during their brief existences.
Besides failing to make a convincing case that cats are responsible for the decline of the rabbits and the rats, the USFWS pays only lip service to the true culprits that are adversely impacting their survival. "The plan ignores the real threat to animals: people. And so it does not have a real chance at successfully protecting endangered species," Alley Cat Allies (ACA) has repeatedly maintained. "The problems caused by people kill millions of animals per year: habitat loss, urbanization, pollution, and environmental degradation. This is especially true in the Florida Keys, where continual development has negatively impacted water quality and habitat acreage."
In its saner moments the USFWS grudgingly will acknowledge those factors but that is all. "Due to extensive habitat loss from human development, these species (rabbits and rats) have declined to such low numbers that management intervention is necessary to ensure their survival. Secondary impacts from development include the introduction of non-native predators, such as cats and other exotic animals," the agency's Anne Morkill stated in late December of 2010. "While we can't turn back the clock to return the Keys to its (sic) once pristine condition, we can take action now to control current threats from cats and other animals."
C'est-à-dire, cats are being made, as per usual, the scapegoats while the USFWS continues to cozy up on the sly to developers and polluters. Defaming and killing cats also is a rather lucrative undertaking.
For instance, although the USFWS admits to having received $50,000 in both 2007 and 2011 from Congress in order to finance its feline killing sprees in the Keys, the actual amounts involved most assuredly are much higher. That is because on San Nicolas it spent at least $1,854,100 in order to trap and track down with bloodhounds two-hundred cats.
Of those, all but around fifty of them were dispatched to the devil with shotgun blasts to the head. Although in that case the USFWS's blood money came from fines levied against Montrose Chemicals for polluting the Pacific Ocean, it still nevertheless was federal money. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008 and February 24, 2012 entitled, respectively, "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island" and "United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Humane Society Hoist a Glass in Celebration of Their Extermination of the Cats on San Nicolas Island.")
Furthermore, the USFWS has almost nothing to say about the detrimental impact that motorists, hunters, pesticides, hurricanes, climate change, snakes, birds of prey, raccoons, and other animals are having on endangered species. Rather, it is only the presence of Felis domestica that prompts it to ratchet up its propaganda campaign and to marshal all available federal firepower and welfare shekels in order to orchestrate a feline bloodbath.
Most alarming of all, the USFWS is so blinded by its irrational hatred of cats that it is oblivious to the immorality and criminality of its conduct. "...Some people believe every animal has a right to live," is how Morkill sarcastically dismissed the legitimate concerns of cat-lovers.
In accordance with its policy of defaming cats as exotic despoilers of nature who do not have any right to exist, the USFWS is categorically opposed to both relocating them and, especially, TNR. In fact, whenever it is not actually killing them it is galivanting across the country conducting anti-TNR workshops.
Another key component in its war on cats is the preparation and dissemination of Environmental Assessments (EA) which in reality are nothing more than scurrilous, one-sided anti-cat screeds fabricated by a gaggle of carefully handpicked wildlife biologists and ornithologists. Being completely dishonest and totally lacking in all integrity, they not only cherry pick the arguments and available data but systematically exclude all cat advocacy groups from having any input whatsoever in the process.
"The plan (the EA prepared for the Florida Keys) is based on a deeply flawed interpretation of TNR research, and several studies were omitted," ACA's Becky Robinson said in February of last year. "Similar plans by the agency have already killed feral, stray and pet cats with no benefit whatsoever."
Once completed, cat advocacy groups and the remainder of the interested public are allotted thirty days or less in order to voice their opposition but even that is strictly for show because the USFWS is so despotic, undemocratic, and politically unaccountable that it never modifies its policies even in the face of widespread opposition. That is what has continuously occurred in the Florida Keys as well as on San Nicolas.
Ultimately, President Barack Obama and Congress are responsible for these eradications because they have the authority to rein in the USFWS and to still its machine gun hand. The same can be said for their sell out to hunters of the gray wolves in the Rockies and the Great Lakes region. Next up on the feds' hit list are the grizzlies who live in and around Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 2012, "Grizzly Hunt May Be Returning.")
In addition to those wholesale machinations, the USFWS's most successful ploy has been to inveigle cat protection groups into doing its bidding. The Humane Society of United States sold out San Nicolas's cats to it and the conduct of Forgotten Felines of Marathon, Caring for Cats of Islamorada, Whiskers and Paws Forever of Monroe County, and One Animal Family in the Florida Keys has been every bit as shameful.
So far, the USFWS pretty much has limited its feline liquidation programs to federal and state lands which also serve as incubators in order for it to hone its extermination methodologies and lies to a razor's edge. Its insatiable lust for feline blood will not be slaked by these en masse killings, however, and plans already are in the works to attack cats in urban settings.
If the USFWS and its allies are not stopped the only safe havens for cats soon will be on private property and even that is debatable. For instance, a few years back Wildlife Services attacked Ernest Hemingway's domesticated polydactyls in Key West and the USFWS has ordered the handful of cats rescued from San Nicolas to be jailed on the mainland for the remainder of their lives. (See Cat Defender post of June 23, 2011 entitled "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys."
4.) Bloodthirsty Ohio Sheriff Orders the Massacre of Dozens of Tigers and Lions.
|Some of the Tigers, Lions, and Other Animals Massacred in Zanesville|
More than a year later the extent of the massive and senseless slaughter still boggles the mind. On the evening of October 18th, sixty-two-year-old Terry Thompson, the troubled and deeply flawed proprietor of the seventy-three-acre Mukingum County Animal Farm (MCAF) in rural Zanesville, Ohio, turned loose his collection of big cats and other large carnivores before committing suicide. Matt Lutz and his band of trigger-happy hooligans from the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) raced to the scene where they proceeded in short order to quickly liquidate all of them.
Armed with night-vision glasses, assault rifles, and automatic pistols, Lutz and his subalterns mowed down in cold blood eighteen Bengal tigers, seventeen lions, three cougars, six black bears, two grizzlies, a pair of gray wolves, and a baboon. At no time was humanely recapturing the animals alive entertained for even so much as a fleeting moment.
"Public safety was my number one concern," Lutz declared in the aftermath of the brutal bloodbath. "I gave the order that if the animals looked like they were going to get out, they were going down."
While the members of the capitalist media and those who lazily depend upon them as their reference point for all reality have accepted at face value Lutz's claim that the carnivores posed an imminent threat to the public, not a scintilla of evidence has been produced in order to back up that assertion. Au contraire, it does not appear that any of them ever even made it off the farm and, with Thompson long dead, there was not anyone on the premises for them to attack even if they had been so inclined considering their weakened condition as the result of years of unjust incarceration and abuse.
Sedation likewise was categorically rejected out of hand. "You can't tranquilize at night. It upsets them," notorious wildlife exploiter and abuser Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium later pontificated. "It's like if you get popped with a shot. They settle in, hunker down, go to sleep. We can't find them in the dark. What had to be done had to be done."
That certainly is an odd thing to say in light of the fact that the MSCO certainly did not have the least bit of difficulty locating them in the dark and systematically exterminating every last one of them. Moreover, it would seem that putting them to sleep for the night would have been the ideal solution.
Even more inexcusably, neither the MCSO nor the Columbus Zoo had in place any humane rescue plan in order to deal with such an eventuality even though both groups long had been aware of the existence of serious problems at MCAF. Specifically, the authorities had been called to the compound more than a dozen times since 2004 in order to investigate, inter alia, insecure cages and fences, animal cruelty issues, and unsanitary conditions.
In hindsight, a good case could be made that Lutz and his deputies had been lying in wait all these years like vipers in the grass just hoping and praying that the animals one day would escape so that they could go on a great safari hunt right in the cozy confines of their very own backyard. After all, law enforcement personnel, like soldiers, love nothing better than to try out their latest weaponry and high-tech gadgetry on animals and individuals who are totally incapable of offering up any resistance. They also get an especially big kick out of ogling the rivers of blood and scores of badly-mangled corpses that they leave behind in their wake.
That theory of events is buttressed by Lutz's own utterances. "I've been out there and walked past the pens and had those cats become aggressive," he later freely admitted. "I knew if those animals were running loose, they were out of control."
The Columbus Zoo is likewise guilty of the same offense. "We knew that...there were so many dangerous animals at this place that eventually something bad would happen, but I don't think anyone really knew it would be this bad," the organization's Barb Wolfe later said.
Compounding the horrific killing of these irreplaceable animals, practically every well-known wildlife protection group, such as the World Wildlife Fund, Born Free USA, and TRAFFIC, as well as such perennial blowhards and frauds as PETA and the Humane Society of the United States have voiced their unqualified support for this totally unwarranted mass extermination. With friends like that, big cats and other large carnivores certainly do not need any enemies.
Following in that time-honored American tradition whereby public officials are allowed to profit handsomely from the commission of their despicable crimes, Lutz and his fellow mass murderers are now being treated as national heroes and, sans doute, laughing all the way to the bank. For instance, he and nineteen of his riflemen belatedly were honored recently on October 26th by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine with the Distinguished Law Enforcement Group Achievement Award.
By stepping out of the shadows in order to receive their accolades, the killers were forced for the first time to relinquish their precious anonymity. In addition to the ringleader Lutz, they have been identified as: captains Jeff Lecocq and Steve Welker, director of operations Kim Hamble, Sergeant Steve Blake, detectives K. C. Jones, Todd Kanavel, and Craig Knox, deputies Tony Angelo, Tom Joseph, Wade Kanavel, Jay Lawhorne, Chris Merry, Jonathan Merry, Ryan Paisley, Adam Swope, Ryan Williams, and Randy Wilson, as well as auxiliary deputies Drake Prouty and Kevin Neal.
Dispatchers William Rowe and Joleeen Kinsel also were cited for their role in the killings. (See Zanesville Times Recorder, October 27, 2012, "Attorney General Honors Muskingum County Deputies.")
It is Lutz, however, who is profiting the most from the senseless slaughter of these beautiful and rare animals. In particular, he is now a regular on the rubber chicken circuit and visions of higher office most assuredly are dancing in his perverted gourd just like sugar plums are said to do this time of the year in the heads of small children. (See Zanesville Times Recorder, October 20, 2012, "A Year Later: Muskingum Official Talks Exotic Animals.")
Immediately recognizing a gold mine, Lutz is destined to follow in the well-trodden, albeit bloody, footsteps laid down long before him by Paul Tibbets who never once ceased raking in the shekels from the moment that he and his crew aboard the Enola Gay vaporized an estimated one-hundred-fifty-thousand innocent noncombatants on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 until he finally croaked on November 1, 2007. In what unquestionably has to rank as one of the most tasteless and insensitive gestures of all time, Tibbits got hold of a restored B-29 and reenacted the bombing for the benefit of those in attendance at an air show in Texas in 1976. A mushroom cloud even was included in the ghastly demonstration.
Even if Lutz should uncharacteristically be able to refrain from stooping that low, he is sure to be cashing in on the Zanesville massacre for at least the next half-century in spite of the fact that if justice counted for anything in this country he and his fellow mass murderers would be in jail. Worst still, the actions of both the MCSO and the Columbus Zoo have established a precedent for additional such bloodbaths, as opposed to crass reenactments, elsewhere in the future.
For reasons that never have been explained, Thompson left a trio of black panthers, a pair of monkeys, and a grizzly in their cages. The Columbus Zoo seized them in the aftermath of the carnage and held on to them for six months under the pretext of quarantining them.
Thompson's widow, Marian, fought tooth and nail with both the zoo and the Ohio Department of Agriculture before the animals eventually were returned to her at MCAF. That is, all except for a black cougar named Anton that the zoo killed by slamming a steel door on his neck while transferring him from one cage to another. (See Zanesville Times Recorder, October 18, 2012, "Marian Thompson Speaks Out the First Time Since Exotic Animals Incident.")
That is one more poignant example of just why it is so imperative that all zoos, such as the one in Columbus and the National Zoo in Washington just to name two, be permanently closed. The same holds true for captive-breeding facilities and aquariums.
That is not about to happen anytime soon, however. Rather, all public posturing and financing are being directed toward shuttering private menageries, like MCAF, while simultaneously expanding and constructing new facilities dedicated to the unjust incarceration of totally innocent animals. For example, the state of Ohio is spending $3.5 million in order to construct a twenty-thousand-square-foot facility in the Columbus suburb of Reynoldsburg in order to incarcerate abandoned exotic animals.
The long and the short of the matter is that no animal belongs behind bars and when viewed in that light it is irrelevant whether its gaoler is a private citizen or a public official. That is especially the case for tigers, lions, and other large carnivores who belong in spacious, protected habitats where all humans, wildlife biologists in particular, are forbidden to enter under all circumstances.
Finally, although no publication date has been announced, Thompson is in the process of authoring a tome about her late husband and MCAF that perhaps will provide a more objective account of the events that led up to the Zanesville massacre. (See Cat Defender post of November 3, 2011 entitled "Sheriff Matt Lutz Settles an Old Score by Staging a Great Safari Hunt That Claims the Lives of Eighteen Tigers and Seventeen Lions in Zanesville.")
5.) TNR Practitioner Kills Off at Least Sixty-Two of His Cats.
Paul Zhang of Queens is the worst nightmare that supporters of TNR ever could imagine. In the autumn of 2011, he borrowed traps from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and trapped at least sixty-two cats from nine colonies that he claims to have managed in Ridgewood, Queens, and Bushwick, Brooklyn.
He then transported them to a trio of totally unscrupulous veterinarians in Queens who, for a price, immediately put a permanent end to their brief sojourns upon this earth. No one has been willing so far to publicly speculate as to the total number of cats that he killed but since he claims to have trapped thousands of them for the Mayor's Alliance the number very well could be much greater.
In his defense, Zhang has offered up several contradictory explanations for his criminal behavior. First of all, he has cited his impending relocation from Queens to Manhattan but that hardly seems valid in that if he were able to travel the two miles that separate Ridgewood from Bushwick he certainly was more than capable of taking the train from Manhattan to his colonies. A far more plausible rationale would be that he simply grew tired of the labor and expense that caring for that many cats entailed and took the cheapest and easiest way out of his moral responsibilities.
He also has alleged that he was unable to find any feline advocacy group that was willing to take over the care of his colonies. On that point he likely is being truthful because all so-called cat protection organizations are extremely long on hot air and terribly short on concrete action. Moreover, if he is being honest, the Mayor's Alliance's unwillingness to assist him does not reflect positively upon it.
Based upon all of that, Zhang's warped mind deduced that he had only one option left open to him. "I can't bear the thought of my animals getting out or being abandoned," he stated shortly after his crimes became public knowledge. "So I did the best thing I can consider for them to never experience any suffering. So I put them all down."
Although the expedient of killing cats is extremely popular with cat advocacy groups, shelters, and individuals alike, it is nonetheless morally repugnant and should be illegal. Furthermore, it is by no means certain that his charges would have suffered inordinately even if he had abandoned them because cats are resilient animals who more often than not find ways of not only surviving but even flourishing under the direst of circumstances.
In arriving at his abhorrent decision to kill them he rejected humane alternatives presented to him from at least two of the veterinarians. "We offered to take in some to use as barn cats. He refused," a spokesperson for Antelyes Animal Hospital in Middle Village, which killed at least ten of his cats, later revealed. "We offered to spay-neuter and release at low cost. He refused. We offered to find homes for the cats. He refused."
Once Antelyes belatedly located its moral compass and decided not to kill any more of his cats Zhang showed his true colors. "He threatened to drown the cats at home," the surgery has stated. "We deeply regret that we even helped him for a short time."
After tap-dancing around the truth for so very long Zhang finally admitted that he had acted out of a deep-rooted, inveterate hatred of the species. "Not wanting to put cats to sleep is an emotional response, not a logical one if you really know what's going on out there," he pontificated. "I wish there was a service where we can trap these outside cats and put them to sleep, but it's not available since it's considered politically incorrect." On that last point he is in grievous error because trap and kill is the raison d'être of Animal Control officers, shelters, and PETA.
Zhang's killing spree very well could have gone on indefinitely if he had not made the mistake of trapping Fashion Institute of Technology professor Marie Nasta's beloved cat, Anthony, and handing him over to Antelyes to liquidate. This time around Zhang sought absolution by singing the praises of death and the afterlife.
"Please don't feel insulted by my saying this: too many pets get lost and many of them have a worst fate out there than to be humanely euthanized," he proudly declared. "If it's any consolation, you will see Anthony again just as I will reunite with all my animals again."
For individuals who hate this world and all of its inhabitants, such as Zhang, the proper course of action for them is to jump off of a bridge. That way they can indulge in their cult of death and longing for eternity; they do not, however, have a right to take out their spite on cats and other beings.
That is not about to happen, however, because these totally unscrupulous cretins are far too craven ever to take their own lives. It is always the lives of the innocent and that petit fait reveals their true anti-social and criminal natures.
Furthermore, the fact that Zhang did not even recognize Anthony as not being one of his cats coupled with the testimony from Antelyes that the cats he brought in to be killed had not been sterilized raises considerable doubt as to whether he actually was caring for the colonies in question. If so, he was not doing a very good job of it.
It is not known what has become of the colonies but neither he nor the trio of veterinarians who aided and abetted him in his killing spree have been charged with any crime. Every bit as outrageous, the Mayor's Alliance never has come clean as to either the extent of its involvement with Zhang or as to why it failed so miserably to safeguard the lives of his cats.
With the full support of Neighborhood Cats and the Humane Society of the United States, the Mayor's Alliance long has been attempting to bring all TNR colonies under its jurisdiction but, as its involvement with Zhang has vividly demonstrated, that is a terrible idea. All strictly volunteer efforts have their limitations and drawbacks but governmental meddling, incompetence, and the inevitable betrayals and sellouts that come with such intervention are the absolute last things in this world that homeless cats need. (See Cat Defender post of June 15, 2009 entitled "American Bird Conservancy, The New York Times, and the Humane Society Unite to Form as Achse des Bösen Against Cats.")
Caring for a colony of homeless cats is not for the the faint of heart. In addition to the monetary outlays for food, shelter, veterinary care, and sterilization, the job requires an inordinate amount of time and labor plus a lifetime commitment.
It also is extremely confining and help from others seldom can be expected. Moreover, it also often brings caretakers into heated and expensive confrontations with ailurophobes, the police, governmental bureaucrats, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists.
Although most volunteers do a yeomanly job of caring for their charges, the performances of some of them could stand considerable improvement. In particular, some TNR practitioners fail to provide their cats with clean water and meat but instead feed them only kibble.
Others fail to observe regular feeding times and that not only ends up wasting food but attracting other animals as well. Some of them even are so thoughtless as to leave food and water at the mercy of the elements although they surely must realize that cats will not touch soggy dry food. A lack of winterized shelters and, especially, security are two additional omissions that urgently need to be rectified.
Whenever possible cats should be socialized and placed with owners who are willing to make a lifetime commitment to them. TNR never should be viewed as an end in itself.
Perhaps worst of all, some practitioners are so negligent and uncaring as to abandon their colonies in the time of emergencies. The most egregious offender in this regard is none other than Alley Cat Allies (ACA).
For example, it cruelly deserted its cats in Atlantic City when Hurricane Irene came ashore in August of 2011. The organization never has said one way or another, but this cowardly and inexcusable act of betrayal very well could have been what ultimately killed Snowball. (See Cat Defender post of December 10, 2011 entitled "Snowball Succumbs to the Inevitable after Toughing It Out for Two Decades at Atlantic City's Underwood Hotel.")
ACA turned in a repeat performance back in October of this year when Hurricane Sandy flooded the city. All totaled, it left more than one-hundred cats from thirteen colonies to fend for themselves.
Many, if not all, of their feeding stations and winterized shelters were destroyed and washed out onto the beach as the mighty Atlantic Ocean swept underneath and over the Boardwalk. Left all alone without protection, food, water, and shelter, the cats undoubtedly were frightened out of their wits.
Once the storm had moved up the coast ACA belatedly sent in volunteers in order to repair the cats' shelters and feeding stations as well as to attend to the injured but that in no way atones for its unconscionable abandonment of them. Rather than being ashamed of its disgraceful conduct and pledging to do better in the future, ACA now is trumpeting the cats' hardiness as evidence of the effectiveness and humaneness of TNR.
"The cats at the Boardwalk fended for themselves during superstorm Sandy, as all animals who call the outdoors their home will do," the organization crowed November 2nd on its web site. (See "End of the Week Update on Atlantic City Efforts.") "Feral cats can live healthy, long lives outside and these cats were front and center proving it to the world."
ACA even went so far as to admit to deriving a certain amount of perverse pleasure from the cats' suffering. "A security guard at one of the casinos even reported seeing a line of cats walking single file down the Boardwalk in the eye of the storm," it related to the Examiner on November 16th. (See "Survivors of the Storm.") "...Shortly after Sandy passed, our program manager in Atlantic City reported seeing healthy cats returning to every colony site."
As it has a long and thoroughly reprehensible habit of doing, ACA once again is guilty of obfuscating the truth. While it is truly wonderful that some of the cats survived the hurricane that is far from being the entire story.
"Often cats will stay away from an area for a few days to a few weeks until they know things are back to normal, so the fact that we have seem almost half of the Boardwalk cats is a sure sign of their resilience," the organization stated October 31st on its web site. (See "Alley Cat Allies Deploys Disaster Response Team to Atlantic City.")
Contrary to what ACA postulates, caring for cats should involve considerably more than delighting in how many travails that they can survive. Much more importantly, in order to have any credibility it must inform the public as to the actual number of cats that either perished or were injured during hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Only then can the effectiveness of its stewardship of them be properly evaluated.
"Many times animals can 'sense' when bad weather is coming and in the case of hurricanes, they often move to higher ground and safe places instinctively," ACA counseled on October 26th prior to Sandy's arrival. (See "Are You in the Path of Hurricane Sandy? Be Prepared!") The obvious problem with that bit of gratuitous advice is that Atlantic City is devoid of anything even remotely resembling higher ground unless the organization was expecting its cats to somehow scale the towers at the casinos.
"If possible, move shelters and feeding stations to slightly higher, protected ground nearby," the organization continued in the same vein. "Fill multiple food and water bowls in case you can't return immediately."
Yet, there is not anything in the record that would indicate that ACA took any of those rudimentary precautions in Atlantic City. Rather, it simply turned tail and ran.
A major part of the problem is that many, if not all, of ACA's caretakers in Atlantic City reside on the mainland and that in itself is a bad idea. Caretakers need to live in close proximity to their colonies not only in order to better keep an eye on them but to be within walking distance during emergencies when the roads are closed.
For its part, ACA contends that the homeless who reside at the infamous Underwood Hotel, security guards at the gambling dens, and the policemen who sometimes feed the cats are its eyes and ears whenever its volunteers are away but that is hardly adequate because it is doubtful that any of them could be prevailed upon to lift so much as a finger in order to save a cat's life. The cats are its moral and legal responsibility and accordingly its volunteers should be with them at the Underwood Hotel during all emergencies, including hurricanes.
Caring for cats is a sacred duty and saving lives should count for considerably more than either ideology or the success of any particular agenda. (See Cat Defender post of December 22, 2011 entitled "Rogue TNR Practitioner and Three Unscrupulous Veterinarians Kill at Least Sixty-Two Cats with the Complicity of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.")
6.) Lebanon, Ohio, Cop Blows Out the Brains of Beloved Family Cat, Haze.
On August 19, 2011, Dori and Randall Stone's beloved cat, Haze, disappeared from their residence on East Silver Street in Lebanon, Ohio. The following day an unidentified neighbor living on nearby East Mulberry Street telephoned the Lebanon Police falsely alleging that the tom was a stray and suffering from rabies.
An unidentified officer arrived johnny-on-the-spot and without further ado shot Haze in the head. The neighbor then nonchalantly wrapped his ensanguinated corpse in a plastic bag and tossed it in a nearby trash can.
On August 21st, Dori telephoned the police who amazingly not only admitted that they had executed Haze but also informed her as to where she could retrieve his body. That was a gruesome task that all cat lovers hope and pray that they never will be called upon to perform.
"We love our cats. Do you know what it was like to pull your pet out of the garbage can and then pull him out of the garbage bag and his head is bloody with a bullet hole in it?" she tearfully stated in the aftermath of the shooting. "It's so violent that they did this to our animal and made no effort to call the humane society to find his owners."
The officer in question has put forward various unconvincing explanations for killing Haze. First of all, he claims that the cat was panting.
That should not have come as any surprise to him because it was an extremely hot and muggy day and Haze, already obese, likely was suffering from the debilitating effects of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and hunger. He also was away from home, lost, and likely disoriented.
Secondly, he claims that Haze failed to react to his presence but that, too, should not have been any reason for alarm in that as a domesticated tom he long ago had lost his fear of humans. In addition to that and his obesity, the condition of his fur, overall appearance, and his discovery in an exclusively residential neighborhood all pointed to the inescapable conclusion that he was someone's beloved cat and not a stray.
Thirdly, the officer alleges that he was justified in killing Haze because he was not wearing a collar. That, too, is a totally spurious defense in that most domestic cats do not wear collars. Besides, not only do they frequently come off but implanted microchips and tattoos have supplanted them, either for better or worse, as the preferred methods of identifying cats and dogs.
In this instance the officer neither scanned Haze for an implanted microchip nor held on to his corpse so that a necropsy could be performed in order to determine if he did in fact have rabies. Accordingly, none of the officer's defenses have a scintilla of credibility and he is obviously guilty of murdering Haze in cold blood.
The killing has shattered the Stones' lives and likely will remain etched in their consciences for as long as they live. "My husband and I have not eaten since Sunday morning (August 21st). We are just sick," Dori later confessed. "We close our eyes at night and see his little face and to think as good of care we took of him for almost seven years, those were his last moments and that was the way he had to die; it's unbearable."
On September 13th, she took her case to the Lebanon City Council. "Regardless of whether he was a stray or was sick or injured, that gave him (the officer) no right to execute him. No right whatsoever."
Sadly, she was wasting both her time and breath in that her pleas for justice fell upon the deaf ears and cold hearts of, inter alia, Mayor Amy Brewer, City Manager Pat Clements, and their legal counsel, Mark Yurick. Worst still, the politicians gave absolutely not indication that they were willing to even consider reforming the barbaric and inhumane manner in which their city mistreats and abuses cats.
For example, the Warren County Humane Society will not even offer assistance to sick and injured cats unless they are dropped off on its doorstep and the police adamantly refuse to transport them and other animals in their vehicles. The county dog warden likewise will not touch cats with a ten-foot pole and that is just as well considering what then surely would be done with them.
No one is willing to speculate but the number of cats killed annually in the field by both uniformed police officers and those acting in their capacity as Animal Control officers surely must be in the tens of thousands. Since these cats never make it to shelters they are not even included in the kill rates that those death houses grudgingly release each year. They simply vanish into thin air much like the political opponents of despotic regimes all the while their executioners go unpunished.
Haze's tragic end only came to light because someone within the Lebanon Police was forthright enough to have informed Stone of what had happened to him. Later in the year on November 11th, a forever nameless cat who had been run down and injured by a hit-and-run motorist was savagely bludgeoned to death by Harrisonburg, Virginia, police officer Jonathan N. Snoddy.
His killing of that cat likewise only became public thanks to the conscientiousness of city resident Wayne Meadows. (See Cat Defender post of March 22, 2012 entitled "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.")
Haze and the cat from Harrisonburg thus have joined the ranks of Elmo, Tobey, Rowdy, and the thousands of their mates who have been murdered by law enforcement officers. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2008, September 16, 2009, and July 8, 2010 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 "North Carolina State Trooper Who Illegally Trapped and Shot His Next-Door Neighbor's Cat, Rowdy, Is Now Crying for His Job Back.")
Initially, the Stones were contemplating taking civil action against the Lebanon Police but it is not known if they ever followed through with that idea. If they ultimately should decide to do so it is paramount that they include in their lawsuit the unidentified neighbor who precipitated this senseless killing in the first place. (See Cat Defender post of September 22, 2011 entitled "Neanderthaloid Politicians in Lebanon, Ohio, Wholeheartedly Sanction the Illegal and Cold-Blooded Murder of Haze by a Trigger-Happy Cop.")
7.) PETA Exposes Its Criminal Nature by Killing a Cat and Then Bragging about It.
|Cat Abducted and Murdered by PETA|
Totally lacking in all morality, decency, and intelligence, PETA ratcheted up its all-out war against cats last year by trapping a forever nameless male and taking him to a veterinarian in order to be killed. Proud as punch of its despicable crime, the egomaniacal organization then went online in order to brag to the world about its foul deed.
Careful so as not to disclose where the cat was found, PETA claimed that it had been injured and was suffering from an incurable form of cancer. Not about to be truthful about anything, the organization likewise failed to reveal not only the nature of the cat's injuries but, more importantly, how that it had arrived at the conclusion that it was suffering from cancer. It is simply beyond the realm of possibility that an organization as miserly as PETA ever would foot the bill for the diagnostic tests that are necessary in order to make such a determination.
"The veterinarian immediately put the suffering cat out of his misery, giving him more comfort in his final moments than he had likely known for much of his life," the organization's Alisa Mullins declared in an August 24th press release. (See "A Kind End to a Harsh Life.")
First of all, there is absolutely no evidence, other than PETA's biased opinion, that the cat was suffering and in misery. Secondly, the charity certainly did not have any way of knowing anything about either the cat's past or his current living arrangement.
For example, he could have had a wonderful life. Not that it makes any moral difference, but he might not have been homeless; rather, he simply could have gotten separated from his loving family.
Regardless of his socio-economic status he had a right to live and the members of PETA responsible for his murder should have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty. The same applies in spades to the unscrupulous veterinarian who, for a fee, elected to end his life.
Despite all pretensions to the contrary, PETA's raison d'être from the time of its founding up until now has been to defame and kill cats and dogs. In fact, its founder, Ingrid Newkirk, wasted no time in transforming the shelter that she headed in Washington back in the 1970's into a slaughterhouse.
"I went to the front office all the time, and I would say, 'John is kicking the dogs and putting them in freezers.' Or I would say, 'They are stepping on the animals, crushing them like grapes, and they don't care," she told The New Yorker on April 4, 2003. (See "The Extremist: The Woman Behind the Most Successful Radical Group in America.") "In the end, I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. Because I couldn't stand to let them go through that. I must have killed thousands of them, sometimes dozens every day."
That is the same policy that this admitted mass murderer has put in place at the shelter that she now operates in Norfolk, Virginia, where roughly ninety-eight per cent of all cats and dogs impounded are immediately killed. Despite employing three-hundred people and having an annual operating budget of $37 million, PETA is far too cheap to ever spend even one sou on housing, feeding, medicating, and finding homes for cats and dogs.
Jabs of deadly sodium pentobarbital are considerably cheaper as far as the moneygrubbing misers at PETA are concerned. In fact, in a December 13, 2010 letter sent to the rulers in Hancock County in West Virginia, Mullins' colleague, Teresa Chagrin, extolled the virtues of a two-hundred-fifty milliliter bottle of sodium pentobarbital as being more than sufficient in order to do away with eighty-three cats at an "extremely minimal" cost. (See Wheeling News-Register, December 16, 2010, "PETA Peeved at Hancock County's Feral Cat Problem.")
Even more telling, the majority of the cats and dogs that PETA manages to get its murderous hands on never ever make it to its so-called shelter; rather, they are killed inside its vans and their corpses deposited in private Dumpsters. (See Cat Defender posts of January 29, 2007 and February 9, 2007 entitled, respectively, "PETA's Long History of Killing Cats and Dogs Is Finally Exposed in North Carolina Courtroom" and "Verdict in PETA Trial: Littering Is a Crime but Not the Mass Slaughter of Innocent Cats and Dogs.")
It therefore is not the least bit surprising that PETA categorically is opposed to both the feeding of homeless cats and no-kill shelters. "If there are feral cats in your neighborhood, please don't prolong their agony by simply putting out food and hoping for the best," Mullins counseled in the press release cited supra. "Trap them and bring them into your home; take them to a reputable open-admission shelter (not a so-called no-kill shelter that warehouses frightened, unadoptable animals in cages for years); or take them to a veterinarian for a peaceful release from a world that has turned its back on them."
PETA likewise is adamantly opposed to TNR. "While trap-neuter-release/return programs help prevent births of more feral cats, they do nothing to save animals who are already homeless and struggling to survive," Chagrin declared in a letter to the Athens Banner-Herald on April 5, 2010. (See "Teresa Chagrin: PETA Weighs In on TNR.")
PETA accordingly regards itself as a feline liquidation service that operates on a mandate bestowed upon it from whatever devils that it serves. "Our service is to provide a peaceful and painless death to animals who no one wants," Newkirk once candidly admitted.
Even that, as outrageous and morally reprehensible as it is, fails to accurately delineate the scope of PETA's anti-feline agenda. Actually, it is not merely homeless cats that it desires to eradicate from the face of the earth but domiciled ones as well.
In order to achieve that latter objective it is agitating to ban the ownership of cats and other companion animals. "Pet ownership is an abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation," Newkirk declared in August of 1986.
As a first step toward the realization of that goal, the organization last year came out in favor of transforming cats, who are obligate carnivores, into vegetarians. (See "Meatless Meals for Dogs and Cats" on PETA's web site.)
If PETA's despicable crimes, lawlessness, and anti-feline rhetoric strike a familiar chord it is because they are taken chapter and verse from the playbook that ornithologists and wildlife biologists have been following for years. To put it succinctly, as far as PETA is concerned the only good cat is a dead one.
After having had the wool pulled over its eyes for decades, the public is finally starting to wise up to PETA's anti-animal agenda. "Bottom line: The organization that claims its members would 'rather go naked than wear fur' prefers to kill dogs and cats rather than find homes for them," the editors of the right-wing New York Post declared in a March 5th editorial. (See "First, Let's Kill All the Animals.")
The editors went on to recommend that the organization change its name to something more à propos, such as "People Eradicating Thousands of Animals." (See Cat Defender post of October 7, 2011 entitled "PETA Traps and Kills a Cat and Then Shamelessly Goes Online in Order to Brag About Its Criminal and Foul Deed.")
8.) Redtailed Hawks Are Preying Upon Cats in Both Urban and Rural Locales.
Redtailed hawks and other birds of prey have emerged as a major menace to cats. For example, in early July of last year, Eddie was stretched out on a bench on the terrace of his fifth floor apartment on Manhattan's West Side when he was attacked and abducted by a redtailed hawk.
When his owner, identified by the New York Daily News only as a microbrewer, went to look for him all she was able to find were bits and pieces of fur, broken nails, and scattered feathers. She scoured Riverside Drive for him and visited several known hawk nesting sites in the area to no avail.
She also had the bon sens to blanket the neighborhood with Lost Cat posters and that proved to be successful when a tenant in a building a few doors down the street telephoned to say "I have your cat!" She and Eddie soon were reunited and, best of all, he miraculously escaped with only minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
"The tenant was awakened by a huge thud in his garden," the woman later explained. "He ran out and found his garden umbrella toppled, and a cat in the corner meowing."
Although being overweight is seldom beneficial for a cat, in this instance Eddie's fifteen pounds apparently proved to be a little bit too much for the four-pound hawk to manage. Also, Eddie is forever indebted to the outdoor umbrella for breaking his fall. If this attack had occurred during the winter when most outdoor lawn furniture is in storage the outcome likely would have been entirely different.
Hawks, falcons, and other birds of prey have set up residence in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and other cities in addition to New York and their cause is being championed by wildlife biologists, ornithologists, and others regardless of the threat that they pose to cats, small dogs and, in rare instances, humans. They thus have joined coyotes, fishers, and Burmese pythons as major threats to cats in both urban and suburban locations.
The situation is even more perilous for homeless cats living in rural areas. Compounding the situation, hawks and falcons are being employed by various capitalists and municipalities in order to rid landfills, industrial sites, airports, and farms of gulls, rabbits, voles, and other animals that they consider to be pests and therefore without any intrinsic right to exist.
Landfills are a popular destination for unconscionable individuals to dump unwanted cats and kittens. Consequently, it did not come as any surprise when a tiny kitten later dubbed Hawk was snatched by a redtailed hawk on August 8th at the city dump in Cedar on Vancouver Island.
Fortunately for him, the hawk inexplicably dropped him and although he suffered puncture wounds to his stomach and one paw he survived. Discovered by an employee of PK Bird Control Services, he was rushed to Island Veterinary Hospital in Nanaimo where he was patched up before being transferred to the Nanaimo SPCA in order to recuperate. As an added bonus, he was adopted later in the fall.
"The hawk pounced," Denise Malsbury of PK Bird Control Services explained. "(The kitten) was very fortunate."
That is considerably more than can be said for other kittens and cats dumped at the landfill. For example, along about the same time that Hawk was being attacked, two other kittens were killed by hawks and their mother injured.
Sooner or later cat advocates are going to be forced into recognizing and confronting this threat. Although birds of prey, coyotes, and fishers certainly have a right to exist, it is the very pinnacle of both hypocrisy and dishonesty for wildlife biologists, ornithologists, and others to champion their presence in urban areas while simultaneously working hand in glove with capitalists and the USDA's Wildlife Services in order to eradicate them from their natural habitats in rural areas.
This is even more the case when viewed in light of their virulent campaign to eradicate all cats from nature and to even imprison domestic ones indoors. By now it
9.) An Incompetent Veterinarian in Shropshire Kills Off the Wrong Cat.
|Tammy and Maddy|
The closer that the practice of veterinary medicine is examined the more it reveals itself to be rife with grotesque incompetence and a staggering lack of anything even remotely approaching a moral conscience. That is nowhere better illustrated than in the wholesale murders that practitioners commit each year under guise of performing so-called euthanasias.
Although this odious practice constitutes a substantial portion of its bottom line, the firm of Wrekin View Vets in Wellington, Shropshire, is so incompetent that in June of last year it killed the wrong cat. This tragedy began to unfold when thirty-six-year-old Mandy Raab of Dukes View in Donnington, just outside of Telford in Shropshire, committed the fatal error of entrusting her two tuxedos, Tammy and Maddy, to the surgery to be sterilized.
After examining Maddy, one of the vets concluded that she needed to be immediately killed, rather than sterilized, because she had an injured leg. "I cried when the vet told me the kindest thing to do would be to put her down," Raab later explained. "But I took comfort in knowing that I would still have Tammy and I knew I had to be strong for her, because she would miss Maddy."
That thoroughly ludicrous prognosis should have alerted her that she urgently needed to locate another veterinarian because an injured leg is by no means a valid reason for killing a cat. Even in worst case scenarios legs can be amputated and cats will get along just fine with three limbs. Some in fact have only two and one in Theodore, Alabama, named Callie Mae does not have any at all.
Press reports have not broached the subject but perhaps the vets outlined this option to Raab and she simply was too cheap in order to pay for Maddy's treatment. Either way, their decision to snuff out Maddy's life is indefensible.
After initialing Maddy's death warrant, Raab got an even bigger jolt when she sent her common law husband, Paul Saxton, back to the surgery in order to collect Tammy. "When my partner walked into the vets and saw Maddy standing there, he asked the nurse straightaway where Tammy was," Raab later related. "Her face dropped and she said, 'Are you sure that's Maddy'?"
To this very day the veterinarian who mistakenly killed Tammy has not publicly owned up to that colossal mistake but instead has packed off blame on an unidentified veterinary nurse. That, too, is inexcusable because all practicing veterinarians should at the very least be able to recognize their patients on sight.
"I just howled in pain. I was distraught, no one could comfort me," Raab testified afterwards. "Tammy was a perfectly healthy ten-month-old kitten. There was no need for her to die."
Despite all of that she certainly recovered awfully fast in order to give Wrekin View the go ahead to kill Maddy. Afterwards she had the vets to burn her corpse.
In compensation for killing Tammy, Wrekin View gave Raab two kittens, one of which she promptly returned because it had the flu. Thus, within the span of a few short days she was responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the deaths of two and possibly three cats.
Since then she has toyed with the idea of filing a complaint with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons but that would in all likelihood be a total waste of time because it is almost exclusively concerned with promoting the practice of veterinary medicine and, of course, collecting membership dues. She could instigate civil proceedings against the surgery but since she was too cheap to even have Maddy's leg treated that does not seem likely.
There are not any heroes in this sad story. Anyone as callous and as disdainful of the sanctity of life as Raab does not have any business owning cats and veterinarians who kill animals under any circumstances not only should be barred from practicing but jailed as well.
Even if societies are unwilling to go that far they at the very least should require surgeries to publish their annual kill rates along with the number of animals that they refused to treat because their caretakers were unable to come up with the exorbitant fees that they demand. If that accomplished nothing else it at least would make the world privy to some of the outrageous crimes that are being perpetrated in these dressed-up killing fields where the innocent and powerless are systematically deprived of their inalienable right to live without either remorse, a second thought, or due process of law.
The crimes committed by veterinarians who practice what is incorrectly termed euthanasia are by no means limited to killing animals that are voluntarily surrendered to them for that purpose by their equally unconscionable owners. Rather, they often operate in cahoots with Animal Control officers, shelters, animal protection groups, and even private individuals and thus both wittingly and unwittingly kill cats that have been illegally abducted from the street.
That is precisely what happened to twenty-five-year-old Ginger of Newcastle-upon-Tyne on October 13th of last year. After he was let out by his owner, fifty-six-year-old Beverley Hume, he was stolen off the street by an unidentified neighbor who immediately turned him over to Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter on Benton Road.
The shelter then proceeded to take him to Blythman and Partners in the Gosforth section of town where they immediately snuffed out his life. That deadly process took only three hours from start to finish.
The veterinarians later claimed that they had killed Ginger because he was old, thin, in pain, and having difficulties standing but Hume disputes all of that. Moreover, she is, quite justifiably, outraged at the patently criminal conduct of all those involved in this tragic affair.
"Ginger was put down without consent, without giving us a chance to find him," she later protested. "We should have been given at least twenty-four hours to find him. We believe our rights have been taken away by the vets." (See Cat Defender post of January 11, 2012 entitled "A Deadly Intrigue Concocted by a Thief, a Shelter, and a Veterinary Chain Costs Ginger the Continued Enjoyment of His Golden Years.")
Operating slaughterhouses and calling them veterinary clinics certainly is the most egregious of the profession's crimes but it is far from being the only one. For example, incorrect diagnoses, such as being unable to tell the difference between a simple eye infection and the presence of a ball bearing and not knowing how to differentiate between chemical poisoning and a common respiratory ailment, are common.
Botched sterilizations and an inability to even properly repair broken limbs are routine. Still other practitioners run such slaphappy operations that they even have allowed unattended cats to escape through open windows never to be seen again.
The profession also is making a mint by fobbing off cancer-causing microchips on a gullible public. Its naked exploitation of office cats as repeated blood donors is another abuse that urgently needs to be rectified.
The only thing that dwarfs the abysmally poor quality of care offered by the profession is the limited access to it. Veterinary care, like health care, should be affordable for one and all.
The English make health care available upon demand but do absolutely nothing for the animals of the impecunious. Americans, on the other hand, provide neither and instead content themselves with taking sadistic delight in the untold suffering of both their fellow citizens and the animals. (See Cat Defender post of July 28, 2011 entitled "Tammy and Maddy Are Forced to Pay the Ultimate Price after Their Owner and an Incompetent Veterinarian Elect to Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives.")
10.) Austrian Officials Place Odin Under House Arrest.
|Odin with Silvia Leitner and Daughter Angelina|
Caving in to the maniacal rantings and threats of a rabid cat hater, the authorities in the Lansach section of Weißenstein in Villach, Kärnten, in January of 2011 ordered a handsome tom named Odin to be placed under house arrest. The authorities even went so far as to accuse his owner, Silvia Leitner, of being "tatenlos zusehen" for allowing him to roam even though such activity is perfectly legal in Weißenstein.
"Ihre Nachbarn fühlen sich in ihrer Lebensqualität eingeschränkt," the written reprimand began. "Bitte sorgen Sie däfur, dass Ihre Katze am Grundstück, wenn möglich, nicht mehr herumstreunt."
For her part, Leitner's disgruntled neighbor has provided the authorities with a laundry list of reasons why Odin should be confined. "Unser Grundstück ist bei Katzen aus der Nachbarschaft beliebt. Sie koten in den Garten und aufs Auto, zerkratzen Mullsäcke, in der Paarungszeit schreien sie nachts. Durch offene Fenster und Türen kommen sie ins Haus," she railed. "Bei aller Toleranz: Auf die Dauer ist das zu viel."
She did not stop there, however, but went on to threaten to have Odin declared to be a dangerous animal under Kärntner Landes Sicherheitspolizeigesetz zur Haltung von gefährlichen Tieren. Failing that, she has vowed to illegally trap him and Leitner's other cat, Lisa. She also has become so emboldened as to upbraid Leitner in public.
Initially, Leitner was left flabbergasted by her neighbor's unreasonable demand. "Ich kann meinem Kater beim besten Willen nicht die Grundstückgrenze erklären!" she protested in vain.
Once her nasty opponent threatened to take the law into her own hands, Leitner was left with no alternative but to imprison Odin and Lisa indoors. That, however, has proven to be a difficult pill for them to swallow.
"Odin sitzt oft am Fenster, kratzt an der Glasscheibe und maunzt kläglich," Leitner confided. "Für Lisa, unsere Katze, ist est sogar noch schlimmer."
Odin thus has joined the ranks of Lewis in Fairfield, Connecticut, Bingo in Luzern, and Hoppy in Minneapolis in having his freedom taken away by the authorities. (See Cat Defender posts of June 26, 2006, October 17, 2009, and October 18, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Lewis the Cat Cheats the Hangman but Is Placed Under House Arrest for the Remainder of His Life," "Bingo Is Placed Under House Arrest for Defending Himself Against a Neighbor Who Foolishly Intervened in a Cat Fight," and "Minneapolis Is Working Overtime Trying to Kill an Octogenarian's Cat Named Hoppy for Defending His Turf Against Canine Intruders.")
All of those cats were involved in conflicts with either dogs or other felines whereas the charges leveled against Odin are limited to trespassing and making a nuisance of himself. It is odd, however, that he alone has been singled out for retribution in that the neighbor explicitly has referred to Katzen as being responsible for her angst. It also would be interesting to know what possible attraction there is to be found on her Grundstück that makes it so appealing to cats.
As far as her specific allegations are concerned, Odin's alleged use of her garden and old jalopy as impromptu toilets easily could be remedied if only she were to deploy any one of several nonlethal deterrents. Secondly, it is she who is to blame for leaving garbage bags unattended at the curb; she instead should deposit them in cans with lids.
|Molly and Her Kittens|
Thirdly, it strains credulity that Odin and, presumably, other cats are entering her residence through doors and windows that purposefully have been left open. That is especially the case considering Weißenstein's cold and snowy winters plus the constant threat of burglars. Nonetheless, that problem could be easily taken care of by either installing screens or simply closing those portals.
Finally, her complaint that Odin's loud lovemaking is disrupting her repose lacks even less credibility given that he has been neutered. Besides, it takes at least two cats in order to honor the great god Eros with the verve that he has grown accustomed to over the millenniums and Leitner's neighbor should have figured that out by now.
It also is ironic that individuals who go ballistic about the noise that cats sometimes make seldom if ever have anything critical say about the ruckus that kids, adults, barking dogs, cars, planes, and stereo systems churn out twenty-four-hours a day. One little meow, however, is all that it takes to send them over the edge.
If it is any comfort to her, Leitner can be thankful that she does not live in Hampton, New Hampshire. If she did and either Odin or Lisa had strayed into fifty-four-year-old Jeffrey Lee Eiras's yard on Winnacunnet Road they in all likelihood would not have gotten out with their lives.
That is because when Susan McGee's cat, Molly, did likewise on November 9, 2009 he shotgunned her to death. "It kills me that he had the audacity to shoot a little animal because it was in his yard," she later said. "All he had to do was stomp his foot and the cat would have run off."
Adding insult to injury, the local prosecutor dropped animal cruelty charges against Eiras and he was allowed to plead nolo contendere to disorderly conduct and the unauthorized use of a firearm in Hampton District Court on January 5, 2011. He thus was let off with a puny $200 fine plus a $1,000 contribution to the local SPCA.
The only consolation that McGee has received out of all the legal wrangling was the $3,000 in compensatory damages that Eiras belatedly agreed to cough up after she threatened him with a civil suit. (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.")
By way of comparison, property owners in neighboring Deutschland are required by law to tolerate the presence of at least two roaming cats on their properties. England likewise is world famous for its peripatetic cats even though this sometimes leads to them being killed by hit-and-run motorists.
In America, cats still have a right to roam but that freedom is constantly under assault not only from sadistic killers like Eiras but municipalities that have enacted anti-roaming and licensing statutes. (See Cat Defender post of May 27, 2011 entitled "Odin Is Placed Under House Arrest by the Authorities in Weißenstein for Straying into the Garden of a Virulent Cat Hater.")
11.) Beautiful Female Is Torched to Death in Baden-Württemberg.
|Cat in Ichenheim Shortly Before Her Death|
As in all years, there certainly was not any dearth of horrific, unspeakable crimes committed against cats in 2011. Before the new year was much more than a few days old one of these heartbreaking attacks occurred in the Ichenheim section of Neuried in Baden-Württemberg where a forever nameless beautiful brown and white female with captivating green eyes was doused with petrol and set on fire.
She then was forced to wander around the city in constant agony for perhaps as long as a week before an unidentified Good Samaritan finally telephoned Tierschutzvereins Offenburg-Zell am Harmersbach (TSV) on January 10th. The charity did what it could in order to save her life but by that time it was too late and she, sadly, died on January 13th.
In addition to the external damage done by the flames, she also was victimized by her species' renown fastidiousness. "Katzen sind sehr saubere Tiere. Und da sie mehrere Tage unterwegs war, bevor wir sie behandeln konnten, hat sie natürlich selbst versucht, sich zu reinigen," Uwe Dindas of TSV later said. "Damit kamen aber Giftstoffe in den Körper, die Schäden verursachten, von denen sich das Tier nicht mehr erholen konnte."
As far as it could be determined, no one even had so much as the common decency as to come forward and claim her remains. As a consequence, they likely were burned and then tossed out with the trash. On top of being so cruelly abused, that made for a doubly tragic ending for such an attractive female.
Since neither any burn marks nor residues of petrol were found on either her head or tail, TSV concluded that she had been intentionally attacked. "Wir vermuten, dass ein Katzenhasser auf das Tier abgesehen hatte und es in Brand stecken wollte," Dindas added.
No arrests ever were made and TSV did not even bother to open an investigation into this disturbing case. Rather, it limited its response to warning residents of Ichenheim to be vigilant so as to forestall future attacks of this nature.
That is not only a meaningless but absurd admonition in that the horribly burned cat was sighed walking the streets of Ichenheim for days before anyone was able to come up with enough compassion in order to summon help for her. If they are that uncaring and callous it strains credulity that they are going to be willing to watch out for healthy cats.
Besides, combating animal cruelty and bringing abusers before the altar of justice is not a job for ordinary citizens. On the contrary, that is the responsibility of animal protection groups and the police who to date have shown little interest in doing so.
A major part of the dilemma is that they, too, abuse and kill cats and other animals with impunity and in a wholesale fashion. Expecting them thus to put a stop to animal cruelty is tantamount to prevailing upon a fox to guard the henhouse.(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.")
Later in the year, a group of Ghanaian youths got hold of a black and white cat which they then tortured to death. Not satisfied with even that diabolical act, they proceeded to nail it to a cross and afterwards to post a photograph of their handiwork on Facebook. PETA should have been immensely proud of them.
Outrage from cat lovers around the world prompted the social-networking site to remove the photograph but the cat's self-proclaimed killer, Kwabina Daniels, also known as Popkon Sika-One, never was apprehended. In fact, the Ghanaian SPCA was from the outset considerably more concerned with the youths "for dragging Ghana's reputation to scorn in the face of international animal lovers and organizations" than it ever was with apprehending him and his fellow killers.
Although to its credit the charity is on record as stating that cats are entitled to food, veterinary care, sufficient space in which to exercise, and that they should not be molested and threatened, it wholeheartedly also has endorsed killing and eating them. "There is only one way to kill a cat and indeed all animals and this is humane slaughter," it stated in the aftermath of the crucifixion.
With that admission Ghana now has joined the ranks of such barbaric states as China, Peru, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and Costa Rica where cats are routinely slaughtered for the table. Under such perverted circumstances, the youths' despicable conduct hardly comes as any surprise. (See Cat Defender post of October 22, 2011 entitled "Cats on the Cross: Crucifixions in Ghana and Illinois Confirm That Civilization Has Not Advanced Much Since the Medieval Crimes of Catholics.")
12.) Woman in Niedersachsen Is Jailed for Shoplifting Cat Food.
|Hannelore Schmedes with a Photograph of One of Her Cats|
Since they are forced to make their way in a world that largely is hostile to them, cats often must do whatever it takes in order to survive even for a brief period of time. With that being the case their continued existence would not be possible without the invaluable assistance that they receive from kindhearted and dedicated individuals like Hannelore Schmedes.
Suffering from rheumatism and tuberculosis, the fifty-five-year-old resident from the Mahlum section of Bockenem in Niedersachsen, thirty kilometers southwest of Hannover, even has to use a walker in order to stay mobile. On top of all of that she is forced to scrimp by on a couple of insignificant disability checks.
With twelve cats and two dogs to feed it was not long before she became mired in financial difficulties. Specifically, she fell behind with the rent and her landlord had initiated eviction proceedings against her.
Even worse, she did not have enough money in order to feed her cats. Anyone who ever has had the utterly hopeless task of attempting to explain to a troupe of hungry, howling cats that there simply is not any more food can readily sympathize with her plight. Cats have many virtues but they simply are not equipped to understand the cold hard reality that in the human realm food costs money.
As a consequence she took to shoplifting cat food from a supermarket in nearby Hildesheim and, being new to a life of crime, was caught flagrante delicto. "Ich habe noch nie etwas gestohlen," she later explained. "Aber jetzt wusste ich mir keinen anderen Rat."
The hard-hearted judge who presided over her trial was not the least bit impressed with her sob story, however, and fined her €600 even though what she had stolen was valued at only €100. Not surprisingly, she was unable to come up with the exorbitant fine.
"Ich habe €250 abgestottert, versuch den Schaden wieder gut zu machen," she pleaded in vain. "Aber mehr Geld hatte ich nicht."
Consequently, she was ordered to serve thirty-five days in the clink which she completed between October 23rd and November 26th of 2010. While she was away Tierschutz Hildesheim und Umgebung took possession of ten of her cats and one dog; new homes were found for the others with her consent.
Although the court had promised that her cats and dog would be returned to her once she had completed her sentence, the shelter then turned around and demanded €400 for boarding them while she was incarcerated. Compounding the difficulties, her new landlord adamantly has refused to allow her to keep more than five cats plus her dog.
No additional information has appeared in the German press so it is not known what ultimately became of either her or her cats. Her case nevertheless does serve to illustrate the myriad of difficulties that well-meaning lovers of the species sometimes get themselves into without any foreseeable hope of extricating either themselves or their dependents.
Organizations such as Tiertafel are helping out somewhat by distributing free cat and dog food in various cities across Deutschland. Free, on demand sterilization and affordable veterinary care, unfortunately, remain out of reach for many individuals.
Despite the gravity and vexing nature of Schmedes' troubles, they nonetheless pale in comparison with the despair and utter hopeless that fifty-eight-year-old Alan Jordan of Daventry Terrace in Tredworth, Gloucester, fell into once his beloved cat disappeared without a trace. Unable to think of any reason to go on living, he hung himself on March. 28th.
Even that last, final act of desperation proved to have been in vain because, in a modern retelling of O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, the cat returned home to an empty house a fortnight after his suicide.(See Cat Defender post of January 2, 2012 entitled "With No Reason Left to Go on Living, Tredworth Resident Takes His Own Life after His Beloved Cat Disappears.")
For all the cats and their protectors who passed on during 2011 the last tribute, fittingly enough, comes in song from the pen of Jim Croce:
"Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine...
Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can't be true
That's all I've left of you."
Photos: Washington Humane Society (Dauphiné on the prowl), Examiner (Dauphiné up close), Focus Magazin (Ernst Bernhard K.), Dorfener Anzeiger (Rocco), Tami Heilemann of the Department of Interior (Morkill and Salazar), Daily Mail (Zanesville massacre), The Gotamist (Zhang), Marie Nasta (Anthony), Dori Stone (Haze), PETA (murdered cat), Joanna Molloy of the New York Daily News (Eddie), Danielle Bell of the Nanaimo Daily News (Hawk), Andy Cunningham of the News Team and Daily Mail (Tammy and Maddy), Beverley Hume (Ginger), Kleine Zeitung (Odin with Silvia and Angelina Leitner), Susan McGee (Molly), Badische Zeitung (Ichenheim Katze), and, Bild (Schmedes).