New Start Cat Rescue Center Abruptly Kills Off Victoria after the Cancer Returns to Her Already Ravaged Ears
|The Ill-Fated Victoria Following Emergency Surgery|
"She was so brave. But the vet confirmed my worst fears that the cancer had returned. There were no options left for her."
-- Wendy Hyde of New Start Cat Rescue Center
Victoria, a long-suffering victim of skin cancer, has been killed off by her foster mother, Wendy Hyde of the New Start Cat Rescue Center (NSCRC) in Newent, eight miles northeast of Gloucester. Although no specific date has been given for her execution, it is believed that the foul deed was committed just after Christmas.
Victoria made headlines around the world after she was found wandering the streets of Newent on October 14th. By that time her cancer-ravaged ears had become such an unremitting source of torment that she was left with no alternative other than to attempt to remove them with her claws. In fact, by the time that she was found her left ear had been left uselessly dangling at the side of her face.
Because of her obvious ease around people it is suspected that she at one time had a permanent home and later was abandoned. It is unclear, however, if she was deserted before or after she contracted cancer.
Nevertheless, since she was a white-haired cat she should not have been left out in the sun for any prolonged period of time without being equipped with either sunscreen or some sort of protective headgear. Adding to her miseries, she was forced to procure shelter, food, and water as well as to elude both human and animal predators during that horrible time. Considering all of that, it is amazing that she was able to hold on for as long as she did.
Upon arrival at NSCRC Victoria underwent emergency surgery and was released into the care of the charity's Wendy Hyde. She later was forced to make a return trip to the veterinarian in order to have an infection treated but otherwise things were looking up for her.
"She's not out of the woods yet but she's certainly on the mend," Hyde reported in late October. "...she is a lot more perky now and she's taken over my living room." (See Cat Defender post of November 14, 2012 entitled "In Utter Desperation, Victoria Claws Off Her Rotting Ears after She Is Stricken with Cancer and Abandoned to Aimlessly Wander the Forbidding Streets of Newent.")
Individuals in both London and on the Isle of Jersey generously had offered to provide her with a permanent home and donations in the excess of £500 poured in from as far afield as Canada, New Zealand, and China. All of that coupled with Hyde's earlier statements served only to make the unexpected announcement of her death all the more shocking and heartbreaking.
"She was so brave. But the vet confirmed my worst fears that the cancer had returned," Hyde informed The Citizen of Gloucester on January 5th. (See "Cat with No Ears Which Captured Readers' Hearts Dies.") "There were no options left for her."
Although words fail to do justice to what Victoria was forced to endure, NSCRC's elliptical account of events is sorely lacking in both specifics and candor. Most glaringly, it has not revealed any details of either the cancer or what measures were taken in order to treat it.
This is mere supposition but more than likely Victoria was suffering from cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma which is an especially aggressive cancer that it difficult to treat. Not withstanding that, surgery is not the only means of combating that deadly disease. For instance, radiation and photodynamic therapy, the latter of which improvises a combination of dyes and lasers, could have been tried.
Chemotherapy was another option especially if the disease had spread beyond her ears. Also, cyrosurgery possibly could have been tried on small tumors.
Even if none of those procedures had proven effective, her life likely could have been extended indefinitely through the application of painkillers, antibiotics, and topical analgesics. It thus appears that Hyde was being considerably less than truthful when she categorically stated that she was left with no alternative other than to kill Victoria.
After all that she had been put through she certainly deserved every opportunity to go on living for as long as possible. Although nothing ever could begin to make amends for how horribly she had been treated, Hyde and NSCRC had a solemn moral obligation to make her last days and years as happy as possible.
Instead, they betrayed her trust and abandoned her just like all the other people who had wandered in and out of her brief life had done previously. The only difference is that this time around Hyde's coldblooded betrayal is destined to be the final one.
No information has been released regarding the disposition of her remains but more than likely they either were burned or thrown out in the rubbish. Since NSCRC was too cheap and lazy to care for her while she was still alive, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that it was not about to spring for a proper burial and a tombstone.
That, quite naturally, segues into the always contentious subject of money. In particular, other than stating that Victoria's surgery had cost thousands of pounds NSCRC has not made any public accounting whatsoever.
In order to have so much as a tiny smidgen of credibility, it is imperative that the charity reveal to the public a detailed accounting of not only how much money it spent on Victoria's surgery but how much it would have cost to have continued treating her. It also must disclose the total amount of donations that it received which were specifically earmarked for her care and how that money was spent.
Rather than unilaterally electing to kill off Victoria, the organization could have issued an appeal for additional contributions and true cat lovers from around the world surely would have responded with their usual generosity. To place a greater value upon shekel accumulation instead of saving lives is a form of advanced mental illness that, sadly, afflicts the overwhelming majority of mankind.
The charity's outrageous hypocrisy and self-righteous pontifications likewise reveal its utter lack of anything even remotely resembling a moral conscience. "It looks like the owner has abandoned her. How could anyone do that?" the organization's Louise Barrow asked rhetorically back in October. "We, more than anyone, know just how expensive vets' bills are at the moment, but it is awful."
While that certainly is true enough what NSCRC did to Victoria was far worse in that it not only abandoned but snuffed out her precious life as well. The charity's egregious crime is compounded by the fact that its resources and access to topnotch veterinary care far exceed those available to ordinary citizens.
|Jazzy and Becky Robinson|
It is well established that Animal Control officers, shelters, policemen, ornithologists, wildlife biologists, and other virulent ailurophobes kill tens of millions of cats each year. What is not nearly as well publicized is that perhaps millions more of them are killed off each year because their owners, unscrupulous veterinarians, and phony-baloney rescue groups are too cheap to treat them.
Only a handful of these unfortunate cats ever make the headlines but nonetheless those that do must never be forgotten. For example, in 2006 the editors and reporters of The Caledonian-Record in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, rewarded their longtime, three-legged office cat, Tripod, for his years of faithful service and companionship with a deadly jab of sodium pentobarbital. (See Cat Defender post of February 9, 2006 entitled "Newspaper Cat Named Tripod Is Killed Off by Journalists He Befriended in Vermont.")
A year later the public library in Spencer, Iowa, did the same thing to its beloved mascot, Dewey Readmore Books. (See Cat Defender posts of December 7, 2006 and May 10, 2007 entitled, respectively, "After Nineteen Years of Service and Companionship, Ingrates at Iowa Library Murder Dewey Readmore Books" and "Iowa Librarian Vicki Myron Inks Million-Dollar Deal for Memoir About Dewey Readmore Books.")
International acclaim was not even sufficient in order to save the fragile lives of either feline heroine Scarlett or former First Cat Socks. (See Cat Defender posts of October 27, 2008 and March 12, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Loved and Admired All Over the World, Feline Heroine Scarlett Is Killed Off by Her Owner after She Becomes Ill" and "Too Cheap and Lazy to Care for Him During His Final Days, Betty Currie Has Socks Killed Off and His Corpse Burned.""
If the famous do not enjoy any protections against the machinations of their callous owners, the same applies in spades to unheralded cats who fall into the hands of morally bankrupt passersby, shelters, and veterinarians. (See Cat Defender posts of September 28, 2011 and October 23, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Marvin Is Betrayed, Abducted, and Murdered by a Journalist and a Shelter Who Preposterously Maintain That They Were Doing Him a Favor" and "A Supposedly No-Kill Operation in Marblehead Betrays Sally and Snuffs Out Her Life Instead of Providing Her with a Home and Veterinary Care.")
In late November of last year, Alley Cat Allies (ACA) killed off its office cat, Jared, after he was diagnosed with cancer, kidney disease, and anemia. (See Cat Defender post of January 2, 2013 entitled "Alley Cat Allies Demonstrates Its Utter Contempt for the Sanctity of Life by Unconscionably Killing Off Its Office Cat, Jared.")
On January 23rd, the organization announced on its web site that another of its office cats, Jazzy, had died two days previously. The cause of the thirteen-year-old tortoiseshell's death has been listed as a recently diagnosed case of encephalitis.
According to ACA, she suffered a seizure over the weekend, was rushed to an unidentified veterinarian, and by Monday morning (January 21st) "was gone." That certainly is an oblique way of describing her death and leaves open the distinct possibility that she, like Jared, was killed off rather than treated.
For whatever it is worth, Becky Robinson and ACA have assured their supporters that they "took every step possible to treat her and identify the cause." (See "Alley Cat Allies Remembers Office Cat Jazzy.")
The total lack of candor demonstrated by ACA, NSCRC, and other rescue groups stands in stark contrast to that exhibited by many private citizens who not only disclose the nature of the disease, diagnosis, and treatment afforded their either sick or injured cats, but also the names of the attending veterinarians and the costs involved. Even if they ultimately decide to kill off their cats they do not beat around the bush about it but rather say so in unequivocal language.
The problem is compounded by these groups' reliance upon handouts from the public for their existence. Yet, in spite of that they do not recognize any obligation to be truthful with either their supporters or the public at large.
Such morally repugnant and patently dishonest behavior contributes absolutely nothing toward elevating the status of cats to that of sentient beings who are endowed with certain inalienable rights. Au contraire, it perpetrates the entrenched belief that they exist only as objects of amusement, exploitation, and abuse who can be either cruelly abandoned or killed off as circumstances dictate. That is acutely the case with sick and injured cats who often are casually discarded as if they were nothing more than a pair of worn-out shoes once their continued care becomes either too expensive or simply inconvenient.
In reality, such thinking and behavior is not all that far removed from that of ornithologists, wildlife biologists, PETA, veterinarians, and other avowed enemies of the species. Whereas those monsters kill cats on sight, most rescue groups eventually get around to doing the same thing. The only tangible differences are that it takes them a bit longer and they are allowed to get away with their hideous crimes by cloaking them in a cocoon of lies and double-talk.
The total lack of respect for the sanctity of feline life demonstrated by rescue groups and veterinarians also sets a terrible example for the remainder of the public. That is because when what they should be doing is raising the bar in respect to the proper care of cats, they actually are lowering it. Such behavior additionally gives a hollow ring to all of their pronouncements about abandonment and abuse.
Every bit as disturbing, the public does not seem to mind that these organizations kill cats and lie about it and that callous indifference is reflected in their continued financial support of them. Some owners even leave large sums of money in their wills to PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, and other groups with explicit instructions that any cats which survive them are to be immediately killed.
Worst still, none of these organizations have any intention of ever mending their evil ways. For instance, ACA's only response to criticism leveled against it has been to demonstrate its true fascist and totalitarian nature by attempting to silence its critics. If it should be allowed to prevail, only its outright lies and half-truths will remain as the touchstone for what constitutes the proper care of cats.
In their defense, these groups undoubtedly would argue that they have bigger fish to fry and that accordingly the lives of individual cats are of little consequence. While there can be no denying that resources always are in short supply, killing cats is nevertheless indefensible under any circumstances.
In Dame Agatha's 1940 novel, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, Hercule Poirot was presented with an analogous moral conundrum. Specifically, he was prevailed upon by Alistair Blunt, a powerful politician, to overlook a few murders in the name of the greater good.
"I am not concerned with nations, monsieur," the great detective, being a man of moral conscience, replied. "I am concerned with the lives of private individuals who have the right not to have their lives taken from them."
So, too, is it with cats. The ends no more justify the means when dealing with them and other animals than they do in governing the relationships between men. To indulge in such tosh is tantamount to sanctioning almost any evil.
Photos: The Citizen (Victoria) and Cat Channel (Jazzy and Robinson).