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Cat Defender

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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The State of North Carolina's Veterinary Division Is Covering Up a Savage Beating Dished Out to Cooper at the Rowan County Animal Shelter During the Course of a Microchipping Fiasco

Cooper's Mouth,Gums, and Teeth Were Left a Bloody Mess

"I can't say what happened, but when he went back to get microchipped he was fine. He came back with a fractured jaw."
-- Debbie Orbison

Animal Control officers, shelters, and veterinarians always have made a pretty penny by defaming, abusing, and killing cats but no matter how much that they have raked in it never has been enough for them. As a consequence, they are constantly on the lookout for newfangled means of exploiting these already horribly abused animals.

Aside from the administration of a litany of needless inoculations, the implantation of thoroughly worthless and harmful microchips has become one of their most lucrative money-making rackets. As if that were not bad enough in itself, many of these professionals are either incompetent or unwilling to even properly insert these odious devices.

For example, on March 8th a pair of unidentified Animal Control officers at the Rowan County Animal Shelter (RCAS) in Salisbury, seventy-seven kilometers north of Charlotte, broke the jaw of a handsome gray and white tom named Cooper in two places and inflicted unspecified damage to his mouth, gums, and teeth during a microchipping exercise that went terribly awry. In its defense, the RCAS has, not surprisingly, placed all of the blame for the retaliatory beating that it meted out to him on Cooper's tiny shoulders while simultaneously pretending to be every bit as innocent as a newborn lamb.

"He acted up when they were doing the microchipping and that's why he was bleeding," his current foster mother, Debbie Orbison, told WBTV of Charlotte on March 11th. (See "Employee on Leave, County Paying Vet Bills after Cat Injured During Microchipping.")

An investigation into the incident spearheaded by Patricia "Porous" Norris of the Veterinary Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Raleigh failed to shine any light whatsoever on what actually occurred. For starters, she claims that Cooper received a bloody mouth when the Animal Control officers chased him into the Plexiglas® window of a pet carrier.

Although "Porous" Norris insists that the Plexiglas® window of this so-called "feral cat den" had been raised so as to allow Cooper ingress, she conveniently fails to disclose how it was that Cooper came to break it. After all, Plexiglas® is exceedingly difficult to shatter and cats certainly are neither blind nor do they, like birds, make a habit of attempting to go through glass.

If, on the other hand, there is so much as a smidgen of truth in her conclusion the window surely must have broken when the Animal Control officers either threw him against it with tremendous force or attempted to forcibly stuff him into the carrier. Leaving aside the rarity of such contraptions, it also is rather odd that the RCAS would use them in order to move around cats in that even conventional pet carriers with steel grilles for doors are usually covered with either blankets or towels so as to reduce the level of stress on the cats incarcerated inside; c'est-à-dire, the goal usually is to shield them as much as possible from the frightening sights and sounds of the outside world, not to provide them with a front row seat to them.

Most damning of all, "Porous" Norris fails to disclose how it was that Cooper's jaw came to be broken. Although it is remotely possible that the fractures occurred when the Animal Control officers slammed him headfirst into the Plexiglas®, a far more plausible explanation is that they used either their fists or the back of their hands on him. It also cannot be completely ruled out that they beat him with some sort of blunt object, such as either a night stick or a metal flashlight.

In spite of what "Porous" Norris alleges, that likely is how that he wound up with a bloody mouth in that it stands to reason that a blow powerful enough to have broken his jaw also would have inflicted severe damage on his lips, gums, and teeth. In all likelihood, she simply concocted that sottise about the Plexiglas® in order to hoodwink a naïve and uncaring public.

Although by this time Cooper already was not only bloodied and injured but frightened to death and fighting for his very survival, none of that in any way deterred the Animal Control officers from administering a rabies vaccination and ramming home the microchip. With their tasks now completed, they were so derelict in their responsibilities that they did not even bother to verify that the chip had been properly inserted and was functioning.

Even more shockingly, no one affiliated with the RCAS even so much as looked at Cooper's injuries, let alone attended to them. Instead, he was manhandled into yet still another pet carrier, this one provided by an unidentified rescue group, and left to lick his wounds.

The exact timeline of events never has been disclosed so it is not known exactly when Cooper was assaulted by the Animal Control officers other than that it was at either around lunchtime or shortly thereafter. Likewise, it has not been made public exactly when he was collected by the rescue group which had so magnanimously ransomed him off of death row.

All that is known for certain is that he was admitted to the China Grove Animal Hospital at 2001 US-29, eighteen kilometers south of Salisbury in the town of the same name, at 3 p.m. on that day. Although the attending veterinarian, Scott Vaughan, immediately recognized that his jaw was swollen and that his tongue was hanging out, a sure sign of a cat in extremis, he categorically refused to either examine him or to even prescribe any analgesics.

The official explanation given for this trained member of the veterinary medical profession's shocking abdication of responsibility was that he was too scared to go near Cooper. Given that just about all cats that wind up at a veterinarian's office are frightened out of their wits and the majority of them are either injured or sick, it is no small wonder that a rank coward such as Vaughan is able to stay in business.

The level of ignorance, inexperience, and callousness demonstrated by both the Animal Control officers and Vaughan is simply shocking in that someone, presumably Cooper's original owner, already had trapped and delivered him up to the RCAS on a silver platter and that constituted ninety-nine per cent of the job of microchipping him. Furthermore, experienced shelter and veterinary personnel possess the prerequisite savoir-faire in order to properly restrain a cat so that it can be medicated and microchipped without having to resort to the expedient of using their fists on it.

As Miguel de Cervantes once observed, "those who will play with cats must expect to be scratched" and that admonition applies not only to veterinarians like Vaughan but to the Animal Control officers as well. Knowledge and patience are the keys when it comes to dealing with cats and, above all, anyone who is either afraid of them or detests them is in the wrong line of work.

Patricia "Porous" Norris

As the result of Vaughan's utterly disgraceful abdication of his professional responsibilities, Cooper once again was locked up in some type of enclosure for the night and left to suffer all alone. On the following day, March 9th, either Vaughan or someone made of sterner stuff from the clinic was able to muster enough moxie in order to sedate and, not treat, but rather sterilize him.

Photographs were taken of his broken jaw but not radiographs because, believe it or not, the surgery claims not to own an x-ray machine. If that indeed is the case, China Grove surely must have either a CT or an MRI machine otherwise it could not properly treat animals with internal injuries and ailments. This is mere supposition but the solution to that conundrum is most likely to be found in the rescue group's either unwillingness or inability to pay up front for either of those two considerably more expensive alternative diagnostic tools.

It therefore was not until March 10th when Cooper was uprooted once again and hauled to the Carolina Animal Hospital in Charlotte that he received any kind of treatment whatsoever for either his twice-broken jaw or badly injured mouth. Specifically, he was anesthetized, his jaw radiographed, and the fractures of the mandible (lower jaw) surgically repaired.

That also marked the first time since he had been beaten by the Animal Control officers that he was administered any painkillers and antibiotics. In addition to his prolonged suffering, his mouth easily could have become infected and he could have even strangled to death on his own blood, mucus, and the fragments of any broken teeth.

Normal veterinary protocol in such cases calls for cats to be immediately evaluated for shock and, if necessary, to be placed on intravenous fluids and oxygen. Secondly, any broken teeth and foreign debris should have been promptly removed and rents in the soft tissue treated so as to ward off the onset of infection.

Thirdly, splints should have been inserted in order to have stabilized his jaw and a complete neurological examination conducted in order to have determined if he had suffered any damage to either his brain or the nerves in his head. Above all, antibiotics and analgesics should have been administered long before he ever left RCAS.

Nevertheless, in spite of the unassailable fact that Cooper was forced to go without veterinary treatment for his broken jaw and injured mouth for at least two days, "Porous" Norris was not about to admit to any of that under any circumstances. "This review concludes that as (sic) Cooper was provided with access to veterinary care within thirty minutes of injury," she proclaimed in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary in a March 21st epistle addressed to Rowan County Manager Aaron Church. "Therefore veterinary care was provided as required by 02 North Carolina Code .0210(c). Consequently, the findings of this investigation do not substantiate a violation of the North Carolina Animal Welfare Act."

Even more outrageously, this bare-faced liar and highly paid apologist for cat abusers was totally unwilling to even consider the plainly obvious conclusion that Cooper had been hideously abused by the Animal Control officers in retaliation for his allegedly uncooperative behavior. "Veterinary review of the fractures show that the injury is most consistent with a recent accidental type injury," she wrote to her bosom buddy Church.

In hindsight, it is not all that surprising that she arrived at such an absurd conclusion in that her inquiry was strictly limited to visiting the RCAS, interviewing staffers, rescue personnel, and veterinarians in addition to a cursory review of shelter and veterinary records. There accordingly is absolutely nothing in her report to even remotely suggest that she used her gray cells for any purpose other than to completely exonerate the RCAS of all wrongdoing.

The shelter and its Animal Control officers certainly were not about to admit the truth and since Cooper is unable to speak up in his own defense, inferences and logical conclusions therefore must be drawn based upon experience, knowledge, and the totality of the circumstances. In "Porous" Norris' case, she had absolutely no interest whatsoever in getting at the truth and that petit fait is clearly discernible throughout her report.

It would have been utterly laughable for any trained veterinarian to have arrived at such a ludicrous conclusion but in her case the offense is compounded in that she previously has investigated cases of animal cruelty for the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and as a consequence should be intimately acquainted with the telltale signs of abuse. (See undated press release of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services entitled "Norris Named North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Animal Welfare Director.")

First of all, the vast majority of all cats that sustain broken jaws do so at either the hands of motorists or as the result of falling out of windows and subsequently landing on their faces. Even more telling than that, it is extremely difficult to break a cat's jaw.

"The mandible is one of the hardest bones in the body and a great deal of force is necessary to break the bone," veterinarian David Diamond wrote in a July 4, 2015 article for PetPlace. (See "Fracture of the Mandible in Cats.")

That in turn does not leave much room for any doubt that Cooper was the victim of a simply horrific beating meted out by the Animal Control officers. Even "Porous" Norris was astute enough not to even attempt to explain how that his jaw was broken.

If, for instance, she had claimed that he either had been run down by a motorist drag racing through one of the examining rooms or had fallen from one of the upper floors at the single-story facility she would have been laughed out of even a town as humorless as Raleigh. (A link to her report can be found at the Greenville Examiner, March 21, 2016, "Rowan County Animal Control Cleared of Wrongdoing Following Investigation.")

"Porous" Norris' whitewashing of a simply barbaric act of animal cruelty that was made even worse by wholesale veterinary malfeasance may have been far from convincing as far as the outside world was concerned but it proved to be more than sufficient in order to let the RCAS off the hook. Although there were two Animal Control officers involved in beating Cooper, only one of them was even singled out for investigation.

Not only was that individual's name and photograph shielded from public scrutiny by the RCAS and a obliging local media, but the only disciplinary action that the abuser received was to be placed on paid administrative leave for about ten days. The media likewise has refused to divulge that individual's current status but more than likely either he or she is back on the job and abusing other cats not only with impunity but renewed vigor as well.

Cooper Was Forced to Wear an Elizabethan Collar Following Oral Surgery

As utterly risible as "Porous" Norris' conclusions turned out to be, it is nonetheless somewhat surprising that an investigation was even undertaken in the first place. Of course, that could be explained by the fact that the fix was in from the start.

Besides that, Church's first inclination was to attempt and pack off all the blame on Orbison and he did so by asking her point-blank in a telephone conversation if Cooper's injuries could have been sustained after he had departed the RCAS.

"There's no way this was not done by Animal Control," she responded by telling the Salisbury Post on March 11th. (See "County Employee Placed on Leave after Cat Injured.") "It's just so sad because he didn't deserve this."

She certainly was in a position to know what she was talking about because earlier on March 8th she had selected Cooper to be transferred to her custody and he most definitely was as healthy as a horse at that time. "I can't say what happened, but when he went back to get microchipped he was fine," she added to Salisbury Post. "He came back with a fractured jaw."

Even though it is strongly suspected that Cooper's early days were anything but blissful, his travails began in earnest on February 29th when he a trio of other cats were fobbed off on the RCAS by their unscrupulous and uncaring owner. Although on that occasion he was administered unspecified intake vaccinations and prescribed an oral deworming drug without any apparent difficulties, Cooper nevertheless was immediately segregated on death row with other cats deemed to be unsocialized. His mates meanwhile were put up for adoption but it is not known what has become of them.

In making such a distinction, the RCAS is guilty of perpetuating the age-old myth that there is any discernible difference between homeless and domiciled cats, those that are unsocialized vis-à-vis those that are, or between those that are wild and those that are considered to be tame. "A cat is a cat and that is that" as an old American Sprichwort stipulates and that point is best illustrated by comparing, not those who are homeless with those that are domiciled, but rather by examining only those that are regarded as being domesticated.

That is because cats that are born into and spend their entire lives in residential settings can exhibit not only radically different personalities but some of the same behavioral traits that ignorant and dishonest individuals insist upon labeling as feral. That phenomenon is first and foremost attributable to genetic differences occasioned by females who mate with several males.

Secondly, their guardians often accentuate those differences by unwittingly lavishing more time and energy on those kittens that are already disposed by nature to be friendlier and more affectionate. Contrariwise, those that by nature are more skittish and standoffish became even more so in such households.

Thirdly, some kittens commandeer a disproportionate amount of their mothers' milk and attentions and that can have adverse consequences on both the physical and psychological development of their litter mates who get shortchanged in the competition. All of these and other differences in genetics and nurturing therefore cannot help but to produce cats with radically different outlooks upon life.

All animals in fact have different personalities and Aristotle recognized that more than twenty-four-hundred years ago but modern man is totally unwilling to concede the point. That is because if he ever were forced into acknowledging that they are not all that different from himself such an admission would completely repudiate the Jews' self-serving nonsense as expounded in the Dominion Mandate of Genesis I:26-28 and elsewhere in the Bible. That in turn would have nothing short of revolutionary implications in the fields of economics, politics, and law.

There accordingly is a very good chance that Cooper grew up in a household under similar circumstances and that as a result he is nowhere nearly as friendly and outgoing as his former mates. That does not, however, automatically transform him into being an unsocialized cat and it most definitely does not provide a valid excuse for maligning, abusing, and segregating him on death row.

Much more poignantly, the unmitigated hell that he has been put through once again demonstrates writ large that cats do not belong in shelters under any conceivable circumstances. Residential homes, sanctuaries, managed TNR colonies, barns, and even sleeping rough are the only humane and morally acceptable alternatives. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2011, "Shelter Shock. Cats Can Get Sick from Stress. One Proposed Remedy? Keep Them Out.")

Cooper's unhappy plight does, however, focus attention on the need for guardians not to neglect the proper socialization of their cats. That is important principally owing to the fact that it is far easier to medicate an ailing cat that is accustomed to being handled as opposed to one who shies away from being touched. The results can be quite staggering in that severely ill and injured ones that are amenable to treatment often recover whereas those that resist their owners' ministrations sometimes succumb to even minor injuries and maladies.

Also, a socialized cat has a far greater chance of surviving a trip to the death house than does one that is afraid of people. That is far from being the entire story, however, in that those that trust humans also are more easily victimized by ailurophobes than those that know to keep their distance.

To make a long story short, there are not any easy answers as far as cats are concerned. Even more depressingly, the vast majority of them are damned regardless of either their personalities or behavior.

Cooper Was Repeatedly Caged, Bandied About, and Anesthetized 

That is attributable to the fact that the only use that the vast majority of people have for all of creation, their fellow citizens included, is strictly limited to what they can get out of it. (See Cat Defender post of May 27, 2016 entitled "Snubbed by an Ignorant, Tasteless, and Uncaring Public for the Past Twenty-One Years, Tilly Has Forged an Alternative Existence of Relative Contentment at a Sanctuary in the Black Country.")

Whereas the RCAS, "Porous" Norris, Church, and their fellow liars have long since gone on their merry ways, the road back to health has been a lengthy and arduous one for Cooper. For instance, on March 11th he was moved to a third unidentified veterinary hospital where he once again was anesthetized and a complete blood count and a general serum biochemistry analysis conducted. He was orally examined again and forced to submit to still more radiographs.

All of that was only a prelude to the insertion of orthodontic buttons and wires in his jaw, the closing of a wound in his oral soft tissue, and the making of unspecified repairs to his oral cavity with a laser. He additionally was administered more antibiotics and analgesics but a fragment of his right jaw was deemed to be too small in order to be reattached.

After that he was put in an Elizabethan collar and placed on a liquid diet before being returned to Orbison. It never was revealed if he had suffered any broken teeth as the result of the violent assault.

To sum up, not only was he forced to go without treatment for two days but once he was provided with access to it he was shuttled between three surgeries like the Flying Dutchman of yore where he was sedated once, anesthetized twice, and radiographed twice. Regardless of how the quality of the care that he ultimately received is analyzed, that still constitutes an inordinate amount of barbiturates and radiation for such a diminutive animal to absorb.

On top of all of that, he was put through no less than three oral examinations and a pair of oral surgeries as well as having been sterilized. Nonetheless, neither "Porous" Norris nor anyone else involved in this sordid affair seems to have an issue with either the tardiness or the redundancy of the care that Cooper received.

If the rigmarole that he was subjected to accomplished little else, it did succeed in saddling Orbison with an enormous bill. "The county has contacted the Carolina Animal Hospital of Charlotte to convey that we will be covering all the vet bills," Church swore to WBTV in the article cited supra.

Conspicuously omitted from that declaration was any mention of the not inconsiderable tabs that Cooper has run up at the China Grove Animal Hospital and the dental specialists. As a result, Orbison has been forced into begging online for donations which, at last word, had totaled only a measly few hundred simoleons.

Nevertheless, she has been delighted with even that limited amount of support. "When I first started, in my mind I was thinking I'd ask my friends to help cover the costs, raise $10 or $20 and then do the best I could," she confided to the Salisbury Post in the article cited supra. "Never in a million years did I think this would happen."

Lost in the uproar over what was done to Cooper has been the salient fact that the RCAS did not have any business microchipping him in the first place. Since its Animal Control officers already knew that he did not cotton to being handled by strangers, they should have left that task to Orbison. If she had wanted him chipped, she could have either arranged for the procedure to have been performed at a later date or, better still, left that decision to his eventual new guardian.

Besides, neither the RCAS nor Orbison had a valid reason for being in such a hellfire hurry because microchips are a complete fraud in that they not only fail to afford cats any protection whatsoever against the machinations of their enemies but they additionally have been linked to cancer. (See Cat Defender posts of May 25, 2006, September 21, 2007, and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "Plato's Misadventures Expose the Pitfalls of RFID Technology as Applied to Cats," "FDA Is Suppressing Research That Shows Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer in Mice, Rats, and Dogs," and "Bulkin Contracts Cancer from an Implanted Microchip and Now It Is Time for Digital Angel and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

They additionally are sometimes difficult to both locate and decipher. Even if that is not a problem, they are totally worthless if the cats' owners have not kept their contact information up-to-date in the databases that link up to them. (See Cat Defender posts of March 31, 2010 and August 26, 2015 entitled, respectively, "Winnipeg Family Is Astounded by Tiger Lily's Miraculous Return after Having Been Believed Dead for Fourteen Years" and "A Myriad of Cruel and Unforgivable Abandonments, a Chinese Puzzle, and Finally the Handing Down and Carrying Out of a Death Sentence Spell the End for Long-Suffering and Peripatetic Tigger.")

Although the beating doled out to Cooper at the RCAS is the first time in memory that a cat has been so horribly abused during a microchipping procedure, it is fairly common for these devices to be surgically implanted on top of spinal cords and at vaccination sites. (See Cat Defender post of April 28, 2016 entitled "Sassie Is Left Paralyzed as the Result of Yet Still Another Horribly Botched Attempt to Implant a Thoroughly Worthless and Pernicious Microchip Between Her Shoulders.")

If she has not done so already, it would be a good idea for Orbison to have Cooper examined by a competent veterinarian in order to determine that the microchip the Animal Control officers so brutally rammed between his shoulders has not caused any damage to either his spinal cord or surrounding tissues. After all that he has been put through, it would be doubly tragic if something should turn out to be amiss with it.

The reason that the officers so stubbornly insisted upon going through with the procedure is in all likelihood attributable to financial considerations. C'est-à-dire, cats with implanted microchip are, supposedly, easier to sell back to both rescue groups and the general public than those that so not have them.

 Bob Pendergrass Delivers the Coup d'Grâce to Another Innocent Kitten

That is far from being the only oddity, however, in the RCAS' perverted business model. For instance, whereas it has not been publicly disclosed how much that it charges rescuers like Orbison for its cats, the cost to the general public is $80. Most surprising of all, although it microchips, deworms, and vaccinates them, it does not automatically sterilize them.

Instead, it provides members of the public, and supposedly rescuers as well, with $70 vouchers for sterilizations to be performed at a later date. Not only is that policy at odds with those in situ at the vast majority of American shelters who will not allow any intact animal out the front door, but it serves to exacerbate the overpopulation crisis in that some adopters choose not to redeem the vouchers.

The point is largely moot, however, in that the RCAS freely admits that ninety per cent of the animals that make it out of its death house alive are adopted by rescue groups and that leaves only the ten per cent that are taken in by the general public for it to sterilize. It therefore would appear that in most cases it ends up pocketing the entire $80.

Moreover, it is not even known if rescuers like Orbison use the RCAS to sterilize the cats that they take off of its hands. That certainly did not turn out to be the case with Cooper.

It thus seems to be clear that the RCAS functions as little more than a roundup and drop off location for unwanted cats. It puts almost no money and effort into adoption services and instead liquidates just about all of them that rescue groups and the general public fail to ransom.

It is sans doute a profitable racket, however, in that the death house and its ancillary bodies employ twenty full-time and forty part-time cat killers. Its hideous crimes additionally help to sustain, inter alia, the manufacturers of lethal drugs, superfluous vaccines, microchips, and cages as well as any number of corpse burning and disposal services.

As it shortly thereafter was made manifestly clear, the beating meted out to Cooper proved to be merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg as far as the crimes of the RCAS are concerned. Most prominently, up until less than two years ago the shelter was still gassing cats and dogs. (See The Charlotte Observer, March 4, 2014, "Rowan to Stop Using Gas Chamber at Animal Shelter.")

Although it claims to have washed its hands of that wretched business, shelter personnel in particular and Rowan County politicians in general have told so many lies in the past that they have squandered all of their credibility. "Again, we regret that this (Cooper's beating) occurred," Church told WBTV of Charlotte on March 21st. (See "Animal Shelter Cleared after Cat's Jaw Broken During Microchipping.") "And we will continue to make every effort to treat all animals humanely as we improve our policies and the care that animals receive at our facility."

County Commissioner Craig Pierce echoed those sentiments. "We want to see it (RCAS) become the best county shelter possible," he blowed to the Salisbury Post on April 13th. (See "Locals Heap Criticism on Rowan County Animal Shelter.") "Are we going to be perfect? No, but are we going to be better? Absolutely."

Besides the expulsion of a tremendous amount of meaningless hot air and double talk, Church and the commissioners did remove Clai Martin as shelter director but that was only so that they could reassign him as manager of its animal enforcement division. Even that only occurred after five-thousand-one-hundred-fifty-nine critics of his stewardship took to the petition site www.change.org in order to demand that he be fired.

The exercise in cosmetics continued with the creation of a new layer of bureaucracy called Rowan County Animal Services with a zookeeper named Bob Pendergrass appointed as its head. As if his professional calling were not ominous enough in its own right, he additionally has substantial ties to both the cat-hating fiends at the diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service and bird enthusiast groups. (See the Salisbury Post, March 22, 2016, "County's Consolidation Means Martin Won't Oversee Animal Shelter.")

"I have to be very careful not to get too attached because hopefully they're (the cats) going to go to good homes," he declared right out of the starting gate to WJZY-TV of Charlotte on June 8th. (See "Influx of Cats in Rowan County, Desperately Need Forever Homes.") "It's kind of nice to have something crawl up into your lap wanting attention when it's the end of the day."

He almost overnight became the darling of the media and even many of the rescue groups were taken in by his palaver, especially when it came to his declaration about not wanting to kill cats. "We do have kind of policies that we follow of not having things so full that we can't be ready to take in something that comes in the next day, but we certainly are doing everything we can to avoid euthanizing any animal," he added.

His use of the word "something" in reference to cats should have been enough to have given the game away right then and there because absolutely nobody who cares the tiniest bit about them ever would refer to them in such a callous and derogatory vein. That likewise sans doute is how that he looks down upon the unjustly incarcerated inmates under his care at the Nature Center in Dan Nicholas Park, sixteen kilometers east of the RCAS.

That is a rather minor point in comparison with the fact that his lofty rhetoric was a complete fabrication. Most notably, the RCAS' latest cat killing spree began shortly after March 8th when it snuffed out the lives of nine felines allegedly in retaliation for Orbison's making a stink about the beating that was meted out to Cooper.

Cooper Is Still Living with Debbie Orbison but He Needs a Home of His Own

Regardless of whatever else can be said about Pendergrass, there can be no denying that the old fraudster has the chutzpah of Old Nick himself. That is because on the very same day that he was pulling the wool over the eyes of the viewers of WJZY-TV he simultaneously was ordering the liquidation of ten more cats. The killings continued on June 10th with the cold-blooded murders of thirty-two additional felines.

Thirteen others were killed on June 11th and June 12th and another twenty of them were slated to have been exterminated on June 13th. Even more appallingly, all of these cats were vanquished while a number of individuals and rescue groups were telephoning the shelter to inquire about adopting them. (See the Greenville Examiner, June 10, 2016, "Dozens of Cats Killed after Rowan County Shelter Asks Public to Adopt Them," the Salisbury Post, June 12, 2016, "Warm Weather (sic) Overflows Animal Shelter Again," plus Cat Defender post of June 15, 2010 entitled "Bay City Shelter Murders a Six-Week-Old Kitten with a Common Cold Despite Several Individuals Having Offered to Give It a Permanent Home.")

For years Orbison and other rescuers have been attempting to work with the RCAS despite its obstructionist and uncooperative activities, such as limiting the number of animals to eight that could be taken out of their cages and photographed for adoption purposes, refusing the answer the telephone, and failing to adequately staff the new cat wing. Only time will tell for sure, but perhaps the light has finally begun to dawn on her.

"Please, please, please spread the word so the public is aware. Do not take animals to the RCAS," she wrote June 11th on the Facebook page entitled Saving Cooper and Friends. "People need to know that the chances of them getting out of there are slim to none!!! People need to know this is not a safe haven for them. It is a slaughterhouse."

If there were so much as a smidgen of justice in this world, the Animal Control officers, Martin, and Pendergrass would not only be fired but arrested, convicted of animal cruelty, and thus forced to spend the remainder of their days behind bars. Church, Pierce and his fellow county commissioners, Greg Edds, Jim Greene, Mike Caskey, and Judy Klusman, are quite obviously not fit to be entrusted with cleaning toilets let alone caring for cats and accordingly should be sent packing on the next election day.

Cooper's utterly disgraceful owner who not only initialed his death warrant but also has no far refused to come to his assistance, should at the very least be barred from ever owning another cat. Plus, although there is not anything in the public record to even so much as to suggest that either the Carolina Animal Hospital or the veterinary dentists treated him in any way other than admirably, the same most definitely cannot be said for the China Grove Animal Hospital which most definitely should be avoided at all costs.

With the notable exception of the Greenville Examiner, the local media has functioned throughout this affair more as the department of agitprop for the Rowan County establishment than as a supposedly impartial gatherer of the news. Consequently, rescue groups are living in dream world if they ever expect to make them their allies in their fight against the RCAS.

The harshest criticism however falls squarely upon the misshapen noggin of old "Porous" Norris and in her case simply firing and jailing her would be far too lenient. Rather, she richly deserves to be kicked all the way back to New Mexico and then to be abandoned to the mercy of the Gila monsters in the remote desert. Although she could have made a huge difference in the lives of millions of cats by simply being honest, fair, telling the truth, and revoking the RCAS' license to operate, she instead chose to cover up the crimes of her fellow bureaucrats. As per usual, the elites once again have chosen to stick together much like congealed feces.

Above all, this case vividly demonstrates once again the utter impossibility of ever reforming to any positive degree the Animal Control profession, shelters, and the practice of veterinary medicine. That sobering reality is attributable to the fact that the RCAS is anything but an anomaly; au contraire, the way that it conducts business is pretty much the norm with similar institutions all around the world. (See Cat Defender post of July 31, 2015 entitled "The Cold-Blooded Murder of Spitz Once Again Exposes the Horrifying, Ugly, and Utter Appalling Truth about Not Only Shelters but Callous Owners and Phony-Baloney Animal Rights Groups as Well.")

The only conceivable solution is the abolition of all three professions in favor of private initiatives undertaken by individuals and groups, such as the managers of TNR colonies, who truly love and care about cats. It is one of life's hardest lessons to learn but there is not any substitute for self-help.

Above all, cat lovers must somehow come up with their own financing, even if that entails selling lemonade on the corner. Governmental initiatives, at least in the land of the dollar bill, are no longer the answer to much of anything.

As far as Cooper is concerned, it was expected to have taken anywhere from four to twelve weeks for his broken jaw to have healed. If, on the other hand, the fractures either were not properly mended or, for whatever reason, failed to heal, he could have been left with a condition known as malocclusion where the teeth do not fit together correctly. That in turn would have made chewing difficult and in all likelihood necessitated additional oral surgeries.

Then there is the problem of his skittishness and the beating doled out to him by the Animal Control officers can only have served to further reinforce his fear of people. The easiest way for Orbison to have combatted that problem would have been for her to have spent tons of time on his turf and under his conditions. There are, of course, other more efficient means of remedying such difficulties.

Most troubling of all, he desperately needs a permanent home and since she has not publicly expressed any desire in adopting him, his fate is still very much up in the air. Moreover, uprooting him again is not only destined to be traumatic, but it also could prove to be deadly should he, once again, fall into the wrong hands.

"My first initial reaction was I was irate," she said of the beating in the March 11th interview with WBTV. "Who could hurt an animal like this?"

She now fully realizes that all sorts of individuals, professionals, and institutions not only horribly abuse but kill cats as well. Already during his brief sojourn upon this earth he has had one owner who signed away his inalienable right to live, a shelter that unjustly and prejudicially consigned him to death row, a pair of Animal Control officers who savagely beat him halfway to death, and a veterinarian that sadistically allowed him to needlessly suffer by withholding treatment.

Cooper accordingly has every reason in the world for fearing and distrusting people but that in no way provides a solution to any of his pressing difficulties. Moreover, barring the last-minute arrival of a knight in shining armor astride a white horse his fate, whether she likes it or not, rests solely in Orbison's hands.

Photos: Dedrick Russell of WBTV (Cooper's bloody mouth and him in an Elizabethan collar), The Link New Mexico (Norris), the Greenville Examiner (Pendergrass), and Facebook (Cooper at home).