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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

Friday, June 23, 2017

For Eight Long and Tortuous Years, Barack Obama and His Bloodthirsty Henchmen Within the Federal Bureaucracy Waged a Ruthless, No-Holds-Barred War on Cats

A Grinning Barack Obama

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

-- Barack Obama

He has long since sacked up his loot and hightailed it out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and now is residing in the Kalorama section of Washington where he is raking it in with both fists on the rubber chicken circuit. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr so aptly put it in the January 1849 edition of Les Guêpes, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." (See the New York Post, May 1, 2017, "Notorious Banker Hosts O.")

Much like an old firehouse dog who although no longer able to make it to any major conflagrations nonetheless still delights in the bells, whistles, and hustle and bustle that accompany every new alarm that is sounded, he has kept a hand in politics. Most recently he stuck his schnoz into the presidential election in Frankreich and after that he was off to Deutschland where he was the beneficiary of a welcome worthy of the one that Jack Kennedy received in 1963 when he delivered his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. The most logical conclusion to be drawn from all of that is that ignorance is every bit as blissful on the continent as it is in the Vereinigten Staaten.

Even if the sun finally has gone down on the Obama Administration and the dust all but settled, it is never too late in order to take a look back in the rearview mirror as to how that he and his minions treated cats during his seemingly interminable eight years in office. Given the enormous complexity and breadth of the issue, it is impossible to delve into every action that he either took or refused to take that impacted, directly or indirectly, upon the lives of cats but, to say the least, he was anything but a friend of the species.

1.)  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Slaughtered One-Hundred-Fifty Cats on San Nicolas.

Two Cats That Were Allegedly Rescued from San Nicolas

Obama's most egregious crime against cats was, arguably, turning loose the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), a division of the Department of the Interior, to massacre an estimated one-hundred-fifty cats on San Nicolas Island, located in the Channel Islands off the coast of Los Angeles. The gory specifics have not been publicly divulged, but initial plans called for the cats to be snared in leghold traps and then blasted to kingdom come by USFWS marksmen armed with shotguns.

Those that proved to be too wily to be trapped were to have been hounded down at night by bloodhounds and then shot by assassins aided by battery-powered torches. The USFWS and its cohorts originally wanted to infect the cats with the Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), as Professor Marthán Bester of the University of Pretoria had done with a lion's share of the more than thirty-four-hundred cats and he and his accomplices killed on Marion Island between the late 1970's and the early 1990's, but they ultimately were dissuaded from doing so out of concerns, not for the prolonged and excruciating suffering that such a measure would have inflicted upon the cats, but rather in order to spare other species on the island from becoming accidentally infected.

Regardless of the methodologies that ultimately were adopted, the USFWS was determined from the outset to kill every cat on San Nicolas. "We have to make sure we have every one of them," the agency's Jane Hendron declared in April of 2009.

The only token opposition that this outrageous slaughter provoked came from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington. "This is not humane. I would not say shooting cats or leaving them in leghold traps for up to fourteen hours is humane," its Nancy Peterson protested in June of 2008. "This is proposed by wildlife biologists who are treating cats like wildlife...These are like the domestic pussy cats we have at home, but they're living a wild lifestyle."

No sooner than those words had escaped from her forked tongue, Peterson and the HSUS did an abrupt about-face and sold out the cats living on San Nicolas by joining forces with their killers. Specifically, this Faustian bargain consisted of the USFWS agreeing to allow the HSUS to remove a handful of cats and kittens from the island in return for the latter's support for its extermination of the remainder of them.

Consequently, somewhere between fifty-two and fifty-four cats and kittens were trapped and removed from the island. They in turn were taken to the HSUS's Fund for Animals Rehabilitation Center in Ramona, fifty-six kilometers north of San Diego. Even in sparing the lives of those cats and kittens, the USFWS forced the HSUS into agreeing to confine them indoors for the remainder of their lives and that covenant even was made binding upon those individuals who either fostered or later adopted them.

The world has long forgotten about these cruelly uprooted, marooned, and incarcerated in a foreign land cats and it accordingly is not possible to say whatever became of them. Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine that there ever could have been many happy endings to their already sad stories.

As, most likely, the descendants of cats brought to the island and soon thereafter cruelly abandoned by the United States Navy, they had spent their entire lives without shelter, veterinary care, and human contact. Their diet likewise consisted entirely of whatever they were able to eke out a forbidding and almost barren landscape. Consequently, their health could not have been all that great.

On top of that, they were trapped, roughly handled, bandied about, and finally given life imprisonment sentences. The trauma as well as the new diseases that they were exposed to very well could have been sufficient in order to soon have put an end to them. (See The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2011, "Shelter Shock. Cats Can Get Sick from Stress. One Proposed Remedy? Keep Them Out.")

With between two and three million simoleons at its disposal, the USFWS quickly disposed of those cats that remained on San Nicolas and by early 2012 the island was declared to be cat-free. Bursting at the seams with glee, the USFWS, the Navy, HSUS, and the Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) of Arcata held a party in February of that year in order to celebrate their slaughter of the cats.

"This project is a testament to the commitment of multiple agencies to find common ground and develop solutions for feral cats in areas with threatened or endangered species," Peterson's colleague at the HSUS, Betsy McFarland, earlier had crowed. "The cats from San Nicolas deserve the opportunity to live a full and happy life, and we're proud to provide that at our sanctuary."

She was right about that but most definitely not in the way that she would have the general public to believe. C'est-à-dire, the only thing that ententes between phony-baloney animal protection groups, such as the HSUS, on the one hand and wildlife biologists and ornithologists on the other hand ever have resulted in is more dead cats.

If the HSUS's despicable sellout of those living on San Nicolas were the end of the story that in itself would have been bad enough but that was hardly the case. "This is a great conservation story," the IWS's David K. Gorcelon rejoiced at the soirée mentioned supra. "The size and scope of this project set the bar for similar ones."

Translated into shirtsleeve English, that means that it is the intention of Gorcelon, the USFWS, and ornithologists to transform the United States from sea to shining sea into the killing fields of Australia and New Zealand where it is no longer safe for any cat to so much as walk the streets. (See Cat Defender post of November 18, 2016 entitled "A Clever Devil at the University of Adelaide Boasts That He Has Discovered the Achilles' Heel of Cats with His Invention of Robotic Grooming Traps as the Thoroughly Evil Australians' All-Out War Against the Species Enters Its Final Stages.")

In spite of this simply horrendous slaughter of totally innocent cats, not a solitary feline protection group has been able to muster the willingness to demand justice for those killed and that is a black mark that is destined to haunt them for as long as they continue to pretend to be looking after the interests of cats. The first step in that process would be the filing of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the USFWS and the Navy.

Such a lawsuit would demand that those two criminal agencies disclose, inter alia, the exact number of cats murdered, the methods of execution employed, the names, addresses, and affiliations of their killers, and the disposition of their remains. A second lawsuit under the act should be directed against the HSUS and demand that it release the exact number of cats and kittens that it removed from the island as well as to explain happened to them afterwards.

Although the USFWS's and the Navy's devilry was hatched during the waning days of Bush Bird II's reign, Obama could have intervened at any time and stopped the slaughter but since he chose not to do so that makes him every bit as guilty as the killers themselves and the HSUS. It obviously is way too late to help the cats now but it yet still might be possible to secure a small measure of justice for them.

Above all, they never must be forgotten and all planned future eradications must be thwarted. (See Cat Defender posts of June 27, 2008, July 10, 2008, April 28, 2009, November 20, 2009, and February 24, 2012 entitled, respectively, "The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navy Hatch a Diabolical Plan to Gun Down Two-Hundred Cats on San Nicolas Island," "The Ventura County Star Races to the Defense of the Cat-Killers on San Nicolas Island," "Quislings at the Humane Society Sell Out San Nicolas's Cats to the Assassins at the Diabolical United States Fish and Wildlife Service," "Memo to the Humane Society: Tell the World Exactly How Many Cats You and Your Honeys at the USFWS Have Murdered on San Nicolas Island," and "The 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.")

2.) The USFWS Had a Field Day Stealing and Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.

Anne Morkill and Ken Salazar Plot to Kill Cats in the Florida Keys

Obama Bird kept the USFWS as busy as a bee during his tenure by not only approving the atrocities that it committed against cats on San Nicolas but also by allowing it to continue to commit its horrendous crimes against those residing in the Florida Keys. Accurate statistics are almost as rare as hens' teeth, but it is estimated that over the course of the past dozen or so years that the USFWS in conjunction with the USDA's Wildlife Services have trapped and killed thousands of cats in the Keys.

In addition to those that the feds have killed, just about all of the remainder that they dumped at shelters also are immediately killed. "Rarely has anyone wanted to adopt a feral cat," Connie Christian of the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West admitted in 2011.

In addition to all the homeless cats that the USFWS and shelters kill, innumerable domestic cats also get caught up in their webs of intrigue and as a result suffer the same cruel and unjust fate. Contrary to what many of those involved in these eradications claim, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between homeless and domesticated cats.

Plus, collars can easily come off and get lost and microchips are sometimes both difficult to locate as well as to decipher. An appalling lack of information concerning those that have been confiscated additionally prevents many owners from locating and reclaiming them. Time also is of the essence in that most shelters in the area only hold cats for seven days or less.

As best it could be determined, the USFWS's most recent killing sprees have been primarily concentrated in the National Key Deer Refuge and the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, both located on Big Pine Key, the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Key Largo. Earlier in 2005 and 2006, however, at least twenty cats were trapped, removed, and presumably killed at the United States Naval Air Station on Boca Chica Key.

In support of these exterminations, the United States Congress is known to have appropriated $50,000 in 2006 and another $50,000 in 2011. Given the scale and duration of the USFWS's atrocities in the Keys, it undoubtedly has received further appropriations either from Congress or other unidentified sources.

As was the case with its carnage on San Nicolas and elsewhere, the USFWS is relying upon a pack of blatant lies and a massive propaganda outreach initiative in order to sell its diabolical crimes to a skeptical public. "The plan is based on a deeply flawed interpretation of TNR research, and several studies were omitted," Becky Robinson of Alley Cat Allies of Bethesda, Maryland, complained in 2011. "Similar plans by the agency have already killed feral, stray and pet cats with no benefit whatsoever."

None of that deterred Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar from making a much publicized visit to the Keys in early 2011 where he held at tête-à-tête with the USFWS's Anne Morkill in order to put the finishing touches on their cat stealing and killing strategies. "Due to extensive habitat loss from human development, these species (rabbits and rats) have declined to such low numbers that management intervention is necessary to ensure their survival," she blowed long and hard to The Keynoter of Marathon on December 29, 2010. (See "Keys Refuges to Target Animal Predators.") "Secondary impacts from development include the introduction of non-native predators. While we can't turn back the clock to return the Keys to its once pristine condition, we can take action now to control current threats from cats and other exotic animals."

First of all, that is a blatant admission on her part that cats once again have been made the scapegoats for a million and one offenses committed by their human counterparts. It additionally is a public acknowledgement that the feds in general and the USFWS in particular are little more than a gang of thugs and bullies who go after defenseless animals with malice aforethought while simultaneously being too cowardly to take on those individuals, groups, and interests that are capable of defending themselves.

Secondly, it is quite a hoot to hear a fat-ass, honky-donkey such as Morkill label cats as "non-native predators" and as "exotic" animals. Au contraire, it is precisely her and her fellow wildlife biologists and ornithologists who are the poster boys and girls for exotic and non-native predators. Furthermore, any individual or group that is willing to spout such balderdash also should be willing to lead by example and accordingly take the very next boat back to Italy, England, or wherever their ancestors came from and in doing so return the New World to its rightful owners, i.e., the Native Americans.

Individuals and organizations of Morkill's and the USFWS's ilk love to bandy about such nonsensical terms as if they were privy to some stupendous insight that somehow has miraculously eluded the remainder of mankind, but rather than establishing their intellectual and moral superiority all that such reductiones ad absurdum succeed in accomplishing is to demonstrate writ large their abject dishonesty and ruthlessness.

Such ratiocinating also is getting to be rather old and tedious in much the same vein that inspired Bob Dylan to pen the following lyrics to his 1965 song, "Positively Fourth Street:"
"Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
"To see you."

While she had the wind up, old bigmouthed Morkill cavalierly belittled the legitimate concerns expressed by Robinson and other cat advocates. "...some people believe any animal has a right to live," she sneered down her long, dirty schnoz to the Miami Herald on January 2, 2011. (See "Feds Hope to Rid Keys' Refuges of Exotic Predators, Including Cats.")

If the USFWS, Wildlife Services, and their cohorts were confining their stealing and killing of cats to federal lands that would be bad enough in its own right, but they have appropriated for themselves the right to do likewise on state and municipal properties as well. For example, they have decreed that TNR feeding stations must be removed from all public areas that are either adjacent or near refuge lands.

Secondly, they have been pressuring local municipalities to erect not only anti-roaming statutes but to require the mandatory microchipping and tagging of all cats. Most egregiously of all, they have been venturing into purely residential neighborhoods where they have illegally trapped, stolen and, in all likelihood, even killed an unspecified number of domestic cats.

When the USFWS illegally trapped a brown and white cat named Rocky back in 2014 it finally got its long overdue comeuppance. That is because he is owned by world famous scuba diver Captain Spencer Slate who resides on Loquat Drive in the Garden Cove section of North Key Largo.

The first inkling that he had of what was afoot came when a representative of the USFWS showed up on his doorstep in order to issue him a US$75 citation for allowing Rocky to stray into nearby Crocodile Lake. Slate also was warned that if it happened again he would be arrested and locked up in jail. To make matters even worse, the thief did not even have the common decency to return Rocky to him and that necessitated in Slate being forced into driving twenty-four kilometers to a shelter in order to reclaim him.

It has not been disclosed how much that it cost Slate to ransom him off of death row but it is exceedingly unlikely that the shelter issued Rocky a get out of jail for free card. Plus, his face had been badly injured and bloodied by the trapping and that doubtlessly required veterinary intervention which Slate had to pay for out of his own pocket.

Proving that he is one cat owner who is not about to be cowed by an out of control gaggle of criminal bureaucrats, Slate refused to pay the fine and the case ultimately was dismissed by a federal district court judge sitting in Key West. "Simply, when I presented the truth and facts, it was easy to see who was telling the truth," he afterwards confided to the Keys News of Key West on June 18, 2014. (See "Cat Owner Avoids Fine in Trapping Case.")

In Rocky's case, he was trapped within fifty feet of Slate's house. "Just because cats are fed outside doesn't mean they're feral," he told The Keynoter on November 12, 2014. (See "Feds Defend Cat-Trapping Policy.")

It is rather difficult to keep abreast of the rapidly unfolding events in the Keys, but hopefully Slate will file a civil lawsuit for damages against the USFWS for what its goons did to Rocky. Whether he does so or not, he is not about to either be intimidated or to back down. "The murder of our beloved pets must be stopped," he declared to The Keynoter.

Even in death, the USFWS's victims are denied any peace in that as soon as they depart this vale of tears their remains are cut up so that their stomachs can be inventoried. The data gleaned from these post-mortem mutilations are in turn used by the USFWS's highly-paid, with welfare dollars no less, propagandists in order to churn out broadsheets designed to justify not only their cruel liquidations but that of additional cats in the future as well. (See Cat Defender posts of May 24, 2007 and June 23, 2011 entitled, respectively, "The United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA's Wildlife Services Commence Trapping and Killing Cats on Florida's Big Pine Key" and "Wallowing in Welfare Dollars, Lies, and Prejudice, the Bloodthirsty United States Fish and Wildlife Service Is Again Killing Cats in the Florida Keys.")

3.) APHIS Won a Major Victory over Ernest Hemingway's Polydactyls.

Patches Has a Go at Hemingway's machine à écrire portative

The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the USDA, is charged under the weak-as-water Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 1966 with regulating, inter alia, animal research laboratories, zoos, and circuses. If it ever were to take that mandate even so much as halfway seriously it would have more than enough on its plate in order to keep itself busy, but like all power-hungry governmental agencies it is always on the prowl for new opportunities to expand its dominions and in the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West it finally found a victim to its liking.

The trouble all began in 2003 when Michael Morawski, owner of the museum, mindlessly hired Debbie Schultz, formerly of the Florida Keys SPCA in Key West, to sterilize some of the forty to fifty polydactyls that reside at Hemingway's stately old mansion. She in turn did such a bang-up job that she nearly succeeded in putting an end to a line of cats whose lineage is believed to go all the way back to 1935.

Once he fully realized the extent of the damage that she was doing, Morawski fired her and she retaliated by ratting out the museum to APHIS which responded by dispatching agents to Key West in order to spy on and videotape the cats' activities. About all that they uncovered were cats leaving the compound in order to roam and one of them, Toby, actually being run down and killed by a motorist.

Nevertheless, that was more than sufficient for the agency to demand that the museum either raise the six-foot retaining wall that surrounds the compound or to string an electrified wire across the top of it. It also demanded that the museum either cage or confine the cats as well as to hire a nightwatchman.

Although the museum did spend US$15,000 on a sprinkler system as well as to install a net across the top of the wall, it refused to cage the cats. APHIS responded by refusing to issue it an exhibitor's license and immediately began to fine it US$200 a day for failing to knuckle under to its demands. The exhibitor's license was required because the agency earlier had decreed that the museum was exhibiting cats within the meaning of the AWA.

"They're (APHIS) comparing Hemingway House to a circus or a zoo because there are cats on the premises," the museum's attorney, Cara Higgins, responded in 2006. "This is not a circus. These cats have been here forever."

With the battle lines now drawn, what ensued was nine years of multiple federal court rulings, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and an examination of the cats by Dr. Terry Marie Curtis, a cat behaviorist from the University of Florida in Gainesville. As if all of that were not enough for the museum to contend with, the cats and their caretakers were forced to live with the constant threat of even worse punitive action that could have come down upon their heads at almost any moment.

"There's always a possibility of confiscation," APHIS' Darby Halladay told USA Today on December 26, 2006. (See "The Plot Thickens for Hemingway Cats.") "The likelihood of that occurring, I can't state. But that is a remedy."

The issue finally came to a head on December 7, 2012 when a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta ruled unanimously in favor of, not surprisingly, the government in a case entitled 907 Whitehead Street doing business as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum versus the United States Department of Agriculture, Chester A. Gipson, Deputy Administrator of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. The case turned on how such nebulous terms as "exhibitor" and "distribution" contained in the AWA were to be interpreted and how that they in turn affected interstate commerce.

For its part the museum steadfastly maintained that it was not exhibiting cats and since they are not transported across state lines it most definitely was not involved in interstate commerce. It also argued that the AWA does not authorize federal preemption of a field already regulated by local and state animal protection groups.

One-by-one Chief Judge Joel Frederick Dubina methodically rejected all of the museum's contentions. "The statute is ambiguous on the question of whether 'distribution' includes the display of animals by a fixed-site commercial enterprise," he did concede. "And, given Congress's intent to regulate zoos, which are notably stationary and which could potentially exhibit animals that are neither purchased nor transported in commerce, we cannot see how the Secretary's (of the USDA) interpretation of "exhibitor" is unreasonable."

From there Dubina went on to conclude that the museum was "substantially" involved in interstate commerce because the cats are prominently featured in its advertising materials and that it charges admission to its premises. If Dubina had had the bon sens to have stopped there that would have been god-awful enough but he could not resist the temptation to lay it on even thicker.

"Not withholding our decision, we appreciate the museum's somewhat unique situation, and we sympathize with its frustrations," he gassed. "Nevertheless, it is not the court's role to evaluate the wisdom of federal regulations implemented according to the powers constitutionally vested in Congress."

Therein lies the rub, however, in that the authors of the AWA and those members of Congress who voted it into law never in their wildest dreams ever imagined that one day it would be used by the feds as a legal pretext for them to invade the homes of cats and to regulate the minute details of their everyday lives. Therefore, Dubina's tour de force was strictly a case of judge-made law.

The ruling, quite understandably, left Morawski apoplectic. "I'm still dumbfounded. This is overreach by the federal government," he later said. "We are a local business. Our goods don't go outside of Key West. So how could we be involved in interstate commerce?"

A year earlier on August 12, 2011, Dubina and his colleagues on the bench were not nearly so deferential to congressional intent when they struck down as unconstitutional the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a case entitled State of Florida et al. versus United States Department of Health and Human Services. Taken together, the import of the two rulings is that although Congress cannot force individuals to purchase health insurance, it can regulate the minute care and activities of their cats. So, in the final tally, Obama and his minions won one case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and lost one.

In practical terms, the ruling meant that the museum was forced into purchasing an exhibitor's license and that its cats had to be tagged and individually confined each night in cages with elevated resting areas. It also was forced into hiring a nightwatchman as well as securing its perimeter fence.

"We (the museum and its cats) are now at the whim of the agency (APHIS). It's silliness; it just got insane," Higgins exclaimed in the wake of her humiliating defeat in court. "This is what your tax dollars are paying for. The agents (of APHIS) are coming down here on vacation, going to bars and taking pictures of cats."

On a much broader level, the feds now have a legal mandate to abuse, confiscate, and even possibly kill cats that reside in businesses and, possibly, private homes. Of particular concern are bloggers, authors, veterinarians, breeders, groomers, street performers, libraries, and all other individuals, businesses, and entities that have any dealings with cats while simultaneously taking in any kind of monetary compensation for their activities.

Fortunately, this ruling applies only to the states of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama which make up the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Should the museum appeal this outrageous verdict to the United States Supreme Court in Washington and lose it then would be the law of the land and apply everywhere.

Having already spent in excess of US$200,000 in order to bring the museum into compliance with APHIS's demands plus another US$600,000 in legal fees, the museum at last word had not expressed any appetite for additional legal wranglings but instead was looking into pursuing a legislative remedy. Finally, although Obama was not the president who instigated this insane attack upon Hemingway's polydactyls, he could have put an end to it at any time by reigning in APHIS but since he chose not to do so he is every bit as much to blame for its actions as the agency itself. (See Cat Defender posts of August 3, 2006, January 9, 2007, July 23, 2007, January 24, 2013, and June 2, 2017 entitled, respectively, "The USDA Fines Hemingway Memorial in Key West $200 a Day for Exhibiting Papa's Polydactyl Cats Without a License," "Papa Hemingway's Polydactyl Cats Face New Threats from Both the USDA and Their Caretakers," "Cat Behaviorist Is Summoned to Key West in Order to Help Determine the Fate of Hemingway's Polydactyls," "The Feds Now Have Cats and Their Owners Exactly Where They Want Them Thanks to an Outrageous Court Ruling Targeting the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West," and "Martha Gellhorn Is Locked Up for Ten Days after Biting a Tourist in the Latest Calamity to Befall Ernest Hemingway's Star-Crossed Polydactyls.")

4.) The Smithsonian Institution Got Away with Attempting to Poison a TNR Colony.

 Nico Dauphiné

On May 11, 2011, agents of the Washington Humane Society (WHS) caught Nico Dauphiné, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center, putting antifreeze and rat poison in the food dishes of cats belonging to a TNR colony in Washington's Meridian Hill Park. Her arrest came after poison first had been found in the cats' food dishes in March but it never has been publicly acknowledged how many cats that she may have killed.

There never was any doubt about her guilt because she had been captured on video surveillance cameras putting out the poison. Nevertheless, she steadfastly refused to resign and the zoo stood firmly behind her all the way to the bitter end of the road.

"We know what she's doing would in no way jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife, so we feel perfectly comfortable that she continue her research," the zoo's Pamela Baker-Masson said in the aftermath of Dauphiné's arrest. C'est-à-dire, the Smithsonian Institution, of which the zoo is an integral part, fully supported her poisoning of the cats.

The WHS's Scott Giacoppo was not so easily convinced, however. "If she did this, then we naturally would be concerned about her being around all animals. Whoever would do such a thing is a threat to animals," he declared. "It's (poisoning) a slow and painful death. It was callous and complete disregard for animals' well-being."

On October 31st, she was convicted in a bench trial presided over by Judge Truman A. Morrison III of the District of Columbia Superior Court. That turned out to be a pyrrhic victory for cat-lovers, however, because on December 14th he sentenced her to a measly US$100 fine, which is about what a parking ticket costs nowadays in the nation's capital.

Even in meting out that very polite tap on the wrists Morrison was far more concerned about jeopardizing her budding career as a cat killer than he was with either dispensing justice or protecting the lives of innocent cats. "This is a serious offense, more serious than many misdemeanors," he mindlessly gassed before demonstrating writ large his true sentiments. "Her career is now in grave jeopardy and will never be what it was before she was prosecuted and convicted."

In making such an asinine proclamation Morrison quite obviously was lamely attempting to put a pretty face on a simply outrageous miscarriage of justice. First of all, no one even remotely connected to the Smithsonian ever uttered so much as a contrary word against either Dauphiné or her patently criminal activites.

Secondly, not a solitary ornithologist or wildlife biologist ever condemned her behavior. Au contraire, they wrote letters to Morrison proclaiming to the high heavens her total innocence and likely also donated money for her defense. The bulk of the enormous legal tab that she ran up at two high-powered law firms, however, most likely was footed by the taxpayers.

She has been keeping a low profile since her conviction but it would be a shock if she had not returned to either academia or an institution similar to the Smithsonian. She is, after all, a hero to ornithologists and wildlife biologists and birds of a feather normally flock together.

The capitalist media and just about everyone else soon forgot all about this cause cèlébre and that was a huge mistake because its dénouement left unanswered a slew of issues concerning how that the Smithsonian treats cats. In particular, at the National Zoo Dauphiné was fitting domestic felines with video cameras in order to record their interactions with birds and other wildlife.

It never was explained, however, where that the National Zoo gets the cats that it turns into guinea pigs, how that it treats them and, most importantly of all, what happens to them once Dauphiné and her cronies have sucked all the blood that they can out of them. The most probable answer to the first question is that they are supplied by the same firms that peddle cats to vivisectors.

As far as their treatment is concerned, Dauphiné and her colleagues most likely horribly abuse them and may even starve them so that when they are turned loose they are eager to hunt and thereby unwittingly supply their gaolers with enough data in order to hang the entire species. It therefore goes almost without saying that it is highly unlikely that any cat ever has escaped from the Smithsonian alive because any institution that would poison them in the street is not about to spare any of them that it already has securely locked up in cages.

Besides, Dauphiné is an old hand when it comes to killing cats. For instance, while she was studying at the University of Georgia in Athens she trapped dozens, if not indeed hundreds, of cats that she in turn gave to shelters in order to kill. Furthermore, it is a good bet that she was poisoning cats there just as she was doing in Washington.

"Wild animals are just as important as companion animals," Giacoppo declared. "This case shows that whether or not an animal is in someone's lap or in the alley, they are entitled to the same protections."

Regrettably, his highfalutin rhetoric has not been matched by any corresponding action. In particular, the WHS has adamantly refused to investigate how that the zoo treats not only cats but the other two-thousand animals that it has unjustly incarcerated not only in Washington but Front Royal, Virginia, as well.

In recent years, for example, its head veterinarian has been accused of falsifying records and it is known that, inter alia, a red panda died after it accidentally ingested rat poison, a red fox killed a bald eagle, a three-year-old Sulawesi macaque named Ripley was killed by an hydraulic door, and as Asian elephant named Toni was intentionally killed off. Moreover, zoos all over the world are notorious for promoting inbreeding as well as trafficking in their so-called surplus species.

Those that are aged, sickly, and simply of no longer any monetary value to them are either publicly dissected or systematically killed off and the National Zoo is most assuredly guilty of those and other offenses as well. (See the Ottawa Citizen, February 20, 2014, "Killing of Marius the Giraffe at Danish Zoo Too Much to Stomach," The Independent of London, February 27, 2014, "Zoos in Europe 'Kill Five-Thousand Healthy Animals a Year'," the BBC, March 25, 2014, "Danish Zoo That Culled Giraffe Kills Family of Lions," and the Daily Mail, October 15, 2015, "Children Gasp in Shock (and Hold Their Noses) as Lion's Intestines Are Removed During Controversial Public Dissection at Danish Zoo.")

Dauphiné's boss at the Migratory Bird Center was Peter P. Marra and last year his comrades-in-arms at Princeton University published his scurrilous new tome, Cat War: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. In that long-winded piece of unabashed drivel and outright lies, he argues that all cats that venture outdoors should be killed by "any means necessary" and that in turn makes it all but conclusive that he not only was aware of Dauphiné's nefarious activities but approved of them as well. (See WABE, 90.11 FM of Atlanta, September 29, 2016, "Stakes Grow Higher in Cat-Bird Wars.")

This egomaniac even had the unmitigated gall to go on a book tour, financed by the taxpayers no doubt, to England last year but he did not receive the kind of welcome that he had anticipated. "To pick on cats for killing birds is speciesism and elitism, a very dangerous cocktail indeed," Liz Jones warned in the Daily Mail on September 24th. (See "It's Not Just Cats That Should Be Culled -- It's Ignorant Men.") "Dr. Marra sounds about as intelligent as the designer Michael Kors who, when I asked how he could countenance using fur in his designs, told me he had just been on safari and seen big cats killing prey. He couldn't differentiate between humans causing immense suffering in the name of vanity and a wild animal feeding her family..."

Cat activist Celia Hammond was even blunter. "Go away, Dr. Marra," she told the Daily Mail. "Cats bring pleasure to the majority of people in this country. We are not interested in your ailurophobic views."

It is just too bad that there are not any individuals and groups in the United States with the guts to tell Marra and the Smithsonian, the American Bird Conservancy, the National Audubon Society, and the feds the same thing. It certainly is long overdue.

In addition to Marra, the Smithsonian's department of agit-prop boasts the services of Abigail Tucker who likes to pass herself off as somewhat of a savant when it comes to cats. Even so much as a cursory glance at her unctuous scribblings, however, reveals her to be nothing more than an outrageous liar who, like Marra, has absolutely no use whatsoever for the truth.

"Ten-thousand years after their ancestors invaded our Fertile Crescent settlements, house cats -- trailing our armies and sailing on our ships -- have spread like dandelion fluff," she bellowed in defense of the woodrats in the Florida Keys in an article written for the October of 2016 edition of Smithsonian Magazine . (See "To Save the Woodrat, Conservationists Have to Deal with an Invasive Species First: House Cats.")

First of all, according to most archaeologists cats are indigenous to the Middle East and surrounding areas. Consequently, Old Thingumajig Tucker cannot have it both ways; that is, she cannot claims that they are an invasive species everywhere.

Secondly, the Fertile Crescent never has belonged to her, the Smithsonian, or Americans. Thirdly, it is utterly preposterous for her to claim that cats voluntarily vacated their homelands in order to dutifully follow their imperialistic and capitalistic exploiters. On the contrary, they were uprooted from their homes and forcibly transported to the far corners of the globe.

They accordingly are the victims of militaristic and economic imperialism and Tucker, who looks like something that has been squeezed out of a tube of hemorrhoidal ointment and then pissed on by a mule, can lie her ugly little face off until the cows come home but it is not going to change that incontrovertible fact. The Australians, New Zealanders, and the South Africans long have gotten away with their despicable crimes against cats by spouting such rubbish but it is not about to pass intellectual muster in this country.

Fourthly, Tucker claims that cats are so fertile that just a pair of them is capable of producing three-hundred-fifty-four-thousand-two-hundred-ninety-four descendants within the short span of five years. That is another of her outrageous lies that has been around for seemingly forever.

By comparison, the Math Department at the University of Washington in Seattle puts that number at a considerably more conservative one-hundred to four-hundred over a seven-year period. (See The Feral Cat Times, February of 2006, "How Many Kittens in Seven Years?")

It would be higher, however, if it were not for birds of prey, wildlife, ornithologists, and wildlife biologists killing them. Fifthly, while she busily was laying on the lies with a trowel Old Talkative Tucker endorsed the Smithsonian's widely discredited 2013 study that ludicrously claimed that American cats kill between two and four billion birds as well as between seven and twenty-one billion mammals each year.

Sixthly, this self-professed authority on cats ludicrously claims that even tiny kittens are mega predators. "Even kittens know how to kill. Diligent feline mothers teach kittens to hunt starting at just a few weeks of age by bringing them live prey, if it's available," she wrote in the Smithsonian Magazine article cited supra. "But if no mother is around, kittens still figure out how to stalk and pounce."

Rarely has such a load of absolute crap ever been passed off as the unvarnished truth! To begin with, kittens do not even open their eyes until they are at least ten days old and it is several weeks later until they are able to use their legs. More to the point, they do not start to acquire teeth until they are around two months old and even then they do not get all thirty of their adult teeth until they reach the age of six months or so. They accordingly are unable to eat anything of substance, let alone meat, even if their mothers were to be foolish enough to present it to them.

Kittens therefore rely solely upon their mothers' milk in order to survive for the first eight to twelve weeks of their lives. Moreover, some cats do not wean their kittens until a full twelve months after they were born. Once their mothers wean them however, they transfer that dependence to their human caretakers; no hunting is involved. If their mothers should be either trapped or killed by the likes of Tucker and her colleagues at the Smithsonian, they do not magically learn "how to stalk and pounce" but rather they die of starvation and that usually occurs within forty-eight hours.

Furthermore, mother cats, whether in the wild or in a domestic setting, do not teach their kittens how to hunt; rather, that skill is innate. To be more precise, it is not so much a hunting skill as it is a love of chasing things that move. On the other hand, if what Tucker and others claims were true cats certainly would possess more intelligence than to waste time and energy chasing strings and the light emitted by lasers and other objects.

It strains credulity that someone who claims to have graduated summa cum laude from Harvard could possibly be as bloody stupid as Tucker lets on to be and that in turn leads to the alternative conclusion that she is rather an outrageous liar. On the other hand, since reportedly ninety-four per cent of the students at her old Beantown degree mill are rewarded with A's by their professors, it is entirely possible that almost any halfwit on campus would be regarded as a genius. Au royaume des aveugles, les borgnes sont roi.

Finally, there cannot be any doubt that Obama not only was aware of the Smithsonian's crimes against cats but approved of them as well. For instance, Morrell John Berry not only worked at the Smithsonian during the 1990's but returned as director of the National Zoo from 2005 to 2009.

Obama later appointed him as United States ambassador to Australia in 2013 and he served in that capacity through 2016. While doing so, he not only wholeheartedly endorsed Greg Hunt's mass eradication of cats but praised his "leadership position" on wildlife preservation. (See Town Hall of Salem Communications, August 17, 2015, "Environmentalists Kill Millions of Cats and Birds.")

Berry most recently parlayed that experience into getting himself appointed as president of the American Australian Association in New York. Proving that he is man for all seasons, he joined Donald John Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull May 4th aboard the USS Intrepid, a museum ship moored in the Hudson River, in order to commemorate the 1942 Battle of Coral Sea.

In human affairs, it is seldom the crème de la crème that rises to the top but rather the flotsam and jetsam of the human race. (See the New York Post, May 4, 2017, "Teens Who Joined Forces Seventy-Five Years Ago Reunite in New York for Salute by Prez and PM.")

Finally, the Smithsonian receives around a billion dollars each year from the taxpayers and part of that goes toward abusing, killing, and defaming cats. That, along with its huge appropriations for operating two zoos, desperately needs to be eliminated. In May of this year, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus finally went out of business and it accordingly is long overdue for Congress to get out of the business of operating zoos.

If the institution wishes to engage in such abhorrent and morally repulsive activities it should be willing to finance them out of its own pockets. Even more importantly, if the WHS had any backbone it would hold it accountable under the anti-cruelty statutes. (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.")

5.) The National Park Service Cruelly Evicted Thirty-Three Cats from Plum Beach.

The NPS' Eviction Notice

Of all the dirty, spiteful, and underhanded deeds that Obama and his fellow criminals committed against cats none perhaps was more repulsive than the National Park Service's (NPS) cruel eviction of a TNR colony from Plum Beach, Brooklyn, in June of 2014. The eviction was served June 8th in the form of signs posted at the entrance to the area.

The NPS gave the cats' caretakers five days in order to remove their feeding stations and winterized shelters and if that was not done it vowed to steal them. Likewise, if the cats were not removed it pledged to trap and dump them at a shelter.

"At this point, our plans are to take those structures down and try to round up the cats and take them to a city shelter," the agency's Daphne Yun threatened in no uncertain terms. Quite obviously, neither she nor anyone else connected to the NPS has any use whatsoever for the just compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which explicitly bars the federal government from seizing private property without first obtaining a legal mandate from the courts and even then only after paying the injured party just compensation.

Far more importantly, if the cats had wound up at a shelter they almost certainly would have been killed. "They (the cats) get five days before they put them down," Nancy Rogers of K9 Kastle of Brooklyn, which cared for them, pointed out the obvious.

In defense of its outrageous edict, the NPS trotted out the old familiar and time-worn litany of lies that have become the bread and butter of seemingly all ornithologists and wildlife biologists. First of all, it claimed that they were a threat to shorebirds, small mammals, and reptiles. Secondly, it claimed that they are an invasive species. Thirdly, it alleged that their presence on all federal lands is illegal.

"For a national park to have any exotic species that could pose a threat to native wildlife is a direct conflict with national law," the NPS' Doug Adamo bellowed. "It is conservatively estimated that one billion birds (are) killed by domestic cats in the United States alone."

While it is true that as a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Plum Beach falls within the NPS' legal mandate to govern fifty-nine parks as well as three-hundred-forty-two national monuments, conservation areas, and historical sites, Congress never has explicitly declared cats to be either an invasive species or to have ordered their ouster from all public lands. The decision to remove those living in Plum Beach therefore was made by the NPS and Obama without so much as a scintilla of legal authority.

The timing of the cats' ouster also is peculiar in that they had been living in Plum Beach for eleven years. Although the NPS ludicrously claimed that it only recently had learned of their presence, it quite obviously was either lying or blind. For instance, the United States Army Corps of Engineers certainly was not only well aware of their presence but made sure that their caretakers had access to parts of Plum Beach that had been fenced off while it was rebuilding areas of it that had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The volunteers fed and watered the cats every day, provided them with shelters, and Carolyn Euvino even spent US$30,00 of her own money in order to have them sterilized. Every bit as importantly, there never had been any complaints from residents concerning their presence.

"These cats have been here for years," Rogers summed up. "They bother no one."

They additionally performed a valuable public service free of charge. "Do you know there's a rat problem in New York City?" Janelle Barabash of Midwood asked rhetorically. "(Do) you know where there's not a rat problem? Plum Beach."

Merely attending to their everyday needs proved to be beneficial for some of their dedicated caretakers. "It's like therapy for me -- I was in Vietnam," Joe Destefan of Bay Ridge testified. "I still go to group (therapy), but this helps a lot."

Rogers and K9 Kastle did what they could in order to defend the cats but in the end they proved not to be much of a match for an enemy as well financed, armed and, above all, thoroughly ruthless and unscrupulous as the NPS. "We all came down to the reality that no matter how much we fought, these cats are not going to be able to stay where they are," she concluded.

It therefore became crystal clear to her that if the cats were to go on living they had to be relocated elsewhere but even that was impossible under the tight deadline set by NPS. "It took a year and a half to trap and spay or neuter the population," she protested. "I don't know how Doug (Adamo) thinks we'll do this in eight (sic) days."

Like an old miser counting his precious pennies, Adamo at first decided to extend the eviction mandate until June 20th. When that proved to be insufficient, he grudgingly advanced his eviction timetable until June 30th.

Even with the extra time allotted them, the enormity of the task that confronted Rogers and her helpers cannot in any way be underestimated. First of all, each of the cats had to be trapped and then temporarily warehoused in Rogers' garage.

Some way and somehow she was fortunate enough to locate a farm "south of the city" that was willing to accept the cats provided that they were up-to-date on their vaccinations and that necessitated a trip to a local veterinarian for all of them. Finally, they had to be driven to their new home.

The entire exercise was expected to have cost K9 Kastle US$3,000 but the charity was able to raise US$2,535 of that amount via an online appeal. It is not known for certain, but more than likely it is still on the hook for the cost of the cats' continued care in their new home.

Hopefully, Rogers was able to remove all thirty-three of the cats but press reports at the time could only confirm that twenty of them had been successfully trapped and spirited to safety. Needless to say, any that were left behind were promptly killed by the NPS and that also is destined to be the fate of any newcomers that are dumped there in the future by their equally unconscionable owners.

Absolutely nothing has been disclosed about how that the cats are getting on at their new home but every day that they persevere serves as a rather poignant repudiation of the NPS and its cat-killing agenda. In that same vein, not enough can be said about the herculean job that Rogers and her colleagues did in getting them out of Plum Beach alive.

Finally, the cavalier fashion with which the NPS treated the cats and their caretakers stands in stark juxtaposition to how that it and its sister agency within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management, dealt with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in April of that same year. Most memorably, when agents from both services showed up in order to seize his cows in settlement of the millions of dollars that he owed them in unpaid grazing fees dating back to the 1990's, they quickly turned tail and ran like scalded hounds when he and his militiamen drew down on them.

By 2016, however, the feds had regained some of their nerve as they amply demonstrated by training their dogs, rubber bullets, and water cannons on members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters who were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It accordingly can be safely concluded that the feds are not only inveterate liars and criminals but rank cowards as well.

That is to say, those animals and individuals that are unable to defend themselves and their interests, such as cats, their owners, and Native Americans, are fair game for almost any form of abuse and tyranny whereas armed criminals and well-heeled crooks, such as Bundy and the Wall Street crowd, are given a wide berth by the feds. (See Cat Defender post of August 7, 2014 entitled "The National Park Service Racks Up a Major Victory by Expelling the Plum Beach Cats but It Is Thwarted in Its Burning Desire to Dance a Merry Little Jig on Their Graves.")

6.) Wildlife Services Killed Thousands of Cats in 2016.

A Rare White Wolf with a Radio Collar

Few individuals ever have so much as heard of it but nonetheless the USDA's Wildlife Services is the nation's designated death squad in that it annually exterminates between two and five million animals. In fulfillment of its congressional mandate, it has appropriated for its use seemingly every hideous method of killing imaginable.

For example, it guns down animals not only on the ground but also from airplanes and helicopters. Both leghold and body-gripper traps are integral parts of its arsenal of death. So, too are poisons such as sodium monofluoroacetate (1080), drowning, asphyxiation, and starvation. It even has spring-loaded, sweet-smelling M-44 cyanide land mines at its disposal.

The principal beneficiaries of the agency's professional killers are farmers, ranchers, airports, golf course operators, and municipal, county, and state authorities. At times when it is not busy doing the bidding of the capitalists it lends its expertise to ornithologists and wildlife biologists aligned with the USFWS in order to extirpate cats and other species that it either does not like or can get away with killing. (See Cat Defender post of September 14, 2005 entitled "The USDA's Wildlife Services Exterminates Millions of Animals Each Year at the Behest of Capitalists.")

In 2016, for instance, it exterminated two-million-seven-hundred-thousand animals including one-million-six-hundred-thousand native species. That in itself puts the lie to feds' often repeated mantra that they only kill exotic species and dearly cherish those that are native. If the truth dare to be told, they gladly will kill almost any animal.

The data supplied by the agency are believed to be not only gross underestimates but they are difficult to decipher as well. For instance, in its Program Data Report for G-2016, Wildlife Services admits to killing five-hundred-sixty-six cats. It also claims to have trapped and freed six-hundred-eighty others but the report neglects to define what that entailed. In particular, "freed" could mean only that they were turned over to shelters to be killed.

It likewise claims to have dispersed four-hundred-sixty-seven more but, once again, the agency fails to disclose what it means by that. More importantly, it does not disclose where that they were relocated.

Considering just how ingrained hatred of cats is within the entire federal bureaucracy, it is difficult to believe that Wildlife Services ever would spare the life of any cat that it had successfully trapped. Taken altogether, the agency in all probability killed in excess of seventeen-hundred cats last year.

It additionally admits to killing nine-hundred-ninety-seven bobcats, trapping and releasing twenty-four as well as dispersing nine others. It also mowed down three-hundred-thirty-four cougars.

Other than cats, Wildlife Services killed four-hundred-fifteen wolves. It also liquidated seventy-six-thousand-nine-hundred-sixty-three coyotes, four-hundred-seven black bears, twenty-one-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four beavers, three-thousand-seven-hundred-ninety-one foxes, and fourteen-thousand-six-hundred-fifty-four prairie dogs.

Ever since Chesley Sullenberger ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River back in 2009 it has been open season on Canadian geese and that deadly and utterly barbaric trend continued during 2016. Specifically, Wildlife Services rounded up and gassed twenty-two-thousand-three-hundred, eighty-eight of these majestic birds. It also trapped and freed two-thousand-five-hundred-eighteen more of them as well as having dispersed an astounding five-hundred-seven-thousand-fifty-four additional members of the species.

Pigs also were on the receiving end of the agency's unquenchable thirst for innocent blood in that it killed fifty-six-thousand-eight-hundred-fifty-five of these highly intelligent animals. Three-hundred-fourteen of them were trapped and freed while an additional eighty-nine were dispersed.

Once again, Obama either could have directed the service to have ceased with these senseless slaughters or simply stripped it of its funding but he, typically, sat idly by and did absolutely nothing. He also could have leaned heavily on the states, which also have their own animal killers, to put away their guns and poisons as well as to outlaw all recreational hunting.

7.) The United States Military Continued to Kill Thousands of Cats Each Year.

A Young Boy Attempts to Save His Animals from the Fighting in Mosul

"...the cruelest, most terrible, most cynical, most murderous empire that has existed," is how former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez described the United States a few years before his untimely death. By even saying that much he grossly understated the case in that he failed to take into consideration the simply abominable crimes that Americans inflict upon cats, other animals, and Mother Earth.

As everyone already knows, the United States is currently engaged in armed conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia but that is far from being the complete story. In particular, it is believed to have Special Operations Forces, primarily Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs, on the ground in another one-hundred-twenty-eight countries. (See The Nation, September 24, 2015, "How Many Wars Is the United States Really Fighting?")

The greatest damage is done, however, by the bombs and missiles that the Air Force and Navy indiscriminately and criminally drop on the heads of civilians, such as those recently killed in Mosul, groups such as Medicins sans frontiére, and umpteen scores of cats and other animals. Given that human lives count for absolutely nothing as far as the bloodthirsty American imperialists are concerned, it is almost superfluous to point out that the lives of cats and other animals count for even less than that; instead, all of them are lumped together under the rubric of collateral damage and then conveniently assigned to the dust bin of history.

Even far removed from the combat theatres, the lives of just about all cats are not worth so much as a plugged nickel. At the more than six-thousand military bases at home as well as the more than eight-hundred of them that operate on foreign soil, cats are routinely trapped and killed and it makes little difference whether they have been cruelly abandoned by military personnel, wander in on their own, or are dumped outside the gates.

Still others are shot on sight. For example, on April 28, 2009 a one-year-old bobtailed tom named Yellow Two was shot by a pest control officer and left for dead after he unknowingly wandered into Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

If his owner, Herman Wright, had not overheard the report of the gunshot and raced to the scene he surely would have died of his injuries. Even as things eventually turned out, the damage inflicted upon him was debilitating enough in its own right. (See Cat Defender post of July 16, 2009 entitled "Yellow Two Is Shot and Maimed for Life in the United States Army's Latest Criminal Offense Against Cats.")

In late 2001, Central Command issued General Order 1-A (GO-1A) mandating that all non-working animals in combat zones be exterminated and at along about that same time Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark ordered that all bases under his purview promptly get rid of their cats and dogs. (See the Humane Society of the United States' press release of May 27, 2005, "United States Military Treats Stray Dogs and Cats Befriended by Troops as Enemies of State.")

Whenever the military wearies of killing them itself, it outsources their extermination to mercenaries such as the Haliburton subsidiary of Kellogg, Brown, and Root as well as the Filipinos. In places like Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers gun down dogs, and presumably cats as well, on sight.

At the United States naval base in Rota, Spain, sailors poison cats with antifreeze and suffocate kittens in plastic bags. (See the Stars and Stripes, April 28, 2004, "Navy Policy Has Compounded Problem of Stray Cats at Rota, Some Say" and RT Television of Washington, June 7, 2016, "United States Navy Accused of 'Disappearing' Cats in Spain.")

At the long-running gulag that the Navy operates at Guantánamo Bay, one-hundred-eighty-six cats were killed during 2016. It is not known, however, if that tally is indicative of the average number of them that are killed each year because the Navy only grudgingly coughed up that information after it was served with an order to divulge under the Freedom of Information Act. (See the Miami Herald, April 19, 2017, "Guantánamo Base Kills Plan to Save Feral Cats.")

As if the Pentagon did not have enough firepower and poisons at its disposal in order to eliminate every cat from the face of the earth, it also counts among its hired guns the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Already charged with managing two-hundred-eighty-four lakes and reservoirs, six-hundred-nine dams, two-hundred-fifty-seven navigational locks at two-hundred-twelve locations, nine-hundred-twenty-six coasts and inland harbors, and thirty-eight-thousand-seven-hundred acres of wetlands as well as various projects in ninety foreign countries, the agency in recent years has added evicting and killing cats to its mandate.

For instance, in March of 2008 it gave the managers of a TNR colony residing in West Bank Park at Lake Lanier, seventy-nine kilometers north of Atlanta, one week in order to remove the thirty to one-hundred cats under their care. As far as those that remained behind were concerned, the USACE vowed to trap and give them to a shelter to kill.

"From a health standpoint, from a safety standpoint, from a natural resources standpoint, a large colony of cats on a small twenty-eight-acre park that's the most visited recreational area on Lake Lanier, just doesn't work for us," the agency's Chris Lovejoy decreed.

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

Unpersuaded to say the least, Lovejoy retailed by trotting out every libel and slander that he could think of about cats. "The other side is they carry diseases that are harmful to pregnant women. They're a vector for rabies," he added. "Not to mention the fact that there are kids in the park by the hundreds on holiday weekend, any given weekend, and it takes just one time for that cat to get trapped or penned in some place and it attacks someone."

That load of absolute balderdash was just too much for Carmela Quinlan, one of the cats' longtime caretakers, to stomach. "They don't pose a threat to anyone," she retorted. "They're not a threat to humans. They're afraid of humans." (See Cat Defender post of April 17, 2010 entitled "Lake Lanier's Cats Face an Uncertain Future Following Their Ouster by the Liars and Defamers at the United States Army Corps of Engineers.")

Under the authority vested in him as commander and chief, Obama could have taken in interest in these matters and ordered the Department of Defense to have spared the lives of cats and other animals both at home and abroad but he instead deliberately chose to turn a blind eye to his soldiers' despicable crimes. That in turn makes him their accomplice and as such exposes him as just another morally bankrupt bum.

8.) Cats Were No Longer Welcome to Use the United States Post Office in Notasulga.


For more than a decade, an orange cat named Sammy was a regular feature at the post office in Notasulga, Alabama, where he would nap on a front table and greet patrons. All was fine until January of 2009 when an unidentified woman demanded that he be given the bum's rush.

In defense of her ultimatum, she argued not only that he does not pay taxes but that he also once assaulted her. Finally, she claimed that he had to go because she is allergic to cats.

In pursuance of that objective, she rang up postmistress Carolyn Hood and gave her a good raking over the coals. "She acted very ugly on the phone with me," the object of her ire later divulged. "I told her I'd do everything I could to keep the cat outside."

True to her word, Old Hood caved in quicker than a sod roof in a downpour. "Sammy (the post office cat) is no longer allowed in this building due to a customer complaint," she wrote in a notice that she posted on the front door. "Thanks for your help."

To their credit, Sammy's supporters remained loyal and refused to knuckle under to Hood's edict. In an effort to legitimize his presence, Elizabeth Averrett and Louise Pratt even went so far as to take out a post office box in his name. Once his plight had become known, letters of support, food parcels, toys, money, and gift certificates poured in from his numerous supporters around the country.

"Sammy's got more friends in Notasulga than any other individual I know," legendary Auburn University football coach Pat Dye declared. "We ain't worried about football. We're worried about the cat."

For a while it looked as if Sammy and his supporters might somehow be able to prevail. "But the town went crazy after the sign went up," Hood acknowledged. "They call (Sammy) in here more than ever now."

In the end, however, he had to go and the United States Postal Service's edict can only be viewed as another example of the feds' all-out war on cats, the first such step of which is to completely eliminate them from all federal properties. After that, they plan on eliminating them from state and private properties as well. (See Cat Defender post of February 11, 2009 entitled "The United States Postal Service Knuckles Under to the Threats and Lies of a Cat-Hater and Gives Sammy the Boot.")

9.) The USFWS and Its Associates Killed Off America's Last Jaguar, Macho B.

Macho B. Fitted with a Bulky Radio Collar

In addition to the large number of cougars and bobcats that Wildlife Services and others, both inside and outside of federal and state governments, liquidate each year, the USFWS killed off America's last remaining jaguar on March 2, 2009. The cat originally had been snared in a leghold trap south of Tucson and near the Mexican border on February 18th by agents of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD).

On that occasion, he had been examined and bodily fluids and tissues were stolen from him for analysis. He also was fitted with a bulky radio collar and then released.

He shortly thereafter was darted again on March 2nd and the decision to end his life was made by the USFWS in consultation with the AGFD and the Phoenix Zoo where he had been taken after his second capture. Considering the financial bonanza that no less than nine institutions and individuals reaped by later trafficking in his fur, bones, and bodily fluids, he clearly was worth considerably more to the so-called conservationists dead than alive. (See Cat Defender post of May 21, 2009 entitled "Macho B., America's Last Jaguar, Is Illegally Trapped, Radio-Collared, and Killed Off by Wildlife Biologists in Arizona.")

In recent years, at least three jaguars, including one dubbed El Jefe, have been spotted in the Arizona-New Mexico area but their quest to reclaim the territory that was stolen from their ancestors long ago is being thwarted by, inter alia, motorists, hunters, the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine, and Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border. (See the Silver City Sun-News, July 5, 2016, "Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Files Notice of Intent to Sue to Protect El Jefe's Territory" and the Arizona Daily Star of Tucson, March 2, 2017, "Another Jaguar Discovery in Southern Arizona Adds to Border-Wall Debate.")

In Maine, it is the rare Canada Lynx that is under threat. On November 4, 2014, the USFWS issued a permit to allow both private individuals as well as state agents to trap lynxes.

Although the cats are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a total of seventy of them were trapped in Maine between 1999 and 2012. Some of them sustained injuries but it is not known if any of them were killed. (See CBD press release of November 4, 2014, "Feds Approve Maine Trapping Plan Allowing Rare Canada Lynx to Be Harmed, Killed" and the Portland Press Herald, August 17, 2015, "Wildlife Groups Sue to Stop Maine's Trapping Season to Protect Canada Lynx.")

The Obama Administration also did little or nothing in order to protect the fewer than one-hundred ocelots that remain in Texas and Arizona. (See CBD press release of May 26, 2016, "Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Cats in Arizona, Texas from Government Killing" and Cat Defender post of July 26, 2007 entitled "Tottering on the Brink of Extinction, Texas Ocelots Must Overcome a Myriad of Obstacles If They Are Going to Survive.")

The situation is even direr for the fifty or so Florida Panthers that remain in the wild and captive-bred lions that are slaughtered for the dinner table. (See The Ledger of Lakeland, June 19, 2017, "Endangered Florida Panther Killed by Car; Fifteenth Death This Year" and Living on Earth, May 20, 2011, "Lion Meat, Anyone?")

10.) Obama Reneged on a Pledge to Adopt a Shelter Animal.

The New York Times and National Public Radio Love Kitten Killers

During the 2008 presidential campaign both Obama and his wife, Michele, pledged to adopt a shelter animal if elected. Once in office, however, they completely forgot about that promise and since then never have uttered so much as a syllable concerning the plight of the millions of cats and dogs that are exterminated each year by shelters and veterinarians.

Furthermore, as far as it is known the only cat that Obama came face-to-face with during his eight years in office was Gli of Hagia Sophia whom he met during a trip to Istanbul in April of 2009. He possibly could have run into Larry when he paid an ill-advised visit to 10 Downing Street last summer in an effort to mobilize support against Brexit but that is by no means certain. (See YouTube video, April 7, 2009, "Obama Visits Hagia Sophia Church.")

Even more egregiously, his much ballyhooed ACA completely omits any reference, let along offering any assistance, to ailing and injured companion animals. He, like everyone else on the planet, is surely aware that the exorbitant fees demanded by veterinarians are responsible for untold unnecessary deaths each year. Also, sky-high sterilization fees are, arguably, the number one force driving pet overpopulation.

There is not much to report on the positive side of the ledger but in 2015 the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, did belatedly issue a warning concerning Flurbiprofen but even that did not come until after the topical analgesic had killed at least three cats and induced renal failure in two others. (See FDA press release of April 17, 2015, "Flurbiprofen Containing Topical Pain Medications: FDA Alert -- Illnesses and Deaths in Pets Exposed to Prescription Topical Pain Medication.")

Whereas the FDA under Obama is to be commended for finally alerting cat owners to the dangers posed by Flurbiprofen, it blotted its copybook by failing to look into the toxicity of implanted microchips. (See Cat Defender posts of September 21, 2007 and November 6, 2010 entitled, respectively, "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's Time for Digital Angel® and Merck to Answer for Their Crimes in a Court of Law.")

In May of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally was able to prevail upon Reckitt Benckisor to stop selling d-CON to consumers. Over the course of several decades, the second-generation anticoagulent rodenticides contained in it have killed, both intentionally as well as unintentionally, countless cats, dogs, and wildlife. (See the Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2014, "Maker of Powerful Rat Poison Will Cease Production in July" and Earth Justice of San Francisco's press release of May 30, 2014, "d-CON Agrees to Pull Super-Toxic Rat Poisons from Stores.")

This poison was supposed to have been removed from retailers' shelves by the middle of 2015 but it still can be found to this very day at ShopRite and, presumably, other stores as well. While it is entirely conceivable that it has been watered-down in order to pass EPA muster, rat poison is still a deadly killer and contaminates the environment regardless of its potency.

That which is not in dispute is that the EPA has allowed Reckitt Benckiser to continue to market its original product to farmers, exterminators, landscapers, and real estate managers. As a consequence, cougars, coyotes, foxes, hawks, raccoons, black bears, and fishers are continuing to be poisoned to death by it.

In fact, the actual number of poisonings have increased, not decreased, since the EPA's ban went into effect. (See KCET-TV of Burbank, January 24, 2017, "Despite Ban, Rat Poison Still Sickening Mountain Lions.")

On December 9, 2010, Obama signed into law a bill that outlawed crush videos. Although these perverse videos depict all sorts of animal abuse, one of the more popular genres feature naked women in razor-sharp stiletto heels stomping to death kittens and puppies.

Legislative and executive action was needed because the numbskulls who sit on the United States Supreme Court earlier in United States versus Stevens, 559 US 460 (2010) had upheld their constitutionality under the First Amendment in an eight to one majority opinion. Not surprisingly, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Outdoor Writers Association filed amicus curiae briefs with the court in support of the kitten and puppy killers.

Ironically, Obama cannot even take credit for putting an end to that odious business because the bill, both in its original as well as amended form, was introduced by Elton Gallegly, a Republican congressman from California who represented Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Regrettably, he threw in the towel in 2012 and is no longer in politics.

11.) Obama Also Gave the Cold Shoulder to Wildlife, Lab Animals, and Livestock.

Mustangs Are Rounded Up for Eviction and, in Some Cases, Slaughter

The issues impacting upon the lives of wildlife, research animals, and livestock are so numerous and nuanced that is difficult to give them anything other than a cursory review. Even so, there can be little doubt that Obama could have cared less whether they lived or died.

When it comes to wildlife, his most enduring legacy will be that of the president who sanctioned the brutal gunning down of more than four-thousand gray, and few rare white, wolves between 2011 and 2017. Declared extinct in the continental United States in 1948, several of them were imported from Canada during the Clinton Administration and reintroduced into several western states.

In 2011, the USFWS stripped the vast majority of them of their protections under the ESA and since then it has been open season on them by the likes of Wildlife Services, state wildlife officials, and hunters. Even worse, they are killed by some of the most hateful methods imaginable.

For instance, should cyanide traps fail to kill them, they are hunted down by marksmen in airplanes and helicopters. They bravely attempt to outrun their pursuers but there is not any way that they can escape thanks to the tracking signals being emitted by the bulky radio-collars that they are forced to wear around their necks. Their plight not only is sad and reprehensible but a harbinger of what is in store for mankind in a not-too-distant surveillance society.

In eastern North Carolina, as few as forty-five red wolves remain alive in the wild. The USFWS all but abandoned plans for their recovery in 2014 and since then illegal hunting has been decimating their ranks. (See CBD press release of April 25, 2016, "Reward for Information on Red Wolf Killing Comes Six Months Too Late" and The Star Ledger of Newark, October 20, 2016, "Scientists Call Plan for Red Wolves Misguided, Wrong.")

On June 22nd of this year, the USFWS stripped the seven-hundred or so brown bears that live in and around Yellowstone and the Grand Teton national parks of their protections under the ESA.  From now on those of them that stray outside of those areas will be once again fair game for hunters and wildlife officials in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Although the delisting has come under Trump's watch, it was initiated by the Obama Administration and had been in the works for several years. (See The Washington Post, June 22, 2017, "Yellowstone Grizzly Bears to Lose Protections After Forty-Two Years on Endangered Species List.")

Every bit as shameful as Obama's turning of his back on wolves has been his sellout of wild horses and burros. Not only have fifty-five-thousand of them been removed from the range and incarcerated in governmental holding corrals but between 2008 and 2012 the Bureau of Land Management, which under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act has sole authority over them, sold one-thousand-seven-hundred-ninety-four of them to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado, who in turn resold them to businesses that delivered them up to slaughterhouses in Mexico. (See The Washington Post, articles dated November 2, 2015 and September 16, 2016 and entitled, respectively, "Nearly Two-Thousand Wild Horses Sent to Slaughterhouses Instead of Pasture after Government Sale, Probe Says" and "Rumor Has It Government Is Going to Kill Forty-Five-Thousand Horses. Here's the Reality.")

The mustangs and burros, which are being evicted in order to free up more land for cattle and sheep ranchers as well as energy extraction concerns, face even more perils under the Trump Administration which plans on saving a few shekels by selling more of them to slaughterhouses and killing others. (See The Washington Post, May 26, 2017, "Wild Horses Could Be Sold for Slaughter or Euthanized Under Trump Budget.")

Fish and marine animals did not fare any better under Obama's stewardship than did their terrestrial counterparts. Most notably, the Navy continued to injure and kill millions of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals with its use of eardrum-splitting sonar and underwater detonations.

Already dying off in droves as the result of pollution and being run down by ships, what little protection that these magnificent creatures of the deep have received has come courtesy of the federal courts. (See The Huffington Post, April 3, 2015, "Whales, Dolphins Get Life-Saving Break from Navy's War Games.")

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration within the Commerce Department, along with wildlife officials from the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho have slaughtered at least one-hundred-sixty-six California sea lion since 2008 in order to keep them from feeding on salmon and steelhead trout. Private individuals also have killed an unspecified number of them and now Native Americans are clamoring to be allowed in on the killing spree. (See KOIN-TV of Portland, July 6, 2016, "Oregon Can Kill Salmon-Eating Sea Lions Until 2021" and US News and World Report, April 11, 2017, "Bill Seeks to Allow Tribes to Kill Salmon-Eating Sea Lions.")

The sea lions are supposedly protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 whereas the fish are covered by the ESA but neither law ever has done any of them very much good. The fish are only allowed to live so that they can be killed by fishermen and the sea lions, which eat only three to four per cent of the fish, are shot on sight for doing the same thing. All three species thus lose and both statutes are turned on their heads with the only winners being the fishermen who are laughing all the way to the bank.

NMFS, also known as NOAA Fisheries, likewise has been implicated in the death of an endangered orca named L95 after one of its agents shot an arrow into its dorsal fin in order to attach a satellite transmitter. The titanium arrow not only injured the whale but failed to break away and that prevented the wound from healing.

The satellite transmitters, which remain inside the animals for months if not indeed forever, also could be toxic. At least seven other orcas have been found with arrows in their hides and all totaled more than five-hundred marine mammals representing nineteen species have been subjected this totally unnecessary barbarism. (See CTV-News of Vancouver, April 14, 2016, "Scientists Blast 'Overly Barbaric' Orca Tagging System" and the CBC, April 16, 2016, "Orca Satellite Tagging Halted after Dart Found in Dead Whale.")

Public outcry spawned by the 2013 documentary film, Blackfish, forced SeaWorld to announce plans in 2016 to phase out its use of orcas in its marine shows and in March of this year it stated that it also is going to end its captive-breeding program. Yet, the far worse abuse and even killing of these animals by NMFS and the Navy not only continues unabated but sans so much as a speck of public opposition.

All things considered, the whales probably would be better off at SeaWorld in that at least it has a rather substantial financial incentive in keeping them alive and that is a good deal more than ever can be said for NMFS. Moreover, this is another classic example of individuals and groups who, justifiably, want to see animal abusers and exploiters punished but, reprehensively, do not give so much as a rat's ass about what ultimately becomes of their victims. (See the New York Post, June 15, 2017, "SeaWorld Kingfish Poised to Walk Plank.")

Even more disturbing, this horrific mistreatment of animals in the name of controlling them is by no means limited to the Americans' diabolical crimes against orcas but rather wildlife biologists all over the world are actively engaged in doing the same thing to just about all species. With that being the case, injuries and high mortality rates, whether publicly acknowledged or not, are the rule.

The goal therefore of NMFS in particular and wildlife biologists in general is to transform all of the great outdoors into one large zoo where they have the sole authority to determine which animals are going to be allowed to go on living and under what circumstances. Like its bastard brother, speciesism, electronic monitoring of them is nothing less than the principles of fascism applied to the animal world. (See Cat Defender posts of February 29, 2008, April 17, 2006, and May 4, 2006 entitled, respectively, "The Repeated Hounding Down and Tagging of Walruses Exposes Electronic Surveillance as Not Only Cruel but a Fraud," "Hal the Central Park Coyote Is Suffocated to Death by Wildlife Biologists Attempting to Tag Him," and "Scientific Community's Use of High-Tech Surveillance Is Aimed at Subjugating, Not Saving, the Animals.")

Even though Obama is certainly not known to ever have taken up arms against any animal, he nevertheless does not have a problem with those who hunt. "Justice (Antonin) Scalia was both an avid hunter and an opera lover...," is how that he chose to eulogize the former jurist to The Washington Post on February 13, 2016. (See "Transcript: President Obama Speaks on the Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.")

Every bit as shameful, his colleagues within the Democratic Party, Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and "Dirty" Dick Durbin of Illinois, repeatedly voiced their abiding love for hunters and the sport itself during Obama's weak-kneed attempt at gun control legislation a few years back. They willingly threw all the animals underneath the bus in an attempt to reinstate the ban on assault rifles that had been in situ during the Clinton years but in the end they failed to get even that much accomplished, let alone anything else. They, in effect, prostituted themselves for nothing.

The only positive thing that Obama is known to have done for wildlife came this past January when, on his way out the door, he issued an executive order banning the use of lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands. Even in doing that much, he gave the USFWS until January of 2022 in order to begin enforcing the law and Trump is likely to cancel that order almost any day now. (See the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 29, 2017, "Can a Federal Ban on Most Ammunition and Sinkers Protect Wildlife from Lead Poisoning?")

Finally, the Obama Administration labored hard in order to weaken the ESA. It went about that by, among other things, limiting the overall number of species that qualify for protection, failing to set aside critical habitat for the recovery of some endangered ones, placing restrictions on the rights of citizens to petition the government to protect animals and plants, and by exempting federal agencies from considering the cumulative effects that their decisions can have on endangered species.

"Not since the Reagan presidency has an administration pushed regulatory changes that so severely undermine the Endangered Species Act," the CBD proclaimed in a press release on June 4, 2015. (See "Cutting the Safety Net: the Obama Administration's Stealth Attack on the Endangered Species Act.")

Yet, when the Democratic Party held its national convention last July in Philadelphia it carried on just as if nothing at all had changed. "Democrats oppose efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened and endangered species," it declared in its party platform.

That, by the way, was the only acknowledgement that the party made to animals anywhere in the lengthy, fifty-five page document and it is highly unlikely that Hillary Rodham "and Gomorrah" Clinton so much as ever even mentioned them while on the campaign trail. The changing climate and energy policy did not fare all that much better in that they merited only three pages of ink.

When it came to the piteous suffering of the millions of animals that die each year in research laboratories the usually loquacious Obama was every bit as quiet as a church mouse. In particular, he did absolutely nothing in order to stop the hideous abuse that goes on in both governmental laboratories as well as on college campuses which also are in large part funded by the federal government.

The Trump Administration is even worse in that regard in that on February 3rd APHIS, which is charged under the AWA with regulating research labs, shut down its online database thus blocking access to thousands of records documenting the abuse meted out to animals at not only research laboratories but circuses and kitten and puppy mills as well. Now, such information can only be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. (See American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, untitled press release of February 8, 2017.)

Obama likewise did absolutely nothing in order to stop the Defense Department from annually shooting, stabbing, burning, and dismembering more than eighty-five-hundred live goats and pigs in its various trauma training exercises. (See AAVS newsletter of May 30, 2017, "End Use of Animals in Combat Training.")

He additionally could have stopped the United States Coast Guard, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, from doing likewise to an undisclosed number of defenseless goats and pigs during its trauma training exercises but, once again, he chose to remain silent. (See The Washington Post, April 28, 2017, "Coast Guard Suspends Practice of Shooting, Stabbing and Dismembering Animals in Trauma Training.")

He was not even willing to defund the USDA's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, where all sorts of diabolical crimes are perpetrated against defenseless farm animals. (See The New York Times, January 19, 2015, "United States Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit.")

Obama's EPA even refused to intervene in order to stop the state of Texas from poisoning up to two-million homeless pigs with warfarin. In a way that was merely par for the course in that it was precisely a USDA laboratory in Kingsville, following in the steps of its Australian colleagues, that came up with that diabolical way of killing animals. (See The Washington Post, February 23, 2017, "'Hog Apocalypse': Texas Has a New Weapon in Its War on Feral Pigs. It's Not Pretty.")

The agency did intervene, however, in order to stop Boston, New York, and Chicago from killing mice with dry ice. (See USA Today, November 23, 2016, "EPA to Big Cities: Stop Killing Rats with Dry Ice.")

Even though mice and other rodents have just as much of a right to live as do other animals, it nevertheless is odd to say the least that Obama and his minions valued them more than pigs in Texas and cats in Key Largo.

Then there is the matter of the ritualistic slaughter of thousands of innocent chickens each autumn by Orthodox Jews during their Yom Kippur celebration of Kaparot to consider. Whenever he was not wasting petrol and polluting the air during his frequent trips between Washington and Honolulu, Obama was in either Manhattan or Los Angeles raking in the shekels so he hardly could have been ignorant of this simply abhorrent and senseless practice. Besides, no halfway decent individual ever would do either the bidding or accept money from moral reprobates who commit such crimes against defenseless animals.

12.) Conclusion: A Final Grade of F for Obama on All Cat and Animal Rights Issues.

Obama Considered the Killing of Forty-Six Million Turkeys to Be Funny

It was, however, the sickening performance that Obama turned in last November 23rd during the annual presidential pardoning of two turkeys that revealed his abject callousness toward all animals in general. First of all, for the leader of a nation that slaughters and consumes forty-six-million turkeys each Thanksgiving to spare the lives of two of them can only be labeled as ironic to say the least.

Even more appalling, Obama could not resist the overwhelming temptation to make a joke out of the carnage. "I know that there are some bad ones in here, but this is the last time I'm doing this, so we're not leaving any leftovers," he yukked it up to those assembled according to an account of the proceedings rendered in The New York Times on November 23rd. (See "Obama Lets Bad Puns Fly at Turkey Pardoning Tinged with Sadness.")"And so let's get on with the pardoning, because it's Wednesday afternoon and everybody knows that Thanksgiving traffic can put everybody in a foul mood."

Then, after rattling off his accomplishments in the areas of health care, housing, and jobs, he added, "That's worth gobbling about."

At least he did have the bon sens not to mention his abysmal record on animal rights. That was superfluous anyway considering that his bad puns and clowning around with the obviously frightened birds already had said all that there was to say on that subject. It is not even known with any certainty if the birds' lives were indeed spared; it all could have been a cheap publicity stunt.

As head of the executive branch of the federal government for eight years, Obama had tens of millions of civil servants and soldiers at his beck and call and although it would not have been feasible for him to have fired all of them he most assuredly could have appointed cabinet secretaries and division heads who cared about animals and were willing to enforce the anti-cruelty statutes. He also could have issued any number of executive orders that would have substantially improved the lives of cats, wildlife, lab animals, and livestock.

He additionally could have used his high office as a bully pulpit in order to have pursued an animal-friendly agenda. As Richard Neustadt observed in his 1960 seminal work on the presidency, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: the Politics of Leadership, the power of the office is equivalent to the power to persuade.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time," Obama once pontificated while on the stump according to The New York Times' February 5, 2008 edition. (See "Barack Obama's February 5, 2008 Speech.") "We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Those remarks, quite obviously, were not intended to apply to cats and other animals. Moreover, when it comes to abusing and killing animals he was more than satisfied with the status quo.

His total lack of interest in animal welfare issues is attributable in large part to fact that they never were a part of his moral and intellectual landscape. "Until one has loved an animal part of one's soul remains unawakened," Anatole France once pointed out and in that respect Obama's abject callousness toward them relegates him to the class of the "undisturbed" and "sleep-lovers" that John D. MacDonald so vividly described in his 1964 novel, The Quick Red Fox.

Secondly, he quite obviously was not about to offend any potential voters and donors by beating a drum for any animal. Consequently, the only grade that he is deserving of is an F when it comes to his treatment of both cats and other animals as well.

That is not meant to imply in any way that Trump is going to be an improvement. Au contraire, he already has more than amply demonstrated that he cares even less for animals than did his predecessor. (See Cat Defender post of April 28, 2017 entitled "Trump Not Only Exposes Himself for What He Is but Also Disgraces the Office of the President in the Process by Feting Cat-Killers Theodore Anthony Nugent and Kid Rock at the White House.")

If there is any advantage to be found in having a Republican in the White House it lies in the opposition that his presence and policies are bound to generate. By contrast, whenever a Democrat is in the catbird's seat the overwhelming majority of animal advocates pipe down and become suck-ups to power; au fond, the only thing that they care about is being on the side that is winning and that is far different from being on the side of the animals.

So, in the end, the animals always lose regardless of whichever political party wields power. The only real difference between them boils down to a choice between the Democrats' insufferable lies and bullshit and the Republicans' consummate hatred of everyone and everything.

The final word fittingly belongs to Charles Dickens who in his 1842 novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, described the United States in the following terms:

"I should want to draw it like a bat, for its short-sightedness; like a bantam, for its bragging; like a magpie for its honesty; like a peacock, for its vanity; like an ostrich, for putting its head in the mud, and thinking nobody sees it..."

Photos: Peter Souza of the United States Government (Obama), Hayne Palmour IV of the North County Times of Escondido (San Nicolas' cats), Tami Heilemann of the Department of the Interior (Morkill and Salazar), Roberto Rodriguez of the Associated Press (Patches), the Examiner.com (Dauphiné), Steve Solomonson of the Brooklyn Daily (Plum Beach eviction notice), the National Park Service (radio-collared wolf), Ahmed Jadallah of Reuters (boy from Mosul with his animals), The Tuskegee News (Sammy), Arizona Game and Fish Department (Macho B.), www.care2.com (crush video), and Carlos Barria of Reuters via NBC-TV (Obama pardoning a pair of turkeys).