Tuesday, May 24, 2011

National Zoo Researcher Accused of Attempted Animal Cruelty

Researcher at the National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center, Nico Dauphine, has been charged with attempted animal cruelty after evidence shows she was putting rat poison and antifreeze in cat food left for community cats in her neighborhood of Columbia Heights, in Washington, DC.

(Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Zoological Park)
Dauphine, a PhD and bird conservationist, is known for her articles on cat predation and anti-TNR sentiments. Back in 2008 when she lived in Athens, GA, Dauphine wrote a letter to the St. Petersburg Times saying: “cats may be the single biggest direct cause of bird mortality, far outnumbering all other causes (including human hunters) put together!” It is also Alley Cat Rescue’s understanding that Dauphine was allegedly accused of similar crimes against community cats while living in Georgia.

According to an NBC article, Dauphine denies the charges saying, “her whole life is devoted to the care and welfare of animals.” In the meantime, the National Zoo is allowing her to continue her job with them saying she is no threat to zoo animals.

For those of you who may follow the Vox Felina blog, Dauphine’s name should sound familiar to you. Dauphine’s work is just some of the studies regarding cat predation that Peter Wolf has been critiquing. Thanks to Vox Felina, the truth surrounding such studies and articles is finally coming to light – the research wildlife organizations are using to base their claims on that cats are to blame for declining wildlife ergo TNR should be outlawed is highly plagued with errors, exaggerations, glaring omissions, and inexcusable bias. Unfortunately, a handful of these deeply flawed studies have become the “holy grail” of statistics for these groups, and they continue to ignore statistical information regarding the effectiveness of TNR; which has been gathered by countless highly accredited veterinarians and cat organizations through years of research and rescue. 

Scapegoating cats not only fosters cruelty towards cats, but it also creates hatred for a species based on exaggerated reports and persuades individuals to take matters into their own hands by acting out in illegal ways. Alley Cat Rescue vehemently disagrees with keeping Dauphine in her current position at the National Zoo and believes she should be removed until an investigation into these allegations of animal cruelty has been completed. Please take action by signing our petition to stop her from working with other animals.


Maine Kitties said...

Signed and shared on Facebook!

mead said...

Signed and also posted to my facebook account.