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    Rat poison in the cats’ food

    NewsGeneral Cat NewsMonday 30 May 2011

    Dauphine, a postdoctoral fellow and a bird taker from Washington D.C. (USA) National Zoo was charged with poisoning feral cats.

    ABC News reported the Humane Society conducted a month-long investigation "monitoring video surveillance and matching card swipes in and out of an apartment complex near the scene of the alleged crime."  The Humane Society obtained a warrant for arresting a researcher as evidence was showing her setting out dishes of food for the cats. Dauphine has denied all the charges and her lawyer highlights her dedication to the care and welfare of animals.

    Dauphine’s love for birds is indubitable, however her dislike for cats has been obvious and many often present in her researches. One of her current projects for the National Zoo involved strapping small cameras to the backs of outdoor housecats to see how they "affect wild bird populations." In 2009 she delivered an online lecture entitled, "Apocalypse Meow: Free-ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife," which discussed how feral cats kill billions of animals in the U.S. each year.

    Dauphine faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. For the moment the National Zoo is standing behind its employee. However, its officials say she will have to be made redundant if she’s found guilty.

    The Humane Society said there is no way of knowing how many cats ate the poisoned food and died.  Perhaps more serious charges can be pressed if the agency learns more about this information.

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