Researcher found guilty of poisoning cats
Nico Dauphiné, the National Zoo researcher accused of poisoning feral cats in the D.C. neighborhood of Meridian Hill Park, was convicted of animal cruelty charges yesterday.
DCist reports that Dauphiné, who denied the allegations in court last week, was pronounced guilty of the misdemeanor charge by D.C. Superior Court Judge Truman Morrison. She will be sentenced on November 21 and faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Evidence in the case included a video of Dauphiné appearing to plant something from her purse into a feeder.
“Our Humane Law Enforcement Department works hard to bring justice to abused animals in our city, and we can say with confidence that justice was served today,” said Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of the Washington Humane Society, which played a large role in the investigation of the claims.
In a press release, Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy organization dedicated to the humane treatment of cats, welcomed the verdict and called for Dauphiné to be dismissed from her job as a Smithsonian researcher studying migratory birds.
“We are satisfied with this verdict,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Americans care about cats and will not tolerate cruelty towards them. We are grateful to law enforcement and to the prosecutors for treating this crime with the seriousness it deserved.”
“We call on the Smithsonian to immediately dismiss Ms. Dauphiné from her position and cancel any research projects in which she was involved,” said Robinson. “Her conviction for attempting to kill cats, along with her history of condemning cats in research, leaves her work suspect of major bias. Her work should be discredited and disregarded by the scientific community.”
“Killing cats is illegal, and feral cats are protected under the law,” she added. “Anti-cruelty laws protect all cats — pet, stray, or feral — in every state and the District of Columbia. Americans who are demanding humane approaches for cats are not going to allow this kind of cruelty to go unpunished.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alley cat allies, animal cruelty, cats, cruelty to animals, feral cats, guilty, migratory birds, misdemeanor, national zoo, nico daupine, poisoning, researcher, smithsonian, strays, verdict, washington humane society