Browsing the archives for the Nico Dauphiné tag

New York: Where’s Your Grit?

“I’m pretty sure both sides are going to hate it,” warned New York magazine writer Jessica Pressler, referring to her feature for this week’s issue, “Must Cats Die So Birds Can Live?” When I first spoke to Pressler in March, she’d indicated that she knew the subject was complex. Her most recent e-mail, however, sent [...]

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The Show Must Go On!

On May 25, 2011, J. Scott Robinson, Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects for the Smithsonian Institute, sent a three-page proposal (PDF) to Randy Dettmers, a biologist in the Division of Migratory Birds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, outlining the scope and budget for a project called “Effects of subsidized predators on [...]

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More Kitty Cams and PR Scams

“There’s hostility to lying, and there should be.” —Bob Woodward
With just six minutes and 34 seconds to play, I don’t imagine readers got very far with their bingo cards during Friday night’s episode of 20/20 (“The Camera Never Lies: Kitty Cam Killers”). (My apologies for not including Killing Spree—I should have seen that one [...]

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Kitty Cams and PR Scams

In a joint media release, the American Bird Conservancy and The Wildlife Society team up to misrepresent the results of a recent predation study, decrying the “ongoing slaughter of wildlife by outdoor cats.” Meanwhile the University of Georgia researcher contradicts her previous position that “cats aren’t as bad as biologists thought.”

“To be persuasive we must [...]

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The Annotated Apocalypse Meow

In the current issue of The Washingtonian, senior writer Luke Mullins provides the most comprehensive profile yet of former Smithsonian researcher Nico Dauphiné, convicted last October of attempted animal cruelty. Most telling are his conversations with her unwavering supporters, who—in spite of the evidence, her well-documented history, and her miserable performance on the stand—continue to [...]

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Fight or Flight?

“Cat Fight,” which appears in the latest issue of Conservation magazine, does little to cut through the rhetoric or clear up the numerous misrepresentations that plague the debate over free-roaming cats.

There is, it’s often said, no such thing as bad PR. Even so, I’m not thrilled with the way I’m portrayed in an article appearing [...]

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Game On!

Be prepared for the next news story, media release, position statement, local ordinance, House or Senate bill, or government report that (intentionally or not) misrepresents free-roaming cats’ impact on wildlife and the environment, public health threat, etc. with Feral Cat Witch-hunt Bingo!
Downloadable PDF includes four bingo cards and 120 chips.

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2011 Trap Liner Award

Referring to a particularly poor piece of journalism, a friend of mine suggested—recalling the irreverent moniker her late husband had given their own local paper—the newspaper in which it had appeared was perhaps best used for lining birdcages.
Twenty months into this blog, I’ve encountered my share of yellow journalism infecting both small-town weeklies and, with [...]

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Nico Dauphine: A Different Kind of Community Service

The H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, where the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is located. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.
More than seven months after she was charged with attempted animal cruelty—and six weeks after her eventual conviction—former Smithsonian researcher Nico Dauphine was sentenced today to a $100 fine and 120 hours [...]

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In Search of Common Ground

It’s always good to see the Humane Society of the United States supporting and promoting TNR. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when HSUS was on the other side of the issue. In 1997, when the American Bird Conservancy launched its Cats Indoors! campaign, the organization was “singled out as its ‘principal partner [...]

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Run-on Sentence

The H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, where the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is located. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.
Having been found guilty of attempted animal cruelty on October 31st, Nico Dauphine was scheduled to be in court today for sentencing. According to court records, however, the hearing has been postponed [...]

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Animal Wise Radio: Guilty Verdict in Nico Dauphine Trial

On yesterday’s Animal Wise Radio show, hosts Mike Fry and Beth Nelson and I discussed the guilty verdict handed down last week in Nico Dauphine’s attempted animal cruelty case, as well as the implications for future cat-related research at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and elsewhere.
If you missed it, you can check the complete show [...]

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Nico Dauphine Resigns

According to the National Zoo’s Twitter feed and a comment posted on its Facebook page, “[Monday] the Smithsonian accepted Dr. Dauphine’s resignation; it was effective immediately.” I haven’t seen a statement anything more official looking from the National Zoo or the Migratory Bird Center.
Indeed, official statements seem to be remarkably scarce following Monday’s verdict. Where [...]

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Nico Dauphine Found Guilty of Attempted Animal Cruelty

The H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, where the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is located. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.
After more than five months of delays, Nico Dauphine was, this afternoon in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, found guilty of attempted animal cruelty. (Sentencing hearing is scheduled for November [...]

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Nico Dauphine on Trial (Day 3)

Testimony wrapped up Wednesday afternoon in Nico Dauphine’s attempted animal cruelty trial. Among the witnesses for the Defense: Peter Marra, Dauphine’s advisor at the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center—who’s previously described TNR as “essentially cat hoarding without walls.” [1] Dauphine took the stand as well, and, as I understand it, did herself no favors career-wise (even [...]

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Nico Dauphine on Trial (Day 2)

The H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, where the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is located. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.
It looks like Ed Clark won’t have the opportunity to, in the words of the government’s Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony of Defendant’s Experts, offer “testimony regarding ideological debate and the environmental [...]

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Nico Dauphine on Trial (Day 1)

The H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, where the Superior Court of the District of Columbia is located. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.
After months of delays, Nico Dauphine went on trial yesterday, charged with attempted animal cruelty. And according to court documents, she’s got plenty of help.
Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, [...]

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National Feral Cat Day 2011

As many of you are no doubt aware, Sunday is National Feral Cat Day, a holiday created 10 years ago by Alley Cat Allies “to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.” This year, there are more than 320 events planned across all 50 states.
Even so, [...]

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Jake and Lily

Over the past few months, I’ve heard from several people familiar with Nico Dauphine’s cat-trapping activities in and around Athens, GA, during her days as a PhD student at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Three years ago, in Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court, Dauphine referred to her roundups as “community service.”:
“Oh, I do [...]

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Devolution In the Classroom: Three Editions of F. Gill’s “Ornithology”

For more than 20 years now, Gill’s classic text has been required reading for ornithology students. While the book’s attention to conservation issues has expanded over its three editions, its treatment of the impact of cats on bird populations reflects an unsettling shift away from science.

The hoards of students descending upon college campuses this fall [...]

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