Conservationist Accused of Attempted Cat Murder

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Dr. Nico Dauphine finds herself in hot water as she stands accused of poisoning community cats.

In Columbia Heights, Washington D.C., Rachel Sterling noticed, “some kind of crunchy powder” on the food she feeds to a colony of feral cats in Malcolm X Park. Other people who feed the cats had seen it too. The Washington Humane Society tested the substance, which turned out to be rat poison. A month-long investigation was launched by the Humane Society that included monitoring video surveillance footage and card swipes in and out of an apartment building near the area the poison was discovered. Video surveillance showed a woman walking up to the cat feeding area, reaching into her purse and lowering her hand near the food and then walking away. Sterling was shocked to learn the woman in the video was another neighbor, Dr. Nico Dauphine. “Who would do something like that in the first place?,” asked outraged Sterling.  Possibly an angry bird researcher at the National Zoo. It turns out 38-year old Nico Dauphine is a post-doctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.  Her research focuses on how roaming predators affect migratory bird species.

A warrant was issued for her arrest and while Dauphine turned herself in, she denies the accusations. Her attorney notes, “Her whole life is devoted to the care and welfare of animals”. Dauphine has been charged with attempted cruelty to animals as she is accused of setting out anti-freeze in addition to the rat poison. Not helping her case any is her online lecture for the University of Georgia in 2009 entitled Apocalypse Meow: Free-Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife .  In the lecture she states cats are responsible for the extinction of at least 33 species of birds.  She discusses the ultimate agenda of TNR programs being that of gaining the domestic cat the status of “protected wildlife” and the problem of cats killing birds should be seen as an environmental issue.   She claims she actually likes cats and provides “photographic evidence” of herself holding a kitten.  Dr. Dauphine is scheduled to appear in court in June and if she is found guilty, could face a fine of $1000 and up to 180 days in jail.

0 thoughts on “Conservationist Accused of Attempted Cat Murder”

  1. The brutality shown towards animals (especially cats) HAS to stop. Cats are always getting a bad rap and I think it’s ridiculous.

  2. What a POS! The horrible pain and suffering she was causing. Like the horrible suffering of the animals caught in the traps set on public and private land in New Mexico. Legal trappers set out traps that ensnare, crush, and/or strangle if animals try to escape. And they say it helps save livestock! I’m curious how many livestock have been lost to predators in the past year?

  3. conservationists don’t take sides but find an educated middle ground for the well being of all. Dr. Nico brings SHAME to the Smithsonian and should NEVER work for them AGAIN. And also be punished to the fullest extend of the law…i wish we had a national list of animal abusers database just like children abusers so we can do a serach and know when a horrendous creature like Dr Nico lives near us! OR if i would be hiring i could check the database and see the truth about this persons character and inhumanity!

  4. thats just so awful Andrea that you had to lose your precious furkids through such an unecessary death thanks to an evil scumbag. its bad enough for any animal lover to lose a pet from an illness but from a deliberate act of cruelty is just so awful, my heart goes out to you. someone is doing that in an area in the UK, so far 9 cats have died :0(

  5. Hisss!! I have zero tolerance for people who do thngs like this! Just because they don’t like animals or have the pleasure of having a loving furbaby in their life, does NOT give them the right to dispose of an animal/someones pet in any way they choose! My sentence for her?: Some serious throttling!!!!!

  6. thanks Rob. the cats that have been poisoned in the uk are on the other side of the country, they have had to resort to hiring security guys to help keep the cats safe, isnt it awful they have had to resort to that? i hope they cant the evil b…. and do the same to him

  7. I’ve been a birdwatcher for 0ver 20 years, love birds very much, but I find this woman’s alleged actions appalling. Attempting to deliberately poison any animal is vile.

    There is a lot of semi-hysterical talk about feral cats in the birding communtiy. Personally I think that some of these folks have fastened on feral cats as easy targets. Theiy seem to keep citing the same broup of academic studies which have beenseriously questioned,and sometimes even discretdited.

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