Photo of author

By Karen Harrison Binette

Cat-hating bird researcher Nico Dauphine was found guilty of misdemeanor attempted animal cruelty today by Washington D.C. superior Court judge Truman A. Morrison III. Her trial for the attempted poisoning of free roaming cats at her apartment complex and a nearby park was held last week. Apartment complex surveillance video allowed into evidence at the trial shows Dauphine doing something at the food bowls where rat pioson was later found.

Earlier this year, 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.

The trial took plase last week, from Monday through Wednesday, when Dr. Dauphine took the stand in her own defense. She denied poisoning the cats and said rather than putting rat poison into the bowls, she removed the cat food from them. In response to the prosecution bringing up some of her many published anti-cat writings, she claimed to have been misquoted and  misunderstood.

So far, we have not seen anything about sentencing, which would include a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

This is not Dauphine’s first concrete action against cats. Not only does she oppose them in print and lecture, she has a history of taking action against them. during her time in Athens GA, she repeatedly trapped both domestic and feral cats and turned them in to the humane society. At least one family had to get rid of their cats due to Dauphine and her activist tendencies, when the cat showed up in her yard.

National free roaming cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies issured a press release today welcoming the verdict and once again asking the US Government funded Smithsonian Institution to dismiss the convicted poisoner.

Alley Cat Allies president Becky Robinson made the statement, “We call on the Smithsonian to immediately dismiss Ms. Dauphine from her position and cancel any research projects in which she was involved. 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.” She continued, “Killing cats is illegal, and feral cats are protected under the law.”

While the above needed to be said and is call that we support,  anti-free roaming cat sentiment appears to be pretty well institutionalized in the conservations and wildlife advocacy fields.  Perhaps public pressure can create a public relations problem for the National Zoo, which may have some impact on their decision to continue to keep Dauphine in their employ.

For more on the trial, see our post from Thursday, October 27, National Zoo Employee’s Attempted Cat Poisoning Case Comes To Trial.

About Author

7 thoughts on “Guilty”

  1. I hope that she gets jail time and a fine. I also hope that she is fired from a job that tax payers have to support. She is not the kind of person I would employee. I can’t believe that she has gotten away with all of her bad behavior for so long. There has to be a point where she gets the ax, jail time and fined!

  2. she needs to be fired from the smithsonian but then again they took millions from the Koch Brothers so whoever knows what they will do?

  3. First that high level researcher at the CDC accused of beastality and messing with kids, and now this freak….they need to start performing psych tests before handing out degrees!!!!

Leave a Comment