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Old 04-17-2009, 09:46 AM
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Default Anti-Cruelty Laws

Setting the Record Straight: Anti-Cruelty Laws Protect All Cats
by Wendy M. Anderson, Legal Director
(http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=303)

In November 2007, a deadlocked jury led to a mistrial in the case of the Galveston birder charged with felony cruelty for intentionally shooting and killing a cat with a .22-caliber rifle. The man’s lawyer reported that his client went to the San Luis Pass Bridge with “an intent to kill” and admits to shooting the cat, but that he claims he did so to protect piping plovers, an endangered species of bird that winters in Galveston. The national media reported that the case hinged on proving the cat was “owned” by John Newland, a man who had put out food, blankets, and toys for this and other cats living under the bridge.

Let’s set the record straight: Intentionally killing a cat is a criminal offense in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, regardless of ownership. Anti-cruelty laws apply to all cats—companion, abandoned, lost, and feral—and there is no such thing as a “piping plover defense.”

Anti-cruelty laws are among many types of laws designed to protect society from violent people. In fact, anti-cruelty laws, first enacted in the late 1800s, were established to protect animals from human violence, irrespective of ownership. These laws led to the creation of child abuse laws and then, in the 20th century, elder abuse laws. The common denominator in all of these laws is protection from a violent person. Scientific research now provides a nuanced understanding of the link between different types of violence. An aggressive individual who lashes out in response to conflict is a threat to society, whether the victim is a child, a spouse, or an animal. Intentionally shooting a cat is a violent act. That fact doesn’t change because the animal isn’t wearing a collar.

Like the laws against homicide, anti-cruelty laws excuse intentional killing in the rare cases when harm is imminent and serious, making lethal force necessary. Although anti-cruelty laws include other defenses, they do not recognize a bird-protection defense. Indeed, the piping plovers at issue in the Galveston case are already protected by federal laws, as are hundreds of other bird species.

Those laws reflect decisions made by elected officials, informed by scientific evidence, on the best measures to protect and recover endangered species. In fact, scientific research shows that humans, not cats, are the overwhelming cause of declining bird populations. No individual is entitled to act contrary to the law simply because that person’s opinion differs from the collective judgment of the legislature.

Anti-cruelty laws protect all cats. That protection is not—and as a practical matter, cannot be—based on ownership status. We wouldn’t want such distinctions to be made anyway, because like many criminal laws, these laws exist to protect all of us from aggressive individuals. We are a nation of laws, not of violence. For this to hold true, we must remain vigilant against every act of violence, inflicted on any victim—even when the victim is a cat.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:51 AM
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Default The Need for Anti-Cruelty Laws

Violence Has Many Victims
(http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=304)

Psychiatric and criminological research has established a relationship between cruelty to animals and a host of other violent behaviors.

This research suggests that a single violent individual may lash out against multiple defenseless victims, and that any aggressive act—regardless of the identity of the victim—may be a predictor of future violent acts, as well as an indicator of current antisocial behavior. Ongoing research is exploring why people become aggressive and how that violence becomes a pattern of behavior.

Researchers are also investigating the negative consequences of children and adults witnessing acts of violence towards animals and humans, and how and why those witnesses are more likely to become violent themselves.

Listed below is a selection of the research articles published about the link between cruelty to animals and other forms of violence.

-------------------------------------------
Research Linking Cruelty to Animals to Other Forms of Violence

o Ascione, Fred. "Animal Abuse and Youth Violence." US Department of Justice Juvenile Justice Bulletin 1 (2001): 1-15.
o Faver, Catherine A., and Elizabeth B. Strand. "To Leave or to Stay?: Battered Women’s Concern for Vulnerable Pets." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 18 (2003): 1367-1377.
o Hensley, Christopher, and Suzanne E. Tallichet. “Learning to be Cruel?: Exploring the Onset and Frequency of Animal Cruelty.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49 (2005): 37-47.
o Lockwood, Randall, and Frank R. Ascione, eds. 1980. Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence: Readings in Research and Application. Ashland: Purdue University Press.
o Merz-Perez, Linda, Kathleen M. Heide, and Ira J. Silvermann. "Childhood Cruelty to Animals and Subsequent Violence against Humans." International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 45 (2001): 556-573.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:01 AM
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Default Who Speaks For The Animals?

Who Speaks for the Animals?
(American Bar Association Law Commitee Newsletter)

The Virginia animal cruelty law protects all cats—pet, stray, feral, or otherwise—from cruel or unnecessary killing.

Sections of the Virginia animal cruelty law are posted below; portions particularly relevant to cats are in bold.

Va. Code Ann. 3.1-796.66 (2008) – Definitions


The following words as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Animal" means any nonhuman vertebrate species except fish. For the purposes of 3.1-796.98, animal means any species susceptible to rabies. For the purposes of 3.1-796.122, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner…

"Companion animal" means any domestic or feral dog, domestic or feral cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit not raised for human food or fiber, exotic or native animal, reptile, exotic or native bird, or any feral animal or any animal under the care, custody, or ownership of a person or any animal that is bought, sold, traded, or bartered by any person.

Agricultural animals, game species, or any animals regulated under federal law as research animals shall not be considered companion animals for the purposes of this chapter…

"Humane" means any action taken in consideration of and with the intent to provide for the animal's health and well-being…

Va. Code Ann. 3.1-796.122 (2008) – Cruelty to animals, penalty

A. Any person who

(i) overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, ill-treats, abandons, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another;

(ii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment;

(iii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibition of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is within the context of a veterinary client-patient relationship and solely for therapeutic purposes;

(iv) willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal;

(v) carries or causes to be carried in or upon any vehicle, vessel or otherwise any animal in a cruel, brutal, or inhumane manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering; or

(vi) causes any of the above things, or being the owner of such animal permits such acts to be done by another, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor…

F. In addition to the penalties provided in subsection A, the court may, in its discretion, require any person convicted of a violation of subsection A to attend an anger management or other appropriate treatment program or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court may impose the costs of such a program or counseling upon the person convicted…

I. Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals.
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"We organized in the past to make Trap-Neuter-Return possible. Today, we organize to make Trap-Neuter-Return the norm and to end the unnecessary killing of cats in animal shelters across the country and provide humane care." - Alley Cat Allies
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:06 AM
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Default Pest Control Company Told That Anti-Cruelty Laws Apply to All Cats

Pest Control Company Told That Anti-Cruelty Laws Apply to All Cats
(http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=558)

September 2008

Alley Cat Allies has put a national pest control company on notice that trapping and killing cats can result in criminal convictions for animal cruelty.

Last week we sent a letter to the CEO of Critter Control, alerting him that one of his franchise owners was found guilty on three counts of animal cruelty for killing three feral cats.

We forwarded that letter to 170 Critter Control franchise owners across the country.

Alley Cat Allies also urged Critter Control to remove a page from its website that contained inaccurate statements about anti-cruelty laws.

The page on Critter Control’s website suggested—wrongly—that unidentified cats are rarely protected under state laws.

“It’s simply untrue that acts of cruelty will be excused if the cats are not owned,” said Wendy M. Anderson, Alley Cat Allies Director of Law and Policy.

“Let’s set the record straight: anti-cruelty laws of all states and the District of Columbia apply to all cats—pet, abandoned, stray and feral. These laws exist to protect animals from human violence, regardless of ownership.”

To deter and prevent future killing, Alley Cat Allies took this action to ensure Critter Control and its franchise owners know that there are legal consequences for killing stray and feral cats.
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"We organized in the past to make Trap-Neuter-Return possible. Today, we organize to make Trap-Neuter-Return the norm and to end the unnecessary killing of cats in animal shelters across the country and provide humane care." - Alley Cat Allies
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Anti-Cruelty Laws

What makes stray cats any a lesser target for our local councils than the stray dogs? Does this mean we condone to stray cats having the right to multiply while stray dogs need to be put down?

Any local laws on this?
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:34 AM
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Default Letter from Alley Cat Allies to CEO of Critter Control

Letter from Alley Cat Allies to Kevin Clark, CEO of Critter Control:

RE: Animal Cruelty Conviction of Critter Control Franchise Owner

Dear Mr. Clark,

This letter is to inform you that a Critter Control franchise owner was convicted recently of animal cruelty for killing feral cats. In addition, be advised that Critter Control's website contains incorrect statements and outdated material which may have encouraged this franchise owner and others to unlawfully trap and kill cats. As the national advocate for stray and feral cats, Alley Cat Allies lurges you to correct the website and otherwise alert franchise owners that state anti-cruelty laws protect all cats regardless of ownership.

I. Critter Control Franchise Owner Convicted of Animal Cruelty

On August 14, 2008, Keith Copi, the owner of a Critter Control franchise in suburban Richmond, Virginia, was convicted in Henrico County General District Court on three counts of animal cruelty for killing three feral cats. For each conviction, Copi was sentenced to jail for a period of 12 months, suspended on the condition of good behaviour. He was assessed close to $1000 in fines and costs, and he also incurred the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Moreover, his business reputation, and that of Critter Control, was marred by a highly public trial and conviction. The case received widespread publicity regionally, generating at least seven stories in the local print and televised media, and Copi's conviction was reported in a national ABC news article.

II. Critter Control's Website Contains Inaccurate Statemants About Animal Cruelty Laws

Errorneous statements on Critter Control's website may have contributed to this situation. The website inaccurately advises that "unidentified cats are rarely protected" under state laws, and it disseminates information on control methods for cats, some of which are illegal or ineffective.

However, as this conviction underscores, such representations are incorrect. All cats - pet, stray and feral - are protected under the animal cruelty laws of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Animal cruelty laws apply regardless of whether the cat is owned or unowned, identified or unidentified. The Virginia cruelty law under which Copi was convicted is representative. That law prohibits, among many other actions, any person from engaging in conduct that "cruelly or unnecessarily ... kills any animal."

If followed, the information on Critter Control's website could cause readers to break the law and face prosecution for cruelty. To avoid such future incidents, and the legal liability that could accompany them, you should remove the offending page on the website, and cease to make any statements relating to the supposed lack of legal protection afforded to stray and feral cats. The franchise owners would be well advised to seek legal advice form a local attorney in specific situations involving cats.

III. Care and Concern for Outdoor Cats is Widespread in the U.S. Today

Be advised that the cats killed by your franchise owner were part of a feral cat colony whose caregivers discovered the fate of the cats and set in motion the cruelty prosecution. That these feral cats were cared for is not unusual; the managers of this colony are just a few of the hundreds of thousands across the country who care for stray and feral cats. These caregivers, and groups that support them, feed, vaccinate, and spay and neuter cats, thus improving the lives of the oudoor cats and their compatibillity with local residents. They have shown that non-lethal methods are successful in caring for and stopping the reproduction of these cats. Numerous local governments have acknowledged caregivers' successful efforts, and many have recognized non-lethal management of outdoor cats as the preferred approach. This humane ethic is supported by the vast majority of Americans: in a national survey, 81% of Americans thought it was more humane to let a stray cat live out her life outdoors than to catch and kill her.

As Critter Control strives to build a reputation for humane wildlife management, we urge your agents to cease trapping of cats and instead provide the public with information on non-lethal forms of cat management. Enclosed is information about the management of stray and feral cats, more of which is available on Alley Cat Allies' website (www.alleycat.org). Following such a course may prevent future incidents where a Critter Control franchise owner is convicted of animal cruelty for killing cats.

Sincerely,
Wendy M. Anderson
Director, Department of Law and Policy

Enclosures
cc: Critter Control Franchise Owners
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"We organized in the past to make Trap-Neuter-Return possible. Today, we organize to make Trap-Neuter-Return the norm and to end the unnecessary killing of cats in animal shelters across the country and provide humane care." - Alley Cat Allies
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Anti-Cruelty Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivek View Post
What makes stray cats any a lesser target for our local councils than the stray dogs? Does this mean we condone to stray cats having the right to multiply while stray dogs need to be put down?

Any local laws on this?
Nobody said anything about condoning stray cats to multiply (managed stray colonies are always desexed) and no one is saying here that the stray dogs need to be put down, Nivek ... please read carefully from start to finish so that you do not jump to the wrong conclusions and get all worked up, kay? Don't wear the Red Thinking Hat ... and please try to think out of the box and leave all emotional baggage which clouds our judgements behind in the next room.

I don't know about the dogs, Nivek, it just happens that I am into cats, that is why my focus is on cats ... it doesn't mean I am anti-dogs ... some resources on the cats can also be used to champion the poor dogs case ... someone needs to do this for the dogs too because in this country I think the dogs face a more pitiful state ... just Google for dogs, Nivek, hopefully you find the resources you need for the poor dogs as well, I am sure there are hidden in the internet ... I think HK SPCA has something on dogs but I do not have time to read them ... why don't you try accessing their website? Good luck!

Regarding your perception that cats are less of a target than dogs by local councils, I don't know, I have no answers for you but I think it has to do with religion and this needs to be taken up by a champion in the religious department or a Muslim in the lines of education and awareness and if you are not a Muslim, forget it because you will not have the credibililty ... same goes for other religions, kan?

But then humans will always come up with some excuses for themselves regardless of religion, so in actual fact it is not the religion which is the issue, but their personal values and ethics in life.

For example, Dr. Chan Kah Yein has written a really wonderful booklet called "Pawprints on my heart - A Buddhist Perspective" for free distribution, but when I gave this to several Buddhists around my area hoping that they will develop a more compassionate heart towards animals, they gave this answer, "Sorry, we are different Buddhists, different sect"!!

But I still believe that ultimately, it will be the awareness and education programs targetted at the adults in the community that will trickle through the results and outcome we long for.
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"We organized in the past to make Trap-Neuter-Return possible. Today, we organize to make Trap-Neuter-Return the norm and to end the unnecessary killing of cats in animal shelters across the country and provide humane care." - Alley Cat Allies

Last edited by FurKids; 04-17-2009 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Anti-Cruelty Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurKids View Post
Nobody said anything about condoning stray cats to multiply (managed stray colonies are always desexed) and no one is saying here that the stray dogs need to be put down, Nivek ... please read carefully from start to finish so that you do not jump to the wrong conclusions and get all worked up, kay? Don't wear the Red Thinking Hat ... and please try to think out of the box and leave all emotional baggage which clouds our judgements behind in the next room.

I don't know about the dogs, Nivek, it just happens that I am into cats, that is why my focus is on cats ... it doesn't mean I am anti-dogs ... some resources on the cats can also be used to champion the poor dogs case ... someone needs to do this for the dogs too because in this country I think the dogs face a more pitiful state ... just Google for dogs, Nivek, hopefully you find the resources you need for the poor dogs as well, I am sure there are hidden in the internet ... I think HK SPCA has something on dogs but I do not have time to read them ... why don't you try accessing their website? Good luck!
My questions were not targetted at anything other than to ask anybody who is reading this thread on whether they know of any local laws pertaining to cats and dogs. You are the one getting worked up. Please ignore my posting if it is irrelevant.

As per my question : "Any local laws on this?" (note that there is no mention on cats or dogs)

Thank you.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Anti-Cruelty Laws

Sometimes the local councils sondri pun tak tahu ... like the other day during the protest at Setapak pound, the guy had to ask the protesters for a copy of the DVS guideliness ... maybe pushed into a corner, he tried to feign ignorance .... wakakakakakaaaaa!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Anti-Cruelty Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurKids View Post
Sometimes the local councils sondri pun tak tahu ... like the other day during the protest at Setapak pound, the guy had to ask the protesters for a copy of the DVS guideliness ... maybe pushed into a corner, he tried to feign ignorance .... wakakakakakaaaaa!!!!!
hahahahaha agree with you. Its like the blind leading the blind here with the authorities. Whoever loudest is correct
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