Tell Smithsonian to Suspend Researcher Charged with Cat Cruelty

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Originally Posted: 27 May 2011

Tell Smithsonian to Suspend Researcher Charged with Cat Cruelty

FROM Alley Cat Allies


Tell the Smithsonian to suspend Dr. Dauphine until the case accusing her of poisoning cats in the Washington D.C. area is resolved.

Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

The Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010
Washington DC 20013-7012
phone - voicemail (202) 633-1000
email - [email protected]


According to ABC News and the Washington Post, a researcher at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center was observed via video surveillance attempting to poison cats in Washington, DC, and charged with attempted animal cruelty.

The researcher—Dr. Nico Dauphine—now faces up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted on charges of animal cruelty.

Her research includes “mounting small cameras on domestic cats that roam outdoors to see how they affect wild bird populations.” Despite the charges, the Smithsonian has allowed her to continue working, stating that her continued employment “would in no way jeopardize our animal collection at the National Zoo or jeopardize wildlife.”

All animals deserve to be protected from cruelty, and intentionally harmful acts like poisoning are illegal. Sign the petition below and join us in calling for the Smithsonian to suspend Dr. Dauphine until the case is resolved.



I request that you suspend Dr. Nico Dauphine from the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park until the animal cruelty charges against her have been resolved.

Intentionally killing a cat by any means is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Cruel, painful acts like poisoning are exactly what these laws are intended to stop.

In continuing to allow Dr. Dauphine to work at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, where she conducts research involving domestic cats, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian are sending a message to Americans that cats' lives have no value. Yet the National Zoo's stated purpose includes respecting nature and protecting animals. Keeping Dr. Dauphine on staff during this time would be a violation of the trust the public places in the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution.

In the interest of ensuring the safety of animals, both at the zoo and in the community at large, and of reflecting our nation's humane values, I ask that you suspend Dr. Dauphine until this matter is concluded.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!