Nicole Kissane Sentenced For Freeing Mink From Farms, Vandalizing Fur Store
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North American Animal Liberation Press Office
January 2017

Nicole Kissane
Nicole Kissane

SAN DIEGO, CA A former Escondido woman who admitted freeing mink from farms across the country and vandalizing a fur store and the owner's home in San Diego County was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in federal prison.

Nicole Kissane, 30, originally pleaded guilty a year ago, along with co- defendant Joseph Buddenberg. Their plea agreement was binding, meaning that rather than allowing the judge to set the sentence, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns had to accept or reject the specific sentence spelled out in the agreement.

Buddenberg was sentenced last May to two years behind bars, but when it came time to sentence Kissane, the judge said a proposed six-month term was too low and refused to approve it.

Attorneys in the case said they arrived at the agreement because Kissane played a smaller role in the anti-fur rampage than Buddenberg.

Last month, Kissane reached a new deal with prosecutors. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, admitting that she caused more than $100,000 in damage to the operation of an animal enterprise.

She also admitted vandalizing the Furs by Graf store in Kearny Mesa on July 14, 2013, as well as the Spring Valley and La Mesa homes of the business' owner and the owner's parents.

"Vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue and chemicals in the dark of night is a form of domestic terrorism," said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson.

"Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, these sentences are a pretty strong signal that this isn't the right way to effect change."

Arguing for a 15-month sentence, Kissane's attorneys said their client had an extraordinary degree of remorse for her actions and blamed Buddenberg for abusing her and leading her astray after she came to the movement because of her love of animals.

But Burns said both Kissane and Buddenberg committed the same crimes in a "calculated, premeditated campaign of terror" that went on for several months.

Kissane and Buddenberg will have to pay $423,477 in restitution, according to the judge, who said that about one-third of the minks that were freed from farms by the defendants were hit and killed on roadways.

According to an indictment, Buddenberg and Kissane drafted "communiques" describing their conduct and posted them on websites associated with animal rights extremists.

Burns ordered Kissane to report for custody by Wednesday morning.

By City News Service

[Press Office Note: Imprisoned in cages for life, or mercilessly trapped with painful leghold traps in the wild,  fur-bearing animals killed to make unnecessary fashion statements are forced to endure intensive confinement, compared to the miles of territory these still-wild animals would enjoy in their natural state. The natural instincts of these captive animals are completely frustrated; self-mutilation, sickness, infection, poor sanitation and the sheer stress of confinement lead animals in captivity to premature death. When they do survive, animals of sufficient size are killed by anal electrocution or gassing, then skinned. In addition to liberating the wild animals destined for a certain, painful and agonizing death, another goal of liberationists is to cause economic damage to fur retailers and farms; dozens of stores and fur farming operations have seen economic ruin since "Operation Bite Back" began by the Animal Liberation Front in the 1990s. />
The Animal Liberation Front and other anonymous activists utilize economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, they maintain the atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and killing of innocent, non-human animals. A copy of the Final Nail, a listing of known fur farms in North America, is available from the Press Office website at

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