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Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 26, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Smithsonian researcher charged with attempted animal cruelty; faces fine and possible incarceration

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for cats, said it was closely monitoring the case of Nico Dauphine, the researcher at the National Zoo charged in May of this year with attempted cruelty to animals living near her Columbia Heights home.

Ms. Dauphine’s trial opened this week in D.C.’s Superior Court Ms. Dauphine is alleged to have spiked food left out for feral cats by their caregivers with rat poison. If convicted, Ms. Dauphine faces punishment that could include a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days incarceration.

“All cats—feral, stray and pet—are protected by anti-cruelty laws that exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “What makes the allegations in this case particularly horrifying is that poisoning is a slow and painful death for cats.”


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is