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Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 2, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Alley Cat Allies welcomes Dauphine’s resignation; asks for further confirmation of her prohibition from research

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today called on the Smithsonian Institution to halt any research of Nico Dauphine’s and commit to never hiring her again in any capacity, in light of the guilty verdict in her attempted cruelty towards animals case.

“Any research Nico Dauphine was involved in should be considered tainted and biased,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “We know one of her research projects studied the behavior of cats by ‘mounting small cameras on domestic cats that roam outdoors to see how they affect wild bird populations.’ Given this conviction, that research should not be allowed to continue. In fact, it should be dismissed entirely.”

Dauphine, a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution’s Migratory Bird Center, was found guilty of misdemeanor cruelty after an investigation last spring showed her in video surveillance placing rat poison around the food of feral cats left out by caregivers in her Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

“We are happy to hear that she resigned her position on Monday, and that the Smithsonian accepted her resignation effective immediately,” continued Robinson. “A person convicted of attempted animal cruelty should never be allowed to work at an organization whose stated mission includes ‘demonstrating leadership in animal care.’ We hope the Smithsonian will never employ her again in any capacity.”


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