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Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 15, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Welcomes prohibition of Nico Dauphine from working with cats; notes disappointment at lack of jail time

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today commented on the sentencing of Nico Dauphine, the former Smithsonian Institution bird researcher who was convicted of attempted cruelty to animals in October. The conviction stemmed from her attempt to poison feral cats near her home in Washington, D.C.

Dauphine’s sentence includes 180 days of suspended jail time, 12 months of probation and 120 hours of community service. She is prohibited from contact with cats, both in her employment and in community service, during the period of her probation.

“We are disappointed that Dauphine’s jail sentence is suspended, as we believe time in prison is appropriate for her crime. Poisoning is a slow and cruel death for cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “However, we are gratified that the judge has barred Dauphine from any contact with cats during her probationary period. In fact, Dauphine should never be allowed to work with animals again.”

“We remain grateful to the prosecutors for taking on this case and treating it with the seriousness it warrants,” she said. “Far too many animal cruelty crimes involving cats go unpunished. We hope this case serves as a standard to be upheld by law enforcement across the country.”


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