Cat-Poisoning Bird Researcher Trying to Fly the Coop

 |  Nov 22nd 2011  |   6 Contributions


cat photo with caption "I'm not angry. I'm just ... disappointed."
Well, well, well. Looks like the saga of cat-hating bird "researcher" Nico Dauphin isn't over yet.

Dauphin, who is infamous among cat lovers and TNR advocates for her staunch defense of the ridiculous thesis that outdoor cats are almost entirely responsible for dramatic decreases in the bird population, was found guilty of attempted animal cruelty after she was caught trying to poison cats living near her Washington, D.C., apartment.

The verdict was handed down on Oct. 31. A day or two later, there was much rejoicing when the poor, maligned woman on her lonely hero's quest (ahem) tendered her resignation from the Smithsonian, where she had been working as a postdoctoral fellow, effective immediately.

But had we heard the last of this modern-day Joan of Arc and her valiant battle to protect birds from the rending fangs and heartless predation of cats?

Nope.

After the multitude of delays she and her attorneys imposed on her trial, it hardly comes as a surprise that the sentencing hearing has been postponed, too.

After a number of administrative and legal shenanigans got Dauphin's sentencing hearing pushed back from Nov. 21 to Dec. 14, she upped the ante by dismissing the defense team that failed to get her out of trouble, hiring new attorneys and requesting a new trial.

Really, Nico? Really?

You're not 11 years old and trying to get your parents' permission to go to a sleepover with boys. Don't try going to your father to to get a "yes" after your mother has said "no."

I can't imagine a second trial will turn out any differently than the first one. The video evidence is still there, the proof of her attitude toward cats is still in print, and the record of her attempts to deny the true meaning of her previously published work is still a matter of public record. Even if Dauphin's new legal team persuades her to keep her mouth shut the next time she's in court, I don't think she has much of a chance of escaping the judge's gavel.

Why is this woman wasting the time and resources of the District of Columbia's court system in an attempt to get out of trouble for a crime she clearly committed? Her "research" has already been discredited by the outcome of the previous trial — it should have been discredited long before that, in my opinion — and she's already lost her position at the Smithsonian. What does she stand to gain from this?

Come on, Nico: You committed a crime and you've been found guilty. Now grow up and accept the consequences of your actions.

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