Man Convicted of Animal Cruelty After Killing Three Feral Cats

Justice Served for Richmond Feral Cats? I don't think so!

Justice was served according to Alleycat Allies when a Richmond area man who killed three feral cats behind a local television station in June was convicted of three counts of animal cruelty. For each cat he killed, he was sentenced to a 12-month suspended jail sentence and a $250 fine.

Keith Copi, the operator of a Critter Control franchise, was found guilty today under a Virginia law that prohibits the “cruel or unnecessary” killing of any cat.

At the trial, Mr. Copi admitted trapping and killing the cats, who had been cared for by employees of the television station for years. Mr. Copi’s license has been revoked.

Earlier this week Alley Cat Allies delivered a petition, ultimately signed by over 5,200 of you, to the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney thanking him for taking on this case. The prosecutor personally thanked us for the support you and we gave.

Cats are protected under the anti-cruelty laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and prosecutors are critical to upholding these laws. Those prosecutors who use the anti-cruelty laws to protect stray and feral cats deserve our thanks and support.
Sincerely, Alley Cat Allies


Anonymous said...

put a man in jail because that bastard cats were dead? I forgot, you live in a country, when women die in Hospital, and nobody help her. Sorry.
I think you live in australia, where that bastard creatures are executed whitout mercy, and i know, in one day, we'll live in a world cleaned by cats, and by cat-lovers. RIH (Rest in Hell), all cats.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad to see individuals so full of anger and hate. No wonder our world is so messed up today. If we can not show compassion to creatures that can not defend themselves how can we ask people to show concern for other humans that have the ability to ask for help? Yes people die in hospital, wars, due to sickness, violence,etc.. is that an excuse to kill innocent defenseless creatures NO!!!!!!!!!If you want to live in a place with no cats I recommend you to build your own capsule and travel outside planet earth; No one will miss you. Just FYI one day our planet earth will be inhabited by real compassionate people that will enjoy life on earth and will share it with all different types of creatures, including cats. I am happy you will not be there when that takes place!!!

Anonymous said...

Why is it okay to let people feed the feral cats, trap them, get them neutered, and then release them they can then go in other people's yards.

These cats should be trapped and immediately destroyed. They are not pets, they are vermin that must be eliminated. These employees were not performing a community service. They are actually creating more of a problem and, at the least, should be cited for creating a public nuisance.

Anonymous said...

Christ, you've got some neanderthal men reading this blog, don't you?

"when women die in hospital, and nobody help her" "where that bastard creatures"


Anonymous said...

Why is it okay for ugly people to have babies...and make more ugly people?

These people should be stopped and stamped out immediately, or at least shunned. They are not respectable citizens. They are eyesores, a scourge that must be eliminated. Anyone who enables them is actually creating more of a problem and should be cited.

thatswhenIreachformyrevolver said...

Hahaha! Yea, the enablers should be cited for having lousy aesthetics, at the least. RIH (REst in HEll), all ugly people and their enablers.

"That bastard cats"?

These posts are hilarious, Ed.

Douchebag Copi's "sentence" is a joke, but hardly surprising given the flippant attitude the average person has about cruelty to animals and the good ole boy mentality permeating the whole state of Virginia. We are lucky the prosecutor even decided to press the case.

People are so concerned about their own stupid little lives and whether or not all of their needs and desires can be met that they aren't even capable of thinking about anything meaningful, or even thinking at all.

"Kill it, it might hurt somebody, scratch my car, wander around in my yard, kill millions of my songbirds, ruin my life... whatever" is the only kind of response these self-important, dull-witted people can make. Their stupidity makes them incapable of empathy or compassion, apparently.

Good God people, get out of your own heads and go volunteer somewhere. Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around you.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to private property rights? If a feral cat is living on personal property, doesn't that property owner have a legal right to remove it? These cats don't belong to anyone, yet the property owner is supposed to allow these cats to remain on site and reproduce for years. Don't tell me about TNR - it doesn't work - the Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) programs being touted by local animal welfare groups are opposed by a diverse group of thoughtful and educated people and their organizations - including The Wildlife Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the National Association of Public Health Veterinarians and the American Veterinary Medical Association, to name just a few.

Those in opposition to TNR have such diverse agendas as companion animal welfare, protection of native wildlife, and public health and safety. Organizations typically promoting TNR do so to solicit the donations which fund them (by misinforming and then inflaming the emotions of well meaning, sincerely kind-hearted people), that is a disservice to both people and animals.

The "out-of-sight out-of-mind" cruel inhumanity of TNR is the less than humane deaths it causes to both the TNR cats themselves, and the native songbirds and small animals TNR feral cats prey upon. TNR cats do not die the peaceful painless death befitting a true companion animal, such as peacefully dying from old age while sleeping on their loving owner’s bed. TNR cats eventually succumb to disease, parasites, predation, accident or exposure. Being run over by an automobile, or being attacked by dogs, coyotes, parasitic worms and viruses are not humane ways to go. Meanwhile, loss of habitat continues to threaten our native wildlife and millions more native songbirds and small animals are violently killed each year by an introduced non-native predator called the feral cat.

If these cats are truly "companion animals", then they should be afforded the same consideration as a dog. Slap a license on them, require them to be indoors, on a leash, or in a confined space and fine the pet owner if the cat is captured and taken to the local shelter/humane society.

Feral cats = companion animals. Give me a break!

Ed Muzika said...

Who said cats or dogs are companion animals? They are companions once adopted.

I agree cats should be licensed and the leash laws applied to them. They should be chipped and have collars. Pet ownership should be a privilege, not a right.

This will not happen unless the population is diminsihed and leash and licensed laws enorced. They are not enforced now. Only 10-15% of even dogs are licensed, but leash laws are better enforced.

Animals abandonment is strictly not enforced by any agency, anywhere, but must be. Cats are considered disposable and no one would go after a cat owner who moves and abandons cats, but enforcement of these laws needs to be effected.

Strict enforcement will gradually decreased the feral population through TNR and attrition.

You cannot have leash and license laws until the limit on pet ownership is lifted or at least expanded such as in Santa Monica.

The lack of limits on cat ownnership does not autonmatically increase hoarders or cat deaths. The euth rate for cats in 22%, is half that of LA, and SM has no limit, and ferlas are taken in and killed as opposed to LAAS rejecting them. Dog killing in SM is about 9%, or about 1/3 SM.

AND, the per capita budget per impounded animal is lower than LA, and the per capita budget per person is about the same as LA, $6.

There are no street dogs in SM---I know, I lived there over 20 years. I don't think I ever saw more than 2 a year and more often, 1 a year.

Everyone in the humane community has a different opinion of how to resolve the euth problem. Some even say kill them all now and be more careful in the future for the sake of future generations of cats.

I say we have to do both.

Anonymous said...

"These cats don't belong to anyone, yet the property owner is supposed to allow these cats to remain on site and reproduce for years."

What? You clearly don’t even understand how TNR works. Based on your post, I suspect all you know about TNR and ferals comes from the inaccurate propaganda being disseminated by groups such as PETA and the Audobon Society, who have their own shortsighted agendas and are a hardly sources of “thoughtful” and balanced information.

No one advocates allowing feral cats “to reproduce for years.” A properly done TNR program stops cats from reproducing. TNR is not an ideal solution, but it does work, and there are many studies proving it. It is the kindest and most effective solution we have right now. What doesn’t work is simply ignoring the cats or trying to eliminate them through trap and removal. This should be obvious from the enormous overpopulation of feral cats in areas that do not have effective TNR programs.

My own experience with TNR is that it is a very effective and humane way to control and reduce a feral cat population. The TNR projects I have been involved with have all significantly reduced the local cat population. I have personally been caring for a colony of feral cats for six years. When I started trapping, there were 15 cats and kittens total, all living in the back yard of a rental property. I trapped 8 kittens and rehomed them and found homes for 3 tame adult cats. I have been feeding the same four feral cats there for six years. They are all very healthy and appear happy with their lot in life. The property owner is kind enough to allow the cats to stay there even though they are not his cats. He is just glad that they are no longer having kittens.

The issue is not cats vs. property rights. Yes, you can legally remove (humanely) a cat from your property, but some property owners don't mind cats staying if they aren't creating a nuisance. Caretakers should ensure that this isn't happening. Feeding stations can be hidden so the cats aren't as obvious, and deterrents can keep cats away from areas where they are unwanted. Conflicts can usually be resolved so the cats can stay where they are, but if all else fails the cats can and should be relocated.

It is simplistic to say that TNR is bad because the cats may die horrible deaths. Yes, some cats may die horribly, but any of us may die horribly. That is the risk we all face. Few wild animals live long, carefree lives. Unsterilized feral cats, with no one to look after them, are no exception. But feral cats who are sterilized and monitored can have longer, healthier lives than some housecats. At a local trailer park where I participated in a TNR project, there are sterilized feral cats who are now over 10 years old. The population in that park is stabilized, and animal control has told us that they receive fewer complaints about cats than they did before the program was implemented.

Human beings cause far more death and destruction in wildlife populations than cats, and it is preposterous and illogical to suggest that "non-native" cats should be trapped and killed because some of them kill wildlife. How “native” are you? Should we kill all predators because they kill other animals?
What should we do about the deadliest predator of all: the human being?

What seems lost on TNR opponents seem is that this approach does not create any new cats. Just the opposite, it reduces the population of free roaming, outdoor cats, a goal that cat lovers (and haters) and wildlife enthusiasts alike should support.

Anonymous said...

TNR programs is nothing short of animal cruelty under the guise of humanity. Cats belong indoors-period.

This Trap-Neuter-Release program is NOT CHEAP. It costs money to feed these homeless cats, and the county must contract the dog pound to somehow maintain these cats-and YOU CANNOT keep up with all of these free roaming cats. NO WAY, NO HOW! And they endanger threatened species significantly. If you all worry about humane treatment of animals-please do NOT re-release cats into a homeless state and birds too have rights!

AND SO DO WE!! MANY PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD OBJECT TO CATS WANDERING AROUND. These homeless cats are NASTY and they FIGHT viciously. I've seen homeless cats with detached retinas-due to cat fights. I seen another homeless cat the victim of a cat fight with its ear torn off!! So much for TNR humanity. It's animal cruelty. Big time! Is the city also going to pay for their flea and deworming protection? Advantage flea protection costs $10 a MONTH FOR EACH CAT. A colony of 40 cats, that is $400. That's just 40 cats. I doubt it. What about hurricane weather and the harshe elements (too cold, too hot?) Does that mean-too bad kitty? Wow.

ELEMENTS? HURRICANE PROTECTION? And outdoor cats have short brutal lives. Please do not condemn these cats to this.

And save our BIRDS!