Girl Charged In Woodpecker-Cat Incident

Girl Charged In Woodpecker-Cat Incident

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Skylar Capo. She was doing the right thing.

Skylar Capo. She was doing the right thing.

An 11 year old girl and her mother, for a while, unjustly faced the full force of US law in a woodpecker-cat incident. I realize this isn't exactly a cat story, but it gives an example on just how finickity the government in my country can be. Actually, the mother was charged, but think how horrible this has been for a young girl who was only trying to do the right thing.

Skylar Capo, who lives in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area is a typical 11 year old girl who one day hopes to be a veterinarian. Now we all know how cats and birds sometimes cross paths and this is what happened in this case. She was in her dad's back yard when she learned the family cat was about to kill a woodpecker, which is on the endangered bird species.

After rescuing the endangered woodpecker, Skylar and her mother Alison stopped at the local Lowes home improvement store on their way home and took the bird inside so the heat didn't kill it. It was here they ran into an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Apparently, the possession and/or transportation of a baby woodpecker may violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Capo family had no idea they were breaking the law. When they returned home the bird was released and the family thought that was the end of the matter.

Two weeks after the incident the same employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed up at their home with a state trooper and issued the fine of $535 and a citation for Alison Capo to appear in U.S. District Court to face charges for unlawfully taking a migratory bird.

Alison refused to take the citation in person and it had to be mailed to her. She was looking at up to a year in jail if convicted.

Now all government officials involved are saying this was all a clerical mistake and all charges have been dropped. That the whole ordeal was one big misunderstanding.

I hope this doesn't deter Skylar from her plans to become a veterinarian when she grows up. At least she has learned young just how crazy the government in the U.S. can be.

I have a few other things I'd like to say to Skylar while she is young. The first is the government isn't always right. In fact, these days, it rarely is. Skylar, you did nothing wrong by saving this bird.

There are now laws that prevent the feeding of stray or feral cats, so check out the laws where you live to be sure you won't be going to jail or fined for that.

There are people who willfully abuse animals and get little or no punishment. Either they are let go or fined a small amount and sent back into the world to abuse more animals. If any of your friends abuse animals, please tell a trusted adult about it as these people grow up to abuse people.

And Skylar, when you grow up and go to veterinary school, please remember the oath you will take as issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association. It reads as follows:

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge." See Veterinarian's Oath.

A lot of people in the U.S. continue to declaw their cats. This is wrong and painful and crippling. It's also the total opposite on what the veterinary oath is saying.

It's going take Skylar's generation to stand up to the AVMA and ban this horrible operation.

Hopefully declawing will soon be banned in this country as it is in most civilized parts of the world.

I hope the readers at picturesof-cats.org aren't angry with me because this isn't strictly a cat story. It just angers me when someone tries to do the right thing for ANY animal and the government has to stick their nose into it.

Elisa

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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Girl Charged In Woodpecker-Cat Incident

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Aug 04, 2011
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Thank you Elisa
by: Ruth

I say you were justified in writing this article.

This is just an example of how crazy the law can be !

Poor little Skylar has come up against the craziness very early in her life and I don't think she will ever forget it. I'm so glad the charge was dropped against her mother, but it will make them both very wary about what to do for the best in the future.

I'm sure she will make a wonderful vet and along with others of her generation make a difference to animal welfare.

Governments are so out of touch with ordinary people it's frightening. Take ours, forcing older people to work until they drop while youth unemployment grows and grows. They can't see that letting people who have done their bit retire, would free up jobs for those young people who deserve a chance.

I despair of this whole world right now !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Aug 04, 2011
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Coins
by: Elisa

There's so much fake money here now that I will only carry change. Coins seem to be less likely to be counterfeit. Cats make me happy. If I can take care of them I don't need anything else.


Aug 04, 2011
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America
by: Michael

The US spends far too much abroad on wars and so called aid that gets re-directed to terrorism. The Afghan economy is entirely dependent on US money! It is hopeless.

The days when the US thought they could spend as they pleased are terminally over.

The US has to economise big time as do many countries in Europe. Calif is broke and selling assets.

But once people get used to living on debt it is almost impossible to change the habit.

Italy is broke. If that country goes down we are in a big mess in Europe.

Many people see meltdown and are buying gold.


Aug 04, 2011
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Thank you!
by: Kitty N

Thank you, Elisa, for metioning feeding feral/stray cats being illegal. It is barbaric and it's illegal where I live. I have gotten in trouble for it... This is barbaric!! Cats and dogs are not vermin!! As a regular reader of your columns, I an not the least bit angry that it wasn't about cats. :-D Much love!!


Aug 04, 2011
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PLEASE NOTE THE CASE WAS DROPPED
by: ELISA

It was dropped but it just goes to show how crazy things can get.


Aug 04, 2011
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Free Cats
by: Elisa

Michael I have 9 cats running in the free ads in the local paper along with a photo of each cat. I require a vet reference and deliver the cat to the home so I can feel if it's right for the cat. I've placed several that way in the past. Some animals I have to charge for and some I don't. Each is different depending on how much I've spent and what I feel is right for the situation. I haven't had the first phone call concerning any of the cats. No one wants them. No one wants them thru the freebies or thru the shelters but they're bound and determined when they get ready to throw them away. I only rescue a cat with the understanding it might be mine forever. Still its sad.

The U.S. is in serious trouble. It's fast to send millions to help people in other parts of the world yet there are starving and homeless children in this country. The goverment is in a conspiracy to eliminate the two groups of undesirables in this country. The poor and the elderly.

They also give massive tax breaks to countries coming to the U.S. while at the same time our companies are relocating to countries with a cheaper work force.

Its madness and it's only going to get worse. I do what I can but it's hard to even turn on the news.


Aug 03, 2011
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Same here
by: Michael

Yes it is a kind of madness. The right things get criticised and the wrong things are allowed.

In the UK local government is run by people who are not the brightest. And there is a lot of waste in terms of tax payers money.

This brings to mind the case in Beverly Hills of the lady who was doing TNR work and who fed cats as part of that process. She was prosecuted but it led to and outcry and a new law!

The people win through in the end.

I am worried about the USA as are many people in Europe and across the world. Your country, as is the case in some European counties, does not seem to be able to live within its means (large debt). Your politicians don't seem to have a handle on it. Nor do ours incidentally!

If there is more recession and worse in the USA, cats will suffer more worldwide. It affects us and our animal companions.



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