There is a war going on around stray and feral cats in the USA and elsewhere. On one side are the people, usually kind women, who want to do the right thing for stray cats and the right thing must be TNR while at the same feeding them or helping the cats in any other kindly way. There is no better or more humane way than TNR at present of reducing the stray cat population. One such lady who was caring for stray cats is Rebecca Stafford in the Adams district of Los Angeles.
On the other side are people who are generally more aggressive and less concerned with doing the right and humane thing. All they want is for the cats to go away. This is stray cat nimbyism (not in my backyard). The aggressors sometimes shout at the the people feeding cats or they even take them to court under some obscure law, while others resort to violence of an extreme kind, both against the cats, and the people caring for them. One such person is a Los Angeles firefighter, Ian Eulian. His mother is an accomplice. These people fail to understand that people just like them are responsible for the creation of these homeless cats.
On Sept. 14, 2013 it appears that Stafford had been trying to trap an injured cat and as she was sitting in her car she was accosted by Ian Eulian and his mother. His mother started hitting Stafford and her son it seems thought his mother wasn’t doing enough damage to the woman and so he stepped in and punched her with full force three times knocking Stafford unconscious. She only has a vague recollection of the events.
The Eulians tried to cover their tracks by trying to convince Stafford that she had fallen over and knocked herself on the pavement (sidewalk). Unfortunately for the Eulians but fortunately for justice (and the assaulted lady) the whole thing was videoed by a surveillance camera (the video is above).
The video above may be in breach of copyright and pulled by the YouTube police so I have reproduced two screenshots from it below:
The firefighter has been charged with a serious crime: battery causing serious bodily injury. Stafford says she was not feeding the cats but trying to trap an injured cat. She admits to throwing cat food at Ian Eulian and smacking him on the head. That appears to be a part of the defence attorney’s defence in Mr Eulian’s trial currently underway. A weak defense. I’d suggest.
There are bigger issues, however. As mentioned, this sad story is symptomatic of the failure to get to grips with the stray and feral cat problem. People hold deeply polarized views about how to deal with them. Nearly all the efforts are reactive and concern how to get rid of the cats: humanely or inhumanely. The truth is that all the effort needs to be focused on how to prevent the creation of the cats.
The sad postscript is that there are many stories of firefighters saving cats from burning homes. Mr Eulian has done them a grave disservice.