Orlando Sentinel publishes instructions on how to kill a cat

By Francis Battista

Wanna know how to mercilessly kill a cat? Don't worry about having to search the weirdo part of the Internet. The weirdos are now writing opinion pieces for the Orlando Sentinel!

This week, the Florida newspaper published an op-ed from Ted Williams, who was editor-at-large for Audubon Magazine when the article went live but has since seemingly been demoted to “independent journalist” (according to a newly revised byline). In the piece, Williams references the terribly flawed Smithsonian study we've already discussed at length. He argues that trap/neuter/return (TNR) is a religion, that it’s cruel to cats and dangerous to the public, and that there’s just no talking to us pro-TNR crazies. But all that balderdash is just the same old drumbeat we've heard for ages now. Nothing new, and nothing factual.

But, wait ... here’s something new. Apparently Mr. Williams knows the perfect way to deal with this scourge on society, and he’s not too shy to say it.

What's that, Ted? We should just kill them? How do we do that?

"There are two effective, humane alternatives to the cat hell of TNR. One is [XXXXXXX*] (the human pain medication) — a completely selective feral-cat poison. But the TNR lobby has blocked its registration for this use. The other is trap and euthanize."

That’s right ... Ted Williams of the National Audubon Society lets you in on a nifty method for killing cats! In a major American city newspaper, he told you how to commit a felony. I only hope you're as shocked and outraged as we are.

Poisoning animals is expressly prohibited in many states, and in most states intentionally killing a domestic animal is a felony.

Now, if you follow the op-ed link above, you'll notice the paragraph we quote is missing. Since the article went live on the Orlando Sentinel's website, the offending paragraph has been deleted. But don't worry, courtesy of Peter J. Wolf of the blog Vox Felina, we have a copy of the original op-ed. Clearly someone at either the newspaper or the Audubon Society realized just how extreme Ted’s views are.

The Audubon Society may decide to claim that this is a case of a lone wolf, a man whose views don't represent the whole. They may claim that he wasn't telling you to actually kill cats. But c'mon, that's like showing someone how to make a bomb, but then saying, "Promise you won't actually bomb anyone, OK?" It's what I would call a "wink, wink." You know, when someone says for you not do something but then winks at you.

There has to be common ground in this conversation. That's how solutions are found to problems. While we believe in the efficacy of TNR programs, if they’ve got something better, we’re all ears. Truth is, vaccinated and sterilized cats are the best humane option we have. Extremists like Ted Williams who think the mass slaughter of feral cats by a pain pill–wielding populace is the right solution should kindly keep their manifestos to themselves; that type of incendiary ranting has no place in civilized discourse.

We believe Mr. Williams doesn't deserve to be paid by the National Audubon Society, either. Please, click the button below to send a letter to the National Audubon Society calling on them to further demote Mr. Williams, ideally to part-time custodial arts engineer.

We’re also curious, Audubon, where do you stand on the issue of feral cats? What a perfect time for you to endorse the practice of TNR.

By the way, we asked the Orlando Sentinel to print a rebuttal op-ed, and they declined our request.



Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society