Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat, Burleith Accuses GU

In a Jan. 30th e-mail to members of the Burleith community, a Burleith resident claimed that Georgetown University is responsible for killing stray cats left behind on campus by students.

In the e-mail, a resident who identified herself as “Renee S.” on the Burleith neighborhood’s Yahoo! Group, indicated that while attending a cat adoption program at a local PETCO, an employee informed her of what she called “Georgetown’s gruesome program to kill cats.”

Following this comment, Renee S. continued, “I would like to know why Georgetown University is killing the stray cats left behind by their own students. . At one point they actually put landfill into areas where cats would hide, trapping the cats inside to die a horrible death.”

After her initial comment about the needless killings, Lenore Rubino, president of the Burleith Citizens Association, responded to Renee S. in a message sent to the entire listserv, asking where she had received the information about Georgetown’s cat killings.

“All local PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] adopt-a-cat programs and local shelters that [do not] kill animals are aware of [Georgetown University’s] horrible actions,” Renee S. said in a reply sent out to the listserv.

However, animal rights advocate groups have not pressed the university for information concerning the alleged killings. According to Jim Monsma, director of Community Outreach at the Washington Humane Society, the Humane Society was unaware of the situation. In an e-mail, PETA also claimed that it was not involved with this issue.

Renee S. also criticized Georgetown’s actions in light of its Jesuit identity, suggesting that a Catholic school should instill better morals into its students who, she claimed, were leaving cats behind for the university to destroy after graduation.

“Part of a university’s job is to teach their students to become responsible adults, and leaving cats behind so the university can trap and kill them is extremely inhumane and irresponsible. . It is particularly upsetting that Georgetown University is a `religious’ school – I doubt God had intended for his creatures to be treated in this horrible and inhumane [way],” she said in the e-mail.

Linda Greenan, associate vice president for External Relations at Georgetown, responded to the allegations in a Feb. 13 e-mail to the Burleith community.

“There is no truth to this statement. Nothing of the sort is taking place on campus,” she said in the e-mail.

University spokesperson Julie Bataille agreed, saying that to her knowledge, the university has never destroyed any cats.

However, Greenan said, the university did at one point have problems with feral cats.

“At one time, several years ago, we had a problem with feral cats living on campus,” Greenan said. “Over the course of the time when this was a problem – about a year – we would cage the cats and relocate them to a farm in Pennsylvania. None of them were destroyed and we’ve not had this problem for many years.”

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