corporation (noun) – An ingenious device to create individual wealth without individual responsibility. Ambrose Bierce
Some companies care about the communities that they operate in. They support programs for the poor and hungry. Unused land gets set aside as wetlands or as parks for the communities. Others just don’t give a damn. Sinclair Broadcast Group is a company that doesn’t care and doesn’t care if you know about it.
Now I’ll admit Sinclair hasn’t given me warm fuzzies for years. Their attempt to influence the 2004 election with propoganda posing as a ‘documentary’ was contemptable (note – I don’t think either side should be allowed free time like that unless the station, using the public airways, allows an equal response). Their censorship of Ted Koppel’s tribute to fallen troops in Iraq shows they care more about ideology than the truth (a very bad sign for a company that transmits the news) and honouring those who gave their lives is an even lower priority. Earlier this year they started playing a shell game with a corporate holding company to skirt the law against having two TV stations in the same market(Fox 35 and CBS 6). And, now, they are killing cats.
Over the years their employees have been leaving food out for a colony of feral cats living on Fox’s property. To me that makes them morally obligated to the care of the colony not to mention that the colony has been there for over 30 years, predating Fox itself. Last month Fox started taking steps to exterminate the colony. The Richmond SPCA sprung into action and tried to take steps to stop the killing of the cats. Fox, well, they really didn’t care.
Their solution to this little PR kerfuffle was to trap the cats. Did they contact experts in animal welfare or one of the local humane groups? No, they called an animal control company who trapped the cats, took them home, then killed them. Charges are pending. The next steps makes you question their claims that they didn’t know the trapper was going to kill the cats. They sent in the bulldozers.
The SPCA moved fast and got video crews from the other TV stations onto the scene. It was then Fox showed they do care about something, their bottom line. Bulldozing cats leading the evening news might make advertisers a bit squeamish. The bulldozers stopped. Finally they came out to say they cared about the colony and would try to do the right thing and work with local humane groups for a solution. Small problem with that statement. A month later and none of the local humane groups have been contacted. Sounds a little like in 2000 when George Bush said he was a uniter and would work across the aisle to bring everyone together…. Whatever happened with that?…
The SPCA and a few other groups have been trying to trap some of the cats. While some of the cats are able to be adopted out many aren’t and it is very difficult to relocate feral cats. It also doesn’t help that Fox isn’t following through on their promise to cooperate with the humane groups and is actually hampering their efforts by putting up No Trespassing sings on the property with the colony.
I suppose it would be one thing if dealing with the colony in a humane way would cost them an inordinate amount of money or effort but it doesn’t. Sinclair Broadcast Group simply doesn’t care. The public airways are there for the benefit of the people. They use it for an agenda. The FCC restricts media ownership in single markets to ensure balance in information. They use shell corporations to skirt the law. They stifle opposing views. They kill cats.
To save a colony and keep it healthy is not that hard. Once a month I set out a few traps with a little bit of mackerel. Whatever cats I trap go to the vet the next morning. Next we go out to brunch with RVA Foodie and family (we actually don’t plan it that way it just seems to happen) and that afternoon we pick up the cats from the vet. Spayed or neutered, vaccinated, wounds treated, de-wormed and even a dose of Frontline. The result has been healthier cats, less kittens and with a higher survival rate, and much less fighting amongst the Tom’s plus I don’t have to explain to Finn why he can’t pet the mauled and dying kitten twitching on our front steps.
Did have some good news at our colony. Last month one of the cats I caught did not come out of the anesthesia. What made that worse was the cat was lactating. We looked for the kittens but couldn’t find them. Over the past couple of weeks a cat and kittens took up residence on our back porch. The kittens were less than 8 weeks and oddly the mother was one that we had had fixed 3 months ago. Our guess is she adopted the orphaned kittens. Made us feel a bit better.
This weekend we only caught one cat. An orange tom. He came through with flying colours and was released back into the ‘hood yesterday.
The score if your keeping track -
4 female/3 males – Trapped Fixed and Released
1 male – Not Healthy or Injured – Euthanized
1 female – Didn’t Learn Lesson & Trapped Again
1 female – Didn’t Survive Procedure
See you next month for round #5