In challenging her conviction, Nico Dauphine argued that there was insufficient evidence to show that she had intended to harm the cats. But in a 12-page opinion issued Aug. 29, the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected her claim, saying “we are satisfied here that the evidence produced in this case was sufficient to show malice … .”
The case involved a feeding site that an apartment building resident maintained for neighborhood cats in Northwest D.C. In 2011, a D.C. Superior Court trial judge concluded that Dauphine, who had repeatedly complained to the building manager about the cats, was caught on surveillance video placing rat poison in the cats’ food bowl. Dauphine was convicted of attempted cruelty to animals and sentenced to a year of probation and 120 hours of community service. She also received a suspended jail sentence of 180 days.
Before her conviction, Dauphine was an outspoken critic of feral cats and had written several scholarly articles describing them as a major threat to birds and other wildlife.