National Zoo Employee Found Guilty of Trying to Poison Stray Cats

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File photo of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

File photo of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A National Zoo employee charged with trying to poison stray cats in her northwest Washington neighborhood has been found guilty of attempted cruelty to animals.

A D.C. Superior Court judge found Nico Dauphine guilty of the misdemeanor on Monday. Dauphine faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine when she is sentenced on Nov. 21.

Dauphine’s lawyer argued during a trial that although security cameras captured Dauphine hovering over a bowl of cat food in March, his client was removing the food to keep the cats from congregating. Prosecutors, however, said a second video showed Dauphine reaching into a plastic bag and dumping poison onto the food.

Dauphine repeatedly denied throwing rat poison on the food.

Dauphine’s lawyer declined to comment after the trial.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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