Target: Italian Parliament, President of the Senate Pietro Grasso
Goal: Drop charges against an army officer who save the lives of a mother cat and her kittens
An Italian army officer has been sent to military court for saving the lives of a mother cat and her litter of kittens. The officer is charged with gross insubordination for allegedly ignoring an order forbidding troops from “bringing in or having brought in wild, stray or unaccompanied animals.” This caring officer faces a minimum sentence of one year in a military prison.
Lieutenant Barbara Balanzoni was stationed as a medical officer at a military base in Kosovo, when she was informed that a cat was making horrible painful noises. She investigated the scene and found a cat delivering a litter of kittens who could not independently birth the last kitten, which sadly was stillborn. According to The Guardian, Lt Balanzoni stated, “If the cat had died, the entire area would have had to be disinfected. What is more, the surviving kittens could not have been fed. So they too would have died and created an even greater public health problem.”
Lt Balanzoni further explains, “Far from disobeying orders, I was following military regulations, which state that, in the absence of a vet, the medical officer should intervene.” The veterinary officer was in Italy at the time, so Lt Balanzoni heroically stepped in. She noted that the mother cat, which they later named “Agata,” lived on the roof of a hut along with several other felines. “There are lots of cats on the base. In theory, they are strays, but in practice they belong there,” Lt Balanzoni said.
The gross insubordination trial is set to open in Italy in early February. An animal rights organization is aiding Lt Balanzoni in her defense, as well as questioning the Italian Senate regarding the validity of the charge.
By signing the petition below, you will help encourage President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso to drop these ridiculous charges against Lt Balanzoni.
Dear Senator Pietro Grasso,
I was disappointed to learn that Lieutenant Barbara Balanzoni is being charged with gross insubordination for saving the lives of a mother cat and her litter. Her actions were not only heroic, but she also prevented a further public health problem from occurring.
Lt Balanzoni was actually following military regulations when she responded to this feline medical emergency. Regulations state that “in the absence of a vet, the medical officer should intervene.” Lt Balanzoni should not face a minimum of one year in prison for following protocol.
I am asking you to please drop the charges against Lt Balanzoni as she bravely acted in the best interest of the animals, her fellow soldiers, and the surrounding community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tim Wang via Flickr