July 24, 2015
Two California animal rights activists arrested after vandalism spree
By Marty Graham
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Two California animal rights activists were arrested on
Friday over accusations that since 2013 they had wandered the country
vandalizing stores and homes and releasing minks and other animals as part of an
Joseph Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Kissane, 28, are charged in a six-page
indictment with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Anti-Terrorism Act,
in connection with a spree of vandalism of homes, vehicles, shops and farms tied
to the meat and fur industries, federal authorities said.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed in federal court in San Diego on
Friday, they did more than $100,000 worth of damage while they traveled 40,000
miles (64,000 km) across to Pennsylvania, Oregon, and a half dozen other states
in their Honda Fit.
The pair allegedly posted manifestos about their exploits on animal rights
websites while they were traveling, the indictment alleges.
Buddenberg and Kissane are accused of vandalizing a San Diego furrier and the
homes and property of people connected to the store, releasing a bobcat in
Montana, and slashing tires and gluing locks that belonged to fur and meat
businesses in San Francisco, according to the indictment.
They are also accused of releasing nearly 6,000 mink from fur ranches in Idaho,
Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura Duffy said:
"Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make
your opinions known," Duffy said.
"The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and
vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue, and chemicals, is a form of
domestic terrorism and can’t be permitted to continue," she said
Buddenberg and Kissane were arrested in Oakland on Friday and federal
prosecutors say they will send the pair to San Diego for trial.
If convicted, they face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison and fines up to
[Press Office Note: Imprisoned in cages for life, or mercilessly trapped with
painful leghold traps in the wild, fur-bearing animals killed to make
unnecessary fashion statements are forced to endure intensive confinement,
compared to the miles of territory these still-wild animals would enjoy in their
natural state. The natural instincts of these captive animals are completely
frustrated; self-mutilation, sickness, infection, poor sanitation and the sheer
stress of confinement lead animals in captivity to premature death. When they do
survive, animals of sufficient size are killed by anal electrocution or gassing,
then skinned. In addition to liberating the wild animals destined for a certain,
painful and agonizing death, another goal of liberationists is to cause economic
damage to fur retailers and farms; dozens of stores and fur farming operations
have seen economic ruin since "Operation Bite Back" began by the Animal
Liberation Front in the 1990s.
The Animal Liberation Front and other anonymous activists utilize economic
sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of
abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more
expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, they maintain the
atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller
numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and
killing of innocent, non-human animals. A copy of the Final Nail, a listing of
known fur farms in North America, is available from the Press Office website at