Animal-Rights Activist Sentenced For Freeing Mink From Farms, Vandalizing
Nicole Kissane also admitted to vandalizing the Spring Valley and La Mesa
homes of the Furs by Graf store owners and the owner's parents.
California Patch (Patch Staff) - January 17, 2017
SAN DIEGO, CA – A former Escondido woman who admitted freeing mink from
farms across the country and vandalizing a fur store and the owner's home in
San Diego County was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in federal prison.
Nicole Kissane, 30, originally pleaded guilty a year ago, along with co-
defendant Joseph Buddenberg. Their plea agreement was binding, meaning that
rather than allowing the judge to set the sentence, U.S. District Judge
Larry Burns had to accept or reject the specific sentence spelled out in the
Buddenberg was sentenced last May to two years behind
bars, but when it came time to sentence Kissane, the judge said a proposed
six-month term was too low and refused to approve it.
the case said they arrived at the agreement because Kissane played a smaller
role in the anti-fur rampage than Buddenberg.
Last month, Kissane
reached a new deal with prosecutors. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, admitting that she caused more
than $100,000 in damage to the operation of an animal enterprise.
also admitted vandalizing the Furs by Graf store in Kearny Mesa on July 14,
2013, as well as the Spring Valley and La Mesa homes of the business' owner
and the owner's parents.
"Vandalizing homes and businesses with acid,
glue and chemicals in the dark of night is a form of domestic terrorism,"
said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. "Whatever your feelings about
the fur industry, these sentences are a pretty strong signal that this isn't
the right way to effect change."
Arguing for a 15-month sentence,
Kissane's attorneys said their client had an extraordinary degree of remorse
for her actions and blamed Buddenberg for abusing her and leading her astray
after she came to the movement because of her love of animals.
Burns said both Kissane and Buddenberg committed the same crimes in a
"calculated, premeditated campaign of terror" that went on for several
Kissane and Buddenberg will have to pay $423,477 in restitution,
according to the judge, who said that about one-third of the minks that were
freed from farms by the defendants were hit and killed on roadways.
According to an indictment, Buddenberg and Kissane drafted "communiques"
describing their conduct and posted them on websites associated with animal
Burns ordered Kissane to report for custody by
By City News Service
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 www.animalliberationpressoffice.org]