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March 21, 2012


Filed under: Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 4:29 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434


Troy Felines to Undergo Humane Surgery with “Operation Snip”

TROY, N.Y. (March 21, 2012) – One hundred fifty of Troy’s feral felines will no longer be “catting around” after graduating from Operation Snip – the City’s first TNR program.

TNR is trap-neuter-return of outdoor, feral cats living throughout Troy’s abandoned buildings and alleys. City Council President Lynn Kopka announced the program as a collaboration with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the Rensselaer County Humane Society and other animal care groups.

NOTE: There will be a press conference for the Troy TNR program on Friday, March 23 at 4 p.m. at Troy City Hall, 1776 Sixth Avenue.

Bat Shea Brown's Poster“Kopka has long been involved with the feral cat population in her neighborhood of Washington Park.

“The overpopulation of feral cats is a concern to residents and businesses throughout Troy,” said Kopka. “Working with the Humane Society in early spring to spay and neuter up to 150 cats is a good beginning to address this issue.”

The Humane Society receives thousands of stray kittens every year, many of them born from free roaming cats. South Troy has been identified by the Humane Society as one of the region’s “hot spots” for free roaming kittens being born.

“We are enthusiastic about the collaboration with the City of Troy on this project,” said Brad Shear, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. “This is exactly the kind of preventative program that will reduce the population of cats in the area and improve the quality of life for felines as well as humans.”

Troy’s animal control officer Kevin McDonough has seen an increase in the number of feral cats in recent years.

“I am optimistic about this coordinated operation to reduce the number of feral kittens born each year,” said McDonough. “Animal Control officers have little jurisdiction over feral cats but are aware of the neighborhoods’ concerns about their increasing numbers. Implementing a city-wide program of this nature is a step in the right direction.”

Laurene Smith, president of the Rensselaer County Humane Society, added that, “being in a joint venture with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the City of Troy, and the numerous wonderful animal care groups we have in our area on this very important and necessary project is what it’s all about when your mission is to help those animals in need.”

The Rensselaer County Humane Society will be also donating a supply of rabies vaccinations for the TNR as well as assisting in the trapping. Also contributing a supply of rabies vaccinations is Pondview Country Kennel. Five traps are donated by Troy’s own Pfeil Hardware. Various animal care groups, including Noah’s Kingdom, are lending traps.

Trapping locations will be identified by neighborhood groups, the City’s Animal Control Officer, volunteers tending feral cat colonies, Code Enforcement and TPD. Surgeries are scheduled for April 3 & 4, 10 & 11, and 17 & 18 at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. Cats will be trapped the day and evening prior to their trip to the operating room for spay or neuter services. Approximately 25-30 traps will be set for each day, with the expectation that at least 25 cats will be curious – or hungry – enough to enter the traps. Tasty meals of fish will be inserted in each trap. Curiosity will not kill the cats, but will leave them in a healthier state of mind and body.

After neuter or spay surgery, ear tipping and vaccination, each cat will be placed in the trap, driven to Troy and held overnight in a secure, enclosed location until release the following morning. Cats will be returned to their point of origin.

TNR will not solve the overpopulation of feral cats but will begin to address the proliferation of feral cats. Their numbers will gradually reduce. The behaviors and stresses associated with mating and fighting lessen. These adult cats are not candidates for adoption and cannot be introduced into homes as pets. Kittens can often be adopted, but they must be socialized at an early age.


Funds of $35 per cat
Drivers to and from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Loan or donation of 50 hav-a-heart raccoon traps
Cat food
Small plastic disposable dishes
Small blankets/towels to cover the traps

Operation Snip is partially funded by an anonymous donation from an animal lover. Additional funds are being solicited and may be sent to the Troy PBA, PO Box 1041, Troy, NY 12181-1041. Clearly write “SNIP” on the check. All funds will go for direct services; volunteers will not be paid for any expenses. Donation or loan of Hav-A-Heart traps is needed. Volunteers are also being sought for driving to and from the trapping locations and Humane Society; intake at MHHS; and cleaning and return of traps.

To donate or loan a trap, contact Lynn Kopka at 274-6434.

Additional information about feral cats may be found at


For images of the cats and the cat “condos,” visit:


Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Rensselaer County Humane Society
Troy Housing Authority
Pondview Country Kennel
Noah’s Kingdom
Pfeil Hardware
City of Troy Animal Control Officer Kevin McDonough
Troy Police Benevolent Association
Pet Care Community Volunteers
Town of Colonie


Gail Lundstrom
Deb Henderson
Peggy Kownack
Antoinette Sposito
Dusty Dalton
Sid Fleisher
Ginny Gokhale
Karla Guererri
Sonny Loomis
Charleen Vielkind
Sister Anne
Terry Cook

For information, contact Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434


March 6, 2012


Filed under: Author,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 9:01 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary

Troy Novelist leads Toast To Bat Shea With Seasonal Ale at Brown’s Brewing

Event Commemorates Notorious Troy Election Fraud, Celebrates New Paperback Book

TROY, N.Y. — This Thursday, March 8, Brown’s Brewing Co. will begin serving a seasonal ale with a wink and a nod to Troy’s Irish culture and historical saloon room political shenanigans.

Bat Shea Brown's Poster“Bat Shea Red” is a traditional Amber Ale, named for Bartholomew “Bat” Shea, a nineteenth century Irish bar thug who was infamously accused, tried and executed for murdering Troy Industrialist Robert Ross during an incident of election fraud March 6, 1894.

At 5 p.m., Thursday, Troy novelist Jack Casey will lead a toast to Bat Shea and sing a few songs inspired by his story.

“Troy’s bars have been the setting for countless political schemes throughout our history,” said Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” a novel, play and album. “Shea’s case is perhaps the most notorious of them because of the violence and the backlash. By the time he was executed in the electric chair, few believed he was guilty, but the courts refused to give him a new trial. This Thursday we’ll hoist a glass and sing some songs to remember this quintessential Irish rebel.”


On election day, March 6, 1894, Troy brewer and political boss, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Murphy, D-Troy, sent a gang of Irish-Catholic repeat voters to stuff the ballot boxes of the city’s Thirteenth Ward in an attempt to steal the Republican alderman position for one of his own men, saloonkeeper George Dunlop. Ross, a Scots Presbyterian Republican, stood up to the gang led by Shea and was shot dead in the scuffle. The trial of Bat Shea became an international news story as the world watched American democracy on trial. Shea was convicted with perjured testimony hatched by the nativistic American Protective Association, that age’s Ku Klux Klan, and condemned to death. His appeals failed.

Three days before Shea’s execution, however, another man confessed to the murder. Even so, the court denied Shea a new trial. In his final moments, Shea forgave all responsible for his trial and conviction, and walked proudly to the electric chair. The man who hounded him to death, on a platform of anti-Irish bigotry, became governor.


In the 1970s, Casey reintroduced a new generation of Trojans to the story of Bat Shea with a serialized novel that ran in The Troy Record. Since then, he has re-told the story as a novel, a play and an album of original music. This Thursday, “The Trial of Bat Shea” will be released in a new paperback edition with artwork and graphic designs by Lansingburgh native Jennifer Peyser. Copies will be available for sale at Brown’s during the event and online. For information, and to listen to the music, visit

“‘The Trial of Bat Shea’ is a true story about American immigrants, the failure of our criminal justice system and the same sort of bigotry and religious persecution we see today directed toward immigrants,” Casey said. “We promise democracy as a nation, and we say it’s guaranteed in our laws, but when people get here we don’t always deliver it.”


Bat Shea Red Ale is a traditional seasonal Amber Ale brewed by Brown’s Brewing Co. in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Medium bodied and malty with moderate hoppiness, Bat Shea Red pairs nicely with traditional Irish dishes served in Brown’s Taproom. Malts: Domestic Two Row Pale, Caramel, Munich & Bonlander. Hops: Cascade & Willamette 5.25% alcohol by volume. Bat Shea Red Ale will be on tap in Brown’s Taproom and Revolution Hall from March 8 throughout St. Patrick’s Day.

Twenty-two oz bottles of Bat Shea Red, with special commemorative front and back labels, will be available for take home purchase at the bar for $4.99 per bottle.

Also available at Brown’s this Thursday, starting at 4 p.m., will be a special firkin of Cask Conditioned Dry Irish Stout while it lasts.


For a high resolution publicity poster, Bat Shea Red beer labels, author photos and a radio interview with musical performances by Jack Casey, visit:


You can also catch Jack Casey on Sunday, March 18 at Bat Shea’s Pub on Ferry St. in Troy for more songs, and stories about Bat Shea. Copies of the new paperback edition of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” as will Bat Shea Red.

Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723