Skip to Main Content

Update: James Cromwell Won’t Face Criminal Charges Over UW Protest

Written by Michelle Kretzer | March 25, 2013

Update: Good news! We love James Cromwell even more than we already did because of his willingness to face arrest to help bring attention to cruel brain experiments on cats at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and now we love that local prosecutors have declined to bring criminal disorderly conduct charges against him—as well as against the PETA staff member who was arrested with him—for pointing out that the experiments are unethical and must be stopped. The pair have instead been cited for noncriminal county ordinance violations—similar to a traffic ticket.

The USDA’s documentation confirms that pain was inflicted on cats—including Double Trouble—who suffered from chronic life-threatening infections after having holes drilled into their skulls and metal coils implanted in their eyes and being constantly starved to force them to obey commands. Please join James Cromwell today in urging the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to stop these cruel and deadly experiments.

The following was originally posted on February 7, 2013:

Members of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents sat stunned as actor James Cromwell entered their meeting to challenge them over experiments on cats. Likely the last thing the board expected today was to have an Academy Award nominee rush in, holding a grisly picture of a cat with a large metal post protruding from her head, and exclaim, “This is not science! This is torture! Shame on you!” But James, a longtime PETA supporter, felt that it was high time the board got personally called out for UW-Madison’s abuse of cats. Campus police arrested him and a PETA staff member but not before the board had to stare into the face of just one of the many cats who had been tormented and killed in UW-Madison’s disturbing brain and ear experiments.

The orange tabby cat whose image has become synonymous with the cruel cat laboratories is Double Trouble. Experimenters screwed a steel post to her skull so that they could immobilize her head and planted electrical devices deep inside her ears. They allowed her massive, bloody head wound to become severely infected, and they then starved her for days at a time so that she would cooperate with them in exchange for a morsel of food to eat. Finally, calling the experiment a failure, they killed and decapitated her.

PETA has repeatedly asked UW-Madison to end its abusive experiments on cats but has received no response. Please e-mail UW’s Board of Regents and urge the members to listen to James and the hundreds of thousands of other compassionate people who want the school to end these cruel cat laboratories and switch to modern, superior, non-animal research methods.

Commenting is closed.
  • Julia says:

    Thank God for people like you who are prepared to stand up for what you believe in. In this day and age I didn’t think this cruel practise was still going on. Shame on this university. I wonder how the people involved in this explain what they do to their families . Thank you so much. Keep going. Julia x

  • kaylarhayne says:


  • Raina Spaziani says:

    James, You are the man!! Thank You SO very much for having the balls!!! to go in there and shame those ridiculous people!!

  • lisa house says:

    i am truely ashamed to admit that im an alumnai of uw system!!! i applaude mr james cromwell for having the testicular fortitude to do what should have been done years ago!! unitll uw madison ceases and decists in these actione i and my friends and family are and will have no affiliation with this school. i even ripped up my diploma in protest.

  • The Cat Whisperer says:

    Well done James Cromwell! I can’t believe that this heinous behaviour is even allowed to go on. These fiends must be brought to account. And I am being very calm and civil in this post, for if I were to say what I really feel about these individuals then I may get in trouble

  • Nicholas says:

    nice work James. You did a good thing. 🙂 The barbarism needs to to stop.

  • april says:

    Love him! my hero.

  • Nikki's Dad says:

    Some day your “research” will be regarded as outrageous, today it is tolerated, by some. Others stand up for what they believe. I hope the goal of this research has explored all other avenues, and has considered using biological models. This isn’t one of those things in the name of science that will ever be done lightly, but I hope when these cats have done their duty in your experiments that you thank them as you would a friend. And in the future, that researchers realize the true costs involved in their science, and reflect inwardly when making decisions to use animals in research.

  • linda house says:

    It’s really scarey that educated people would stoop this low and call themselves smart or even humans.Watching that video, all the people sitting around that table are all dressed profesionally , and they are suppose to be the tops of all. It sounds just like all the CEO’s who use children for human trafficing.

  • Leslie Reed says:

    Thank you so much James Cromwell, and PETA!!!

  • Daniele says:

    I am truly impressed by Mr. Cromwell’ courage here! Bravo!!!!!! Those labs are ever so inhumane. Those people who perform these experiments are obviously not human rather inhumane. We all know that, unfortunately.

  • Greg says:

    James Cromwell and friend are both class acts. Thanks for telling the truth about what goes on at the University of Wisconsin. Wonderful job!

  • Heather says:

    I got goosebumps watching this! Thank you Mr.Cromwell, and your friend also, for this wonderful and compassionate display of bravery for all the animals that put up with so much pain and abuse and TORTURE at the hands of what fools believe to be the “superior” being. In my eyes this is an act of heroism and I am humbled by this selfless act. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!! =D

  • k pfahl says:

    Thank you Mr.Cromwell and the other gentleman with you. Thank you for being REAL MEN and standing up for your beliefs and the rights of innocent animals. Please be strong and know that you are making a difference.

  • Sigrid says:

    THANKYOU, Mister James Cromwell!!! God Bless You!

  • jeanie says:

    The people gathered in that room ,now have no excuse to support the University and its barbaric and cruel so called tests.They could see with their own eyes how cats and other animals are treated by the U V .How can they turn a blind eye to it ? They should withdraw the funding and these people exposed for what they are.CRUEL,UNCAREING, UNFEELING Tormentors of animals.!!!!

  • Tess says:

    Many,many thanks for standing up for these poor animals. We need more celebs to stand up for the rights of animals. People will always help people but animals will always be neglected because people don’t get recognition for helping animals.

  • Sassafrass says:

    James Cromwell’s actions speak for the way many of us feel. He just had the courage to take bold, but peaceful action. Kudos to Mr. Cromwell!!! I wholeheartedly support him. It is so disheartening that our society seems to accept (or turn a blind eye to) inhumane treatment when it comes to laboratory testing. What makes this situation even more sickening is that the testing on some (if not many) of these animals was in vain as it didn’t contribute one bit to the research! What an abuse of animal life . . . what an abuse of human power! How did we ever get to this place?


    way to go Mr. Cromwell. we, as a nation, need more people who are willing to stand up and be counted as a wittness for thoes who have no voice.

  • pup1mama says:

    I can’t stop crying for the innocent souls tortured and wasted by these soulless people. The only discovery that comes from these experiments is that these are cruel, barbaric, inhumane neandrathals who choose not to use cruelty free technology to conduct experiments. What kind of university chooses cruelty over real science?

  • J.Gray says:

    Go on, Mr. Cromwell. Don’t give up. Cats are gentle and sensitive individuals which deserve the same respect as humans.

  • Cynthia says:

    People who can do this have no morals or compassion we usually call them serial killers you are no different.


    Thank you James Cromwell for taking action to help these poor, little defenseless animals. These barbarians up in Wisconsin should be ashamed of brutalizing these animals. Animals were born free just as humans and God loves them as much as he loves us. God bless you Mr. Cromwell.

  • dora vieira says:

    James Cromwell you are a great person, thanks for care with animals, they shoud never be treat like that, they have rights but they can´t vote so they need our voice to defend them.

  • Marta Bravo-Luna says:

    Teaching vivisection at school doesn´t add anything to science, is just teaching the young children to exercise cruelty on helpless beasts without voice. It´s much better to teach young people to respect these lives and encourage them to learn in the future alternative techniques to fight against disease. To get involved in research with the highest state of the art technology instead of vivisection. I´am an epidemiologist, and I strongly love and respect both human beings and animals. So did the great Dr. Albert Schweizer

  • Merryla Fidler says:

    Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr says my cats Boubi+Gigica and wouf wouf with joy would have said my Boston terrier if he is still alive. You are our HERO for your courage +compassion. Thank you James! Merryla Fidler

  • Anna Tangi says:

    I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery that could not have obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. Charles W. Mayo, MD NOW is the time to switch to modern, superior, non-animal research methods.

  • Rhiannon G. says:

    This is in response to M. Moneypenny’s response: To answer your question I have learned that these experiments have been going on for at least 11 years, maybe longer. Not one article has ever been published in any scientific or peer reviewed journals. In regard to the orange tabby in the photos they deemed the experiment “a failure”, however, they did it to ensure constant funding. What a bunch of evil individuals. Since the Freedom of Informaion Act doesn’t apply to laboratory research records kept on animals the fact that PETA won a lawsuit to obtain these records and photos was quite an accomplishment. Let’s not let up on this. Keep writing letters, protesting, and telling anyone that will (or doesn’t want to) listen! Especially since Mr. Cromwell and Mr. Beckham really exposed this to the Board of Regents it is only a matter of time before these tests are stopped permanently. At least I pray they will be stopped permanently.

  • Rhiannon G. says:

    I am a student at UW-Rock county, and because of the torture of cats by UW-Madison I am disgusted and embarassed to be part of the University of Wisconsin system. I was at the PETA protest back in September and was stunnded when some of the students were angry that we were speaking out about this abuse. Some even defended the monsters that tortured these sweet and defenseless cats. Shame on you UW-Madison. You deserved the interruption by Mr. Cromwell and Mr. Beckham! A Million thanks to James and Jeremy; what courage it took to speak out for those who don’t have a voice. I salute both of you wonderful men!

  • RICHARD says:


  • AZdp1 says:

    Stop torturing cats and other animals. Bravo to Mr. Cromwell for being a strong man. Imagine all of the things we don’t know about… labs do horrid things to rats too, and get away with it, because people think rats are just vermin. They are smart and affectionate, too.

  • Cindy says:

    Thank you, James Cromwell, for using your position, visibility and powerful voice to bring awareness to the terror inflicted behind closed doors. You are an inspiration.

  • Noelle says:

    The University and its students should be so ashamed of the cruelty! And THANK YOU Mr. James Crowell for your compassion and taking a stand against this gross injustice for these beautiful animals!!

  • voiceforanimals says:

    BRAVO!!!! Probably the best performance he has ever done and also the younger gentleman!! I applaud them both they have passion with a purpose!! I’d like to have the opportunity to crash a meeting or 2!! Thank-you for caring and taking the time to help sweet innocent cats and all other animals!

  • Lucas says:

    Thank you for this effort.

  • leann says:

    if only i had the chance to do this to them. i would give me great pleasure. if these “people” (and i call them that with great reservation) would look in the DSM-IV and the DSM-IV they would find that those that do things to animals are the same ones that torture children and the elderly and are usually murderers. i didn’t say that, people with several degrees in psych. said that. Those books are the “bible’ to diagnose deviant and unacceptable behaviors. if you have issues with living things, go dig graves for a living at least a living being will not suffer.

  • di says:

    thank you James Cromwell. thank you, thank you, thank you

  • Jess says:

    Well done, if only it could make things change !! I do HOPE SO !! for this animal on the pic, and all the others who suffered like her ! … :s <3 <3

  • Cora Romein says:

    Just sent an email to all people listed by PETA. They must stop this living nightmare for these cats. What are they thinking? Are they thinking at all? A standing ovation for Mister James Cromwell.

  • Jeanne says:

    This is so cruel. I am speechless. Please stop torturing cats.

  • anita says:

    Thank-you for doing the right thing, I applaud you both for your compassion to stand up against this university.

  • Mari D says:

    How could they? Who could do a thing like this? How are they not being prosecuted for such animal cruelty? If people did this at home and someone found out, they would be prosecuted for extreme animal cruelty. How does being under the guise of science and experimentation free them from being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? I pray for all of the animals that have suffered and will suffer because of this. I pray for their quick demise so they no longer feel what is being done to them. What kind of person is this that this does not bother them in any way? This is not okay. This is terribly wrong and cruel and this is a very sick thing to do.

  • ANTJE mOLTON says:

    I wish I could point the finger at the Americans but here in England and all over Europe ‘the so called civilized world’ these experiments are wide spread and leagal.The instigators of these experiments need to be locked up.People who can commit such attrocities on defenceless creatures will do the same to their fellow human beings if in their minds the occassion warrants it .

  • Irene says:

    Shame on humans… HOlocaust never ends!!!! this is really what we can do to weakers!!!! this is really not science, this is evil

  • Joanne says:

    I agree that the wrong ones were arrested!!… SHAME ON WISCONSIN UNI and the students who don’t say something against this barbaric torture. I sure hope none of them have pets!

  • Karen says:

    Utterly barbaric!!! We have to be their voice. Thank you James for speaking out for these sweet little innocent creatures!

  • Uschi Gruener says:

    How can those people still look into a mirror without having to vomit? They are one of the reasons why this earth still is bleeding. They are not able to feel any compassion for living creatures. What a shame! My big respect for James Cromwell !!!

  • Rebecca says:

    Right on for James Cromwell for walking into that meeting. Ive been following this case for sometime & it horrifies me how they can live with them selves after doing those kind of experiments. I 100% support PETA.