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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.
  • Carla Delgado says:

    This must stop immediately, they are sentient creatures and you have no right, nobody does, to torture them. Wake up! Please!

  • 4mula1 says:

    another way to stop this is by not funding charities that fund ani-res (reform march of please visit,

  • Carol A Tavani, MD says:

    as a physician and scientist, I can say with medical certainty that these experiments are ridiculous and invalid not to mention the ethics or lack thereof involved. These people are in the dark ages.

  • Rachel says:

    My blood boils to think these cruel experiments are still being carried out. What purpose do they serve???? I know…..the purpose is that sickos can get their kicks!! Rest in peace little cat and all the others that have gone before you 🙁 x Respect to you James x

  • John says:

    In your face is the name of the game. Thank you Mr. Cromwell for lending your status as an animal angel to these bureaucrats. Did anyone record the reaction of those moved by the horrible photograph and the gut wrenching description?

  • Isabel Gonzalez says:

    Stop animal abuse!

  • KM says:


  • Karla Carvalho de Almeida says:

    How can someone do that to defenseless cats? MONSTERS! And well done, James.

  • Colleen says:

    Scientists will NEVER recover the level of admiration and presumed integrity they once enjoyed. They betray public trust with gross deceit and depravity. Now they’re exposed, bring on the artists, the children and the animals – to reclaim and restore the greater law of Compassion without borders, exception or excuse!

  • MONIKA says:

    Dear James, everybody should act like you did !! Well done. These cruel experiments on cats and on all the animals should stop immediately !!!!

  • Jennifer Whildin says:

    I love you, Mr. Cromwell, for standing up for animals, and for your bravery. You are a Class A person, and a wonderful actor as well. These experiments on cats and other animals are disgusting and evil, and we need to use more modern methods and create new ones for experiments and testing.

  • KISMEL says:


  • Gail Eisnitz says:

    Thank you, Jamie, for always speaking out for our voiceless brethren! You have always been a true inspiration to me and my hero. Sending great big warm hugs and GRATITUDE to you!

  • Johnson says:

    Question: WHERE is the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN getting these poor cats from?

  • Anthony Colacicco says:

    Good for you James and the other protestor, Bunch of scumbag people everywhere. They go to church and think they are good people. I saw only two reputable people in that place and many assholes with ears.

  • Kris says:

    Well done. It’s good to know that people are out there speaking up for animals even if they are in the public eye.God bless Double Trouble who never harmed anyone.

  • sandy says:

    Thank you for standing up for the terrible animal-abuse in science. Your strength is so admirable. Animal-abuse is everywhere, but when academics promote violence and inflict pain, on animals, it is beyond wrong, and needs to be publicized. Schools shape the minds and our students are learning that it is okay to mistreat and kill animals, whatever the reason. The greatest scientist, Leonardo da Vinci, was horrified at the idea of inflicting pain on animals, let alone kill them for food or anything else. He loved animals and when he saw them in cages to be sold in markets, he bought them and set them free. Our governments pretend to make laws to protect animals, but it is so hypocritical, when they allow the meat industry to use the most violent and brutal ways to raise and kill animals. We need more James Cromwell. Please, famous people, you who can bring some attention to this horror, speak up and do like Mr. Cromwell.

  • V. Wurthmann says:

    Thank you, James Cromwell for doing what many of us wish we could do. How anyone can justify what was being done to those poor cats is way beyond my understanding. It’s got to stop immediately!

  • Denise McKinney says:

    James you are a true heroic human being!!! I applaud your actions! I can’t thank you enough, I am so disgusted and outraged that this is going on – this is barbaric torture to any poor animal. Animals should never be subjected to such brutality. It breaks my heart and soul! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joy says:

    Thank You James Cromwell, Such a brave and compassionate move you made, other public people should be encouraged to do the same, and stop the cruelty. The blank faces in the background truly have nothing going on upstairs as well. Just stare in disbelief, and act as though they are innocent.

  • Mimi says:

    James, Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune–without the words, And never stops at all, ~Emily Dickinson Thank you for providing hope for the animals……

  • Joanna Moore says:

    James Cromwell is my hero for standing up to the UW’s barbaric experimentation on cats. Members of UW’s Board of Regents how do you justify the ongoing abuse? How do you sleep at night?


    This is the worst form of education. Shame on everyone who has participated in this experiment and let’s hope your heads are not popping out of this ghastly thing one day. KARMA !!!! will return.

  • Taskarose says:

    Good on you James! If only it could help to get the message across and I hope with all my heart it has! But sometimes you have to face the hard truth and realize that people who can support such cruel and disgusting acts on animals are heartless bastards. I doubt that this would even make them batter and eyelash. I feel for the other thousands of cats that at this very moment are being horribly tortured all in the name of science.

  • Diane Johnson says:

    Thank you James for standing up. Shame on you University of Wisconsin. You should be paying the consequences for these acts – not the persons bringing attention to these atrocities.

  • Kara says:

    What exactly was the experiment they were trying to do? Why isn’t that mentioned?

  • Jamie Johnson says:

    The University of Wisconsin is a complete disgrace! How cruel can you be?! This is so disturbing and disgusting. That poor cat, not to mention all the cats that have been abused and tortured by the students and staff at this school. How do you sleep at night?!

  • Barbara says:

    thank you James Cromwell. thank you, thank you so much !!

  • sandra bell says:

    Dog (cat) bless those two courageous, compassionate men. James Cromwell stands tall among his colleagues in Hollywood, not only as a fine, Oscar-nominated actor, but as an enlightened being with reverence for all life, including our Mother Earth. If only more renowned people would use their fame to speak out against vivisection instead of pouring their funds into the myriad corrupt disease “charities”, which support vivisection and rich corporate organizers, we could make progress in ending these cruel, fraudulent atrocities. Bravo Cromwell!

  • Maria Concetta Digiacomo says:

    Imperdonabile dal punto di vista etico. Ingiustificabile dal punto di vista scientifico. La Scienza non può giovarsi di metodi così berbari e arcaici, ma soprattutto INUTILI!!!

  • 4mula1 says:

    why wont you post my message?.. i cant believe you wont post this?!?…..

  • Dan says:

    Thank you James for standing up for those that cannot. You are giving the world hope for humanity. Nothing is better.

  • ChazH says:

    When was it exactly that the human race became sadistic and sociopath-ic? Maybe at the onset of intelligence? In which case, Ernst Mayr was right—intelligence IS a lethal mutation.

  • Elaine Fogarty says:

    Why has he been arrested? They are not the criminals in this ‘act’ of hideous cruelty against animals. This justifiably highlights the serious and current issues of animal torture and it has to stop. None of us need to own anything in our lives which warrants any animal being abused, skinned, tested on or eaten for that matter. I truly hope their message reached the humans in that room in their stuffy suits. I thought we were supposed to be born with an inbuilt conscience of what is right and wrong and yet some people still bury their heads in the sand and turn a blind eye. Thanks to these videos and campaigns we can all learn to stand up for animals’ rights to live safely and without fear. This is so shocking that if it were in a Film people would be up in arms. Perhaps instead of ads in the Cinema these clips should be shown instead.

  • Maria says:

    Thank you james Cromwell, you people have good hearts. The ones sitting there are just criminals, money driven volves, not humans.

  • Lisa Gregory says:

    This is disgusting that these archaic “experiments” still are accepted as science. It reminds me of the gynecological instruments that we were introduced to in the movie Dead Ringer’s…..remember?? He was demented, how come noone has spoken up and stopped these “ideas” sooner:(……Shameful!!!

  • linda says:

    UW experimental abuse for the good of science? This goes way beyond wretched!

  • linda says:

    UW experimental abuse for the good of science? This goes way beyond wretched!

  • danielle TRIAIRE says:

    Bravo à Vous, James et “SHAME”à tous ceux qui sous le pretexte de “recherches scientifiques” osent faire ces TORTURES aux animaux de “laboratoire” ( rien que ce nom est une USURPATION !)

  • Kathleen says:

    Well done, James Cromwell! It appears to be mostly women who are activists against animal cruelty, so I am grateful when I see a male stand up for them.

  • christine says:

    Thank you for standing up to these nasty poeple. There is no need to torture any animal. And they get payed for it dissgusting.

  • tanhowie says:

    kudos from Australia James its 2013 who the heck do they think they are? such cruelty for those poor cats, thanks soooo much!

  • B.J says:

    Thank you so much for standing up for animal rights. We need more people like you in the world.

  • mish says:

    Thank you James Cromwell. I Like to ask please let us know the outcome. Is the lab still running? Are there still cats being tortured? If so how can we break in the lab? I am a participant who is willing to take that measure of action.

  • Manel says:

    Mr. James Cromwell did the right thing. He showed the world that this cowards what they are doing to the innocent cats in their laboratories. This type of reserchers are total scam simply to get the Tax payers dollars in Millions & in the name of so called useless research. Stop this brutal practise. Let the cats live the way they are supposed to be. Shame on those University people. What do they teach students? To be abusers and unethical to vulnerable living beings?

  • Manel Dias says:

    UW- Madison authorities must be brought to justice for the torture they bestowed upon innocent cats. Those are ruthless Barbarians. Who needs to study in a University like that cruel to helpless animals. What are they teaching to students? To be murderers? To be vicious and cruel to helpless animals? This place must be closed down. Thankyou Mr. James Cromwell you had the real compassion to speak and to stand up on behalf of these defenceless animals. Thank you. Shame on those university Barbaric individuals who are trying to pretend that they are so educated and professionals? They are uneducated miserable greedy for money scavengers. Scooping up of Tax Payers money in Millions for such useless experiments. STOP THE BARBARIC PRACTICES. Get real leave those vulnerable animals to live the way they are supposed to be. Need to examine & check those so called professors & researchers heads first.

  • Simona bergman says:

    Thank you so much for caring and speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves! You are making a difference.

  • Stuart Thomas says:

    It is unconscionable – that by reputation a very fine university such as the University of Wisconsin would do such barbaric and cruel activities to defenseless cats. In my lifetime, I have attended a bowl game in Tucson, Arizona and cheered on the University of Wisconsin football team which was playing in it. I even sang “On Wisconsin” while there and my son who was with me was loaned for a while and wore a cheese-head hat. We supported the University of Wisconsin at the game. Well, I certainly will not be cheering a major university’s torture and killing of defenseless cats. I deplore it! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

  • Ursula says:

    God forgive us for inflicting such barbaric pain on fellow sentient creatures. THANK YOU James Cromwell for having the strength and decency to use your celebrity for such a humane purpose!

  • tess winter says:

    Brave wonderful man! Thank you!