Join the movement to protect cats

Sign up for our mailing list and learn how you can help us win the battle against unnecessary killing of cats. Sign up now »

Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Charges Appropriate and Necessary for Cruelty against Feral Cats

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today applauded Washington, DC authorities for upholding anti-cruelty laws for feral cats.

In early May, Nico Dauphine, a researcher at the National Zoo’s Migratory Bird Center was charged with attempted animal cruelty for allegedly poisoning feral cats in Washington, DC’s Columbia Heights Neighborhood.

Dauphine has published numerous papers scapegoating cats for the loss of bird species, using unreliable data and misrepresenting research to condemn cats.

“This troubling story underlines the importance of what we have been doing for over 20 years,” said Alley Cat Allies president Becky Robinson. “Alley Cat Allies supports humane and effective policies that take into account the best interests of all animals. Intentionally killing cats is illegal and cruel. Criminal charges in this case are appropriate and necessary.”

Killing cats is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—and that applies to all cats, pet, stray or feral.

“District of Columbia residents care about cats—and that is we started a successful and effective Trap-Neuter-Return program two decades ago just a few city blocks away from where the attempted cat poisonings occurred,” said Robinson.

Alley Cat Allies was born from its first Trap-Neuter-Return effort in the Adam’s Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. Neutering thousands of cats and organizing local caregivers, Alley Cat Allies’ pilot program was so successful that Trap-Neuter-Return was embraced by animal control—and incorporated into a supportive city ordinance.

Today, Alley Cat Allies works with people and organizations ensuring humane care for cats all across the country.

An Alley Cat Allies survey of Americans’ attitudes toward outdoor cats conducted by the respected research organization Harris Interactive found that the overwhelming majority would prefer a cat be allowed to live out her life outdoors rather than be caught and killed.

“Americans want humane programs that reflect our moral standards and that answer the needs of the entire community—cats and people,” said Robinson.


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is