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Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, agrasheim@alleycat.org or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES OPPOSES CHARLES COUNTY CAT LICENSING REGULATION
November 1 hearing scheduled; proposed amendments would deter humane, effective programs for feral cats

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today urged Charles County Commissioners to table the amendments to proposed animal control regulations related to cats.

The proposed legislation has dangerous provisions being considered include targeting any cat “at large” for impoundment, including feral cats who live outdoors—a move that would drive even more cats into the shelter system where the vast majority of cats who enter are killed. Nationally, more than 70 percent of cats who enter shelters are killed there.

Additionally, Good Samaritans—caregivers—would be required to purchase a license for each cat. Caregivers provide food and spay/neuter for cats at no cost to the county. Those caring for stray and feral cats without a license would be subject to large fines that would become a major deterrent for these community volunteers, who spend significant time, money, and energy caring for neighborhood cats and arranging for their neutering.

“This would not only be counterproductive, but very costly to taxpayers. What is needed are proactive life-saving education and spay/neuter programs, not punitive fines for being Good Samaritans” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.

“The ‘catch and kill’ approach is not only cruel, it’s ineffective, because removing cats will not stop the remaining cats from reproducing, thus, the breeding cycle continues ,” noted Robinson.

Alley Cat Allies contacted County Commissioners urging them to table the proposed amendments and to instead encourage programs that are in the best interest of the community and its cats, including Trap-Neuter-Return.

“Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane program that improves the lives of feral cats by ending the breeding cycle,” said Robinson. “The cats no longer undergo the stresses associated with mating and pregnancy, and the population stabilizes because there are no new kittens.”

Many jurisdictions around the country have embraced Trap-Neuter-Return, including the city of Baltimore.

The County Commissioners are scheduled to meet November 1, 2011, and Alley Cat Allies asks supporters to attend the hearing to ask that the proposed changes be tabled. Alley Cat Allies has also asked supporters to contact the Commissioners to voice their disapproval. For more information, visit www.alleycat.org.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is www.alleycat.org.