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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2013
Contact: CATE SNYDER, csnyder@alleycat.org or (240) 482-3890; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@kellenadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES PASSAGE OF BILL TO NEUTER AND VACCINATE MORE CATS IN FLORIDA
Case studies show high success rate for Trap-Neuter-Return

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today urged Florida lawmakers to pass a bill that could save the lives of cats by supporting community cat programs that implement Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).

The Senate version of the Community Cat bill, sponsored by Senator Darren Soto, was temporarily postponed for further action after a hearing in the Agriculture Committee. A House version has already cleared an initial committee vote.

“Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective, humane, and common-sense approach to feral cats in the community, and it is already widely practiced throughout the state,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “This bill would replace failed old animal control policies that waste taxpayer dollars and would save the lives of millions of cats. It would also protect Good Samaritans who provide veterinary and other care for unadoptable feral cats.”

There is strong evidence that TNR helps reduce the size of feral cat colonies over time and saves shelters money as compared to “catch and kill.” In Jacksonville, a community cat management program that began in late 2008 has led to a significant drop in the number of cats brought into the public shelter. It has also saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing costs for killing the cats and cutting down on staffing needs.

Tampa Bay is home to two long-running, low-cost spay/neuter clinics that together have neutered more than 95,000 cats since they were established in 2005. The program has resulted in 9,000 fewer cats entering animal pounds and shelters in Tampa Bay every year.

“Some of the country’s oldest and most successful TNR programs are right here in Florida, in Brevard County, in Jacksonville, and in dozens of other communities,” Robinson said.

Americans overwhelmingly support community cat programs: in a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 81 percent of people thought it was more humane to let a stray cat continue to live outdoors than to have the cat caught and put down. Trap-Neuter-Return is supported by virtually all animal protection organizations, including the National and Florida Animal Control associations.

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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 nearly half a million 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.