For Immediate Release: April 18, 2013
Contact: VAISHALI HONAWAR, firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 482-2580; CATE SNYDER, email@example.com or (240) 482-3890
Alley Cat Allies Asks Brevard Commissioners Not to Weaken Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinance
County has been a pioneer in humane treatment of outdoor cats since 1999
BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, is urging commissioners in Florida’s Brevard County not to make restrictive changes to its pioneering ordinance that supports Trap-Neuter-Return for outdoor cats.
Commissioners met this week to discuss proposed changes that include neighbor consent for colony registration. In an encouraging move, the commissioners held off on making any decisions, and asked county staff to explore options to address some of their concerns and to look into ways to fund TNR in the county.
“We are encouraged that the commissioners are taking the time to carefully study this very important issue,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Brevard County has served as a model for humane care for cats since 1999, and dismantling the ordinance now would put the county on the wrong end of a growing trend of local governments who support TNR.”
More than 330 local governments now allow or endorse TNR in their communities, and two states, Illinois and Utah, and the District of Columbia have TNR-friendly laws. 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.
Brevard was among the first counties to support and encourage TNR for outdoor cats, a lifesaving program that keeps outdoor cats out of shelters where they are inevitably killed because they are not socialized and therefore unadoptable. In 1999, Animal Services in Brevard passed a pro-TNR ordinance with help from Alley Cat Allies and local TNR organizations. But in May 2012, county commissioners placed a moratorium on new colony registrations and began a discussion on additional restrictions. Alley Cat Allies, local animal organizations, and Brevard County Animal Services have since been working together closely to improve responses to feral cat inquiries and strengthen ties in the community.
In a TNR program, feral cats are trapped, neutered and vaccinated, eartipped for identification, and returned to their original outdoor home.
“TNR in Brevard has been a win-win for the community and for the county,” Robinson said. “The program has successfully kept outdoor cats out of shelters, and it has decreased the amount of tax dollars spent on killing healthy animals. This program works and it needs to stay.”
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.