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Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2013
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, or (240) 482-3895; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Successful, tax dollar-funded Trap-Neuter-Return program threatened with plans to trap and kill neutered cats cared for by prison inmates

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy group for cats, today urged leaders of the Bayside (N.J.) State Prison, including Administrator John Powell and New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan, to halt plans to trap and kill a colony of neutered, vaccinated cats whose longtime home has been the prison grounds.

“These cats have made Bayside State Prison their home for years, and were neutered and vaccinated with state funds in a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program carried out by Animal Alliance of Cape May County under the previous administrator,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The low-risk inmates living at the prison provide ongoing care, including feeding the cats.”

Robinson said Alley Cat Allies received an urgent alert from supporters last week that Administrator Powell is readying plans to hire a contractor to trap the cats, despite the success of the TNR program.

Prison officials rejected an offer by Alley Cat Allies to assess the property and the cats; neuter any unaltered cats; assist with fostering and homing any adoptable cats; and install humane deterrents to keep the cats away from specific areas of the prison grounds.

“Administrator Powell’s decision to use even more tax dollars to trap and kill cats living peacefully at the property is an outrage—and a major mistake,” Robinson said. “Any unneutered cats at the prison are most likely to avoid the traps and continue to breed. His plan will only lead to a pointless, cruel and very costly cycle of trap-and-kill.”

Robinson noted that TNR is the only effective approach to stabilizing and eventually reducing feral cat populations over time. Alley Cat Allies has helped a number of communities—including the Atlantic City Boardwalk and Cape May—implement and maintain successful large-scale TNR programs. Alley Cat Allies has also worked with a number of prisons, including Christina Melton Crain Unit at Gatesville, Texas; and the former prison at Lorton, Va.

Alley Cat Allies is calling on supporters to contact Administrator Powell and Commissioner Lanigan and urge them to call a moratorium on the trapping. More information can be found at


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 website is