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: February 13, 2014
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, or (240) 482-3895
FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

City stands behind innovative, lifesaving program against frivolous and misguided legal action

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, today applauded the City of Albuquerque, N.M. for standing behind its innovative Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for outdoor cats, which just celebrated its two-year anniversary and has already been hugely successful, decreasing the number of cats killed in city animal shelters by 59 percent in just the first year.

“TNR has been a big win for the City of Albuquerque, its residents and its cats,” says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “The city’s animal welfare department reports major success and widespread community support for TNR. Far fewer healthy cats are being taken to shelters and killed there and fostering and adoption programs for socialized cats are flourishing.”

Albuquerque’s TNR program was the target of a frivolous legal action filed in January that completely mischaracterizes the intent and structure of TNR programs. It claims that returning feral cats back to their outdoor homes is abandonment. TNR does not constitute animal abandonment.

Anti-cruelty laws that outlaw animal abandonment target pet owners who abandon pets outside when they have never lived outside and do not have the skills to survive outside—not compassionate citizens and agencies that protect feral cats through TNR programs. Returning feral cats to their natural outdoor environment, which they are well-equipped to live in, after they have been neutered and vaccinated by a veterinarian supports the cats’ best interests.

Albuquerque is standing behind TNR and defending its program, which has become a model for other municipalities nationwide. Albuquerque is one of more than 430 local governments nationwide that officially endorse TNR.

TNR is the only humane and effective approach for feral cats, who are not socialized to people and cannot be adopted into homes. TNR stabilizes and eventually reduces outdoor cat populations over time, while also saving money that can be dedicated to community education and pet adoption programs.

In TNR programs, outdoor cats are humanely trapped and spayed/neutered and vaccinated by a veterinarian. While still under anesthesia, a small portion of the cats’ left ear is removed—called an “eartip”—to signify that the cat is part of a TNR program. Socialized cats and young kittens are placed in foster programs for adoption, while feral cats are returned to their outdoor homes.


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. Its website is