Our Work in Los Angeles
From the beginning, even before Alley Cat Allies had an office and was located in President Becky Robinson’s attic, we have been active and working to help Los Angeles’ stray and feral cats. For 20 years, we have worked with caring individuals performing Trap-Neuter-Return, helped and advised local groups, and consulted with Los Angeles Animal Services on stray and feral cat issues.
Now, as the city has been forced to suspend spay/neuter funding for feral cats and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return, Alley Cat Allies is in close and frequent contact with our colleagues, supporters, and friends in Los Angeles working to restore this life saving program. “This is a giant step backwards,” said Robinson. “The progress and compassion in Los Angeles on behalf of stray and feral cats cannot be ignored. We won’t let this decision stand.”
Los Angeles-based Stray Cat Alliance has worked with Alley Cat Allies on various campaigns and projects through the years. The group’s founder and executive director, Christi Metropole, looks at the current situation with optimism. “It’s an opportunity for us to put Trap-Neuter-Return on the map and to bring it into the mainstream even more,” Metropole said. “This will focus the public’s attention on the issue of feral cats. Now we just have to rise to the challenge and ensure that we prevail.”
Los Angeles recently announced its intention of becoming a no-kill city by 2010; but with this latest move and others, many recognize that there is a lot of work to be done. Taimie Bryant, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been involved with Trap-Neuter-Return programs since 1989 when UCLA launched its Cats on Campus program. “If the city has aspirations of actually becoming a no-kill city,” said Bryant, “they are going to have to embrace a Trap-Neuter-Return program. They should institute a legitimate policy and program—and eliminate the controversy that surrounds TNR programs in the city all together.”
Many national and local groups, including Alley Cat Allies, have formed a coalition working to reinstate the city’s spay/neuter funding and promotion of Trap-Neuter-Return. Alley Cat Allies’ senior program manager, Elena Johnson, was in Los Angeles for the group’s January 4th meeting, continuing our connection and outreach in the city. “Working with such dedicated groups on a common goal is inspiring,” said Johnson. “Together we will right this wrong for cats.”
In addition, Alley Cat Allies has launched an education and outreach campaign in Los Angeles to help garner support for the restoration of spay/neuter funding. Our public service announcement (PSA) “Save This Cat” is running on cable channels including Animal Planet and TLC. Thanks to a generous donation from Clear Channel, we will be displaying 4 billboards in the city of Los Angeles. We are also partnering with area pet stores and veterinary clinics to display our “Los Angeles Cares about Cats” posters.
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