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Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2010
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or 202-207-1134


Bill would harm successful spay/neuter programs for low-income pet owners and feral cats

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today called
on supporters in Illinois to voice opposition to a pending bill in the state House of
Representatives that would cut funding for successful spay/neuter programs.

The bill (HB 5689) would eliminate the Illinois Pet Population Fund, which provides funding for
spay/neuter programs for low-income pet owners and for feral cats who are part of Trap-Neuter-
Return programs, and would re-direct the funding to county animal control programs.

“This legislation is entirely wrong-headed. Cats who are spayed or neutered live better and
healthier lives,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “But this bill would severely
impact access to neuter programs for low-income pet owners and feral cat caregivers.

“The Illinois Pet Population Fund is a key part of 2005’s Anna’s Law, which was passed to make
spay/neuter funding more available throughout the state and has made a tremendous difference,”
said Robinson. “Participation in low-cost spay/neuter programs by veterinarians, pet owners and
feral cat caregivers has increased year after year. Now those programs are in jeopardy.”

Robinson noted that household income is a major determining factor for the neuter status of a pet.
A peer-reviewed study by Alley Cat Allies published in the Journal of the American Veterinary
Medical Association found that nearly three-quarters of all intact pet cats live in households
earning less than $35,000, and that the cost of the procedure was one of the main obstacles cited by
low-income pet owners.

Robinson also pointed out that the bill’s provision to re-direct funds to county animal control
agencies – but not necessarily to spay/neuter programs – will inevitably mean more animals
entering shelters.

“Our examination of intake records for pounds and shelters in the state found that more than half of
cats who enter shelters are killed there. We can only expect these numbers to rise if the bill
passes,” said Robinson.

“This would not only be tragic but very costly, as ‘catch-and-kill’ is very expensive and ineffective.
In fact, Anna’s Law was aimed at saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the number of dogs and cats
entering animal shelters. If Illinois passes this bill, it would be a giant step backwards for the
state,” Robinson said.

Supporters in Illinois are urged to visit for more information and resources to
help contact local lawmakers.


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is