For Immediate Release: November 18, 2009
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, email@example.com or 202-207-1134
ATLANTIC CITY’S CATS GET BOOST WITH NEW CAMPAIGN
Program Aimed at Re-Educating Community about Special Needs of the Boardwalk’s Feral
Cats – and Why Abandoning a Pet is Always a Crime
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ —Atlantic City’s visitors are often charmed by the colony of feral cats who
make their home under the city’s famed Boardwalk. But many may not realize that these cats –
who are skittish of humans and can’t be adopted – are part of a well-organized effort to ensure
their population remains healthy and stable, with no new cats or kittens added to the mix.
The Boardwalk Cats Project is managed by Alley Cat Allies, a national organization and the
world’s leading experts on Trap-Neuter-Return, a humane and lifesaving program in which the
cats have been neutered and vaccinated at local clinics before being returned to their home on the
boardwalk, where they receive regular food and care by volunteers. Friendly cats and young
kittens are put up for adoption. The feral cats who remain at the Boardwalk can be recognized by
their “eartips” – a small portion of their left ear is removed by a veterinarian after the spay/neuter.
The nine-year-old program is enormously successful, and has the support of community leaders
as well as local businesses. But a recent event in which two men were charged with animal
cruelty for attempting to abandon a pet cat and her kittens at the Boardwalk has prompted Alley
Cat Allies to launch an education program aimed at boosting community understanding about the
special needs of feral cats – and why the Boardwalk is no place for a pet cat.
“Feral cats are domestic cats – but they are not domesticated. They can’t be adopted into homes
because they aren’t socialized to people,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
“Trap-Neuter-Return is the best option for them – they live healthier lives and are better neighbors.
“But pet cats are dependent on people. They are accustomed to living with humans and being cared
for by them. It is never appropriate to abandon a pet cat to live among feral cats. It is an act of
animal cruelty,” Robinson said. She noted that one of the men charged in the abandonment case
was fined $500 and sentenced to 15 hours of community service; the other’s trial is still pending.
Alley Cat Allies and supporters will be out in full force at the Boardwalk on Friday
afternoon, November 20, to answer questions and provide information about the Boardwalk
Cats Project, feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return. The group will also hold a Boardwalk
Cleanup on Saturday, November 21.
To further reinforce the message that abandoning a cat is a crime, Alley Cat Allies is running a
series of ads on Atlantic City’s public bus shelters. The ads were made possible thanks to a
generous donation from ClearChannel.
The Boardwalk Cats Project is part of Alley Cat Allies’ Every Kitty-Every City: Atlantic City
program, which supports accessible and affordable spay and neuter for all cats in the city, pet or
feral. For more information, visit www.alleycat.org/AtlanticCity.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is www.alleycat.org.