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Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2008
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or 202-207-1134


President Becky Robinson receives Goodwill Key to the City of New Orleans; Offers
Disaster Preparedness Tips for Pet Owners and Feral Cat Caregivers

BETHESDA, MD – Becky Robinson, president of the national feral and stray cat advocacy
group Alley Cat Allies, was awarded the Goodwill Key to the City of New Orleans on Friday,
August 29, in recognition of Alley Cat Allies’ work to save the lives of hundreds of cats
following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Robinson received the award at a luncheon organized by the Humane Society of Louisiana,
following the dedication of the first memorial statue honoring animals lost during the catastrophic
2005 Gulf hurricanes.

“Alley Cat Allies is honored to be recognized by our colleagues and peers in New Orleans,” said
Robinson. “Since 2005, we have felt fortunate to work beside some of the strongest, most
persistent, and most caring individuals in the animal protection world. We look forward to
continuing our work in Greater New Orleans to create solid programs that protect cats.”

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Alley Cat Allies sent more than 100 specialized
volunteers—including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and trained animal rescue workers—to
New Orleans. They established a base camp and emergency shelter to help hundreds of displaced
companion and feral cats in the Gulf region.

Alley Cat Allies also set up a command center at its Bethesda, MD headquarters, reassigning most
of its staff to work full-time on emergency assistance. Staff responded to round-the-clock phone
calls and text messages seeking the organization’s guidance on humane trapping for cats and—
using Alley Cat Allies’ extensive network of feral cat caregivers and other contacts throughout the
United States—connected local rescue workers with resources to help evacuate cats to safety
throughout Mississippi and Louisiana.

For three months after the storms, volunteers at the base camp also conducted a major spay and
neuter drive, providing spay or neuter and vaccination services to more than 1,200 cats.
With an eye on Hurricane Gustav, Alley Cat Allies issued disaster preparedness tips for pet owners
and feral cat caregivers, available on Alley Cat Allies’ website (

“Three years after Katrina, the good news is that people now recognize the importance of having an
evacuation plan that includes arrangements for their pets in a disaster,” said Robinson. “We suggest
people take that one step further, and be prepared for any kind of unexpected emergency or event
that may render them unable to care for their companion animals or feral cat colonies.”

A photo of Robinson’s acceptance of the award is available for download at


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