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Press Release

For Immediate Release: JULY 22, 2008
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or 202-207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES HUMANE TREATMENT FOR CAMPUS CATS
Group tells California State University Long Beach that relocation of feral cats is “not the answer”

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today urged officials at the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) to abandon plans to “trap and remove” existing feral cat colonies on the campus before August 18, and urged the university to instead support a well-organized Trap-Neuter-Return program.

“Relocation is not the answer for feral cats. New cats simply move in and take the place of the cats who were there before. This is a documented phenomenon called the ‘vacuum effect,’” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “We are offering our expertise to help the university work with caregivers and local residents to create an effective, community-based Trap-Neuter-Return program.”

Alley Cat Allies has spoken to representatives of the university, the caregivers and the local groups to provide assistance and expertise. Through its Campus Cats program, Alley Cat Allies has worked with colleges and universities nationwide to coordinate campus programs for feral cats.

“CSLUB has told Alley Cat Allies that it has no intention of causing any cats to be killed in this process. Alley Cat Allies has explained that bringing feral cats to a shelter will result in their death, because feral cats are not socialized to people and are not adoptable. Feral cats live outdoors. They have no desire to live with humans,” said Robinson. “Our shelter system is not equipped to manage feral cats. More than 70 percent of all cats who enter shelters nationwide are killed there. For feral cats, that number jumps to virtually 100 percent.”

For more than twenty years, caregivers have spent their time and money conducting a successful Trap-Neuter-Return program on the CSULB campus. As part of the program, outdoor cats are trapped, taken to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and returned to their outdoor home. Following the preliminary decision by the university to remove the cats, Alley Cat Allies has offered its expertise to caregivers and a best-practices model to help improve the Trap-Neuter-Return program. Alley Cat Allies is seeking CSULB’s support for the caregivers and the program.

Among the suggested improvements, Alley Cat Allies has offered CSULB information on installing humane cat deterrents to keep cats from specific areas where they are not wanted. Alley Cat Allies is also providing information to the university and caregivers which will help deter coyotes from coming onto the campus.

“Cats and coyotes have lived alongside one another for centuries. This is not about choosing one species over another,” she said.

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