For Immediate Release: MARCH 14, 2008
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, email@example.com or 202-207-1134
ALLEY CAT ALLIES WELCOMES DECISION BY IOWA TOWN TO REPEAL “BOUNTY” ON CATS
State Veterinarian Investigates Town’s Mayor for Illegally Holding and Neglecting Cats
BETHEDSDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, welcomed the decision of the Randolph, Iowa city council last night to repeal a “bounty” program that had offered five dollars in cash to anyone who caught and brought to the city’s mayor a free-roaming cat. Under the program, most of the cats turned in would likely have been killed.
An investigation by Alley Cat Allies also revealed that Randolph’s mayor, Vance Trively, was illegally operating as a shelter when he agreed to hold in his home any cats that were turned in. The mayor has admitted that as of yesterday, two cats were brought to him and one died in his care. At the prompting of Alley Cat Allies, a cease-and-desist order was issued to Mayor Trively by Iowa’s state veterinarian, David Schmitt.
“We are relieved that the city of Randolph has recognized that offering cash to produce a cat for slaughter is completely unacceptable in a civilized society,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies.
At the Randolph city council meeting last night, dozens of residents and members of two national animal protection groups, including Alley Cat Allies, pressed for repeal of the bounty, which had drawn international media attention. A letter presented to Mayor Trively at the meeting from Alley Cat Allies noted, “The world is watching, and we are here to help you make the right…decision.”
The city council passed a resolution to end the bounty program and voted to form a committee that will implement spay/neuter and educational programs for residents about the humane management of outdoor cats. The city council accepted an offer by Alley Cat Allies to help launch a Trap-Neuter-Return program for Randolph. Under the program, cats are humanely trapped, altered and vaccinated, and returned to their colonies. The program ends the cycle of breeding and stabilizes the population. Cats that have undergone the procedure are identified by “eartips”—the removal of the tip of the left ear. Over the next few weeks, Alley Cat Allies will work with the city to carry out this program.
“Trap-Neuter-Return has been used in cities across the country as a humane and effective way to manage outdoor cats,” Robinson said. She noted that many cities started Trap-Neuter-Return programs after finding that animal control policies relying on “catch and kill” were expensive and didn’t address the cities’ concerns.
A recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Alley Cat Allies revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans – 81 percent – believe that leaving a stray cat outside to live her life is more humane than having her caught and killed.
“Americans don’t support ‘catch and kill’ – not only is it inhumane, it has proven time and again to be ineffective in managing the population of outdoor cats,” Robinson said.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is www.alleycat.org.