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Press Release

For Immediate Release: MARCH 12, 2008
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or 202-207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT IOWA TOWN’S “BOUNTY” ON OUTDOOR CATS
Program Will Result in Needless Killing When Effective, Humane Options are Available

BETHEDSDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today expressed outrage at program started by city officials in Randolph, Iowa to reduce the number of outdoor cats in the area by offering a $5 “bounty” to residents who trap a cat and bring it to a local veterinarian. All of the cats that are not subsequently “claimed” by owners are killed.

“The fact that a city would a place a ‘bounty’ on the lives of outdoor cats is absolutely barbaric and ludicrous,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Providing a financial incentive to have an animal spayed or neutered is a great idea. But in our civilized society, the notion of offering cash to produce a cat for slaughter is completely unacceptable.”

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. The survey also found that more than two in five Americans have at some point put food and water out for a stray cat.

“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.

Robinson noted that many cities have implemented progressive programs such as subsidized spay and neuter, and that these programs have been proven successful.

Feral cats are cats that live outdoors in social groups called “colonies.” Feral cats are not socialized to humans, but they are as healthy as pet cats and are not a threat to people. Over 70 percent of all cats brought to shelters are killed there. For feral cats, which are not adoptable, that number rises to virtually 100 percent.

Robinson noted that many cities have found that “catch and kill” policies don’t work because new cats simply move in, breed prolifically and begin the cycle all over again.

In a letter to Randolph’s mayor, Vance Trively, Alley Cat Allies offered the city assistance with implementing an innovative program called Trap-Neuter-Return, which has been used in cities across the country to manage outdoor cats. 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 “ear-tipping”—the removal of the tip of the left ear.

“Despite the claims of other well-known animal welfare groups – which are very misinformed on this issue – municipalities in which Trap-Neuter-Return has been implemented see fewer cats entering shelters and lower kill rates, and the cities actually save money, because ‘catch and kill’ is expensive,” said Robinson. “It is our sincere hope that Mayor Trively will reconsider and instead adopt this far more progressive and humane program.”

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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.