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Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 1, 2010
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or 202-207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES RIVERBANK TO ADOPT TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN FOR FERAL CATS
Resources to help already available in California community

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, is urging Riverbank, Calif. to adopt a Trap-Neuter-Return program when the city council meets later this month to discuss options for the city’s feral cats.

“Trap-Neuter-Return is a win for the cats and the community,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “It ends the breeding cycle and makes the cats better neighbors. Many communities across the country – including several in California – have adopted Trap-Neuter-Return as official policy after recognizing the failure of ‘catch and kill’.”

Robinson noted that resources to assist with a Trap-Neuter-Return program – including knowledgeable local nonprofit groups and individual volunteers, as well as clinics providing low-cost spay/neuter services – already exist in the community.

“These resources are eager to jump in and help the city get an organized Trap-Neuter-Return program off the ground,” said Robinson. “City leaders should take advantage of local expertise.”

Feral cats are domestic cats who are not socialized to people and therefore cannot be adopted. They live outdoors in family groups called colonies. With Trap-Neuter-Return, the cats are humanely trapped by volunteers and taken to local clinics to be neutered and vaccinated for rabies. A small portion of the left ear – called an eartip – is removed to mark the cat as part of the program. The cat is then returned to his outdoor home and fed by volunteers.

Many communities have turned to Trap-Neuter-Return after recognizing that “catch and kill” is cruel, expensive and does not work. Trap-Neuter-Return also helps the community by discouraging cats from roaming and ending behaviors associated with mating cats, said Robinson. Scientific studies and decades of hands-on work with feral cats show that Trap-Neuter-Return is also the only way to counter the “vacuum effect,” in which intact cats who evade capture by animal control breed prolifically or new cats move in to take advantage of available resources, re-establishing the colony.

Robinson notes that not only is the science on the side of Trap-Neuter-Return – so is the American public.

“Research shows that Americans would overwhelmingly prefer a cat be left outside to live out her life than caught and killed,” she said. “It’s time that our community policies towards feral cats reflect the moral and ethical standards we share as Americans.”

Alley Cat Allies is urging local supporters to sign on to www.alleycat.org/ActionCenter to contact city officials and urge adoption of Trap-Neuter-Return.

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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.