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Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2011
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES PASSAGE OF UTAH LEGISLATION TO SAVE CATS’ LIVES
Bill would allow transfer of feral cats from shelters, ease practice of Trap-Neuter-Return

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today called on supporters in Utah to press for passage of a bill in the state House of Representatives that would save the lives of thousands of Utah’s cats.

The bill (S.B. 57) would allow feral cats to be transferred out of shelters by volunteers and rescue groups, and would greatly ease the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return, a lifesaving program.

“Being killed in a shelter is the leading documented cause of death for cats nationwide,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Nearly 70 percent of all cats taken into shelters are killed there, and for feral cats that number rises to virtually 100 percent. This bill will save many lives.”

The legislation would remove many obstacles to the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return, a humane program that improves cats’ lives, and ensure that the program is not subject to feeding bans, licensing or limit laws.

Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats but are not socialized to people. They live contently outdoors in family groups called colonies. In Trap-Neuter-Return, outdoor cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. While under anesthesia, a small portion of the left ear—called an “eartip”—is removed to identify the cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Feral cats are returned to their colonies following the surgery.

Robinson noted that communities across the U.S. have embraced the program after decades of the failure of catch and kill. Trap-Neuter-Return stabilizes the population and ends behaviors associated with mating cats, such as yowling and fighting.

“After negative legislation was introduced that would allow the shooting of feral cats’ at the Utah Capitol, it is heartening to support such a positive bill,” said Robinson.

Supporters in Utah are encouraged to visit www.alleycat.org/ActionCenter for more information about contacting state lawmakers and urging passage of S.B. 57.

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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.