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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2011
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, eparowski@alleycat.org or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@johnadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES CALLS FOR OPPOSITION TO ILLINOIS BILL THAT WOULD ENDANGER CATS
Legislation would roll back spay/neuter funding and important protections for feral cats

BETHESDA, MD — Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s advocate for stray and feral cats, called on state lawmakers in Illinois to reject proposed changes to the Illinois Animal Control Act. This bill would put more cats at risk for impoundment and killing, gut the state’s support for low-cost spay/neuter, and interfere with successful Trap-Neuter-Return programs throughout the state.

“This legislation would impose a troubling ‘leash law’ provision that would allow any cat outdoors to be impounded and killed—pet, stray or feral,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Such a proposal threatens to roll back current, positive state laws that have encouraged Trap-Neuter-Return programs in favor of very bad policies such as catch and kill.”

Robinson noted that in 2007, animal pounds and shelters in Illinois killed more than 60,000 cats, returning only 3,248 of them to owners, according to data obtained by Alley Cat Allies in a Freedom of Information Act request. Such catch and kill policies are cruel, ineffective and very costly to taxpayers and donors, she noted.

The proposed bill also contains other troubling policies, including provisions that would discourage Trap-Neuter-Return by placing burdens on caregivers such as registration fees and the requirement of colony “approval” by local authorities. The bill would also eliminate the state’s spay/neuter fund, which helps low-income pet owners and feral cat caregivers access affordable, quality spay/neuter services.

“Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective and humane approach to feral cats. If passed, this law would represent an enormous step backwards for Illinois,” Robinson said. “State laws should encourage feral cat caregivers, not punish these Good Samaritans who are carrying out programs beneficial to the entire community.”

Alley Cat Allies is urging supporters in Illinois to contact their representatives and urge defeat for this proposed legislation by visiting www.alleycat.org/actioncenter.

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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.