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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2011
Contact: PATRICIA JONES, media@alleycat.org or (718) 651-7187

CAT SUPPORTERS TO ASK CITY OF MONESSEN TO STOP TRAPPING AND KILLING CATS AT CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Groups say catch and kill is ineffective – request nonlethal approach.

BETHESDA, MD — Opponents of an amendment to a city ordinance in Monessen, PA regulating cats will address the City Council on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Local cat protection groups, including The Coalition for a Humane Monessen are expected to attend. They will be supported in their efforts by Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats. A representative of Alley Cat Allies will read a statement in opposition to the amendment at the meeting. The amendment, approved February 16, states that animal control can “impound cats running at large.” As a result of this amendment, the City of Monessen has begun to trap and kill outdoor cats. Pet cats and feral cats from colonies who are lovingly cared for—including cats who are neutered and vaccinated—are being rounded up, brought to the Fallen Timber Animal Shelter, and killed.

From records obtained (via FOIA request) Alley Cat Allies learned that 18 cats had been trapped by a commercial trapper hired by the city of Monessen and been killed at the shelter in the month of March. An official of the city of Monessen stated that 48 cats had been trapped and 14 released.

“It is inhumane, costly and cruel to kill outdoor cats,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. Feral and stray cats, and pet cats, are the same species—the domestic cat —and are protected under the state anti-cruelty laws. All cats, whether owned or unowned, are fully covered under the Pennsylvania state anti-cruelty law.

“We are asking the City Council to place a moratorium on the trapping and removing which is futile and costly. Instead, we urge the City Council to adopt Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) a program that benefits both the cats and the community. TNR is widely endorsed and implemented by hundreds of municipalities nationwide,” said Robinson.

With Trap-Neuter-Return, the cats are painlessly trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Kittens and stray cats are put up for adoption. Healthy, adult feral cats (cats who are not socialized to people and therefore unadoptable) are returned to their home to be cared for by compassionate volunteers. Behaviors associated with mating—like yowling and spraying, stop—and there are no more kittens.

Spokesperson interviews available.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 7pm
WHERE: Offices of the City of Monessen 1 Wendell Ramey Lane, Eastgate 8, Fourth Floor Monessen, PA 15062
CONTACT: Patricia Jones 718.651.7187 media@alleycat.org

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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.