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Press Release

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2011
Contact: ALISON GRASHEIM, or (202) 240-1985; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134


BETHESDA, MD —Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, announced that Britt Cocanour has been named executive director of the organization.  Cocanour, a veteran campaign strategist and leader for progressive social change initiatives, will join Alley Cat Allies co-founder Becky Robinson, president, and Donna Wilcox, former executive director and current vice president, in forging a new path in the national movement to protect and improve the lives of cats.

“We are thrilled that Britt has joined us at this critical moment in our organization’s history,” said Robinson.  “After more than 20 years of bringing humane programs like Trap-Neuter-Return to cities across the country, we are now ready to begin a new chapter in our organization’s mission.

“Britt’s leadership will be essential as we focus national attention on the fact that being killed in an animal shelter is the leading documented cause of death to cats—and as we work to replace these failed policies with a transformed system that respects the lives of cats and is truly responsive to the community’s needs,” said Robinson. 

Cocanour brings more than 15 years of extensive nonprofit management and strategic leadership skills to Alley Cat Allies.  She was previously chief of staff at EMILY’S List, the nation’s largest financial resource for women running for office, where she managed a staff of 60 and a budget of $35 million. 

Cocanour was also the founder of EMILY’S List Political Opportunity Program, which has trained over 5,000 women to run for state and local office and helped elect hundreds.  She holds a B.A. from Bowling Green State University in political science.

“As someone passionate and committed to the cause of animal protection and respect for the lives of cats, I am excited to join Alley Cat Allies and help expand our influence and public presence as we embark on this transformational new mission,” said Cocanour. 

Founded in 1990, Alley Cat Allies is the recognized global expert on Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only effective and humane approach to feral cats in the community.  Leadership and advocacy by Alley Cat Allies has inspired dozens of cities across the U.S., including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago, to embrace TNR over failed, outdated catch and kill policies. 

The organization employs a staff of 30 in its Bethesda, Maryland headquarters.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats.  Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 260,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is