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Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2013
Contact: FRANCIE ISRAELI, or (202) 207-1134

Northumberland Borough Council’s Feeding Ban on Outdoor Cats Will Punish Good Samaritans and Lead to Killing More Cats in Shelters

BETHESDA, MD— Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, today blasted the Northumberland, Pa. Borough Council for passing an ordinance to “ban” outdoor cats by implementing a so-called “leash law” and prohibiting feral cat caregivers from feeding and caring for the cats.

“Feeding bans and ‘leash laws’ are inherently cruel—and they don’t work,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies. “These bans do nothing to stabilize feral cat populations, and they push more cats into animal pounds and shelters, where they are killed. They are a pointless waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Robinson pointed out that feral cats are the same species as companion cats, but have not been socialized to people and cannot be adopted into homes. “Catch and kill” has never worked to reduce their numbers, which is why more than 330 local governments nationwide have embraced Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only effective and humane approach to outdoor cats.

With TNR, stray and feral cats are humanely trapped, then vaccinated, sterilized, and eartipped by veterinarians. Socialized cats and kittens are adopted into homes, while healthy adult cats are returned to their outdoor colony homes. TNR ends reproduction, stabilizes the population and improves cats’ lives.

“Feeding bans discourage TNR by punishing caregivers—the Good Samaritans who spend their own time and dollars making the community better for cats and for people,” Robinson said. “These bans also ignore the real issue, which is a lack of affordable and accessible spay/neuter in the community.

“Nationwide, 7 out of 10 cats who enter pounds and shelters are killed there, at enormous expense, and with zero benefit to the community. We urge the Borough to rethink this disastrous policy and implement Trap-Neuter-Return in its place,” Robinson said.


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 nearly half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Their website is