It started with a community cat colony close to her Rockville, Maryland, neighborhood. Rita Flygar and her husband, Ray, tag-teamed to carry out
Trap-Neuter-Return. She took on trapping the cats while Ray transported them to spay and neuter clinics.

The couple then worked their way through other colonies in a nearby industrial area. In three years’ time, the Flygars put some 200 cats through TNR.

“I would go at night with binoculars and make sure that no new unspayed or unneutered cats were coming into the colonies, [and] make sure there were no kittens being born,” Rita Flygar says.

Over the years, Alley Cat Allies provided the Flygars with supplies and advocacy help. Rita Flygar used that advice to help a positive TNR ordinance get approved in Rockville in 2015.

“TNR gives these cats … a life where they’re not constantly reproducing, not hungry, and they’re healthier,” she says. “I’m glad that I can do something to contribute to their well-being.”