ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Jan. 13, 2020 – Alley Cat Allies is denouncing Alpharetta city leadership for failing to act to prevent a repeat of the incident in which a friendly cat was pepper sprayed by police. Alpharetta city leaders have withdrawn from discussions with Alley Cat Allies that were aimed at providing their officers with best practices on interactions with cats.
“Alpharetta’s leadership apparently believes that it’s ok for police to act abusively toward cats, so everyone who cares for cats in the city should be disturbed at this lack of action,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Pepper spraying a friendly cat who was just meowing is a clear indication of a lack of training and a misunderstanding about how to handle cats. Alpharetta city leaders are ignoring the opportunity we offered to provide their officers with the protocols to keep this from happening again. In fact, they are obstructing their officers from receiving guidance from an organization with this expertise. The people of Alpharetta should demand more from their leadership.”
Alpharetta Mayor Pro Tem Donald Mitchell initially agreed to hold discussions with Alley Cat Allies. However, in a sudden reversal, Mitchell withdrew from dialogue on January 9.
Robinson also repeated her demand for an investigation into the incident and appropriate discipline for the officers.
“It is never acceptable under these circumstances to pepper spray a cat,” she said. “There are humane options that are well established as best practices and should have been used in this case. Shooting a friendly cat with pepper spray is a shocking disconnect from what should have happened in this case.”
Video of the incident played widely in news reports and on social media. On the video, one officer is heard to say he wanted to shoot the cat with a shotgun. Soon after, police sprayed the crying cat with a stream of pepper spray.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. Alley Cat Allies is the leading advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of all cats through its innovative, cutting-edge programs. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has grown into a powerful force with over half a million supporters. The organization has helped and inspired countless individuals, communities and other organizations to save and improve the lives of cats and kittens worldwide. Alley Cat Allies works with lawmakers, animal shelters and advocates to change attitudes and advance lifesaving policies that best serve the interests of cats. Alley Cat Allies’ website is www.alleycat.org, and the organization is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Becky Robinson
Becky Robinson is the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies and stands at the forefront of the global cat advocacy movement. She has advocated for non-lethal cat control practices such as Trap-Neuter-Return, developing best practices and helping them to become the mainstream approach to cats today. A highly sought-after authority on cats, she has met with policymakers around the globe and presented to thousands of people. Her book, The Evolution of the Cat Revolution, documents 25 years of pioneering efforts to revolutionize the way cats are treated in the United States.