Alley Cat Allies filed a lawsuit in a California court on July 21 to stop the East Bay Regional Park District’s (East Bay Parks) unlawful new policy for removing cats, including hunting, killing, and relocating them. The lawsuit requests the court to vacate or set aside the policy and issue a temporary restraining order.

Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson spoke to East Bay Parks in opposition to the new policy as it was being considered. East Bay Parks’ misguided belief that removing cats from parklands is sustainable and achievable, she explained, is contrary to credible science.

“Shooting or relocating cats, or any animal, is not only cruel but also destabilizes biodiversity and introduces a scientific phenomenon known as ‘The Vacuum Effect,’” Becky said. “New cats claim the vacated territory and the populations rebound.”

“Science has shown time and again that cats are part of the environments in which they live and are critical to the complex web of local life. Attempting to remove cats from their outdoor homes threatens the very biodiversity East Bay Parks exists to protect. The only effective approach is to manage cat populations through humane, thoughtful, and responsible practices, including Trap-Neuter-Return.”

As a leader in the global movement to protect cats, Alley Cat Allies has spoken out about the actions of East Bay Parks since a local news investigation revealed that a park employee shot and killed 13 cats during October and November of 2020.

We will continue to pursue every possible avenue to ensure government agencies like East Bay Parks can no longer kill, remove, or relocate cats at whim. Our goal is to show the world that in our modern society, cruelty to cats—and all animals—cannot stand.