More than 350 attendees from 37 states convened November 8-10 in Arlington, VA for our Architects of Change for Cat Conference to hear experts and leaders from across the nation discuss the keys to success in implementing humane programs for community cats.
Our first national conference shows that, 23 years after Alley Cat Allies was founded in a Washington, D.C. alleyway, the movement to save cats’ lives is stronger than ever.
More than two dozen animal control officers, shelter leaders and feral cat advocates shared their major successes in abolishing the failed “catch and kill” for feral cats—cats who are not socialized to people and can’t be adopted into homes—and embracing Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR, a program in which cats are humanely trapped, sterilized and vaccinated for rabies at a local veterinary clinic, and returned to their outdoor homes.
Speakers noted that TNR has been demonstrably effective in stabilizing and reducing the population of feral cats in their communities, and it has provided enormous cost savings to taxpayers because fewer healthy animals are entering shelters and being killed there.
As President Becky Robinson said in her opening remarks on Saturday, “Trap-Neuter-Return has officially moved into the mainstream. More than 350 local governments across the country support it, and increasing numbers of animal pounds and shelters are seeing that it works. But there is still much more work to be done.”