New partnership will address needs of community cats and residents

For Immediate Release: November 3, 2014
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, media@alleycat.org, (240) 482-3895 or HANNAH SHAW at 240-755-7045

BETHESDA, MD—As part of a plan to improve Montgomery County, Maryland’s ability to address the needs of its community cats, Alley Cat Allies is partnering with Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC) and Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being (MCPAW) to develop informative workshops and humane programs to save cats’ lives. Shelters across the country are implementing lifesaving programs like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) to protect and stabilize community cat populations. In supporting local TNR efforts, MCASAC joins the hundreds of shelters dedicated to effectively and humanely addressing their communities’ needs.

Alley Cat Allies and MCASAC emphasize that community involvement is essential. The success of the partnership will largely depend on local residents to step up as volunteers. Citizens have the opportunity to volunteer as part of a team that will help dramatically increase the live release rate for MCASAC. Residents are encouraged to participate in a new series of workshops, held the second Thursday of every month, starting Nov. 13. The workshops will empower residents to become volunteers, advise how they can help cats in their own backyard, and provide an opportunity for residents with questions to get the information they need. The partnership will also provide residents with information on spay and neuter resources for cats in the region.

“Our partnership with Montgomery County Animal Services is representative of the sea change occurring in shelters across the country,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “MCASAC wants to do right by the community and the cats, and the best way to do both is by adopting mainstream programs like Trap-Neuter-Return.”

In a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, community cats—also called feral cats—are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the tip of the left ear is removed during surgery—providing the universal symbol that a cat has been neutered and vaccinated). After a short recovery period, the cats are returned to their outdoor homes. TNR ends the reproduction cycle, and stops behaviors associated with mating such as yowling and spraying, thereby addressing community concerns and decreasing calls to animal control.

The Alley Cat Allies and MCASAC partnership will enable Montgomery County to effectively address community cat populations, allow the county to focus resources on lifesaving programs for adoptable cats, and improve the community for cats and residents.

In addition to the over 600 nonprofit groups nationally practicing TNR, there are more than 430 cities and counties with official ordinances or policies endorsing TNR for community cats. Learn more at www.alleycat.org.

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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 over 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. Its website is www.alleycat.org.