Contact: Peter Osborne, [email protected] or 513-639-7455

Bethesda, Md.—The president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, Becky Robinson, made the following statement about a story on cats that aired on PBS NewsHour on Jan. 22.

“While the PBS NewsHour special correctly explained that Trap-Neuter-Return is now a mainstream approach to population control for feral cats (AKA community cats), it gives incomplete information about how successful this approach has proven to be.

Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated that Trap-Neuter-Return has successfully reduced colony sizes in communities as diverse as Chicago; Rome; Atlantic City; Texas A&M University; the University of Central Florida; South Africa; Newburyport, Mass.; and Foster City, Calif. In Washington, D.C., the colony that inspired the creation of Alley Cat Allies declined from 54 cats to 0 within seven years thanks to an effective Trap-Neuter-Return program in the 1990s. TNR originated in The United Kingdom in the 1950s and is not a recent phenomenon. Decades later it is the predominant program in that country for community cats.

TNR has become ever more popular because it’s a highly effective way to reduce colony sizes. In contrast, the hundred-year old animal-control policy of catching and killing cats is cruel and has simply not worked. Governments and shelters are abandoning it as a policy.

Trap-Neuter-Return has proven to be so successful that it has been adopted as the new policy in more than 550 municipalities, including the major cities of New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. And this number does not include the thousands of feral cat groups and countless individual caregivers who are conducting Trap-Neuter-Return privately. Trap-Neuter-Return in the U.S. has its roots in a national culture of compassion and kindness.

Conservation is a complex issue that affects entire ecosystems. At Alley Cat Allies, we are animal advocates and believe that killing one species is not the answer to saving another.

Looking at the big picture, scientific evidence consistently exonerates the domestic cat species from being the culprit behind wildlife decline; the true threats to wildlife are development, pesticides, and habitat loss.”

Becky Robinson
President and Founder
Alley Cat Allies


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 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, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.