Wetumpka, Ala. – Alley Cat Allies Programs Director Alice Burton provided expert testimony for the defense in the trials of Beverly Roberts and Mary Alston, who were both convicted today on charges related to their care and feeding of cats in the city of Wetumpka, Alabama.

“Compassion should not be treated as a crime, and justice has not been served for these women who were just trying to help the cats in their community,” said Burton. “These good Samaritans are helping Wetumpka by giving their own time and money to spay, neuter, and vaccinate cats who live outside in the community. Beverly and Mary deserve a medal, not handcuffs.”

Despite a strong defense, the two women were found guilty on counts of trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government operations, and both are planning to appeal.

Burton explained during her testimony why Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is so successful, and the positive impact it has when introduced into communities. Beverly and Mary have both explained that they have been carrying out TNR in Wetumpka, successfully managing the cat population in the area as a result.

TNR is the process in which cats are humanely trapped, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, eartipped for identification, and returned to their outdoor homes to live out their lives. TNR ends the breeding cycle in cats, meaning no new kittens are born outdoors, while also improving cats’ relationships with people who live near them.

Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane and effective approach to outdoor cat populations. As good public policy, it effectively and humanely manages the community cat population, reduces shelter intake and killing, and reduces calls to animal control agencies and saves taxpayer dollars.

Thousands of towns and cities conduct TNR programs, with testimony during the trial specifically referring to TNR programs in Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama.