In 1990, when Becky Robinson founded Alley Cat Allies, the world was a different place: She wrote our first newsletter herself on a typewriter and stuffed and stamped hundreds of envelopes by hand to send them to our first supporters. Email did not exist the way it does today and the web was only a glimmer of what it would become, so instead, Becky pounded the pavement, sent communications via fax, and connected with supporters and other cat advocates on the telephone. We still have the rolodex she used displayed in our office.
And it all started when Becky Robinson first discovered a family of feral cats as she walked by an alley in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC, on her way to dinner. On that day, July 7, the movement for the humane treatment of cats changed forever. She showed up to any conferences she could to speak on behalf of cats. Through her expertise and passion, she won over often-skeptical audiences on a revolutionary concept called “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).”
People had little options to protect cats outdoors in those times. Animal shelters and animal control agencies were routinely killing cats, and Becky was deluged by requests for help. We’re in a much better place today, but getting here took a lot of determination, passion, know-how, and a willingness to roll up our sleeves.
In the 29 years since our founding, Alley Cat Allies has made TNR mainstream in the United States as the humane and effective approach to community cats, set the standards and best practices for cat care, and held countless workshops to educate caregivers and other members of communities on how to protect cats.
We’ve mobilized thousands of cat advocates, promoted pro-cat legislation, and spoke out against laws that harm cats. We’ve transformed entire communities to be more feline-friendly and helped animal shelters adopt lifesaving policies and programs. We’ve produced educational materials on everything from how to tell how old a kitten is to how to draft a TNR ordinance. We’ve had the pleasure of working with veterinarians, animal shelter professionals, elected officials, advocates, caregivers, other animal protection groups, and our own Feral Friends Network® superstars.
Most importantly, Alley Cat Allies has saved the lives of cats across the country and around the world.
We’ve been able to do it all because of our supporters. Without you, none of this would have been possible. We hope you’ll be with us in the years to come and that our movement to protect and improve the lives of cats continues to grow. Thank you!