CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA–Animal protection experts and advocates from the entire commonwealth will gather in Charlottesville from March 22-24 for the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS) annual conference. Alley Cat Allies, the global engine of change for cats, will take a leading role in discussions about how Virginia is caring for its community cats. Sometimes called feral cats, these are cats who are not pets, but live outdoors instead.

Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies and a world-renowned leader in the global movement to protect and improve the lives of cats, will offer two addresses in Charlottesville.

“Virginia should be proud of what it is doing to save many thousands of these animals from being killed each year,” Robinson said. “When the leaders of the animal protection community gather in Charlottesville this month, we’ll be celebrating the fact that so many cats are being given a chance at life instead of impounded and ‘euthanized.’ But we’ll also pull back the curtain on some very strong forces who want to continue killing cats and halt our progress.”

Virginia Leading the Nation

At the conference, Robinson will praise Virginia’s national prominence in areas such as humane care for animals, live-release rates from shelters and Trap-Neuter-Return for community cats. She will also refute the false claims that cats are somehow responsible for declines in bird populations, by explaining how those claims are based on rickety science and personal biases.

Charlottesville Albermarle SPCA to Host

VFHS is the oldest statewide animal protection organization in Virginia. Established in 1959, it has thousands of constituents from more than 100 member organizations such as shelters, animal control agencies, rescue groups and sanctuaries, from throughout the commonwealth of Virginia.

This year’s annual conference, bringing guests from every corner of Virginia, will be hosted by the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Charlottesville from March 22-24. Becky Robinson’s addresseses are scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 at 10:45 a.m.

Alley Cat Allies will also present to the VFHS conference on how to work with local municipalities to advance life-saving legislation for cats, especially for programs like Trap-Neuter-Return, the only humane, effective way to address community cat populations. Another presentation will focus on the fact that cats who live outdoors are much better off continuing to live outside than to be brought into shelters, where virtually all of them are “euthanized.”

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.