Alley Cat Allies is engaged in two incredibly important campaigns – one in Northern California and one in Australia – which get to the heart of what we are about. We’re seeking to make justice and compassion the guiding principles for how our society treats cats.
Martin Luther King Jr., whose ideas influenced the animal advocacy movement, once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Just before Christmas along a public beach jetty (breakwall) in Australia, a colony of sterilized community cats was shot at close range under order of the Newcastle Port Authority. Ten cats are missing, presumed killed. Others were severely injured and left for dead.
The same type of appalling institutionalized cruelty took place at nearly the same time, on the other side of the world.
The East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California, had 13 cats shot to death by an employee last fall. After killing them, he put their bodies in plastic bags and tossed them in a trash can. It’s a bitter irony that the killing took place in a park named for Martin Luther King Jr., a man who devoted his life to nonviolence.
Why do parks kill cats? This barbarism is carried out by organizations that are clinging to the backward, discredited notion that killing cats is needed to help protect threatened and endangered species.
There is no scientific evidence to support this belief.
When cats are killed, new cats move in to take their place, making the killing not only vile but also pointless. This is a well-documented scientific phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect.
We prioritize compassion for all animals. Alley Cat Allies fully supports the protection of ecosystems and wildlife in East Bay, Newcastle, and everywhere. But the truth is that we can defend all animals without inflicting suffering and death on other animals.
Poll after poll shows that people overwhelmingly favor Trap-Neuter-Return and other nonlethal cat population management over killing (Harris Interactive, 2007 & 2017).
There is nothing in the U.S. Endangered Species Act requiring anyone to kill cats. Many park officials are mistaken on that point. We are working to set their thinking straight, just as we are about their view that they can “kill their way” to lower cat populations.
There is never a justification for shooting and killing cats, under any circumstances.
With your help, we plan to build a better tomorrow, starting today. The task before us is as hard as it is important, but together we can, and we will, build a more humane and just society.