This is part two of a three-part series. Read “Speaking for Cats in the Golden State“ and “Helping Cats Thrive in San Diego, California.”


Daniel (far left) meets with volunteers and staff helping manage the UTC Aerospace Systems’ Riverside community cat population.

On a recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to meet with the amazing staff at the Mary S. Roberts Clinic in Riverside. They have a spay/neuter clinic and an adoption center that meet the highest standards. This helps ensure the clinic is a great place to work and a great place for the animals as they wait for a forever home!

Events, including a comedy night and other fun summer activities, and their thrift store fund the clinicallowing them to provide the best service possible to all people and animals in Riverside. One thing that caught my attention was their commitment to keeping their animals socialized and entertained. The staff can very easily work in the cat room while the cats explore out of their crates or perch on the different shelves that were made by the local Boy Scouts. Volunteers can also read next to cats or just spend time playing with them!


Stacey Dombek, Office Coordinator for the Mary S. Roberts Clinic, holding an adoptable cat in the clinic’s cattery.

I visited the Mary S. Roberts Clinic to see the amazing things they doand I fell in love with all the animals there. The highlight of my time there, though, was learning about our excellent partnership with UTC Aerospace Systems’ Riverside site to stabilize the community cat population they have on site.

The facility covers more than 80 acres of outdoor space and warehouses, areas where cats thrive because they have places to play, hide, and so on. The use of heavy machinery and industrial materials can make these warehouses dangerous for cats, and about a year ago, they reached out to the National Cat Help Desk for assistance.

Their main goal was to find the most humane way to keep the cats from reproducing and being at risk of disease or accidents. With our guidance and the prompt support of the Mary S. Roberts Clinic staff, they initiated a very effective Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, an effort funded by a UTC Aerospace Systems Green Mini-Grant. The grant program encourages employee involvement in the community during Earth Day and beyond, with projects that help sustain the natural environment. The TNR program was a natural fit for a grant in 2014.

Because of the great results achieved, UTC Aerospace Systems’ management decided to dedicate a large portion of the property to the community cats. They created some very nice shelters by recycling shipping boxes that would otherwise have been discarded. The cat feeding stations are clean and tidy, and they even made some industrial-sized litterboxes and toys for the cats’ comfort!

Cat shelters at UTC Aerospace Systems. These now have shade, thanks to a tarp donated by the Mary S. Roberts Clinic.

Cat shelters at UTC Aerospace Systems. These now have shade, thanks to a tarp donated by the Mary S. Roberts Clinic.


The ultimate plan is to slowly guide all the cats in the facility into a “safe zone,” where they have free reign, are away from machinery, and help with pests like rats. Humane deterrents are being used to keep the cats  away from the facility’s dangerous zones, and a caregiver now works directly with the cats. We are thrilled that UTC Aerospace Systems is so committed to giving these cats a great, safe, and healthy life!

Check back soon to learn about the last part of my trip to California!

Until next time,

Daniel López Breña

Daniel_Cat_emailthumbDaniel López Breña is an Outreach and National Cat Help Desk Specialist with Alley Cat Allies. Daniel recently returned from California, where he met with cat advocates in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, and San Diego.