Meet our Volunteers

Alley Cat Allies depends on our volunteer caregivers to ensure that the Boardwalk Cats receive the food, water, shelter, and medical attention they need.

Rain or shine, we can count on our volunteers to be out on the boardwalk and caring for the cats they love year-round.

Frank Hoopes

Frank’s dedication to the Boardwalk Cats began when he was working at the Taj Mahal Casino on the boardwalk years ago. He started visiting with the outdoor cats he would see on his lunch breaks, and over time developed a special bond with them. About four years ago, he decided to turn his dedication to the cats into action. He became a volunteer for Alley Cat Allies, taking on the official feeding and care of three Boardwalk Cat colonies.

Frank is one of our long-time volunteers and a fixture on the boardwalk. In all weather conditions, he’s out under the docks providing the cats with fresh food, water, and love. He is proud of the work he does and sees every cat he cares for as his family.

“I feel very, very close to these cats because of the time I spend with them,” said Frank. “And I love them, each and every one, just like I do my own cat at home.”

Rebecca Cooney-Williams

When Rebecca took a lunch break on the boardwalk some 12 years ago, she found an unexpected dining companion: a little black and white cat. Rebecca named the cat Little Bit, and often shared her tuna sandwich with Little Bit and two other cats from the Boardwalk Cats Project.

Years later, Rebecca discovered that Alley Cat Allies volunteers were caring for the same cats she’d long been feeding. She began working with us to care for our colonies at two locations. Over time, she watched the colony at one site reduce to just five regulars—Polly, Alf, Wendel, Jinx, and Rusty.

“All the cats I care for are special to me and I love each one of them,” said Rebecca. “They might be cats that others may not want, but they are beautiful to me.”

Nina Ficca

Nina learned about Alley Cat Allies in a local news report in 2014, and was inspired by our lifesaving work. Having just adopted her first kitten, she was eager to get involved. Nina donated to us, and then joined in for our annual fall Boardwalk Cats Project cleanup. She connected with our staff, and through their training became an official volunteer caregiver.

Ever since, Nina has spent her Mondays after work feeding the Boardwalk Cat colonies in two locations. Over her time as a volunteer, she has seen many Atlantic City residents and visitors express their affection for the cats. People have even personally thanked her and given her donations for cat food! Nina says caring for the cats is her way of giving back.

“Any stress and tension from the day dissolves when I begin my journey to the boardwalk,” said Nina. “When I am of service to the cats, I get back double of what I give. It’s a principle of the universe.”