What do chimpanzees and community cats have in common? A fierce advocate named Candy Peavy.

Her advocacy work in Shreveport, Louisiana, began in 2005 when she helped start Chimp Haven, a sanctuary that takes in chimpanzees with a heartrending history: They were either retired from laboratory research, kept as pets, or used in entertainment. A few years later, a major donor to the sanctuary asked Peavy to bring her dedication to resolve an issue closer to home: the critical need for affordable spay and neuter services, especially for stray and feral cats, in Caddo Parish.

“When I started looking into it, I was stunned by how many issues surrounded community cats in our area,” Peavy says. “I had no idea that the euthanasia numbers in our local shelter were so high, all because there was no real support for these cats.”

Peavy worked to start a high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Shreveport, and in 2008, Robinson’s Rescue opened its doors. The clinic vaccinates and eartips community cats for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).

Though TNR has been practiced in the area for years, Peavy pushed to get an ordinance passed. She says that will help to get local shelter and animal control officers involved in conducting TNR, and prevent community cats from being impounded.

Alley Cat Allies staff traveled to Caddo Parish in August 2017 to meet Peavy and connect with key stakeholders about adopting a TNR ordinance. Three months later, the ordinance was passed.

“This is such rewarding work,” she says. “When you have a passion for animals, you can power through anything.”