Kristin Stanley’s commitment to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) began with a phone call nearly 15 years ago to Alley Cat Allies. She had been feeding a colony of 29 cats behind a local restaurant in San Angelo, Texas, in 2003, and found that many of them were not neutered.

She contacted us and, guided by our expertise, she recruited her friends to help trap the entire colony so they could be spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped. Just last December, she adopted the colony’s last remaining member.

“I made a commitment to these cats,” she said. “They deserve a chance to live happy, healthy lives. They deserve our respect and compassion.”

Over the past decade, Kristin has maintained multiple colonies around the city and even saved community cats at Angelo State University (ASU). In 2011, she learned of ASU’s plan to remove their resident community cats. Kristin connected with faculty and staff, a local nonprofit called Critter Shack Rescue, and community members. Together, they formed the ASU Cat Coalition, and their proposed TNR program was approved. In just one year, the coalition reduced the cat population on campus by more than 50 percent. To date, the ASU Cat Coalition has cared for over 177 cats, helped 83 kittens and cats find forever homes, and created a community of educated students and staff who care for the cats.

Earlier this year, Kristin once again reached out to Alley Cat Allies after she learned that the local shelter director was pursuing mandatory registration of community catsa dangerous law for cats. Kristin and our staff attorney Molly Armus educated the San Angelo City Council on how this proposal would drive away caregivers, cost the city money, and endanger the cats. The city listened, and the proposal was dropped.

Because of her dedication, Kristin was asked to serve as a community cat expert on a committee that strives to create more humane and effective procedures at the local shelter. Kristin’s goal is to implement a city-wide program to conduct TNR and keep community cats out of the shelter.

“In just the last few years, there have been many more people in our community who want to help and who care about outdoor cats,” said Kristin. “I have hope for the cats’ future.”