When faced with a crisis like COVID-19, we can let it paralyze us… or we can grasp the opportunity to make lifesaving change. With your help, Alley Cat Allies has a long history of finding innovative new ways forward in the face of tough situations.
It seems hard to believe, but back in 1990, our president and founder Becky Robinson couldn’t find a single veterinarian to neuter a community cat in the greater Washington, D.C., area. There were no non-lethal options for cats living outdoors; no blueprint to protect them. The majority of cats, even socialized and adoptable cats, were killed in shelters.
Fast forward 30 years. Our blueprints are now the go-to approach for communities everywhere. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and other humane programs are mainstream, and more programs to save cats’ lives are launched all the time.
We got this far by looking challenges square in the face—and that is what we’re continuing to do at this most critical time.
Thanks to your support, we have been able to hit the ground running since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting and shaping policies and providing relief and assistance where it is needed most.
Keeping Families TogetherTM , a campaign we launched as soon as COVID-19 landed in the U.S., has supplied cat and dog food and cat litter for food banks to provide for their communities.
We know that the millions of people with companion animals consider them family, and that caregivers care deeply about their community cats. Our Keeping Families Together campaign is helping those who are struggling and relying on food banks to keep their animals in their homes and to continue to care for community cats.
To get food to the largest number of animals in need, we began working with community food banks that primarily distribute food for people. So far, we have donated animal food to Feeding Florida, a statewide network of food banks, as well as Collier County Emergency Management, and other food banks across the nation.
In the process, we helped create a model in which community food banks expand their mission and recognize the importance of providing food for our animal family members and community cats.
Through Keeping Families TogetherTM, we also issued emergency funds to more than 50 organizations around the country. One such organization, Friends For Life in Houston, has been holding Community Outreach Clinics, all with safe social distancing, to provide treatment, microchipping, and vaccinations for thousands of animals.
Leave Them BeTM, our other new campaign, launched as the COVID-19 crisis slowed spay and neuter across the nation for months—right as kitten season ramped up. Leave Them Be is educating people that the best way to save young kittens’ lives is to leave them with their mother, who is their best caregiver.
In line with Leave Them Be, FieldHaven Feline Center in California utilized our emergency grant to launch its “Kitten Sitter” program. The program educates and provides tools to community members to watch over young kittens outdoors rather than separating them from their mothers.
Please visit our website for more inspiring stories of the cats and people we are helping together. With you in our corner, Alley Cat Allies is making this dark time a fair bit brighter and more hopeful for many.