What would you do if you were forced to leave your home in six months?

For many years, thriving, independent cats have made their home along the winding path between the rocky shore of San Juan Bay and the impressive Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a historic fort in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you visit this popular tourist destination, you’ll see cats effortlessly navigating the surf-swept rocks or weaving along the weathered stone battlements of the fort.

You’ll also see that most of these cats are eartipped—proof of the long-standing and effective Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program through which local advocates ensure each cat is spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

Cared for daily and loved by their community and the millions of visitors to their home, the cats of the Paseo del Morro have lived peacefully—until the announcement of a deadly plan.
As 2023 came to a close, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) announced its intention to remove these 200 cats within a period of six months—a shocking and pointless scheme Alley Cat Allies is doing everything in our power to halt.

According to the NPS, if an animal organization of their choosing fails to remove the cats within the tight time frame, a task any organization is bound to fail, NPS will contact a “removal agency.” We believe this means the cats will be killed.

Alley Cat Allies is meeting with the Puerto Rican government and working with Save A Gato, the organization caring for the Paseo del Morro cats, to keep the cats in their natural outdoor home and save their lives. We’ve pledged to provide TNR, other needed care, and supplies including food for cats living on the historic site who have not yet been spayed or neutered as well as hundreds of cats in Old San Juan. That effort is already underway and is only the beginning.

Our goal is to send a message to all who would overreach with government power to displace cats from their rightful homes: Cats are members of our communities, and removing them is unacceptable and harmful.

Cats and TNR Need Our Urgent Protection

The NPS’ disregard for the cats of the Paseo del Morro is a symptom of a larger problem: the epidemic of disinformation about cats and TNR spread by those who believe all cats outdoors should be killed.

As an example of that disinformation, the NPS claims it is removing the cats because they are a “disease vector”—a callous and false label that isn’t rooted in any fact. Community cats are not harming the visitors of Paseo del Morro. In fact, community cats are not a public health threat anywhere, and science and decades of reporting prove they are extremely unlikely to spread rabies, toxoplasmosis, or any other diseases.

Cats around the world are threatened every day by the opposition to TNR, which is shockingly biased against cats and resorts to demonizing them to justify schemes to kill them. With our supporters like you by our side, Alley Cat Allies is defending cats and setting the record straight: Lethal policies have not and will never work. TNR is the only humane, effective, and evidence-based approach for cats and communities.

We need you in this fight more than ever this year, and every gift expands our impact to save cats’ lives.