Tag Archive: advocacy

  1. Alley Cat Allies Calls on Baltimore to Speak Out for its Trap-Neuter-Return Program

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    For 10 years, Baltimore, Maryland’s landmark Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program has saved countless cats’ lives. The program is a resounding success and a model for communities around the nation. Now, the Baltimore City Health Department’s Office of Animal Control has been asked to speak at a hearing to explain how TNR benefits citizens and community cats.

    On Tuesday, September 26, the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee is holding an informational public hearing on Resolution 17-0042R to “discuss feral cats in Baltimore and whether the City’s current approach to feral cats [the TNR program] should be modified or remain the same.”

    Alley Cat Allies is calling on citizens of Baltimore to tell the committee how TNR is vital to their community, and why it should be celebrated and protected. Baltimore residents can attend the hearing in person and provide written testimony and/or oral testimony in support of the TNR program. Anyone unable to attend the hearing can submit written testimony ahead of time.

    The City of Baltimore enacted its landmark TNR ordinance in 2007, with support and guidance from Alley Cat Allies. The ordinance remains one of the strongest and most effective in the nation, but it took years of hard work to put it in place.

    Initially, a city ordinance prevented caregivers from caring for colonies and conducting TNR. Alley Cat Allies formed a coalition with the Maryland SPCA, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), and the Maryland Feline Society to change this. Under our leadership, the coalition approached Baltimore’s Mayor and Health Department and successfully encouraged them to revise the ordinance’s language and support the community’s TNR efforts.

    We also worked closely with the community, providing hands-on seminars and workshops for caregivers and residents interested in TNR. Because of our efforts together, Baltimore’s community cats continue to enjoy the protection and vital services TNR provides.

    Baltimore’s TNR program proves how public officials and non-profit groups can work together to protect and improve the lives of community cats. Alley Cat Allies will stand by Baltimore citizens in championing this lifesaving program.

  2. Las Cruces City Council Fails to Pass TNR Ordinance

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    We are sad to report that the Las Cruces City Council in New Mexico has rejected an ordinance that would have encouraged Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The laws regarding TNR in Las Cruces will remain unchanged.

    Thank you to everyone in Las Cruces who contacted the council or attended a meeting to advocate for TNR in your community. The mayor is open to more conversation about TNR in the near future, and we will let you know how you can help as we continue pushing for humane policies in Las Cruces.

  3. Antioch, Calif. Passes Feeding Ban

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    We are disappointed to report that the Antioch City Council in California passed a feral cat feeding ban in a 4-1 vote. The good news is that the city is still open to the possibility of allowing feeding stations in certain areas, so we will continue pressing for ordinances that support Trap-Neuter-Return and cat caregivers in Antioch.

    Thank you to everyone in Antioch who contacted councilmembers or attended the council meeting to protect Antioch’s community cats! Even though the feeding ban passed, our work in Antioch is not over.

    Learn more about feeding bans.

  4. The Evil of Catch and Kill

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    news_FeaturedPhoto_OrangeCatBlue_SMIn a New York Times op-ed printed on March 23, Richard Conniff wrongly dismisses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only way to stabilize and reduce feral cat colonies in size. He makes no distinction between unsocialized outdoor cats, who cannot be brought indoors or adopted, and pet cats, some of whom are allowed outdoors.

    Alley Cat Allies is setting the record straight.

    Killing Cats Won’t Save Birds

    Conniff repeats the propaganda spread by anti-cat groups. He fails to provide critical information about unsocialized cats and TNR and sees cats as simple and black-and-white—suggesting there should be zero cats outdoors. Conniff leads readers to believe that all cats should be kept indoors, when in reality, he is implicitly suggesting that unsocialized outdoor cats should be rounded up and killed. There have always been outdoor cats and always will be.

    Killing cats is never the answer, and it definitely won’t help protect birds. We are a compassionate, cat-loving society. Cats are the number one pet in the United States—there are more cats in U.S. households than dogs. Americans do not want their tax dollars to be spent killing cats. They want humane approaches.

    There’s good news. We don’t have to choose a species. We can protect both cats and birds—but to do so we have to recognize what (or whom) the real threats are. The facts are indisputable. The environmental impacts of habitat loss and pesticide use are the real culprits behind the decline of bird populations. And we can’t blame bird collisions into windows and cars on anyone but ourselves.

    If we want to protect birds—and cats—we have to change our behaviors. See our Save the Birds campaign for ways to protect both cats and birds.

    Trap-Neuter-Return Works

    Cats have lived outdoors near people for more than 10,000 years. They are a natural part of the ecosystem. They survive—and thrive—in every landscape.

    For decades, outdoor cats have been caught and killed in huge numbers—without success. Catch and kill is not a new idea. It’s inhumane, and it creates a vacuum effect. Populations rebound quickly. When Newburyport, Mass., killed 30 cats in a colony, 30 more joined the colony within two years. Then, the city turned to TNR—and the 300-cat colony was reduced to zero over time.

    TNR is the only option for outdoor cats—it benefits the cats and helps educate communities about compassionate, humane approaches. TNR is mainstream in the United States and practiced by millions of people—including hundreds of municipalities and veterinarians. TNR is at the forefront of animal control and sheltering approaches. For over two decades, there has been a nationwide movement toward TNR, and the number of municipalities that endorse this program has increased tenfold in the last decade. It started as a small grassroots movement, and is now practiced by animal control departments everywhere from New York City and Washington, D.C., to Spartanburg, S.C.

    A colony in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C. was eventually reduced to zero as a result of TNR (this colony inspired Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson to found the organization). TNR works as a large-scale, city-wide approach, too. In Chicago, TNR reduced the size of cat colonies in 23 zip codes by 41% in just five years. Read more case studies showing that TNR works.

    Through TNR, the breeding cycle ends and colonies naturally diminish—there are no new litters of kittens. TNR can decrease colony size in just two years, according to a 2004 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association study.

    Not a Public Health Threat

    Outdoor cats are not a public health threat. TNR also includes rabies vaccinations—rabies prevention has already been a resounding public health victory and TNR helps even more. There has not been a single case of a human contracting rabies from a cat in the past 40 years in the U.S. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cats are rarely the source of toxoplasmosis in humans, and people are much more likely to get it from eating undercooked meat.

    Facts are Facts

    This shift toward humane approaches to outdoor cats is clear. TNR is the only humane and effective approach to outdoor cat populations. Catching and killing cats is cruel and ineffective, and it will never help birds. To help save birds, we must face the real threat of human impact on the environment.


  5. Wear a LIMITED EDITION “Justice for Larry” T-Shirt

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    front-bigContinue your support for Larry!

    Wear this “Justice for Larry” t-shirt and use it as an opportunity to tell Larry’s story and get the word out that all cats—pet, stray, or feral—are protected by anti-cruelty laws. PLUS: Your purchase will go toward supporting our mission of protecting and improving the lives of cats.

    This shirt is LIMITED EDITION and available for a short time only so get yours today!

    Get your “Just for Larry” T-Shirt today!

  6. Alabama Residents: Spay/Neuter Clinic Bill Makes Progress—Take Action!

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    Good news! The Alabama House of Representatives passed HB 141, the bill that will protect spay/neuter clinics and ensure they can keep providing lifesaving services to cats and dogs. The bill now moves to the Senate, which will be an even bigger test than the House. We need your help again to make sure this bill passes the Senate when it comes up for a vote.

    Alabama residents: Please contact your State Senator and respectfully ask him or her to support HB 131. Our work isn’t over yet to see this bill become law!

    Alabama Residents: Take Action!
    Not in Alabama? Learn how you can protect the lives of cats in your community.

  7. Alabama Residents: Help Save Spay/Neuter Clinics!

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    In the last few years, Alabama’s spay/neuter clinics have been under attack. Alabama House Bill 141 would protect the spay/neuter clinics and ensure they can keep providing vital services that improve the lives of cats and dogs.

    Alabama has only four spay/neuter clinics that provide much-needed services including high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter procedures and basic care like vaccinations and deworming. The services are performed by licensed, experienced veterinarians who have the animals’ best interests in mind. Together, these clinics spay or neuter more than 10,000 cats and dogs each year.

    Alabama residents: Urge your Alabama State Representative to support HB 141. These important clinics have the right to stay open!

    Alabama Residents: Take Action!
    Not in Alabama? Learn how you can protect the lives of cats in your community.


  8. Macomb County, Michigan Residents: Urge Your Officials to Support TNR

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    Alley Cat Allies has been working with Macomb County Animal Control to expand its TNR program to protect the lives of feral, or community, cats. A group of cities in Macomb County recently formed an animal control coalition to try to stop using the county shelter and its lifesaving TNR services—and to instead have feral cats “euthanized” (i.e., killed) at a private veterinary clinic.

    Macomb County, Michigan residents: Urge your officials to support Trap-Neuter-Return to protect the lives of cats.

    Catching and killing feral cats is clearly cruel—and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars as it is ineffective at stabilizing feral cat colonies.

    Macomb County, MI Residents: Take Action!
    Not in Macomb County, MI? Pledge to support TNR and Common Sense for Cats.

  9. Stand Up for Cats and Trap-Neuter-Return—Urge The Washington Post to Set the Record Straight

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    Facebook_ShareGraphic_WaPOMaThis past weekend the Washington Post Magazine published a story riddled with errors and misrepresentations of cats and Trap-Neuter-Return—and those who advocate on behalf of outdoor community cats. Two groups that vehemently oppose this lifesaving program were provided ample space to voice their views, but cat advocates were narrowly and incorrectly represented.

    Sign the petition urging The Washington Post to publish an op-ed by Alley Cat Allies that accurately depicts our movement and the widespread support for Trap-Neuter-Return.

    Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective and humane approach to stabilizing and eventually reducing feral cat populations. More than 430 local governments, including many major cities, have adopted ordinances endorsing TNR. The vast majority of Americans support humane policies for cats.

    It’s time to set the record straight: our compassionate society wants cats to live.

    Take Action!

  10. Save the Cats and the Birds!

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    Today we’re announcing an educational campaign that focuses on the real threats to birds worldwide—humans and human-led activity, including habitat loss, pollution and climate change—in response to a tide of misinformation and scare tactics from so-called bird advocates that demonize cats and distort the truth.

    In recent years, some people have misguidedly blamed cats for declining bird populations, but it isn’t the relationship between cats and birds that has changed—it’s the relationship between humans and the environment.

    Watch our video PSA:

    …and share our infographics to help get the word out and combat the misinformation pitting cats against birds that leads to cats being killed.

    Learn how you can help address the real threats to both cats and birds at alleycat.org/SaveTheBirds.
    Read the press release.