Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From Loved Companions to Vilified Killers: Falsely Accused Feral Cats Receive Death Sentence in Australia


More and more reports are being released regarding Australia's plan to eradicate feral cats in order to protect birds and other wildlife. One article calls feral cats "monster moggies" and explains how scientists are using trained dogs to track down cats, while another article mentions the proposed idea of introducing Tasmanian devils and Komodo dragons into national parks to prey on cats. Despite the methods being discussed, one thing is clear, federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt says he wants all states, territories, and other stakeholders to sign a 10-year plan to eradicate feral cats from Australia.

In response to this cruel and unfeasible approach to protect wildlife, Alley Cat Rescue is calling on the compassionate citizens of Australia, and the billions of TNR supporters around the world, to take a stand and let their voices be heard against this senseless killing. Thus far, nearly 5,000 individuals have added their signature to our online petition directed towards Mr. Hunt and another 2,500 signatures have been gathered for a petition targeting Ambassador Kim Beazley here in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Help Homeless Cats by Putting on Your Sneakers


Calling all iphone users! Now there's a mobile app that helps you save homeless animals with every step you take! Thanks to ResQwalk, every time you take a stroll around your neighborhood, your steps are tallied to raise money for your favorite animal rescue.

Each week, ResQwalk announces a donation pool (e.g. $2,500), and in order for a rescue to receive donations from the pool, their supporters simply need to check-in to the app when they go for a walk. Each walker's distance is recorded in the user profile and added to the rescue's weekly sum. At the end of the week, donations are paid out to the rescues proportionally to the total distance walked. And as a bonus, at the end of every walk, the user is offered a reward (like 45% of specialty rescue apparel), that when redeemed, helps fund future donation pools.

The ResQwalk application is available for download in the Apple Store. Remember to choose Alley Cat Rescue as your favorite rescue and wear comfortable shoes.

Also check out ResQthreads, giving people and their companion animals a stylish way to promote adoption and support the rescues and shelters they care about.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Flowers for Ferals!

Help save cats and beautify your yard at the same time! For every purchase, Flower Power Fundraising will donate 50% back to Alley Cat Rescue. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your spring garden today with our Fall Flower Campaign!

All flower bulbs are non-GMO and Flower Power has signed the safe seed pledge, as they encourage healthy gardening practices. Choose from a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to make your garden really come alive. Try adding some Appleblossom Tulips, Dutch Irises, Jonquil Daffodils, or Buttercups to your landscape. And with shipping at a cheap flat rate, why not try a few varieties or stock up for great gift ideas for friends and family?!

Plus, you'll be enjoying these flowers year after year, because they are perennials. Simply plant the bulbs this fall before it begins to frost and come next spring, your garden will be filled with bright colors and sweet fragrances. Adding a variety of flowering plants to your landscape will not only beautify your living space but it's great for attracting birds and bees!   

To see all the flowers available and learn more about how your purchase can help save cats, please visit FlowerPowerFundraising.com. Happy planting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Study Proves TNR is Effective at Reducing Community Cat Populations and Reducing Shelter Euthanasia Rates

The results of new study on the effectiveness of trap-neuter-return (TNR) support what previous studies have already shown...that TNR does effectively reduce feral cat populations. A University of Florida study lead by Dr. Julie Levy found that spaying or neutering community cats in an area of high animal-control impoundments led to a dramatic decline in the number of cats who were admitted to and euthanized by the local shelter.

“We investigated whether we ever could neuter enough cats to slow their intake into animal control,” said Dr. Julie Levy, the Maddie’s professor of shelter medicine at the Univ. of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The two-year study was conducted in an area of Alachua County adjacent to the University of Florida campus and included a business district, several residential neighborhoods, a mobile home park, two homeless shelters, industrial parks, and a veterinary clinic. During the study, 2,366 community cats were TNR'd, which is estimated to be about 54 percent of the feral cat population in the targeted area. Most of the cats were returned to the site, with some being adopted.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black Cats Need a Stroke of Luck

A black cat dressed up for the holiday. August 17 is
Black Cat Day.
So often a symbol of misfortune or a superstitious sign of imminent death, black cats themselves have something of a historic case of bad luck.

For a while, things went pretty well for black cats. In ancient Egypt, they were regarded as nearly divine, and it was considered a privilege to share a home with one. Later, everyone from sailors to monarchs seemed to favor black cats in much of the world. They were a sign of luck.

Somewhere along the way, however, fortunes changed. People began to associate black cats with witches, devils, dark magic, and all manner of disreputable subjects often linked to the darker end of the color spectrum. As a result, black cats were murdered, reviled, and burned into public memory as an omen of bad things to come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Kittens Need Your Help!

Lost, a kitten who was found in a drainage pipe 
after a hurricane, warms up on a blanket.
As the weather gets warmer every spring and summer, Alley Cat Rescue takes in dozens of kittens. It’s always a busy time for us as we scramble to take care of the latest litters to come in and prepare them for adoption. And this year has been especially demanding. We’ve received far more kittens than we have in the past, because "kitten season" seems to have started earlier this year, and it continues to hold strong despite summer coming to a close.

This year we’ve taken in more than 60 kittens! We rescue some from shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized, others come from pregnant feral cats who come in through our Trap-Neuter-Return program, and many come from good Samaritans who find kittens in their backyards and neighborhoods.

One kitten, aptly named Lost, was found in a drainage pipe by two construction workers after a hurricane. And three five-week-old siblings -- Hitchcock, Craven, and Carpenter -- were stuck inside the wall of a utility closet at an apartment building! These kittens were old enough to eat solid food and care for themselves; however, some of the kittens who end up in our care, unfortunately, have been abandoned by their mothers at such a young age, they require special care from dedicated staff and foster parents in order to survive.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Dangerous Myths Surrounding FIV

Mr. Grey is FIV positive but he is still very
friendly with people and other cats and is
hoping to be adopted into a loving home.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are, as their names suggest, fairly similar diseases - though they affect different species - and their similarities are not limited to their physical effects. Just as both are retroviruses that use the cells of the host’s body to replicate themselves and can result in immune deficiencies, both diseases are burdened with stigma.

Common practice holds that cats diagnosed with FIV are hopeless cases at best and a danger to those around them at worst. Based on these assumptions, veterinarians and caretakers often suggest euthanasia for FIV positive cats. However, common practice is not always consistent with the facts. The majority of FIV positive cats live long, healthy lives, and when fighting is eliminated, the risk of transmitting the disease to other cats is virtually nonexistent. In this case, misconceptions about the disease have created a deadly situation for infected cats.

Countless studies and testimonies from owners show that FIV positive cats are far from hopeless cases. 

Though the disease can be fatal, infection does not mean that a cat is resigned to death. Like its human counterpart, FIV acts slowly, multiplying in the lymph nodes and progressively weakening the immune system. This leaves infected cats less able to fight off infections and other viruses.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Results Are In!

Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Manzoor partner with ACR to sterilize
feral cats in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia.
Over 115 veterinary clinics across the United States participated in the fifth annual Feral Cat Spay Day held on May 27th. Veterinarians, rescue organizations, and individual caregivers worked together to provide spay/neuter services to 4,100 community cats!

Special applause goes to the Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk, Maine for offering FREE spay/neuter services the entire month of April, and to the Yavapai Humane Society of Prescott, Arizona for sterilizing 300 community cats so far this year.

Since the campaign stated in 2010, over 700 veterinary clinics from 45 states have joined the fight to decrease shelter euthanasia rates and prevent cat homelessness. Together, we've sterilized over 9,200 community cats, and thanks to our compassionate friends in South Africa and Canada, Feral Cat Spay Day has become an international campaign!

For more information on how you or your veterinarian can get involved, please visit our website

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creating Partnerships to Save More Lives

In addition to advocating the humane treatment of feral cats across the country, we at Alley Cat Rescue take pride in being directly involved in rescuing, spaying/neutering, and relocating cats.

We operate locally out of Brentwood, Maryland, assisting cats throughout the state. We also help cats in neighboring Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia. For those who need our help but are located outside of our operating area, we have established a network of rescue organizations and individuals across the country, who are ready to help.

Our network of Cat Action Teams, or CATs for short, are partnering organizations that specialize in rescuing and caring for feral cats. These groups offer Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) services, and most also provide adoption services for socialized cats and kittens. A list of Cat Actions Teams can be founded on our website.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Going on Vacation? Don't Forget to Plan for Your Cat

Many aspects of vacation require a lot of planning, and preparing your cats for your departure is no exception. While you enjoy the summer with traveling, it is important to consider how your furry friends will be spending your time off.

Though a lot of people enjoy the freshness and the change in routine that a vacation offers, cats do not typically like either of these things. Cats usually have a schedule they like to stick to, and, because they are territorial animals, they tend to prefer their own home more than anyplace else.

For these reasons, the best option for what to do about your cat while your away is to leave them at home with someone who can watch them. They won’t mind being left out of the travails of travel, though they might miss you, so having someone visit will give them some needed companionship. A neighbor, a friend, a family member, or a pet sitter should come by daily (or a little more often) to make sure your cats are properly fed and taken care of.

This person should be someone you trust. You will be giving them the keys to your house as well as responsibility over your cats. Before you commit to them, you should see how they behave with your cats and make sure they can get along. You might want to consider setting up automatic feeders and water so the cats will always have food, but someone still needs to come by to make sure no cat is sick and to keep them company.