Thursday, January 28, 2010

Animal Supporters in China Push for Ban on Cat and Dog Meat

According to the Guardian, a UK newspaper, Chinese legal experts are proposing a ban on eating dogs and cats in a contentious move to end a culinary tradition dating back thousands of years. The recommen-dation will be submitted to higher authorities in April as part of a draft bill to tackle animal abuse.

(Picture: AP - Caged cats rescued by China Small Animal Protection Association from a market in Beijing)

According to the draft, illegal sale or consumption of pets would incur a maximum penalty of 15 days in prison for individuals or a 500,000 yuan fine for businesses. Public security bureaus would be obliged to respond to hotline calls from the public about violations.

"We are proposing that all dog and cat eating should be banned because it is causing many social problems," said Chang Jiwen, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who heads the drafting team. He said recent murders and thefts related to the dog meat trade showed that it had become a source of tension, while the economic impact of a ban would be small because an increasingly affluent population was less dependent on dog and cat meat.

"I support this proposal. Whether you judge this as a question of food security or emotions, there is absolutely no necessity in China for people to eat dogs and cats," said Zeng Li, the founder of the Lucky Cats shelter in Beijing. "We need something more than moral pressure. Beijing's dog restaurants get their meat mainly from vagrant and stolen dogs. In the suburbs, dogs are hung and slaughtered in front of buyers."

Despite large support of such a bill, previously proposed bills regarding animal welfare provoked controversy. Initial plans for a comprehensive animal welfare law had to be dropped in the face of criticism that human living conditions ought to be the priority at this stage in China's development. Subsequently, the focus of a bill has now been narrowed to the prevention of animal abuse, which is defined as inflicting unnecessary pain and brutality. Even so, it is far from certain that the draft will be adopted by the government or the National People's Congress.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UPDATE: Haiti Animal Efforts

According to a report filed just yesterday by International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) communication officer, ARCH (Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti) members traveled South of Port-au-Prince to the towns of Leogane and Jacmel. Michael Booth says, “It didn’t take long until we encountered a number of goats, pigs and dogs all assembled near dump sites along the local fruit and vegetable market haphazardly set-up on the side of a dirt (Picture Source: IFAW) road. Haiti had made great progress in re-housing street markets not too long ago but the earthquake brought the roof of the new market down and with it any attempts at an organized, safe and clean distribution center. Within just a few days, the vendors had again established themselves really anywhere they could and instantly animals were drawn there to rummage in the garbage in an attempt to find whatever food they could.”

ARCH continued their travels throughout Haiti seeing similar scenes from town to town. Again Michael Booth reports what he encounters, “More chickens, more dogs, all searching for food. I noticed a couple of stray dogs had ‘latched’ on to certain people. They would just follow them from one place to the other, a few meters away, scared and nervous but hoping that they could find a family to belong to. Some were ignored, others pushed away, it made me think ‘did these dogs have a family before Jan. 12?’ is that the reason why they ‘cling’ hopelessly to passer-by’s? I really don’t want to know the answer to that; I just hope our work in Haiti can help relieve that pain, loneliness and sadness. Thanks again to all our IFAW supporters, without you we could not be here. Your contribution will help Haiti’s animals when they need it the most.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Karma Cats Help ACR

ACR has teamed up with PartSelect.com, an online retailer of appliance parts, to raise money for homeless cats. In doing so, PartSelect.com has created a photo “confessional” to help us raise money. By visiting their Karma Cats website and submitting a photo of your cat, a $5.00 donation will go to ACR. No purchase is necessary and you do not have to sign up for anything.

So far, Karma Cats has raised $535.00 in just over two weeks and our goal is to reach a total of $5000.00! Again, each photo of a cat will contribute a $5.00 donation to ACR, with a maximum donation of $5000.00. The fundraiser will run until 11:59pm 03/31/2010 and is open to anyone. PartSelect reserves the right to disqualify any photos that are considered off-topic, contain inappropriate content, or are otherwise deemed unfit. All entries become the property of PartSelect.com and may be used for promotional purposes during or after the sweeps. All original photos must be the property of the person submitting them for entry and should not be subject to any trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights of any other person.

Please take a minute to submit your Karma Cats photos and help ACR raise money to save more kitties! www.partselect.com/KarmaCats

Also check out PartSelect's inventory of appliance parts (from dishwashers to stoves to refrigerators); they got it all! www.partselect.com

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Denver, CO is Being Called a Pet Heaven

According to an article on Denverpost.com, Denver is “among the top five to 10 places in the country for pets, according to John Snyder, vice president for companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States.” Snyder says, “If you have pets you have a greater chance of finding a cure or a home for them in Denver.”

The metro area has a great assortment of animal welfare organizations, lower euthanasia rates, better care standards, and groundbreaking research that leads to improved lives for their animals.

The article goes to say that “any number of people also will cite Denver's outdoors-oriented lifestyle, its passion for activities with pets, its high education level and its relative affluence as factors in making the city a good place for pets. Add to that the presence of Colorado State University's top-rated veterinary school, which sends a steady flow of veterinarians and research information to the area.”
In 2007, Forbes magazine placed Denver among the top 10 cities in America for pets (Colorado Springs finished first), based on park acreage, pet-supply and -business services, and veterinary services.

Commenting on the area’s shelters, David Gies, executive director of the Animal Assistance Foundation, says, “There's a focus here on understanding the human/animal connection unlike anywhere else in the country.”

"We have a wonderful trend of collaboration between organizations in the animal-welfare community," adds Ralph Johnson, executive director of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. "Veterinary groups work well with animal-welfare and control groups. That's not true in some states." Johnson says the result is more pet adoptions, better procedures for animal intake at shelters, better socialization of animals, consistent data collection and, in many cases, better ordinances for living safely with pets.

To read the entire article, copy and paste this link: http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_14250366#ixzz0dSt2MfMQ

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ACR Creates Emergency Relief Fund

In the wake of the devastation in Haiti and due to several recent situations at ACR, we have decided to establish an Emergency Relief Fund. These funds will be designated to assist cats in need due to emergency or “special-needs” situations.

From time to time, ACR will rescue a cat who turns out to have “special needs” or require special treatment (ex. Pumpkin), and in these cases, it is essential to have an Emergency Relief Fund to see that these cats are able to receive the treatment they need and deserve.

ACR also gets requests from other cat groups or from individuals asking for help with special-needs cats. Yesterday, we were contacted by a rescuer with a story of four cats who have inadvertently been caught up in a 6-month rabies quarantine that will cost at least $6,000 to save their lives. And right before this incident, a person contacted us who could not afford for her cat to be treated for a urinary infection, so the poor cat ended up developing bladder stones and needed surgery.

And with the earthquake in Haiti, ACR has been asked by an animal rescue group in the Dominican Republic (Animal Balance working with Dominican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help them find homes for animals currently in their shelter, so that they can rescue animals from Haiti. They also asked ACR for help with TNR and sterilizing cats, since most of their funds go to help dogs.

Subsequently, all of these worthy causes require money, and a substantial amount of it. Again, the intentions of this fund are to assist cats that are in special, emergency situations, where sadly, it is a question of life or death for an animal due to the cost of treatment. ACR believes that no animal should die when life-saving treatments exist because an individual cannot afford treatment or the support and funding are not accessible for such occasions; that is why ACR has created an Emergency Relief Fund.
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As mentioned, one of ACR’s emergency cases right now is trying to save four cats from the Prince George’s County Animal Shelter here in Maryland. We were contacted by a rescuer who was contacted by the shelter’s adoption counselor, with the information that a friendly cat came into the shelter last week, and he had some scratches on him. Sometime after intake, the cat was eventually placed with other friendly cats in the "free-roaming" cat condo. Then, at some point after that, someone decided that (due to the scratches) the cat might have rabies, so he should be put down or quarantined for 6 months. The Health Department was also called. To make matters more difficult, because the three other cats were "exposed" to the cat in question, those three cats also have to be quarantined for 6 months.

Why someone did not take this into consideration prior to placing the cat with other cats, no one knows? Was the cat given a proper health exam upon entrance to the shelter and prior to being placed with other cats, we do not know? And rescue groups take in cats with injures all the time, and there has not been, to our knowledge, an instance where someone adopted a cat from a shelter that has turned out to have rabies. But now that the Health Department as been contacted, there is no reversing the situation. However, the Health Department and the PG County Shelter have agreed that if someone can find quarantine space for the cats ASAP, the cats can be quarantined instead of being killed.

Langley Animal Hospital in Hyattsville, MD has generously offered to quarantine all four cats for six months at their vet hospital, but it will cost $6,000 to do so. ACR is willing to donate $1,000 to help these kitties, and two individual rescuers have offered to donate $100 each; however, that still leaves a large amount of money to raise for these unfortunate kitties, who have become victims of human error (and paranoia). If you wish to help these kitties, please send a tax-deductible donation to ACR’s Emergency Relief Fund.
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In wanting to get involved in the animal relief efforts of Haiti, ACR contacted an animal rescue group located in the Dominican Republic to see how we can help. (No animal rescue organizations exist in Haiti.) A California based nonprofit, Animal Balance, is an organization of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, assistants and volunteers, coming together to create MASH-style sterilization clinics on islands around the world. They currently have about 400 people in their database, with whom they work. One of the groups Animal Balance works with is the Sociedad Dominicana para la Prevención de Crueldad a los Animales (SODOPRECA) or the Dominican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

ACR has been in contact with SODOPRECA’s vice-president and he has explained to us that, like in most Latin-American countries, their group does more for dogs than cats. This is true for a few reasons: 1) most of the countries are poor and animal rescues are far and few between 2) these countries prioritize funds to help livestock animals (or zoos for the tourist industry) rather than cats or dogs and 3) individuals are more likely to help the stray dog population (out of sympathy and/or safety and health reasons) than stray cat populations.

Because they rescue dogs, it was suggested that ACR find groups in the US that would take dogs currently in their shelters, so that they may rescue more animals from Haiti. Unfortunately, cats are on the bottom of the priority list and receive little or no assistance. Of course ACR wants dogs in need to be helped, but our mission is to assist cats and the other large animal organizations are addressing this matter. Therefore, ACR hopes to assemble a team to go to the Dominican Republic to help with cat rescue operations in their country (and with Haiti’s) and to TNR feral cats.

There was a need in Mexico, so ACR stepped in and inspired a monthly spay/neuter clinic. Now, there is a need in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, so ACR greatly wants to step in and help both the cats and its people. Like our project in Mexico, we need your help! The cats need your help! We will need money for all kinds of supplies (surgery supplies, medications, vaccines, food) and for travel arrangements, so if you wish to help the cats of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, please make a tax-deductible donation to ACR’s Emergency Relief Fund.
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To make an online contribution, please visit our website www.saveacat.org.

To mail a contribution, please send a check, money order, or credit card information to:

Alley Cat Rescue
PO Box 585
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712


If you wish to help a particular emergency situation, please indicate which your contribution is intended to help.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for caring for our feline friends! Every little bit makes a difference!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ancient Cat Goddess Temple Unearthed in Egypt

According to a news article from the Associated Press, archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet. The ruins of the Ptolemaic-era temple were (Picture: Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities) discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the heart of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.

A statement from the Supreme Council of Antiquities said the temple was thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C.

The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins suggests that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria. This would indicate that the worship of the ancient Egyptian cat-goddess continued during the later, Greek-influenced, Ptolemaic period. Statues of other ancient Egyptian deities were also found in the ruins.

Modern Alexandria was built squarely on top of the ruins of the classical-era city and many of its great temples, palaces and libraries remain undiscovered. The temple was found in the Kom el-Dekkah neighborhood near the city's main train station and home to a Roman-era amphitheater and well preserved mosaics.

Monday, January 18, 2010

PetSmart Survey on Pet Overpopulation

Most Americans have heard about the plight of homeless pets, yet according to a recent survey, they grossly underestimate the size and scope of the problem, as well as the number of dogs and cats who must be put to death in U.S. shelters every year. These findings come from a survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities and conducted online by Ipsos Marketing. Polled for the survey was a national sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and older split equally by gender, and an additional sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older who had acquired a dog or cat in the previous 12 months.

"We were intrigued to learn that the overpopulation of homeless dogs and cats ranked third in terms of familiarity with social issues," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of non-profit PetSmart Charities, Inc. "However, 76 percent of respondents estimated the number of pets euthanized in shelters every year at 1 million or fewer. In reality, that number is about 4 million pets every year. So, while the public knows there is a problem, the public doesn't know just how serious that problem is."

Given the robust sample size of the survey, she added, the data "very accurately" reflects the national attitudes and opinions about pet homelessness, pet adoption and spay/neuter services. PetSmart Charities is now sharing the findings to raise awareness about pet homelessness and help to create lifesaving solutions.

"We hope that by providing this data to others who share our passion for saving the lives of homeless pets, we can break down the barriers to pet adoption and spay/neuter that survey respondents identified," she said. "We can all use the data to develop new practices and messages based on what we now know to be key motivators and barriers."

The survey also found that about 40 percent of pet owners acquired their dog or cat without doing advance research; 76 percent of pets are acquired from sources other than animal shelters; and that the top reasons people don't adopt pets from shelters are the desire for a specific breed or type of pet and uncertainty about shelters and the pet-adoption process. Conversely, wanting to "save a life" and an overall sense that pets from shelters are "some of the best companion animals" ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively as top motivators for adopting a pet.

As for spaying and neutering -- which animal-welfare proponents including PetSmart Charities® identify as key to ending the epidemic of pet homelessness -- most people said confusion about the right age to have a dog or cat sterilized, as well as costs of the procedure, were the biggest barriers. Still, 65 percent of respondents said their dog or cat was spayed or neutered; meanwhile, of the 35 percent who said their dogs and cats are not sterilized, 75 percent said they are considering having the procedure done on their dogs or cats in the future.

The research also showed that 13 percent of dog owners and 19 percent of cat owners have experienced the birth of at least one litter of puppies and kittens -- but typically unintentionally. Of the pet owners whose dogs or cats had litters, 53 percent of dog owners and 54 percent of cat owners said "it was an accident." Another 20 percent of dog owners and 12 percent of cat owners said they wanted their family to see a litter being born. And although 62 percent of respondents said they are aware of low-cost spay/neuter clinics, most indicated they place a higher level of trust in private veterinary hospitals.

The survey also categorized responses by age and by geographic region in the continental United States. 28 percent of pet owners in the western U.S. had adopted their pet, while 23 percent of those in the Northeast, Midwest and South were pet adopters. Pet owners in the West also had the highest number of pets who are sterilized, while pet owners in the South had the lowest number. And while 62 percent of people aged 18 to 34 had spayed or neutered their pets, they ranked third in that category behind 35- to 54-year-olds (65 percent) and people aged 55 and older (76 percent).

To review a summary report of the research findings, please visit http://petsmartcharities.org/research/.

In response to the findings of this survey, ACR is once again participating in Spay Day USA coming up in February and is launching its own campaign to fight pet overpopulation by announcing Free Feral Cat Spay Day in April. For more information on these events and to learn more about ACR’s other programs, please visit our website www.saveacat.org.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rescue Efforts in Haiti

Most of us have heard by now that a devastating earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale struck Haiti this past Tuesday, causing massive damage to the area. Haiti’s already poor infrastructure is making rescue efforts almost impossible. The airport is damaged, the seaport is damaged, and roads are destroyed, making transporting supplies very difficult. So unfortunately, with humanitarian efforts struggling to arrive, it will be weeks until aid arrives for the animal victims.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has the following information posted today: "AVMA is closely monitoring the early response in Haiti to determine if and how we and others involved in animal welfare and health may assist in the Haiti response and recovery efforts. As always with disasters like this, the humanitarian rescue efforts will be the focus in Haiti for the first week or so. However, veterinarians are on standby to assist with the tragedy." It adds, "Once the immediate human needs have been met, the AVMA is ready to address the animal issues in any way we can."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is on alert, noting that “humanitarian efforts need to be well underway before animal rescue efforts can begin in earnest." Together, IFAW and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) will be working on the ground to help the animals in Haiti. They have developed the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) to assist in the response efforts. Their teams will be working out of a mobile clinic which has been donated to them by the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society. WSPA and IFAW have pledged funds to fully outfit this mobile clinic, and it will be shipped from Antigua to our member society, Sociedad Dominicana Para la Protección de Animales (SODOPRECA), in the Dominican Republic for them to drive across the border into Haiti.

Again, once human relief has taken hold in Haiti, then teams such as IFAW and WSPA will be able to aid the suffering of the country’s animals. Fermathe, Haiti, is home to a zoo that housed monkeys, snakes, alligators, and exotic birds. Haiti is also home to several endangered animals, according to the organization Animal Info. These include the critically endangered Puerto Rican Hutia, the endangered Haitian Solenodon, and the "vulnerable" manatee and Hispaniolan Hutia.

As for humanitarian aid, international individual financial donations are totaling in the millions. Many are choosing to donate via text message: Texting the word "Haiti" to 90999 sends a $10 donation to the Red Cross. Those $10 donations are adding up. As of Friday morning, more than $8 million dollars had been contributed to the Red Cross via text-messaging alone. Reuters reports that the U.S. texting donations have made for "an unprecedented mobile response to a natural disaster." Of course, you can also donate via the Web.

The Red Cross isn't the only organization to receive generous contributions. Yele Haiti, a grassroots organization started by rapper and Haiti native Wyclef Jean, is also accepting donations via text message. Texting "Yele" to 501501 makes a $5 contribution. Wyclef has also traveled to Haiti, where he is personally helping with rescue efforts.

As we learn more information about the relief efforts in Haiti, we will update you. For now, please keep Haiti’s people and its animals in your mind and donate what you can. Every little bit helps!

Please check out Animal Balance, a non-profit organization of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, assistants and volunteers. They come together to create MASH-style sterilization clinics on islands around the world. They currently have approximately 400 people on their database. Sociedad Dominicana Para la Protección de Animales (SODOPRECA), in the Dominican Republic, is one of their clinics and as mentioned above, are providing the larger animal welfare groups with mobile clinics to drive across the border to Haiti.

To Assist Animal Balance (www.animalbalance.net) and help with the relief effort for animals in Haiti, please contact: Marcos A. Polanco of Sociedad Dominicana para la Prevención de Crueldad a los Animales (SODOPRECA) - www.sodopreca.com
San Juan Bautista De La Salle #132 Mirado Norte, Sto. Dgo. R.D.
Tel. (809) 599-4363; Email: marcospolanco@sodopreca.org; SKYPE: Marco Polanco
**Please note: www.animalbalance.net is in English and www.sodopreca.com is in Spanish)**

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help for the Birds

Arguing aside on the cat vs bird debate, if bird populations are declining then they need our help to get through the winter. According to an article by The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, “Finding food and ensuring they eat enough of it to build - and maintain - adequate fat supplies is the greatest test for wild birds in winter. And the food and water we provide can be the difference between life and death for many.” Here are a few ideas to help provide food to birds during wintry conditions.

The RSPB has created a simple six-point wild bird winter survival plan that will help wildlife during the harshest weather:

• Put out feed regularly, especially in severe weather. Set up a bird table and use high calorie seed mixes. A good alternative would be kitchen scraps such as hard animal fats [suet], grated cheese and porridge oats.

• Put out hanging feeders containing black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts.

• Put out fruit, such as apples and pears, for blackbirds, song thrushes and other members of the thrush family.

• Food bars or fat hung up or rubbed into the bark of trees is a great help for treecreepers, goldcrests and many other species.

• Put up nest boxes to provide shelter for the smaller birds. They may well be used for breeding later in the year.

Ensure a supply of fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but DO NOT use any antifreeze products.

And always remember a few other tricks for ensuring a bird-friendly yard:

1. Avoid putting food on the ground; use a bird table where cats cannot reach it.

2. Place feeders high off the ground but away from surfaces from which a cat could jump.

3. Place spiny plants (such as holly) or an uncomfortable surface around the base of the feeding station to prevent a cat from sitting underneath it.

4. Place an upturned tin or cone underneath the table to prevent cats from climbing the post (squirrel ‘baffles’ are commercially available).

5. Make the table-slippery using a metal post, or plastic bottles around non-metal posts. Try to avoid wood posts, for they are easier for cats and squirrels to climb.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Animal Rescue Site SHELTER CHALLENGE!!


Now, that I just purchased a few cute animal related items from their store (which also helps feed shelter animals), I can tell you about their 2010 Shelter Challenge. The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Shelter Challenge - together with Petfinder.com is back with a new opportunity for Alley Cat Rescue to win grants of $1,000 to $10,000 to help our shelter do what it does best — help rescue, care for, and find loving homes for animals!

Simply “VOTE” for Alley Cat Rescue each day to help us get the most votes. Voters are limited to one (1) vote per person per day. So, please help us spread the word to get ACR more votes!! Groups with the most votes, win grants! The challenge starts on January 18th and runs through April 18th, 2010.

And while you are visiting The Animal Rescue Site, be sure to click for free to feed shelter animals. Sponsors pay for food every time you click. The Animal Rescue Site focuses the power of the Internet on a specific need: providing food for the thousands of animals rescued by shelters each year. Every click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button funds food for shelter animals. Visit The Animal Rescue Site and click every day!

When you shop at The Animal Rescue Site store, each item you buy also helps fund food for animals -- at no extra cost to you! The chart below shows bowls of food generated by shopping at The Animal Rescue Site store over the past six months. Your shopping here makes a difference -- thank you for all you do!



And thank you, Alley Cat Rescue Supporters, for helping us win money to save more cats!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Alley Cat Rescue Announces FREE FERAL CAT SPAY DAY: Helping to Curb Cat Overpopulation

On April 27, 2010, Alley Cat Rescue will launch Free Feral Cat Spay Day to encourage the veterinary community and individuals to get involved in putting an end to cat homelessness and decreasing euthanasia rates at local shelters.

ACR President and TNR pioneer, Louise Holton, sent out a plea to veterinarians across the US, asking them to participate on this important day by offering at least two free spays or neuters of feral cats to the public. Holton says, “We have a ‘Perfect Storm’ brewing in our country with the troubled economy causing many people to lose their homes, causing them to relinquish their pets. Unfortunately, when people find out that shelters may euthanize their animals, they turn to private rescuers; most of them are full to capacity and have to turn people away.”

In times like these, people go to great measures to “save” their cats. Countless people naively think a cat can “fend for himself,” so they put him on the streets or drop him off in the country. “This is the perfect climate for a perfect storm,” says Holton. “Many cats will die on the streets, but others will go on to form or join feral cat colonies and breed unwanted feral kittens.”


Out of 80,000 cats, if half are females, and have 2 litters each year (with just 4 kittens surviving in total), in just 5 years we could have 800,000 extra cats on our streets. And that will just be from the initial cats. Then, add all the progeny from the offspring, and you can see the numbers get quite intimidating. However, if 40,000 veterinarians respond to this appeal, 80,000 cats will be fixed, and the success of these free clinics will prevent hundreds of thousands of unwanted animals from being born; which is the first step in the fight against pet overpopulation.

Cat rescue organizations cannot tackle this problem on their own; they need the support of the veterinary community. Our intention is not to place a burden of caring for the country’s stray and feral cats on veterinarians, but rather we are hoping that the public will respond to this as well, and a network will be created to help solve this national epidemic. Individuals will build relationships with participating vets, and over time, this will bring more business to the veterinary community. By establishing long-term relationships between vets and rescuers, together they can help their town’s stray cat population. Countless animal supporters already volunteer at local shelters and have established long-lasting rapports with vet clinics; and, individuals are learning to fund raise for future veterinary care. ACR wants to make it clear, that this day is not only meant to help reduce feral cat numbers and assist colony caretakers, but to also help the veterinary community, by showing their compassion for animals and by bringing them new clients in the future.

By creating this nationally recognized day—Free Feral Cat Spay Day—Alley Cat Rescue hopes to strengthen the relationships between clients and veterinarians and the relationship between humans and stray/feral cats. We understand that pet overpopulation is not a simple issue nor is there a "simple" solution, but if people are willing to help the community and get involved (and individuals are getting involved by practicing TNR), then why not ban together and see this project through? A long history has brought us to this current state, and there is no quick fix to the problem. Ultimately, a long-term, humane, management plan needs to be implemented, if we are ever to get a handle on CAT OVERPOPULATION.

For more information on this campaign or to get your veterinarian involved on Free Feral Cat Spay Day, please contact us! If you are unable to participate at this time, but would like to contribute to our FFCSD fund, please send your donation to Alley Cat Rescue PO Box 585, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.