Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alley Cat Rescue Hosts Free Feral Cat Spay Day

By helping just one cat, you will save the lives of many.

Mt. Rainier, MD— On April 27, 2011, Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) will be hosting its second annual Free Feral Cat Spay Day to encourage the veterinary community and the public to end cat homelessness and to decrease shelters’ euthanasia rates by practicing trap-neuter-return (TNR).

TNR is the humane management of feral cat colonies or community cats, where cats are caught in humane traps, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped and returned to the site. Friendly kittens and cats who can be socialized are placed into adoption programs to find homes, while those who are truly “feral” are returned to their outdoor homes. A feral cat is simply a domestic cat who was born outside and has never lived with humans, or one who was a house cat, became lost, and went without human contact long enough to become unsocialized to humans. Feral cats revert back to living on instincts and become less dependent on humans for survival. Feral simply means “wild” or “untamed.” 

ACR President and Alley Cat Allies co-founder, Louise Holton, is once again encouraging veteri­narians to participate on this important day by offering at least two free spays or neuters of feral cats to the public. In hard economic times countless people naively think a cat can “fend for himself,” so they put him on the streets or drop him off in the country. Holton says, “Many cats cannot fend for them-selves and will die, but others will go on to form or join feral cat colonies and breed unwanted feral kittens. TNR stops the breeding cycle more efficiently than catch-and-kill. In catch-and-kill, other strays will enter the vacated territory and start breeding all over again.”

Cat rescue organizations cannot tackle this problem alone; we need the support of the veterinary com­munity. By establishing long-term relationships between vets and rescuers, together we can help each town’s stray cat population. ACR wants to make it clear, this day is not only meant to help reduce feral cat numbers and assist colony caretakers, but to also help the veterinary community showcase their compas­sion for animals and bring them new clients in the future. 

Last year, over 150 veterinary clinics from 17 states joined ACR in the fight to prevent cat homelessness. Together, over 200 community cats were spayed or neutered. And thanks to our compassionate friends in South Africa and Canada, FFCSD has become an international campaign! So far this year, over 280 veterinary clinics have registered to participate; anyone interested in helping community cats, please join us on this very important day!!

For more information on Free Feral Cat Spay Day and how you can get involved, please visit or email Denise Hilton at

Photo Credit: Troy Snow

Monday, March 28, 2011

Louise Holton Appears on Pet Life Radio

Louise Holton, Alley Cat Rescue President and Founder, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with Amy Shojai, the host of Pet Peeves on Pet Life Radio. They discussed feral cats, dispelling some of the myths that surround these animals and sharing helpful tips on how everyone can start helping their community cats. Louise and Amy talk about the benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return and how ACR is getting more veterinary clinics involved in treated feral cats through Free Feral Cat Spay Day. 

Louise says, "TNR can solve a host of feral cat problems in a humane way. And after all, if you hadn’t adopted your purring lap-kitty, he might have ended up as a feral!" Learn about the TNR solution, and how you can get your community and veterinarian involved, by listening to Louise Holton on Pet Life Radio.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ACR's Newest Kitty- Officer

Officer is an adorable white kitty with grey marks who came to ACR last week.  A gentleman showed up at our door with a cat in a trap, proceeded to tell us that he would not Trap-Neuter-Return this cat because he was already feeding three cats that he had paid to TNR (through ACR, which means that the donation we ask for does not even come close to covering all of our costs to TNR a cat) and that he was leaving.  He set down the trap, walked out and drove away as fast as possible. 

There were a million things racing through our minds- is this cat feral? After all, he did come in a trap! Does he have FIV/Feline Leukemia? Is he healthy?

We brought him to the vet clinic where we discovered that he was already neutered, and tested negative for FIV/Feline Leukemia.  We also discovered that while he is a little shy at first, Officer was sweet as pie.

He has a few mild wounds that appear to have come from him being outside, but we have a feeling that in no time he will be better than ever and ready to find his forever home.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Book Review: “How Shelter Pets are Brokered for Experimentation: Understanding Pound Seizure” by Allie Phillips

For an individual like myself, who is aware of this deadly secret occurring in America, this book shares so much more information on the subject of pound seizure and what happens to former family pets once they have become victim of the practice; and to those who are unfamiliar with the topic, this book is an eye-opener!

Pound seizure, or pound release, is when an animal shelter sells or gives away cats and dogs to Class B dealers (random source dealers), who are licensed by the USDA, who then resell the animals for research and experimentation. It also involves shelters providing animals directly to research laboratories or university training programs. It is unknown how many shelter animals are sold into a tortured life of experimentation because accurate records are not available from many states.

As an animal advocate and an attorney, Allie Phillips dives head first into the world of pound seizure and takes the reader on an insightful journey that most shelters and states do want the public to take. Allie speaks from an honest place, sharing her own personal experiences with pound seizure. The information in this book is not always easy to read but it is necessary, for anyone who is determined to stop this horrible practice.

After explaining exactly what pound seizure is and why the practice continues, Allie looks at all those who are involved, including: animal shelters, animal dealers, research facilities and universities, and the animal victims and survivors. This book is filled with useful information for anyone who wishes to learn more about America’s dirty little secret of brokering animals and provides pages of helpful tips on becoming an advocate for putting an end to pound seizure.

For more information on pound seizure and to get your copy of Allie’s book, please click here.

You can also learn more about this horrific practice and information on animal testing by visiting Alley Cat Rescue’s website.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

ACTION ALERT: Utah Feral Cat Bill Passes the House

At the beginning of the year, Republican Representative, Curtis Oda, introduced a bill to Utah legislation to make it legal for residents to kill feral animals, and this bill has now passed the House of Representatives and moves on to the Senate. Under this law, any Utah resident will legally be permitted to shoot any animal without being charged for cruelty if the shooter "has a reasonable belief" that the animal is feral.

If it is signed into law, this bill will launch an open season on feral cats and dogs, abandoned animals, lost companions, and wildlife. If you live in Utah, please contact your senator and politely urge him or her to oppose House Bill 210 and the cruelty to animals that this legislation would allow if passed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Winkie has been saved!!

Thanks to you and your compassion!! Phone calls and emails were pouring into Howard County Animal Control from all over the United States, in an effort to convince animal control officers to spare this kitten's life. Local media sources were tracking the story and in a few short days, all eyes were on Winkie.

Thanks to dedicated and caring individuals, just like YOU, animal control officers changed their minds about this little guy and released him back to his original rescuer. The shelter even gave him a complimentary neuter and a rabies vaccination.

Winkie spent last night in the loving arms of his family, enjoying the moment with snuggles and satisfying purrs. Once he has recovered from surgery and is feeling 100 percent, Winkie will go to live with his rescuer's parents, where he can rest easy knowing that he has found his permanent home.

All of us at Alley Cat Rescue, cannot thank you enough for answering this call to action! It just goes to show that Margaret Mead was right when she said, "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." And indeed we did!

We are kindly asking that you take a moment to thank Officer Deborah Baracco for changing her mind and sparing Winkie's life. Please help us express our gratitude for such a triumphant outcome. Please send emails to or call 410-313-2780. And remember to follow us on Facebook, where you can stay up-to-date with developing stories. Thank you!