Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Blog: Rosie Sorenson

It’s a rainy Saturday. The ritual has begun: the tinny clink of utensils being sorted and placed in their appropriate drawers, the clop of bowls lifted from the dishwasher and put away in the cupboard, the soft murmuring of a man’s soothing baritone reaching me in my writing loft upstairs.

“This little Baby Bill . . . No, you’re not allowed . . . No, don’t scratch . . . ,” all said in sweet and cooing tones, the tones of a man in love with his young son. “No, Billy,” he says but doesn’t mean.

I’m familiar with every move, every gesture, every word in this oft-played scenario between my sweetheart Steve and our strawberry blonde rescue kitty Billy. I’ve stood many times outside the kitchen and watched as Billy tried to climb up Steve’s rock-hard leg, those sharp kitty claws piercing Steve’s oh-so-human flesh. From a cat’s point of view, why would he think of it as anything but a handy tree stump?

“Not now, not ever,” says Steve, his voice rising in pitch on the “now,” and descending on the “ever.” Even though I’m upstairs at my desk, I know what Steve is doing – he’s picking Billy up ass over teakettle, bringing the kitty wide-eyed joy. Steve’s is a musical voice, the one I fell in love with 13 years ago. The one I plan to listen to forever.

When I hear him murmuring to our Billy downstairs, I smile. “We’re going to have to chuck the Billster,” he says with a foolish laugh. More clinking, more clopping. “Just chuck him.” The dishwasher tray clunks along as it’s pushed back inside, rattling the cups and glassware.

For me, this is the true measure of a man – how much does he love cats? Not “like,” you understand, but LOVE them -- insane, irrational, do-anything-for-the-kitty-kind of love. Cuddle love. Putting a special pillow and towel on his lap so Billy can lie there as Steve works at his desk, the kitty batting at pens and papers. Steve turning on the heater under his desk. The kitty must stay warm, you know.

Like any relationship, however, where one party mostly gives and the other party mostly receives, Steve and Billy have their “issues.”

Billy likes to bite his Daddy, not hard enough to break the skin but with enough pressure to get Steve’s attention, usually after Steve has tried to stop Billy from messing about on the desk. “He doesn’t like it when I curtail his activities – he doesn’t think it’s right,” says Steve with more patience than, say, if I were the one who’d been doing the messing about.

“Could you please get something for me?” Steve will often call up to me from downstairs.

“Got the Billster in your lap again, do you?”

“Yes, I know . . . it’s not right that we let them run our lives, but . . . ”

“Why don’t you just chuck him onto the floor?” I say but don’t mean.

“Not now, not ever . . . ”

Rosie Sorenson, MA, MFT

Award-winning author of: They Had Me at Meow: Tails of Love from the Homeless Cats of Buster Hollow for t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc. featuring the cats of Buster Hollow

This holiday season, here are 3 ways to help your favorite animal group:
1) Give the gift of time- dedicated volunteers are always needed to help, even with things as simple as cleaning and giving the animals extra attention
2) Give a home- fostering frees up resources so animals groups can save even more lives.  You can foster on a short term or long term basis. 
3) Give a donation or charitable gift- groups are always struggling for money, and more money means more lives can be saved.  You can donate to Alley Cat Rescue through Network for Good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CWA Certificate of Excellence

Alley Cat Rescue is pleased to announce that our newsletter, Alley Cat Mews, is a finalist in the Cat Writers' Association Annual Communication Contest.  Alley Cat Mews is up for Muse Medallion, which will be awarded during the CWA's annual conference taking place in November.

Recieving a Certificate of Excellence means that the individual must score an average of 90 or higher based on the scores submitted by the three judges for each category.

We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletter.  If you do not, and would like to, please email us at

In other news, ACR is in need of cat food and litter.  We will use any kind.  Donations can be dropped off at our office or sent in the mail. (please call 301-277-5595 to make arrangements). Gift cards to PETsMART are also extremely helpful.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Update: Sudan Cats

Mosby is ready to go to his forever home!
 ACR is thrilled to announce that the first cat we helped rescue from Sudan has been adopted!  We introduced Mosby back in August, and one of our volunteers has fallen in love with him and decided to adopt him.

Hanah is a recent transplant to Maryland.  Her husband is in the military, and they have 3 other cats. The first day she came in, she told me that she had a feeling she would end up taking Mosby home.  They bonded quickly, and after a few weeks she decided that Mosby would make a great addition to her house. 

We also wanted to introduce another one of the cats rescued from Sudan: Little M.

Little M

Little M headbutting my
hand for attention!

Little M is quickly making friends with everyone at ACR and at the Brentwood Animal Hospital, who we work with.

She is a all black, except for one patch of white on her chest.  She can act shy, but as soon as she realizes you want to pet her, she starts headbutting your hand.  She is also a HUGE fan of feather toys!

We are hoping that the perfect home comes along for her soon.

If you want to help ACR continue to help cats like Mosby and Little M, please consider sending a donation.  Without your help, we cannot save the lives of the cats who need us!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A really easy way to give money to Alley Cat Rescue without costing you a single cent!

You can help cats like Nathan
without spending a penny!

While we are pleased they have done so well, we would like YOU, a well-known cat lover to help Alley Cat Rescue and all the cats whose lives we save!

Load Good Search and Good Shop on your computer as your Search Engine.  To help us spay and neuter more cats, make sure you choose Alley Cat Rescue, Mount Rainier, MD Charity # 836129 as your charity of choice to receive donations.

ACR has 130 subscribers (we could use a LOT more!!)  Their searches have given ACR $1,369 over the years. Sadly I am the highest “donor” nearing the $100 mark.

Many of our donors have only given .01 cent. I think it may be because even though they have signed up, they do not make sure Good Search is on their toolbar. And I have noticed that other search engines can be quite “aggressive” in trying to get you to change.

Computers all come with a search engine already loaded. But you can change yours to reflect your compassion for cats!

Other groups have earned a lot of money through a simple click of a mouse from their donors. Groups like ASPCA have received $46, 562 and Best Friends has received over $28,000.

And remember to spread the word….ask your friends and family to join in as well. For Free!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jill and Mosby

Mosby and Jill
I want to introduce everyone to Jill and Mosby, our first pair of cats from Sudan.

Jill is a beautiful white and brown tabby who is estimated to be around a year and a half old.  She travelled here in a carrier with Mosby, a grey cat.

Jill was trapped and brought into Barbara's home in March of 2012.  Barbara told us about what happened when Jill first arrived:

After her surgery, Jill disappeared!  Vanished into thin air! We had confined the two of them in the laundry room, with no door to the outside.  No way she have escaped and was hiding elsewhere in the house – too many other cats who would have found her.   We searched everywhere – removing everything from the pantry and cupboards.  We shut Jack (her brother) in the bathroom to eat and set out food in the laundry room at night for three nights – nothing eaten.  I called the maintenance men to search the crawl space in the ceiling and the washing machine.  Nothing.  On the sixth day, I went into the laundry room, and there she was!  We’re convinced that she was hiding in the washing machine – between the drum and the walls of the outside cover.  She has moved to the guest room, where she hid in the box springs for week.  Over time, she has gradually become tolerant of us and began to come out to play with Da Bird and Snake (other cats in the home).  Now she loves iPad games, and comes out to play as soon as she hears it.

Jill is still very shy and afraid of people, but you can tell that she will come around with patience and love!

Helping Mosby get more comfortable with people
 According to Barbara, Mosby and Jill have become very good friends, so we are keeping them together.  Mosby is slightly more outgoing than Jill, and is willing to be held.  When you first pick him up it is clear that he is scared, but after a little petting and soothing voices he settles into your arms.

The guards think Mosby was born in March 2012.  He and 3 other kittens were trapped once they were old enough to be weaned. 

Mosby and Jill would make a great pair of cats for a loving, patient, experienced family.  Jill may never be a lap cat, but we think Mosby will and will help Jill trust people more.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

International Rescue: Sudan

Kylie and Ranger riding back from Dulles
In early July, Alley Cat Rescue received an email from a friend of a friend who was looking for a rescue group to help a group of cats from Sudan.  Barbara, posted at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, had started Trap-Neuter-Returning cats on some properties that were formerly owned by the US.  When Sudan took a large part of the property back and the facility with kitchen closed,r5gt4 the cats were left without any way to get food.  Barbara brought food to the guards, who continued to feed the cats.

Meanwhile, on another part of the property, new people came and were complaining that the cats were scaring their dogs.  This prompted the security office to forbid the guards from feeding the cats anywhere on the property.  Barbara had no choice at the point- she either had a rescue the cats herself and let them starve.  So Barbara started bringing them into her home, and working with them. 

The political situation in Sudan is complicated and unstable, and Barbara realized that there was a chance she would have to evacuate quickly.  If this happened, she would not be able take all of the cats with her because of housing regulations, so she started looking around for someone in the US who might be able to take them and find them forever homes. 

When we received the email requesting help, we thought that we had the resources to give these cats a chance, so with emails flying back and forth over the Atlantic, slowly a plan came together to fly 9 cats from Khartoum to Amsterdam to Washington DC.

A date was worked out, and the cats were scheduled to arrive at Dulles Airport on Saturday, August 4th.  My husband Scott and I (Kylie Riser) drove out to the airport, found our way to the cargo area and waited for the plan to land.  After about an hour of waiting, we were told that the cats did  not make it onto the plane and were rescheduled to arrive on Sunday.  So we headed home, and waited another night.

On Sunday morning, the gentleman who worked at the KLM cargo area gave me a phone call to let me know that the cats were in fact on the plane, and we could pick them up around 4 p.m.  We headed back out to Dulles.  The sky was ominously dark on the way there, and  were were sure we were going to get soaked, but luckily the rain help off until the cats were all loaded into my car and we were on our back to the ACR office.

We need a bigger car for ACR to fit this many cats!

The cats had arrived safe and sound!  Six carriers with 9 cats were waiting for us.  We check them through customs with the help of the KLM cargo staff who went out of their way to help us, played cat puzzle trying to get them all in my car, and were on our way. 

Scott and I brought them back to the office, where they are all set up in our boarding area.  They are beautiful cats, but they are definitely a little freaked out by the trip, and will need some special attention. 

We are going to feature the cats over the next few days so you can read about each individual cat and their story.  We are looking for very special homes for them, as most of them started off as feral cats and need experienced cat people who will give them the time, love and patience it will take for them to be wonderful pets! 

If you are interested in helping these cats, either through adoption or through a donation, you can email us at or donate through Network For Good.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stop Killing Feral Cats in Switzerland

Please take a moment to sign this online petition to ask the Swiss government to consider Trap-Neuter-Return as a way to help control the feral cat population. Click here to sign the petition.

As far back as 2008, Animal People Magazine has been writing about cruelty to cats in Switzerland, in particular the Swiss fur trade.  While most people insisted that the cat fur trade in Switzerland is small, any trading in cat fur should be illegal.  According to the article, "But [Tony] Paterson [of the London Independent] confirmed that some cats are skinned in Switzerland. At the Ark Farm in Huttwil, where a store caters to craft artists, Paterson found a "pile of cat pelts lying on a table...on sale with sheepskins, whole calf skins, and fox pelts for five Swiss francs each," worth about $5.00 U.S.

A news article on July 11th, 2012 brought to light that Reinhard Schnidrig, the head of the Swiss environmental ministry's hunting division said that “Domestic cats have no place in nature, specifically not in the forests and mountains. We should capture them, kill them 'humanely' and not release them. Domestic stray cats become a major issue for local biodiversity,” in an email to Tomi Tomek, director of cat rescue organization SOS Chats.

Considering how it has been shown over and over that it is impossible to kill all the cats on an island, even using methods like poisoning the food supply, how on earth would it be possible to kill all the feral cats in in a forested or mountainous region?  Please sign the petition and let Swiss officials know that killing feral cats will not help the situation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DC suburb considers feral cat protection bill

From The Examiner, by Marc Selinger on June 26, 2012

A Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., is considering a bill aimed at reducing the trapping and killing of feral cats by animal control officers.

The legislation, introduced by Prince George’s County Councilmember Mary Lehman, would protect outdoor cats who are unsocialized to people and who have been sterilized through a “trap-neuter-return” or TNR program. Feral cats who go through a TNR program are eartipped, which means that while they are under anesthesia, the tip of their left ear is removed to indicate they have been neutered and vaccinated.

Under the bill, animal control officers who trap an eartipped cat in the field would have to release him or her immediately “if the cat is not attacking humans or other animals, damaging property, or offending the human senses by urinating in a yard or yowling in the middle of the night, etc.,” Lehman policy analyst Matt Dernoga told June 25. An eartipped cat who ends up at the county animal shelter would have to be held for three work days instead of being euthanized immediately, and animal control would have to give feral cat groups an opportunity to rescue the cat.

Although neutered feral cats are usually not licensed pets, Lehman considers it “wasteful and unnecessary” to euthanize them because they “are not a public health threat” and because they have caregivers who invest significant amounts of time and money getting the cats spayed/neutered, feeding them regularly and providing shelter, Dernoga said. Lehman's bill was prompted by complaints from caregivers in Laurel whose eartipped feral cats were trapped and euthanized by county animal control.

Dernoga said the bill represents “a small step forward” to reduce euthanasia at the county shelter, which takes in an estimated 150 to 200 eartipped feral cats a year, most of whom are put to sleep. Overall, the county shelter has euthanized an average of more than 3,800 tame and feral cats a year over the past three years, according to an overview of animal euthanasia in the county.

The council’s transportation committee approved the bill unanimously on June 19. The measure "will come to a vote before the full council on July 24, and is expected to become law," Dernoga said.

In a related matter, Dernoga told that Lehman hopes to foster collaboration between the city of Laurel and the county on a pilot TNR program that Laurel is working to set up.

The Alley Cat Rescue office is located in Prince George's County, Maryland, and we fully support this bill.  We have been in a constant struggle with the animal control agency regarding the treatment of feral cats in the county, and the amount of animals that are euthanized there. 

If you reside in PG County, please contact your representative to the county council and express your support for the feral cats in this county.  You can find their contact information here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Alley Cat Rescue has written about the horror of the dog and cat meat industry in South Korea on our blog and in our newsletters, and we are inviting all our members to support In Defense of Animals, a group whose mission is to end animal exploitation, cruelty, and abuse by protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals, as well as to raise their status beyond mere property, commodities, or things, in their International Day of Action for South Korean Dogs and Cats.

On August 7th, 2012, IDA is looking for help to raise awareness regarding the dog and cat meat industry in South Korea. From the IDA Website: "IDA would like to invite you to take action for the dogs and cats in South Korea, and to be a Compassionate Coordinator. The $2 billion dollar-a-year South Korean dog and cat meat industry slaughters approximately two and half million dogs and thousands of cats in the most horrific fashion for human consumption, because of the prevailing myth that the more an animal is tortured, the tastier and more tender the meat. Aside from the needless suffering, there is the very serious public health risk associated with eating dog and cat meat.

We need activists to organize outreach events to educate their communities about this industry of horror that is sanctioned by the South Korean government. You can hold a protest or leafleting in a public area to raise awareness, or have a table at a local venue or event to get the word out. IDA will provide you with the materials you will need to make your event a rousing success.

We would like to have a presence at the Korean Embassies and Consulates in the following cities. Please let us know if you would be willing to help coordinate an event:


Washington, D.C.
Chicago, IL
Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Houston, TX
Honolulu, HI
Seattle, WA



You do not need to live in any of these cities to participate. If you are interested in helping spread the word about the Dogs and Cats of South Korea, please contact or call 707-540-1760. Your day of action could be any day around August 7th. Click here to register your event.

For more information about the South Korean Dog and Cat Campaign, please e-mail or call 415-331-8659."

The dogs and cats of South Korea are counting on you!"

You can also read more from Alley Cat Rescue on the Korean cat meat trade on our website,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Call to Action

Call to Action:

Tell the White House to Stop Using

Taxpayer’s Money to Kill our Wildlife

Today we have a chance to band together across the country and send a message to Ken Salazar, the Bureau of Land Management, Gov. Butch Otter and others who brutally kill our wildlife.

A coyote is caught in a leg-hold trap
in Oregon (Image from
 The majority of public lands in the United States are held in trust for the American people by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, or the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, or the United States Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture. Together, these departments and agencies are responsible for managing and conserving public land and natural resources, with help from the American taxpayer.

In managing these lands, the majority, if not all, of these entities implement lethal practices when managing animal populations on public and private land.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Wildlife agents accidently killed (with steel traps, wire snares and poison) more than 50,000 animals since 2000 that were not problems, including federally protected golden and bald eagles; more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets; and several species considered rare or imperiled by wildlife biologists. Read more on the Sacramento Bee.

Incidentally, in 2010 they also intentionally killed 1,302 domestic cats and unintentionally killed 23 cats.

The American Society of Mammalogists reported: “ WS’s own reported kill data from fiscal years 2000 through 2010 [show] agents have killed more than 2 million native wild mammals in the United States in those 11 years, including 915,868 coyotes, 321,051 beavers, 126,257 raccoons, 83,606 skunks, nearly 70,000 ground squirrels, 50,682 red and gray foxes, 43,640 prairie dogs, 29,484 opossums, 25,336 marmots and woodchucks, 19,111 muskrats, 4,559 bears, 4,052 mountain lions, and 3,066 endangered gray wolves, nearly all of these intentionally.”

What kinds of critters are considered to be pests? Everything from bobcats to foxes to bears, opossums, prairie dogs, beavers, and ravens.

Wildlife Services' predator control is coming under fire from scientists, former employees and others, who say it is expensive, ineffective and can set off a chain reaction of unintended, often negative, environmental consequences.

A coyote is stuck in a body-grip trap.
Image from

The Sacramento Bee reported that the agency has killed about 560,000 predators since 2006, mostly coyotes. The body count also included 25,000 red and gray foxes, 10,700 bobcats, 2,800 black bears, 2,300 timberwolves, and 2,100 mountain lions.

In 2010 the Wildlife Services agency reports that it killed 5,008,755 animals. The report also lists that the agency “dispersed” of 20,326,715 animals.

To those of us who find the wholesale slaughter of wildlife unacceptable, please call the White House and the Department of the Interior. Tell them we want the slaughter to stop and we want the wolf re-listed under the Endangered Species Act. (Idaho alone has slaughtered almost 60% of their population in the past year. This doesn't cover wolves that have been poached.) We also want Ken Salazar removed as Secretary of the Interior and replaced with someone who cares about animals and the environment.

Dept. of the Interior: (202) 208-3100

White House: (202) 456-1414

About Alley Cat Rescue

Alley Cat Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, feral, and wild. We run a no-kill shelter and advocate TNR programs for feral cats. ACR has been awarded the Inde­pend­ent Charities of Americas “Best in America” Seal of Ap­proval, and our newsletter has won many awards from the Cat Writers’ Association. For more information, please visit our website 

You can donate to Alley Cat Rescue through Network for Good

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Boycott Loews Hotels

The Loews Portofino Hotel in Orlando, Florida, has been a model of Trap-Neuter-Return for many years.  Several hotel employees care for the cats, their houses are designed with the hotel architecture in mind, and the cats have all been fixed and vaccinated.  Despite the success of the colony, which has had stable numbers and no incidents involving people, the management of the hotel has decided the cats have to go because they pose a risk to the guests and staff.  Ironically, the Lowes Hotel chain’s motto is “Loews Loves Pets.”

The Loews hotel has contracted a “wildlife” removal company to “relocate” the cats to the county animal services center.  We all know that “relocate” is a euphemism for bring them into the shelter for euthanasia, as the majority of adult feral cats cannot live happy lives inside a home, and will be deemed unadoptable.  According to “For more than a week now, cats have been trapped at both the Portofino Bay Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort properties. From what I can tell, all 10 that have been trapped have been taken to OrangeCounty Animal Services, where they are subsequently bailed out by volunteers for CARE Feline TNR, Inc., the same organization responsible for the sterilization, vaccination, and long-term care of the Loews cats. (This is done, as I understand it, in collaboration with Orange County Animal Services—OCAS provides the veterinary services, and CARE agrees to provide ongoing care.).”

Reports indicate that the wildlife trapping company is not using proper protocol when trapping to keep the cats calm, resulting injuries.  According to an article in the Chicago Tribune: "It's common for some scrapes, but in my 10 years (of trapping) I've never seen injuries like these," says Carol Needham, a volunteer with CARE Feline TNR, a local non-profit that helps feral cats. "The trapping company is apparently not following protocol to keep the cats calm." The non-profit has stepped up to find temporary foster homes for the trapped feral cats and also is seeking new digs for these cats to live out their lives -- not an easy task.”

Like VoxFelina, we encourage everyone to boycott the Loews hotel chain, and to write to them to let them know you are outraged at the cats being removed, when they clearly pose not danger to their guests and staff.

Please write to Jonathan Tisch, the Co-Chairman of the Board and James Tisch, President  & CEO at 667 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065-8087.  Express your displeasure at the removal of the well managed colonies of feral cats at their properties, and explain that as an animal lover, you will be looking for alternative accommodations when traveling.

Monday, March 26, 2012

ACTION ALERT: NWF and Scotts Team Up

Why would an environmental group form a partnership with Scotts/Monsanto, the maker of pesticides and weed killers? Both are huge killers of bird life. We are talking here about the National Wildlife Federation. This non-profit organization is supposed to be protecting our wildlife and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Though, studies show that people who use these products have dogs who have higher rates of cancer.

The company makes Miracle-Gro and Ortho, while their Roundup brand is marketed by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. NWF finally ended this relationship because of the bad press that Scotts knowingly added pesticides to their bird seed, killing the very birds they were supposed to be helping. We urge you to sign this petition to NWF to let them know that we won't support them while they partner with pesticide companies. NWF claims that they "work to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future."

Roundup has shown to have negative environmental impacts. And pet dogs exposed to the weed killer 2,4-D are dying of cancer at twice the normal rates, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dog owners who spray or dust their lawns with weed killers are exposing their dogs, birds and wildlife to poisonous chemicals.
Scotts Weed and Feed uses a combination of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2-(2-Methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid (mecoprop) for weed control. They claim that 2,4-D breaks down relatively quickly in  seven to 10 days, the slower-acting mecoprop may remain active for two months or more and is water soluble, making it a groundwater contamination risk, according to the Extension Toxicology Network.  

In 2011 The News York Times reported: Pesticides kill 72 million birds directly, but an unknown and probably larger number ingest the poisons and die later unseen. Of course they leave behind orphaned chicks who will die as well.
It is unbelievable that an environmental group, supposed to be saving wildlife and our bird life, would even consider a partnership with such a company. It only legitimizes their nefarious work allowing them to continue to sell poisonous chemicals and also to distribute millions of pounds of birdseed containing chemicals dangerous to birds.

U.S. bird populations are in decline largely due to habitat loss as forests and fields are taken over by urban sprawl and agriculture. Cats, who are predators and do kill birds, are scapegoated and vilified by groups like NWF. In the meantime, other offenders go free, and misinformation and half truths are spread cat predation.

Court documents show that even though the company’s staff chemist and staff ornithologist warned about the toxicity danger, Scotts continued to sell the chemical-laden birdseed. They pled guilty in federal court to selling contaminated birdseed (during the years 2005 to 2008 Scotts distributed 73 million packets of poisoned birdseed.) They paid a $4.5 million fine. The seed had been coated with Storcide II to keep insects from eating it. The EPA lists Storcide II as “toxic to birds” and warns that “exposed treated seed may be hazardous to birds.”

The attempted whitewashing by chemical companies is rampant. But for an environmental group to put aside morals and ethics and accept this reprehensible relationship?

Safe Lawns report that in the past year America’s 57 poison control centers fielded approximately four million calls, treating 2.4 million human poison exposures. Pesticides — weed and insect killers and fungicides — cause a significant number of the worst cases. More than half of pesticide exposures involved children age 5 or younger.
To reduce this exposure to the most vulnerable population, avoid using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on lawns and gardens. Numerous safer, natural alternatives exist that work well and are more cost competitive than ever before.

Even though NWF eventually called off the relationship, we are urging you to sign this petition, so that we can show NWF that animal lovers everywhere are outraged that they could even think of forming an alliance with such a company.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remove Feral Cat Killer as head of PIAA

Photo: Herald Sun. PIAA president pictured holding a dead cat 

Animal advocates are demanding the resignation of Australia's president of the Pet Industry Association after he posed smiling in a photograph holding a dead cat.

According to Australian newspaper, the HeraldSun, Pet Industry Association of Australia president Steve Austin is pictured smiling with two friends as he holds a dead feral cat dangling by its neck off a piece of white rope.

PIAA chief executive officer Roger Perkins defended Mr. Austin, saying he was "having a bit of fun'' after a day of hunting feral cats in the Kimberleys.

Mr. Austin defended himself saying, "This judgment does not reflect my feeling toward companion animals and as PIAA president I respect people's passion for their pets and am committed to ensuring our pets welfare.''

Austin went on to say that feral cats were not like ordinary house pets. "Feral cats, like the one pictured, are not like our friendly pet moggy but are a devastating problem that decimate and kill our Australian wildlife in the millions,'' he said.

Animal advocates across Australia are demanding Austin step down as president.

Debra Tranter, founder of animal advocacy group Oscar's Law, was quoted as saying, "This is the president of PIAA, which represents thousands of pet owners, was quite happy to pose for a disgusting photo with a cat dangling off a rope. It just shows complete disregard and lack of respect...Animals should be treated humanely and with respect even if they are dead,'' she said.

Alley Cat Rescue is urging our supporters to sign our petition to ask PIAA to remove Austin as president.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shop to support ACR!

Uh oh! Valentine's Day is right around the corner!  Have you picked up anything for your favorite person, kitty or pooch?  It isn't too late to get a great gift and support Alley Cat Rescue at the same time!

You can start by searching for a gift using one of the search engines that benefit charities, such as OneCause and GoodSearch

Once you have figured out what to buy, head on over to GoodShop, because a portion of your purchase will go to Alley Cat Rescue.  You can shop at stores like,, and don't forget to pick up something for Fluffy at!

You can also shop to support ACR at Adopt-A-Shelter, where you can pick up a Valentine's day gift at or, or even some bling at Just make sure you shop through the Adopt-A-Shelter mall so that ACR receives a percentage of your purchase!

GoodSearch also has a new way to support ACR- GoodDining!  GoodDining allows you to eat at participating restaurants and when you pay with a registered credit card, ACR will receive a percentage of your check!  You can also earn additional donations for ACR by completing reviews of the restaurants you have dined at.  Another great way to support ACR!
And as always, you can give an ACR kitty a wonderful Valentine's Day by donating directly through Network for Good!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bob Barker wants UVA to Stop Using Cats in Medical Training

     Bob Barker, the former host of "The Price is Right" is a huge animal advocated.  Aside from him famously ending all the "The Price is Right" shows by reminding people to spay and neuter their pets, Barker has a foundation, the DJ&T Foundation, that supports spay/neuter programs and has donated millions of dollars to schools to support the study of animal rights law.
     Barker is now focusing on the University of Virginia (UVA) and their use of cats in their medical training program.  According to NBC Washington, "The technique in question involves training graduate physicians on how to insert breathing tubes into premature newborns. Barker wants students to learn on simulators, not live animals. University of Virginia officials say simulators don’t do as good of a job as cats."
     We are hoping that our supporters will help convince UVA to stop using the cats in medical training. You can write letters to the following people, letting them know you support Bob Barker and the use of simulators instead of live cats for medical training:

Office of the President, UVA
Teresa Sullivan
P.O. Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4224

Steven T. DeKosky, M.D.
Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine
PO Box 800793
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Rosie & Turtleman

Steve and I were excited about celebrating our birthdays at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, staying overnight at our favorite motel, until we thought of Jake.
            Jake is a twelve-pound, short-haired gray male kitty who adopted us two years ago.  We didn’t mean for this to happen, but Jake showed up unannounced at our condo, healthy, un-neutered and lonely. We figured someone had probably abandoned him.  Happens all the time with cats and dogs.  They’re called “foreclosure” pets.
            At any rate, I didn’t like Jake at first.  He frightened Snowball, a spunky white kitty we’d come to befriend.  Snowball lives with a family nearby and is allowed to roam free.  He was very fond of trotting up to us in the parking lot where we would offer him treats, conversation, and many pets.  Then, suddenly Jake appeared and frightened off Snowball.
            OK, so here’s where we had a choice – the “two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (Robert Frost) sort of thing.  I wanted to get him fixed and find him a home.  Steve?  Not so much.  My friend Grant was interested in adopting Jake until we discovered that he was not litter trained.  This became obvious when we took him into our bedroom/bathroom area for an overnight stay to make sure he was around in time for the vet appointment the following day.  Not a wise decision.  Let’s just say, our white carpeting took a beating that evening.  So, outside he went; then he disappeared for a few days.  I feel guilty about this, but I sort of hoped he wouldn’t come back.   When he did, we scooped him up, took him to the vet and ended his ability to produce a succession of little Jakes.  Naturally, Grant was no longer interested.   Who wants a cat who poops in all the wrong places?  We don’t have a spare bathroom to use for potty-training, so I checked with a local rescue group.   No one was willing or able to take on the task.    Anyway, by now, Steve had fallen in love.  He felt sorry for Jake because he didn’t have a home, and would probably be impossible to place because of his toileting issues.  But, I was firm.  I made my closing arguments: “We can’t afford another cat.  We’ve already spent $400 on him because of a bite wound – who’s to say this won’t happen again?”   Steve teared up; I felt like a heartless jerk.
Jake now lives outside our door on the landing. We set up a cat bed for him along with food and water bowls.  All of our neighbors know Jake, love Jake, make inquiries after Jake. One woman has even dubbed him the “Mayor of Stoneglen North.”  Steve has his morning coffee sitting next to Jake on the stairs at the top of the landing.  I read my mail to him in the same spot in the afternoon.
Jake has gotten very attached.  At first, he was nervous whenever we would leave the house, and would run down the stairs after us, as if to say, “Don’t leave me, oh, please don’t leave me!”  Once, when we were out all day, he didn’t come home for three days.  When he finally did, I told him never to do that again, that we would always return.  Now, whenever I have to leave, I make sure to pet him and say, “We’ll be back soon, Jakey, please stay home.”
Little by little, he’s become more comfortable.  Now, sometimes, he barely looks up from his kitty bed as we leave.  When we return, however, he still runs to greet us in the parking lot, doing his little happy dance, and running up the stairs ahead of us as if to say, “You came home, you really came home!” (You can see Jake’s dance video here.)
 We still want to go Pt. Reyes for our birthdays, but now that we’re so in love with Jake that we’d die if anything happened to him, there’s only one thing to do.  While our two indoor cats will be cared for by a friend, Jake will go off to boarding school.
            This is our road.

Rosie Sorenson, MA, MFT
Award-winning author of:  They Had Me at Meow:
Tails of Love from the Homeless Cats of Buster Hollow
 For t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc. featuring the cats of Buster Hollow, please click here.