Nationally recognized nonprofit organizations team up to save cats’ lives
BETHESDA, MD—Research shows that 80 percent of pet cats have been spayed or neutered—but less than three percent of outdoor cats—stray and feral cats—have been sterilized. To help address the outdoor populations’ needs, Alley Cat Allies is partnering with the Humane Alliance of Asheville, North Carolina to create new curriculum to add to the existing intensive training in high-volume spay/neuter.
The two organizations will collaborate to create a full day of additional curriculum, specifically designed for veterinarians on how community cat—also referred to as feral cats—services can be incorporated into day-to-day clinic protocols. The program will also educate veterinarians on best practices for addressing the unique needs and challenges of community cats in their communities.
“This is a great addition to our existing veterinary training curriculum and will expose veterinarians to ways they can add a program to help community cats into their own practice. Two hundred veterinarians are expected to go through the new curriculum in the first 12 months, which is a great opportunity for them and the cats,” said Quita Mazzina, Humane Alliance Executive Director.
In a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, community cats are humanely trapped and brought to a veterinarian to be spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the tip of the left ear is removed during surgery—providing the universal symbol that a cat has been neutered and vaccinated). After a short recovery period, the cats are returned to their outdoor homes. TNR ends the reproduction cycle, and behaviors associated with mating—such as yowling and spraying—stop, addressing community concerns and decreasing calls to animal control.
“Veterinarians are a key ally in the movement to humanely care for feral cat populations,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “They put the ‘N’ in TNR and stop the breeding cycle. When vets spay and neuter outdoor cats, it is a huge service to both the community and the cats.”
Alley Cat Allies and the Humane Alliance expect the program will expand the capacity and reach of TNR efforts across the country, enabling more veterinarians to help their communities humanely address community cat populations.
Veterinarians interested in learning more about the program can visit www.humanealliance.org/vet-training to download the curriculum. The full curriculum provides continuing education credits for veterinarians.
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has over half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.
About Humane Alliance
Humane Alliance is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that focuses on high-volume, high-quality, low-cost companion animal sterilization. Since 1994, when they started as a small spay/neuter clinic in Asheville, North Carolina, they have fostered a new mentoring culture across the country to successfully replicate their tried and tested clinic techniques. They currently operate training programs designed to teach high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter techniques to animal welfare professionals, veterinarians, and veterinary externs from across the country and around the world.