Petition Seeks Help to Save 100 Prison Cats and Kittens


Photo of author

By Karen Harrison Binette

We received a note today from Melyssa Herrera, asking us to share a petition seeking help for a large colony of feral cats in danger, in hopes that readers would sign and share.

Melyssa wrote: “There are over 100 cats and kittens that have lived in the Norco, Ca prison for decades. They’ve just gotten a new warden and she’s prohibiting anyone to feed or provide the cats with water. They are suffering. What the warden wants to do is just have all the cats euthanized.

“Feral Alley Cats & Friends have started a petition to stop this. So far, they only have a little over a thousand signatures and we’d like to have more.

“They’re also having a protest at the prison this Thursday. We need all the support we can get right now. The more supporters we have the more likely we’ll be able to save all hundred cats. Thank you!”

Getting rid of the cats is one thing, depriving them of food and water, and slowly starving them to death is another.

We are sharing the text from the Feral Alley Cats & Friends petition at, along with a link to the petition for anyone who wants to sign. Those trying to save the cats and kittens would appreciate your help, and will be grateful to anyone who signs and shares the petition.

Feral Alley Cats & Friends SPCA program director Jackie Martin wrote yesterday: “Today we were on our way home and decided to drop by the CRC Norco Prison and take a look around from the public streets. We had an eerie feeling as we drove by and looked in behind the fencing and barb wire and could not imagine what the cats and kittens on that property must be going through. We want Warden Tampkins to stop the feeding ban and eradication of the cats on the prison grounds. We want a Trap-Neuter-Return Program initiated as this is a proven humane method of controlling the cat population.

“We hope that we can help to save the cats at the prison through protesting and the petition we started. We are not giving up the fight to protect the CRC Norco Prison cats. The cats deserve better!!!”

You can visit FERAL ALLEY CATS & FRIENDS SPCA at Facebook.



Petition by Feral Alley Cats & Friends SPCA: Petitioning Cynthia Tampkins

This petition will be delivered to: Warden Cynthia Tampkins

The California Rehabilitation Center in Norco: Prison to Not Be Allowed to Rid Grounds of Feral Cats

The California Rehabilitation Center in Norco: Prison to Not Be Allowed to Rid Grounds of Feral Cats

Feral Alley Cats & Friends SPCA opposes feeding bans for feral cats. These bans are inherently cruel and do not come close to achieving their intended goals.

Mistreatment is a common complaint at prisons, but at California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, the alleged target is not the inmates. It’s the cats. Some current and former prison employees are accusing administrators of handing the feral cats — more than 100 of them — a death sentence. While the prison hopes that catching the cats and taking them to an animal shelter will give them a chance to be adopted, prison employees fear they’re more likely to be euthanized. The first step, already taken by the prison, was to stop feeding them on the prison grounds.

In the past, prison employees brought pet food to work and fed cats that roamed the 98-acre facility during breaks or lunch. Staff volunteers formed a Kitty Committee. The committee worked with the warden’s office to ensure cats were humanely treated, received medical care, and were trapped for neutering or spaying. The cats have had a positive impact on prisoners. Inmates also fed the cats, offering tuna or pieces of ham from their sack lunches. Inmates who did this often became attached to the cats. Some of the most hardened criminals would confide to staff that they surprised themselves at how much they cared, citing how their lifestyles and years of prison had hardened their hearts. By the time Tampkins became warden in September 2012, feedings had become sporadic. Sometimes the cats went three or four days without being officially fed. The cats survived on the kindness of the inmates.
The administration wanted the cats to seek their own food off prison grounds out in the community. But most of these cats were born in the prison. They did not leave the grounds as layers of fences make it difficult for the cats to leave. There is a concern for the inmates as well as the cats. The cats were really rehabilitative for the inmates, very therapeutic. They are distressed because of what’s happening.

The new actions, Tampkins said were prompted by an inspection by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Inspectors told the prison that having cats that could carry diseases could cause a health hazard, was a “general violation,” and that the prison would be cited if the felines were not removed. Peter Melton, a CAL-OSHA spokesman, said no report has been issued, and would not be for a few weeks. “We would not be advocating extermination, but a program of control,” he said.

Until a determination has been made by this report, the feral cat population should still be fed.

We would like to ask that you continue to feed the feral cats on the Prison Grounds until you have received an actual report from CAL-OSHA. However, the best decision for the feral cats is that the Prison to Not Be Allowed to Rid the Grounds of Feral Cats. If you are practicing Trap-Neuter/Spay-Return, the cat population will continue to downsize over the years and take care of itself.


Click The California Rehabilitation Center in Norco: Prison to Not Be Allowed to Rid Grounds of Feral Cats link above to go to the petition at


About Author

10 thoughts on “Petition Seeks Help to Save 100 Prison Cats and Kittens”

  1. I signed the petition. It should be on Causes fb page. If you could help them out that would be Awesome.! I don’t know how to do it. They need help and whatever website they’re going through… people won’t take the time… I did. and it was annoying. lol <3

Leave a Comment