500,000 in 2014
USA and globally
Becky Robinson, President Donna Wilcox, VP and Board Chair
Best Friends Animal S, American Society for the Preve, Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, The Humane Society of, Animal Legal Defense
Alley Cat Allies (incorporated on October 6, 1991) is a nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission is to transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats. The organization advocates for reform of public policies and institutions to better serve the interests of cats and develops educational materials on feral cats and trap-neuter-return. The organization is based in Bethesda, Maryland.
Alley Cat Allies specialize in stray and feral cat advocacy and provides extensive information on Trap-Neuter-Return, the only method of managing feral cat populations the organization considers humane and effective. Alley Cat Allies, helps communities, individuals, and grassroots groups launch or improve Trap-Neuter-Return programs and expand the accessibility of affordable spay and neuter services. Alley Cat Allies, best known as the group that introduced trap-neuter-return to the United States, also educates the public about the number of cats killed in animal shelters and works to reform the shelter system to better serve the needs of feral cats.
Alley Cat Allies was founded in 1990, by Becky Robinson and Louise Holton after they discovered an alley with 56 cats and two smaller colonies in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. They neutered the cats using the trap-neuter-return method. Deluged by requests for help with similar work, and aware of the lack of resources and information on the method, they formed a network for feral cats.
Robinson serves as the organization’s president, running the organization with Vice President and Board Chair Donna Wilcox. Holton left the organization in 2001, to form Alley Cat Rescue.
Programs and projects
In 2014, Alley Cat Allies began a pilot project with five animal shelters to expand humane programs that save cats' lives. The selected shelters have committed to a Feral Cat Protection Policy, supporting trap-neuter-return and only accepting feral cats to divert them to TNR or Shelter-Neuter-Return programs. Participating shelters receive $5,000 and a year of expert guidance from Alley Cat Allies. The program is expected to result in models for shelter TNR programs that can be used even where shelters have limited funds and face challenges.
Alley Cat Allies created National Feral Cat Day in 2001 and promotes it every October 16 as the annual kick-off for its national educational campaign about the protection of stray and feral cats. The day is marked with events such as spay/neuter clinics and workshops; in 2008, 90 events were planned in 30 cities across the US. In 2009, Alley Cat Allies celebrated National Feral Cat Day on the CBS Early Show, where weatherman Dave Price joined Alley Cat Allies’ “I’m An Alley Cat Ally” campaign.
In 2000, Alley Cat Allies formed a coalition to stop a municipal order to catch and kill cats living on and under Atlantic City's boardwalk. With the city’s cooperation, Alley Cat Allies staff and local volunteers began a Trap-Neuter-Return program for the boardwalk cats. The program celebrated its 10th anniversary in June 2010.
Alley Cat Allies' Feral Friends Network connects individuals to organizations, veterinarians, and others serving as resources on feral cats and TNR from around the world. Links to other online communities are also provided.
Alley Cat Allies launched the Veterinary Awareness Campaign in October 2009 to educate the veterinary community about proper protocols for Trap-Neuter-Return and veterinary treatment of feral cats. As part of the campaign, Alley Cat Allies attends veterinary conferences nationwide and launched an online Veterinary Resource Center.
Alley Cat Allies’ Every Kitty – Every City program raises awareness in targeted cities about outdoor cats, feral cat colony care, Trap-Neuter-Return, and low-cost neuter services through workshops, outreach, and organizing. Participating cities include Atlantic City, Baltimore, Chicago, Greater New Orleans, and the Washington, DC, metro area.