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Alley Cat Allies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alley Cat Allies
FocusAnimal protection
Area served
USA and globally
500,000 in 2014[1]
Key people
Becky Robinson, President Charlene Pedrolie, Chief Operating Officer[2]
$10.2 million in 2017[3]
under 30[1]

Alley Cat Allies (incorporated on October 6, 1991)[4] is a nonprofit advocacy organization whose stated mission is to transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats.[1] The organization advocates for reform of public policies and institutions to better serve the interests of cats. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the group is best known for introducing trap-neuter-return to the United States.[5]

Alley Cat Allies' emphasis is on stray and feral cat advocacy and providing information on Trap-Neuter-Return, the method of managing feral cat populations that the organization considers humane and effective. The organization helps communities, individuals and grassroots groups launch or improve their Trap-Neuter-Return programs and expand affordable spay and neuter services. Alley Cat Allies also educates the public about the number of cats killed annually in animal shelters and works to reform the shelter system to better serve the needs of feral cats.[6]


Alley Cat Allies was founded in 1990, by Becky Robinson and Louise Holton[7] 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.[4] 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.[4] Holton left the organization in 2001 to form Alley Cat Rescue.[7]

Robinson serves as the organization's president,[8] running the organization with Chief Operating Officer Charlene Pedrolie.[9] Former Vice President and Board Chair Donna Wilcox joined as full-time staff in 1999 and left the organization in 2018.[10]

Selected history

  • Baltimore Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinance – When animal control policies in Baltimore prevented residents from carrying out Trap-Neuter-Return in 2007, Alley Cat Allies educated the city council about Trap-Neuter-Return and helped draft a new ordinance that allowed residents to feed and provide shelter for managed feral cat colonies.[11]
  • Hurricane Katrina response – In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Alley Cat Allies established a base camp and emergency shelter in Louisiana and sent 150 volunteers to help hundreds of cats displaced by the hurricane.[12] In 2008, Alley Cat Allies received the Goodwill Key to the City of New Orleans in recognition of their work to save the Gulf region's animals after Hurricane Katrina.[13]
  • DC CAT – In 2004, Alley Cat Allies created the DC CAT Trap-Neuter-Return pilot program, which neutered nearly 1,400 cats in Washington, DC. Two years later, DC's animal control organization, the Washington Humane Society, embraced Trap-Neuter-Return as its feral cat policy and together with Alley Cat Allies opened the first high-volume spay/neuter clinic in Washington, DC, in 2007.[14]
  • Norfolk Naval Shipyard – In 2000, Alley Cat Allies halted a catch and kill order at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, and instead instituted a Trap-Neuter-Return program, becoming the first animal protection group in the nation to hold a formal contract with the U.S. military.[15]

Programs and projects

Alley Cat Allies created National Feral Cat Day in 2001[16] and promotes it every October 16. The day is marked with events such as spay/neuter clinics and workshops. 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.[17] In 2017, the organization changed the name of the event to Global Cat Day.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]


Throughout late 2018 a series of exposés by journalist Marc Gunther alleged extensive wrongdoing at Alley Cat Allies. The articles spotlighted governance problems at the charity as well as widespread violation of tax laws. Among the irregularities was the fact that the nonprofit's board was largely negligent - having not met at any point in 2018 - and that Alley Cat Allies had siphoned funds toward third parties that had little to do with its stated mission, including real estate purchases on behalf of its founder, Becky Robinson. [21]

Alley Cat Allies has also faced numerous claims regarding a toxic and inhospitable workplace environment.[22]

Alley Cat Allies COO and CFO, Charlene Pedrolie, was widely denounced for her tenure at ACC shelter in Manhattan. During her time at the shelter she was accused of being a “pencil-pushing administrator who ignored… medical advice”.[23] As recently as August 2019, her name appears nowhere on the Alley Cat Allies website.

Research and publications

  • Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinances and Policies in the United States: The Future of Animal Control - In 2013, the organization published a document reviewing the treatment of feral cats in ordinances throughout the U.S. The study found that at least 240 local governments had enacted ordinances or policies supporting TNR (p. 4), a ten-fold increase from ten years earlier (p. 11).[24]
  • Scientific study of neuter status of U.S. pet cats - In 2009, Alley Cat Allies published Population Characteristics and Neuter Status of Cats Living in Households in the United States in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. "Findings suggested that a high percentage (80.0%) of cats living in households in the United States were neutered and that annual family income was the strongest predictor of whether cats in the household were neutered." [25]
  • U.S. Public Opinion on Humane Treatment of Stray Cats – In 2007, Alley Cat Allies published a document interpreting the results of a survey the organization hired Harris Interactive to conduct. The survey found that 81% of Americans consider it more humane to leave a cat outside where the cat is, rather than have the cat caught and “put down.”[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "About Us" Archived July 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed July 14, 2014.
  2. ^ [1], Alley Cat Allies, accessed May 18, 2018.
  3. ^ [2], Alley Cat Allies, accessed June 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Ellen Perry Berkeley, TNR: Past, Present and Future: A History of the Trap-Neuter-Return Movement (2004: Alley Cat Allies), ISBN 0-9705194-2-7, p. 8.
  5. ^ Roger Tabor, Understanding Cats: Their History, Nature, and Behavior (Reader’s Digest: 1995), ISBN 978-0895779168, p. 44.
  6. ^ "Our History - Alley Cat Allies". December 9, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Farewell to a Founder" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Action, Summer 2001, p. 2.
  8. ^ "Bio - Becky Robinson - Alley Cat Allies". December 9, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  9. ^ "Alley Cat Allies' Public 990 Form" (PDF). May 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bio - Donna Wilcox - Alley Cat Allies". December 9, 2013. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "Case Study: Alley Cat Allies Leads Coalition to Support Trap-Neuter-Return in Baltimore" Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed August 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Alley Cat Allies Special Report: Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed August 19, 2014.
  13. ^ Alley Cat Allies honored for saving cats after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, September 2, 2008.
  14. ^ "Case Study: Alley Cat Allies Helps Washington, D.C. Establish Humane Cat Programs" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed August 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "Case Study: Alley Cat Allies Saves Cats’ Lives at Norfolk Naval Shipyard" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed August 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "National Feral Cat Day Set for Oct. 16". Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "Alley Cat Allies' Celebrity Allies - Alley Cat Allies". December 9, 2013. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "Winter 2018 Newsletter" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Boardwalk Cats Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary | Features | News & Views". Atlantic City Weekly. July 18, 2010. Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  20. ^ "Alley Cat Allies' Feral Friends Network" Archived July 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 14, 2014.
  21. ^ “The Limits of Nonprofit Oversight”, Marc Gunther, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, December 19th, 2018, accessed January 2019
  22. ^ “Cats, Pigs, Watchdogs – And The Limits of Nonprofit Oversight”, Marc Gunther, Nonprofit Chronicles, November 06, 2018, accessed January 2019
  23. ^ “Cruel shelter is sued", Kathianne Boniello, New York Post, April 29, 2012, accessed January 2019
  24. ^ "Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinances and Policies in the United States: The Future of Animal Control" Archived September 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Elizabeth Holtz, Alley Cat Allies, January 2013.
  25. ^ "Population characteristics and neuter status of cats living in households in the United States, Karyen Chu et al., JAVMA Vol. 234, No. 8, pp 1023-1030, April 15, 2009. Study results are discussed here: "New Scientific Study Finds Vast Majority of Pet Cats Are Neutered" Archived October 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed August 24, 2014.
  26. ^ U.S. Public Opinion on Humane Treatment of Stray Cats Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Karyen Chu et al., Alley Cat Allies Law and Policy Brief, 2007.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 October 2019, at 21:11
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