It was truly happy holidays for cats in New Jersey this past December. Thanks to the dedication and support of New Jersey organizations and activists, Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, New Jersey, agreed to halt its plans to kill the cats living on its property. Alley Cat Allies played a major role in seeing that these cats were saved.
“This shows that when we work together and join our voices, we can accomplish amazing victories for cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies in a recent press release.
For nearly a decade, a large colony of cats had been cared for humanely through a comprehensive approach including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and adopting out socialized cats and kittens. Inmates at Bayside State Prison helped with trapping, post-surgery recovery, and ongoing caregiving for the colony.
“These cats have made Bayside State Prison their home for years, and were neutered and vaccinated with state funds in a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program carried out by Animal Alliance of Cape May County under the previous administrator,” said Robinson. “The low-risk inmates living at the prison provided ongoing care, including feeding the cats.”
Robinson said Alley Cat Allies received an urgent alert from supporters in mid-December that Administrator Powell was readying plans to hire a contractor to trap the cats, despite the success of the TNR program.
Alley Cat Allies went into immediate action and called on supporters to contact Administrator Powell and Commissioner Lanigan to urge them to call a moratorium on the trapping. Supporters rallied, and their efforts were successful.
The prison administration has agreed to allow representatives from Alley Cat Allies and local cat protection groups to tour the property and assess the situation. A plan of action will be created that will help address any concerns about the cats while also protecting their lives.
“We’ll work with the prison to ensure that these cats, who they’ve invested so much in, continue to be safe in their outdoor home. And of course, we’ll keep you updated along the way,” said Robinson.
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 more than half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives cats and kittens nationwide. Visit their website for more information.
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