Alley Cat Rescue

Jul 28, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures, Diana Hockley

by Diana Hockley

We are always on the lookout for animal rescues to feature because what they do is so important. This week we are talking with Brianna Grant from Alley Cat Rescue in Maryland.

KRL: Rescuing animals is a labor of love and total dedication. What was the catalyst for the creation of the Alley Cat Rescue, when did it come into being, and is there more than one branch of Alley Cat Rescue?

Brianna: Alley Cat Rescue was created to help all cats including stray, feral, domestic, and wild cats. We were founded in 1997 by our President Louise Holton.

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Alley Cat Rescue rescue Autumn

KRL: How did you personally get involved?

Brianna: I first became interested in cat rescue as a volunteer with my local rescue group. I loved working one-on-one with the cats and learning about each of their unique personalities. I have always been interested [in] public policy and obtained my Masters degree in Animal and Public Policy. After I graduated, I joined Alley Cat Rescue as a Communications Associate.

KRL: What sort of set-up do you have? Is it a private house, a shed or a purpose-built complex?

Brianna: We have an office building with free-roaming cats who are available for adoption. The office building has separate rooms for our quarantine area and medical care.

KRL: How many cats can you accommodate, and do you get many kittens?

Brianna: We can usually accommodate around 20 cats at our building. We are lucky enough to have devoted fosters who can care for some of our cats in their homes as well. We do get a lot of kittens, especially during kitten season. Right now we are caring for a few different litters of kittens at once.

KRL: All rescues are special, but do you have a story about a rescue which might have been dramatic or outstanding in some way?

Brianna: We recently rescued a family of kittens and parent cats in Los Angeles who were living on a rooftop. Our volunteer had to carry humane traps up the side of the building on a ladder. That was pretty dramatic but thankfully, we got everyone trapped and sterilized.

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Alley Cat Rescue cat Hans

KRL: Have you been involved in a hoarder or kitten mill situation?

Brianna: We have not, no.

KRL: Are you a registered charity for rescue or tax exemption purposes?

Brianna: Yes, we are.

KRL: Do the local authorities support you?

Brianna: Yes, we have worked to build relationships with the local authorities and act as a resource to help them with feral and companion cat issues that may come up.

KRL: How does the local community regard your activities and are they supportive in adoption and/or monetary terms?

Brianna: Yes, the local community has been amazing! We are always hearing from supporters who want to come meet adoptable cats or who want to borrow one of our traps so they can get involved with trap-neuter-return. We host local events and trainings around the area to get to know the community better and to help us be a resource to them.

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Alley Cat Rescue cat

KRL: Do you have many volunteers and how do you recruit them?

Brianna: We have a few volunteers now who either come into the office and work on cat socialization and clerical duties, or who foster cats for us. We sometimes recruit online, but most of it is from people who meet us in the community and want to get involved themselves!

KRL: Rescues depend on donations from the public; do you charge a small fee for your animals when they are adopted? And do you have PayPal and credit card facilities?

Brianna: Yes, cats are $50 and kittens are $100. They all come spayed/neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed, and with flea treatment.

KRL: How hard is it to get your precious charges adopted? Do you have any agreement with local pet shops to adopt out of their premises?

Brianna: It can depend on the cat. Kittens are usually adopted out very quickly, but some of the more shy and reserved cats take a little longer. We work with local shelters and colony caretakers and usually receive cats from them.

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Alley Cat Rescue cat Hardy

KRL: What are the special challenges to rescuing alley cats as opposed to surrendered cats?

Brianna: Outdoor cats can sometimes come to us with certain health ailments as a result of living outside—such as parasites. We have a robust intake protocol to address any of these concerns before the cats are allowed to roam freely with the other cats. Outdoor cats may also be a little more reserved at first because they are not immediately used to living inside, but many outdoor cats make loving family pets once given some time to adjust.

KRL: How many animals do you think you have saved so far, adopted out or permanently in your care?

Brianna: We have adopted out roughly 6,000 cats since we began in 1997.

KRL: Have you any fundraising or adoption events coming up, and would you like to give the details?

Brianna: Our office is open Sunday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for adoptions! People are invited to come over and meet cats during this time. We just finished a big fundraiser and should have another one coming up soon! People can follow our Facebook page for updates about events and fundraising.

KRL: Do local vet surgeries help in any way?

Brianna: They do, yes. We have a local veterinarian on our staff to help with medical issues that arise and send our cats to local spay/neuter clinics for sterilization.

KRL: Does the nearest ASPCA help if they can? Do other shelters assist?

Brianna: Yes, we work with local shelters and often take cats into our care who are at risk of euthanasia at the shelter.

KRL: What are your most urgent needs right now and how can people help?

Brianna: One of our most urgent needs is working on trap-neuter-return in Los Angeles. There are an estimated 2 to 3 million feral cats who are living in the city, and we have been working hard to TNR these cats. People interested in helping can donate to us, volunteer with our organization, or, if they live in Los Angeles, let their local government know they support trap-neuter-return.

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Alley Cat Rescue cat Thor with stitches

KRL: Is there anything you would like to add to this?

Brianna: Just thank you for taking the time to speak with me about Alley Cat Rescue.

KRL: What are your website URL, FB, Twitter, email and phone number?

Email: acr@saveacat[dot]org
Phone: 301-277-5595

KRL: The mission statement for your rescue?

Brianna: Alley Cat Rescue helps stray and outdoor community cats in the United States and around the world, by promoting humane, nonlethal care to improve cats’ lives. ACR works to reduce the number of feral cats living in colonies through a proven method called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).

You can check out more animal rescue & pet related articles in our Pet Perspective section.

Diana Hockley is an Australian mystery author who lives in a southeast Queensland country town. She is the devoted slave of five ratties & usually finds an excuse to mention them in her writing, including her recent novel, The Naked Room. Since retiring from running a traveling mouse circus for 10 years, she is now the mouse judge for the Queensland Rat & Mouse Club shows. To learn more, check out her website.


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