On July 10 Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy group for stray and feral cats, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary of launching the Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project, a city-endorsed Trap-Neuter-Return program. With the help of volunteers and services from the Humane Society of Atlantic County, the group has continued to care for the cats over the years. Like all feral cats, these cats are not socialized to people and not adaptable to living indoors.
“With Trap-Neuter-Return, the cats are humanely trapped then neutered and vaccinated by a veterinarian, which improves their lives by eliminating the stresses of mating and pregnancy,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “It also prevents future litters of kittens — which stabilizes the colony size.”
Under standard TNR protocol, the cats have the tip of their left ear removed while still under anesthesia from surgery. This ear-tip identifies the cat as having been spayed or neutered and vaccinated.
After surgery, the cats are returned to the boardwalk where they are closely monitored. The boardwalk cats are given fresh food and water regularly and have comfortable shelters for the colder months. Alley Cat Allies hosts regular clean-up days to remove litter and debris to keep the habitats clean.
The Boardwalk Cats Project serves as a model for similar programs across the country.