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The animal-control authority of Orange County, Fla., adopted TTVAR less than two years ago. It has observed an 8% decline in complaints about stray cats and a 7% drop in the number being impounded and ultimately destroyed. Better yet for budget-conscious officials, TTVAR costs half as much as the gruesome alternative.

With about 25,000 group and individual supporters, including veterinarians and animal-control agencies, Alley Cat Allies runs a national network that sponsors conferences on feral cat care and colony management. It also serves as the umbrella for local organizations such as Operation Catnip in North Carolina, which sponsors free spay-a-thons each month, and San Diego's Feral Cat Coalition and the Northern California-based Homeless Cat Network, which recruit veterinarians to spay and neuter unwanted cats and then encourage volunteers to care for and feed them.

Domesticated cats, it turns out, can benefit from the program, too. "We're noticing that neighbors are getting involved, then taking their own animals in for spaying and neutering," Robinson says.

For more information on Alley Cat Allies, visit the Alley Cat Allies Web site.

   

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