Chicago area woman an ally to alley cats
November 22, 2007 (WLS) -- Getting alley cats off the streets is the goal of a Chicago woman. Yvette Pina says its great for the animals and the community.
Pina and her pet cat Amigo are residents of the Pilsen community. Pina is a volunteer with Alley Cat Allies, a national organization that seeks to control feral or unadoptable and stray cat populations through spaying and neutering.
"The number of cats I would see just in my alley alone, talking about 20 or 25 cats. I didn't know what to do. I'm an animal lover, and I wanted to help them, but I wanted to help them in the best way for them," Pina said.
In dealing with cat colonies, the organization emphasizes the trap, neuter and return process. Pina has been able to intercept 54 cats for that treatment.
"They're not fighting because they're not breeding any more. They're not yowling looking for boyfriends and girlfriends I am also providing a reliable source of food for them," she said.
In a device used to trap the cat, the animal enters, reaches the food, then trips a plate, and then can't get out.
Personally under writing the expense of the procedures, Pina takes the cats to Paws Chicago.
"This is the first time that she's seen less kittens in the neighborhood and the neighbors are actually happy, as well," said Rochelle Michalek, Executive Director of Paws Chicago.
Volunteer Anna Morrison-Ricordati helps Pina with organization workshops. She says, of the 500,000 alley cats in Chicago, most are feral cats.
"[Those are] cats that basically live out doors are unsocialized, unadoptable and basically don't really like humans," said Morrison-Ricordati.
"I look forward to the cats that I help. I look forward to seeing them outside. They're happy and healthy, and they can romp and play in my yard, and they're not worried about finding their next meal. And, they're not worried about having to breed or have another litter of kittens," Pina said.
To learn more about the organization, log on to http://www.alleycat.org/chicago/.
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