You've seen them everywhere. Patrolling our cities' alleys, the neighborhood garbage cans, our backyards, our campgrounds, our farms. They are our pets that have escaped out a car window, broken through the screen, were let outside to "do their business" while in heat and went in search of a mate, or thrown away when they weren't cute or convenient anymore. They are the offspring of the animals that never found their way home. They are the "pet overpopulation" problem.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, six to eight million companion animals are admitted to shelters each year. Three to four million of these are lucky enough to be adopted into new homes. The other three to four million are murdered each year (or "euthanized," if you prefer) in order to make room for the new batch of animals. Here in the United States, stray and feral cats are more problematic than dogs as the dogs do not widely find the resources they need to survive on their own. No one knows how many feral cats there are in the U.S., and estimates are wide ranging (credible estimates range from 13 million to 87 million). But even one homeless cat is too many: that there are millions of them should be unacceptable to all of us. The question is - what do we do about it?

Many cities and communities throughout the United States have implemented programs that are working. Free or low-cost spay/neuter programs reduce shelter admittance by 30-60% and have saved taxpayers over $3.00 for every dollar spent (see Sterilization section). "Trap-Neuter-Return" (TNR) (also called "Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return" or TNVR) programs have at worst stabilized what were rapidly growing feral cat colony populations (see Non-Lethal Methods of Animal Control section). These programs and methods work and save taxpayer dollars, but many people are opposed to these approaches. This is because they are misinformed about the behavior, supposed health threats, and predation characteristics of feral cats.

Education is the Key: Legislation is the Tool

The first and foremost problem of "pet overpopulation" is our own education: it is the key to changing attitudes toward homeless companion animals. Legislation is the tool we have to ensure human accountability for the "overpopulation problem" we have created. We need legislation that supports the humane and cost-effective methods of homeless companion animal population control. We need legislation and enforcement that support serious repercussions for those that continue to contribute to the problem. We need a tax structure and properly structured licensing laws that incentivize us to spay and neuter our animals. We need to educate ourselves, our communities, and our community leaders in order to use our laws and policies to implement the changes needed to stop the cycle of homeless animal procreation. In addition, we must ensure that the homeless animals are not allowed to be victims of the violent people in society, that they are not "easy prey" because they are not owned.

It is the goal of this web site to consolidate sources of information that pertain to issues affecting homeless, stray and feral companion animals and to provide the research and advocacy materials you need to achieve the necessary changes.

Stray Pet Advocacy strives to provide resources for companion animal advocacy and educational resources on:

  • * No-Kill Legislation
  • * Low-cost Spay/Neuter Programs and Sterilization Issues & Research
  • * Trap-Neuter-Return programs for feral cat management
  • * Cat Predation
  • * ...and other issues concerning animal-friendly solutions to stray and feral companion animal control management. We additionally plan to provide downloadable advocacy materials and presentation(s) for your use in community education or local lobbying efforts to change existing legislation and/or stray companion animal control management.

We provide links to citable research, hard data, and the tools you will need to lobby your city councils for new methods of animal control. We provide educational materials to help others understand the issues and to help you combat the arguments you will face. But as anyone who has searched the Internet for information can attest, the task of providing a clearinghouse of information in one web site is daunting. There is so much out there! As such, this web site will be constantly changing with new links and articles added all the time. Please check back often.

If you know of an article, research or web site that we have missed in our searches, please submit it to admin@straypetadvocacy.org. Thank you! And if you have any questions or would like customized presentations for your local community, please feel free to contact us. We would like to help you help the homeless animals any way we can.