NKLA spotlight

Stray Cat Alliance does it all for felines.
By Best Friends Animal Society
By Denise LeBeau

From empowering the community through trap/neuter/return (TNR) to adopting cats from their foster program, NKLA Coalition member Stray Cat Alliance is working towards building a no-kill Los Angeles. They have empowered people to help over 75,000 cats in need.

Founding and growth of Stray Cat Alliance

Stray Cat Alliance logoThe organization attained nonprofit status in 2000, but founder Christi Metropole had begun her foray into the world of helping community cats in 1997 with the rescue of Chloe. Christi’s introduction to a backyard full of homeless cats was the impetus to start making a difference in the lives of thousands of Los Angeles–area felines.

Stray Cat Alliance initially took off with a hotline manned by volunteers who hooked up citizens who wanted to make a difference in the lives of community cats with resources. It is now staffed with trap/neuter/return experts who return every call, providing guidance to individuals, businesses and government entities of L.A. County, ensuring as many cats as possible are spayed and neutered, while giving advice on proper cat colony management and more. In addition to advice, the organization provides free resources and public assistance.

Education is a major component of what Stray Cat Alliance does, and Christi is a sought-after speaker. So it’s no wonder Best Friends asked her to be a presenter at the 2012 No More Homeless Pets Conference in Las Vegas. She kept the crowd engaged with her no-nonsense approach to TNR. “You’ve got to make TNR and the accessibility to the resources as easy as possible. People need to see it multiple times, so we do things like ‘Community Days,’ where we rent cotton candy and popcorn machines and have free prizes and engage the public directly,” shares Christi on how their organization is continuously spreading the word on TNR.

I Spayed LA

Their newest program, I Spayed LA, began in January 2012 and is an innovative spay/neuter project that targets some of the poorest areas of Los Angeles, where they supply not only the surgeries, but much-needed advertising. Volunteers and staff speak to community groups, senior groups, people at churches and schools, and they go door to door.

Christi touts the coalition as a real boost to the program. “NKLA has completely supported us in our mission, in grants and in targeting our goals,” she says. “I Spayed LA was able to reach more people and help more cats because NKLA is our partner.”

She mentioned during the presentation on NKLA at the conference just why the coalition is powerful: “So many animal organizations (have been working for years) in Los Angeles to end shelter deaths. Why can’t the animal organizations get along? Contention doesn’t appeal to the public. Collaboration and cooperation are what the public wants to see.”

Collaboration and cooperation are the cornerstone of NKLA, and with dedicated coalition members like Stray Cat Alliance, a no-kill Los Angeles is more than attainable; it’s inevitable.

Get involved

For ways you can help Stray Cat Alliance, go to straycatalliance.com.
And to learn more about NKLA, visit NKLA.org.

Photo by Molly Wald, logo courtesy of Stray Cat Alliance