Talkin' Pets News

March 10, 2018

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Maria Ryan - DogGone Positive

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Anne Wheaton author of Piggy and Pug will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 3/10/18 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away her new book

Mara Bovsun, Features Editor at AKC Family Dog along with the DWAA will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 3/10/18 at 720pm EDT to discuss DWAA’s new program, “Young Writers on the Web,”

Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Entertainment has just released on Blu Ray, DVD, Digital, “THOR: RAGNAROK” and you can win a gift box this Saturday 3/10/18 on Talkin' Pets, game play will be announced each hour 5-8pm EDT

Bob Barker

Bob Barker


Robert William Barker
December 12, 1923 (age 93)
Darrington, Washington, U.S.


Television personality
Game show host

Years active



6'1" (1.88 m)[1]


Dorothy Jo Gideon (m. 1945; d. 1981)

Robert William "Bob" Barker (born December 12, 1923) is an American former television game show host. He is best known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, and for hosting Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1974.

Born in Darrington, Washington to modest circumstances, Barker enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II. Barker worked part-time in radio while he attended college. In 1950, Barker moved to California in order to pursue a career in broadcasting. He was given his own radio show, The Bob Barker Show, which ran for the next six years.[2] Barker began his game show career in 1956, hosting Truth or Consequences. From there, he hosted various game shows as well as the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants from 1967 to 1987 giving him the distinction of being the longest serving host of these pageants. Eventually, he began hosting The Price Is Right in 1972. When his wife Dorothy Jo died, Barker became an advocate for animal rights and of animal-rights activism, supporting groups such as the United Activists for Animal Rights and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. In 2007, Barker retired from hosting The Price Is Right after celebrating his 50-year career on television.

Barker was born in Darrington, Washington, and spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The U.S. Indian Census Rolls, 1885–1940, list Barker as an official member of the Sioux tribe.[3][4][5] His mother, Matilda ("Tillie") Valandra (née Matilda Kent Tarleton), was a school teacher; his father, Byron John Barker, was the foreman on the electrical high line through the state of Washington. Barker is 1/8 Sioux.[6] While in Washington, his father fell from a tower and sustained an injury which resulted in his death in 1929. Barker has a half-brother, Kent Valandra, from Matilda's subsequent remarriage. In 1931, the family moved to Springfield, Missouri, where Barker graduated from Central High School in 1941.

Barker attended Drury College (now Drury University) in Springfield, on a basketball scholarship.[2] He was a member of the Epsilon Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity at Drury.[7] On the outbreak of World War II, Barker served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot. However, the war ended before he was assigned to a seagoing squadron. After the war, he returned to Drury to finish his education, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics.[2]


Broadcasting career

While attending college in Drury, Barker worked his first "media job", at KTTS-FM Radio, in Springfield. He left Springfield and the couple moved to Lake Worth, Florida, and he was news editor and announcer at nearby WWPG 1340 AM in Palm Beach (now WPBR in Lantana).[8] In 1950, Barker moved to California in order to pursue a career in broadcasting. He was given his own radio show, The Bob Barker Show, which ran for the next six years from Burbank.[2] He was hosting an audience-participation radio show on KNX (AM) in Los Angeles when game show producer Ralph Edwards happened to be listening and liked Barker's voice and style.[9]

Game show career

Barker started hosting Truth or Consequences on December 31, 1956 and continued with the program until 1974.[10] The idea was to mix the original quiz element of game shows with wacky stunts. On the show, people had to answer a trivia question correctly (usually an off-the-wall question that no one would be able to answer correctly) before "Beulah the Buzzer" was sounded. If the contestant did not complete the "Truth" portion, there was a "Consequences", usually a zany and embarrassing stunt. If the contestant answered the question, invariably, the question had a second part. In addition, during Barker's run as host, "Barker's Box" was played. Barker's Box was a box with four drawers in it. If a contestant was able to pick all three drawers with money inside before picking the empty drawer, they won a bonus prize.

It was on Truth or Consequences that the salute became his trademark sign-off; he ended each episode with "Bob Barker saying goodbye, and hoping all your consequences are happy ones!"[citation needed]

End of the Rainbow (1957–58)

On December 4, 1957, Barker began hosting a new Ralph Edwards creation, the short-lived End of the Rainbow for NBC. On this show (similar to Barker's Truth or Consequences and Edwards' This Is Your Life), he and co-host Art Baker went out to various places in America and surprised the less-fortunate who helped others when they could barely help themselves.

For example, the first episode featured a Minneapolis grocer who, in return for his community service, was given a complete makeover to his store plus new furniture and appliances for his home. In addition, his landlord (who was in on the surprise) announced that the current month's rent was free and that the grocer's rent would never increase.

The Family Game (1967)

In 1967, Barker hosted the short-lived game show The Family Game for Chuck Barris, where he asked children contestants questions about their families' lives, and the parents had to guess how they answered, similar to The Newlywed Game.

Simon Says (1971)

In 1971, Barker was tapped to host a pilot for NBC entitled Simon Says, which required him to interact with a giant computer called "Simon" in Let's Make A Deal-style "trades". The pilot was produced by Wesley J. Cox of DUNDAS Productions, and its theme was "The Savers" (the theme used on The Joker's Wild, which has led some to believe that Cox or DUNDAS was an alias for Jack Barry or Dan Enright, since Joker used the theme in its original 1968 pilot). There is at least one (somewhat low-quality) clip of the pilot on the video sharing website YouTube.[11]

That's My Line (1980–81)

In 1980, Barker hosted a series called That's My Line for Goodson-Todman. The series was not a game show, but rather a program along the lines of Real People and That's Incredible! The show's second season in 1981 focused more on unusual stunts, and was cancelled in September.

In early 1972, Mark Goodson and Bill Todman began shopping a modernized revival of The Price Is Right to stations, with Dennis James as host. CBS expressed interest in the series, on one condition: instead of James, Barker would be installed as host. After some initial resistance, Barker instead offered to host another upcoming CBS game show, Jack Barry's The Joker's Wild (which had difficulty finding a host and was scheduled to debut the same day as Price) to allow James to host Price, but CBS rejected this proposal.[12] The eventual compromise that was struck led to Barker hosting the daytime Price on CBS, James hosting the weekly nighttime Price in syndication, and Jack Barry himself (first on a trial basis, then eventually permanently) hosting Joker.

On September 4, 1972, Barker began hosting the CBS revival of The Price Is Right.[13] In the 35 years of the CBS version, Barker became far more associated with the series than first host Bill Cullen was with the 1956–65 original. When James's contract for the nighttime Price expired without being renewed in 1977, Barker assumed hosting duties for three nighttime seasons as well, with the nighttime series eventually ending in 1980.

On October 15, 1987, Barker did what other MCs almost never did: renounced hair dye and began wearing his hair gray, which was its natural color by that time.[14] Fellow hosts Monty Hall, Alex Trebek, and Richard Dawson did the same in the late 1980s.[citation needed]

Barker took over the role of executive producer for the show in 1988, following the death of the original executive producer, Frank Wayne. In this capacity, Barker created several pricing games, instituted a prohibition on foreign cars and animal-based products (see "Animal rights" below), and launched a prime-time series of specials known as The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular.

In 2006, The Price Is Right marked its 35th consecutive year on the air. It is the longest-running game show of all time in North America, and at the time was the last surviving show in the daytime game show genre, having survived (at the time) twelve years after its last competitor had been canceled. (CBS later revived daytime game shows in 2009.) Overall, in daytime programming (excluding Saturday and Sunday), The Price Is Right is ranked sixth among the longest-continuing daytime television programs (NBC's Today ranks the longest, followed by four daytime soap operas: Guiding Light, As the World Turns, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives), and moved into fifth in September 2009 after Guiding Light aired its final episode on CBS. It has won its time slot (11:00 a.m. Eastern) for the past 25 years with its closest competitor (currently ABC's The View) normally getting about half of TPIR's ratings.

On October 31, 2006, Barker made his announcement that he would retire from The Price Is Right in June 2007.[15] He taped his final episode on June 6, 2007, with the show airing twice on June 15.[16] The first airing was in the show's normal daytime slot and the second airing was in primetime as the lead-in to the Daytime Emmy Awards. Repeat episodes from Barker's final season continued to air until October 12, 2007, ending with a repeat of his final episode. On July 23 it was announced that comedian Drew Carey would take Barker's place as the new host for the show beginning on October 15, 2007.

During Barker's tenure as host, three pricing games were introduced that used his name: Barker's Bargain Bar, Barker's Markers and Trader Bob. Of the three, the latter two are not actively played on the show – Trader Bob was retired from the show in 1985, Barker's Marker$ was renamed Make Your Mark following Barker's retirement, and subsequently retired, and Barker's Bargain Bar has been retooled as the Bargain Game after a four-year hiatus between 2008 and 2012.

After his retirement, Barker made three return appearances to The Price is Right. He first appeared on the episode that aired on April 16, 2009 to promote his new autobiography, Priceless Memories. He appeared in the Showcase round at the end of the show.[17]

Barker made another guest appearance on the show to celebrate his 90th birthday celebration, which aired on December 12, 2013. He announced a contestant for the first time ever on the show, along with one showcase.[18]

Barker also made a surprise appearance on April 1, 2015 for an April Fools' Day switch where he took Drew's place at the show's intro. He hosted the first one bid and pricing game of that day before handing the hosting duties back to Drew.[19]

Personal life

Barker married his high-school sweetheart Dorothy Jo Gideon on January 12, 1945. They remained married for 36 years until her death on October 19, 1981 of lung cancer. They had no children, and Barker has not remarried. However, he was involved in a relationship with Price model Dian Parkinson from 1989 to 1991, which ended in legal action.


Barker has suffered some minor health problems. Around 1982, he had a herniated disc and sciatica.[citation needed] Greater health problems began in 1991 after he complained of vision problems while exercising. After a visit to his doctor, he was sent to see a neurologist, who told Barker he had had a mild stroke. He recovered and went back to work.[citation needed]

On September 16, 1999, Barker was in Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress regarding HR 2929: the Captive Elephant Accident Prevention Act, the proposed legislation that would ban elephants from traveling shows (i.e., circuses). While preparing for the presentation, Barker experienced what he called "clumsiness" in his right hand. He was admitted to George Washington University Hospital and diagnosed with a partially blocked left carotid artery. Barker underwent carotid endarterectomy to remove the blockage. The procedure went well enough that he was able to return to work within the month.[citation needed]

Three years later, Barker had two additional health crises after taping the 30th season finale of The Price is Right. While lying in the sun on May 30, 2002, he experienced a stroke and was hospitalized; six weeks later, on July 11, Barker underwent prostate surgery. Both hospitalizations occurred at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Both surgeries were successful.[20]

Barker has had several mild bouts with skin cancer, a result of his frequent tanning. He consults a dermatologist regularly to make sure any cancers are caught and removed before they spread; they do not currently pose a threat to his life. During a televised interview, Barker told viewers, "I urge anyone who has spent some time in the sun, whether you're doing it now or not, go to a dermatologist once a year."[21]

On September 17, 2010, Barker collapsed at a Los Angeles shooting range. He was treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for an adverse drug reaction and released.[22]

On October 20, 2015, police and rescue personnel were summoned nearby Barker's Los Angeles-area home, where they found the game show host had fallen on the sidewalk and injured his head. An ambulance rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was treated for lacerations on his head, but found not to be seriously injured. He was released and fully recuperated.[23][24]

Animal rights

Barker became a vegetarian in 1979. That same year, he began promoting animal rights. He was named national spokesman for "Be Kind to Animals Week" in May 1985. On A&E's Biography program, he credited his wife, Dorothy Jo, with causing him to become more aware of animal rights and becoming a vegetarian, because she had done so. Bob remarked that Dorothy Jo was way ahead of her time as far as animal rights were concerned and that shortly after her death in October 1981 he took up animal rights in order to keep doing something that she had done.

Barker began ending some episodes (later every episode) of The Price Is Right with the phrase: "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." After he retired, Drew Carey continued his signature sign-off advocating neutering. Fellow game-show hosts Jack Barry and Bert Convy eventually followed Barker's lead in promoting animal rights on the air.[32]

Barker hosted the Miss USA/Universe Pageants from 1967 to 1987. In 1987, he requested the removal of fur prizes and stepped down as host when those in charge of the pageant refused.[32]

Barker's DJ&T Foundation, founded in 1994 and named after his wife and mother, has contributed millions of dollars for animal neutering programs[33] and to fund animal rescue and park facilities all over the United States. He worked closely with Betty White as an advocate for animal rights.[32][34] However, in 2009, reports indicated that Barker threatened to not attend the 2009 Game Show Awards (but was seen in the audience), where he was to receive a lifetime achievement award, because White would be attending. The reason for the conflict, according to the report, was over the proper treatment of an elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo. White instead did not attend and pre-recorded her comments that she was scheduled to make about Mark Goodson.[35]

In 2004, Barker donated $1 million to Columbia University School of Law to support the study of animal rights.[36] The gift has funded an adjunct professorship in animal rights law at Columbia and helped fund a student clinic in environmental law.

Barker also supported United Activists for Animal Rights, and together with the group, publicly accused several media projects and the American Humane Association of animal mistreatment or the condoning of animal mistreatment, a tactic which resulted in a major lawsuit against him and the group, accusing him of spurious allegations.[37]

In June 2009, Barker wrote Chief Michell Hicks of the Cherokee asking that their reservation's bear exhibit be closed.[38] On July 28, 2009, he visited the reservation and saw one of the three zoos, calling the bears' living situation "inhumane". PETA set up the visit after Barker heard from U.S. Representative Bill Young, (R) Florida, whose wife had been "appalled" by what she saw. Annette Tarnowski, the tribe's attorney general, said a federal inspector had found nothing wrong in May 2009 at two of the zoos, and that the tribe had dealt with the few violations at the third. Hicks made no promises and threatened to ban PETA if they made more trouble.[39]

In January 2010, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced that it had secretly purchased and outfitted a ship to interdict Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean using $5,000,000 provided by Barker. The ship was then named the MY Bob Barker, and its existence was first revealed when it helped discover the location of the Japanese whaling fleet.[40] In 2010, Barker began funding the cost of a helicopter, named the Nancy Burnet (after the president of United Activists for Animal Rights); the helicopter accompanies the society's fleet.[41]

In March 2010, PETA announced that it received a $2.5 million donation from Barker to help establish a new office called the Bob Barker Building in Los Angeles.[42] PETA officially opened the Bob Barker Building on Sunset Boulevard in 2012.[43] The Grand Opening was attended by Christian Serratos, Stephanie Pratt, Moby, Kate del Castillo, Sasha Grey, Renee Olstead, Fivel Stewart, Diane Warren, and Allisyn Ashley Arm.[44][45]

Film and other TV appearances

Awards and honors


Bob Barker has written his autobiography, assisted by former L.A. Times Book Review editor Digby Diehl, titled Priceless Memories. It was published on April 6, 2009, and features stories from his early life as well as stories and experiences in the 50 years of his television career.[9]

It was also then reported that Barker would appear on The Price is Right to promote his book. His initial appearance was scheduled for the March 2, 2009 taping. However, the taping was postponed until March 25, due to host Drew Carey's bout with pneumonia. The episode aired on April 16, during which Barker appeared during the Showcases to promote the book.[62] Carey stated in an interview that the show stopped taping for over an hour as the crowd continued to give Barker a standing ovation, and to allow the audience to ask questions about what Barker was doing post-retirement.[citation needed]

(Jan. 30, 2013)—Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to the study published in Nature Communications by scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on cat predation:

“The HSUS values both cats and wildlife. There is a legitimate issue with free-roaming cats preying on birds and other wildlife, and we are working to change that in a meaningful way. Despite the scientific rigor with which this report was prepared, like others recently published, it tries to attach a number to something that is almost impossible to credibly quantify. While further data collection and analysis is important, the larger issue here is finding practicable and humane actions to mitigate the impact of cats in our communities. Cats are an important part of our lives, and whether owned or free-roaming, are loved and cared for by millions of Americans who celebrate the human-animal bond. The best way we as a society can reduce impacts on wildlife from cats is to spay and neuter our pets and keep them indoors.

“For free-roaming and feral cats, there are thousands of organizations and individuals who manage cat colonies through trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs in the United States and Canada, and they constitute a large and indispensable volunteer labor force working to reduce the numbers of cats outdoors. By using TNR responsibly and finding homes for kittens and adoptable cats, this strategy can help reduce reproduction while improving the lives of existing ferals. The outdated strategy of trapping and killing feral cats is generally ineffective, since it doesn’t address the sources of the problem. Moreover, if that were the only alternative, we’d lose overnight the enormous investments in cat management made by TNR practitioners and cat lovers, since they would never participate in a round-up and kill approach.

“The presence of free-roaming, abandoned and outdoor cat populations in and around human communities and in other settings has proven divisive within the humane, conservation and scientific communities. As advocates for both cats and wildlife, with large program departments on wildlife and companion animals and a history of examining this issue, we believe that we can find solutions to these problems through engagement and innovation. That’s why The Humane Society of the United States convened a conference in Los Angeles last month—‘The Outdoor Cat: Science and Policy from a Global Perspective’—designed to take the measure of contemporary research and science concerning outdoor cats, and to advance the integration of such evidence into better policy that protects cats, birds and other wildlife.”

“While this issue will not be solved overnight, progress is being made across the country, with bright spots being seen in many areas. This issue holds great promise for a new frontier in protecting both cats and wildlife that can bring together diverse interests, identify common goals and acceptable options and begin to build a community of trust and respect across the traditional lines of conflict. Pet owners should remember that spaying and neutering cats and keeping them indoors not only saves cats’ lives but also protects wildlife.”

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our "HumaneTV" app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at

Gov. Patrick signs bill creating statewide spay/neuter program,
prohibiting gas chamber euthanasia and ineffective breed-specific bans

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commended Massachusetts legislators and Gov. Deval Patrick for enacting a measure to improve many of the commonwealth’s outdated laws governing animal control, potentially saving the lives of countless companion animals and protecting public safety. The new law will increase the availability of low-cost spay/neuter, ban gas chamber euthanasia, require animal control officers to receive training, allow pets to be included in court-issued orders of protection and improve Massachusetts’ dangerous dog law, as well as make other important updates to the existing animal control statutes.

“The new law provides a more effective system of animal control and protection to serve Massachusetts residents, while saving municipalities valuable resources in this uncertain economic climate,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. “We thank Governor Patrick for signing this legislation into law and taking such a strong, life-saving step forward for Massachusetts animals.”

The new law updates a wide range of antiquated animal control statutes, some of which date back to the 19th century. Specifically, S.2192 will:

  • Create a statewide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts, thereby reducing the cost to cities and towns for sheltering these animals;
  • Outlaw the use of inhumane gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals;
  • Require animal control officers to have training, which will result in greater protection for citizens, increased licensing compliance and enforcement of dangerous dog laws;
  • Reduce dog bites by improving the dangerous dog laws to ensure they are effective and not breed-specific; and
  • Allow pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders, which helps protect both animals and people.

“Despite the comprehensive nature of this legislation, the measure also responsibly ensures that there are no costs borne by Massachusetts taxpayers in its implementation,” added Ketzer. “This is a landmark victory for animal welfare in Massachusetts and will improve the lives of countless pets and people.”

For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Over 1,300 surgeries performed since July 2010 through program that
provides free spay/neuter for pit bulls, pit bull mixes

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is celebrating the two-year anniversary of “Operation Pit,” the program that offers free spay/neuter or vasectomy surgeries to all healthy pit bulls and pit bull mixes between the ages of three months and six years living in the five boroughs, along with free vaccinations and micro-chipping. Throughout the year, Operation Pit procedures take place every weekday at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan.

Since its launch on July 15, 2010, 1,308 surgeries have already been performed through Operation Pit. “We are very pleased with the success we’ve had over the past two years and are encouraged by the continued demand for these services,” said Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “The ASPCA is committed to improving the health and well-being of pit bulls and pit bull mixes in New York City.”

In addition to a free spay/neuter or vasectomy surgery, vaccinations and micro-chipping, dogs that have the surgery will also receive free K9 camouflage “doggie gear” and a post-operative “honorable discharge” for completing the mission.

Outside of Operation Pit, pit bulls and pit bull mixes make up a very small percentage of dogs that are brought in for routine spay/neuter procedures at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Pit bulls also have large litters compared to other breeds, and they make up an overwhelming majority of homeless dogs found in city shelters. “One of the most effective ways to reduce the number of pit bulls ending up in shelters is to provide free spay/neuter services,” added Dr. Murray. “By participating in this program, people are doing their part to combat the overpopulation issue while at the same time providing invaluable health benefits to their dogs.”

More than 40,000 homeless pets enter city shelters each year. Reducing this number depends on increasing adoptions and decreasing overpopulation. Between spay/neuter surgeries done at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and those performed by the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Operations team, the ASPCA has spayed and neutered approximately 20,000 cats and dogs so far in 2012. Nearly 36,000 procedures were done in 2011. However, the vast majority of dogs that are still euthanized due to lack of homes are pit bulls and pit bull mixes. With programs such as Operation Pit, the ASPCA hopes to reduce this number.

All appointments for Operation Pit must be scheduled prior to the surgery date. All procedures are completed the same day, and owners can drop off and pick up their pets at scheduled times. For more information and to schedule an appointment, owners can call the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital at 877-900-PITS (7487). Details can also be found online at

Appointments can also be scheduled for every other Sunday at the ASPCA’s spay/neuter clinic in Glendale, Queens by calling 877-SPAY-NYC (7729-692).

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

“Open letter” in Florida Today notes that TNR is effective and saves lives; offers help addressing concerns


BETHESDA, MD – Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats, today published an open letter to county commissioners in Brevard County, Fla. asking them to stop “chipping away” at a longstanding Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) ordinance. The TNR program has benefitted the county by effectively managing the feral cat population and has saved cats from certain death in animal shelters.

“Brevard County has served as a model for humane care for cats since 1999, when it was one of the first U.S. counties to adopt TNR, the only effective and humane approach to feral cats. Since then, thousands of communities across the nation have embraced TNR in place of catch and kill,” said Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies.

Robinson said Alley Cat Allies has offered to provide community education to address any residents’ concerns, and will continue to press on the county to maintain the program. It is also rallying supporters to oppose any efforts to weaken TNR in Brevard County.

“The commissioners have started to dismantle the program, putting cats’ lives at risk,” she said. “This is the wrong direction for the county, its residents and cats.”

The letter, published in the July 18 issue of Florida Today, can also be downloaded at


Full text of the letter as published follows:


Dear Commissioners:

In 1999, Brevard County recognized the need for a program to address feral cats. County officials knew that endlessly trapping and killing cats was a waste of taxpayer dollars and costing healthy animals their lives.

A pioneer in the United States, Brevard was among the first counties to support and encourage Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for feral cats, a lifesaving program that keeps feral cats out of shelters—where they are inevitably killed, because they are not socialized and therefore unadoptable. In a TNR program, feral cats are trapped, neutered and vaccinated (boosting community rabies prevention efforts), eartipped for identification and returned to their original outdoor home.

The community came together in support of this humane program. Residents, animal control employees, and county commissioners all wanted to stop killing healthy animals. I know, because I worked alongside the animal control director to help create Brevard’s sustainable TNR program.

For 13 years now, the TNR program has successfully kept feral cats out of shelters, decreasing the amount of tax dollars spent killing healthy animals. Neutering the cats ends the cycle of reproduction and benefits the community. There are no new kittens. The colonies stabilize and reduce over time. Behaviors associated with breeding cats—like yowling, roaming and fighting—stop.

Alley Cat Allies, our 300,000 supporters nationwide, and hundreds of concerned citizens in the county ask that you not lose sight of the reason this program was created—to save cats’ lives. The benefits to the community from this program are vital—fewer calls to animal control, fewer taxpayer dollars spent housing cats only to then kill them, and more time and money available to find homes for adoptable animals.

We understand that some issues have arisen that need to be managed, but in our experience these concerns can be addressed through public education, reminding residents that feral cats are not a threat. At your meeting on May 15, 2012, you barred volunteer caregivers from growing TNR in the county, and announced intentions to chip away at the program. The proposed changes would discourage participation and TNR will suffer countywide. This is the wrong direction.

Brevard County has served as a model. Today, thousands of communities nationwide have embraced TNR. As trustees of your county, we ask that you continue to stand behind your program. We ask compassionate citizens in Brevard County to continue to oppose any changes to county law as those changes would put cats’ lives at risk.

We know that by working together we can address any concerns without compromising the long-standing TNR program and continue to save cats’ lives. Please accept our offer to help you.


Becky Robinson


To learn more about Trap-Neuter-Return and the proposed ordinance changes visit Concerned citizens can contact us at: 1-855-264-CATS or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 300,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of cats and kittens nationwide. Their web site is

Los Angeles, Calif., January 10, 2012 – Stray Cat Alliance’s “I Spayed L.A.” program kicked off late last year in South Los Angeles, and is already making progress toward serving the feral, stray and homeless cat population. I Spayed L.A. provides L.A.’s poorest demographic areas with spay/neuter and other health services for cats and kittens, both owned and free-roaming in the neighborhood.
The program, unique in the nation, is expected to take three years. It began in the zip code 90037, an area just south of the USC campus with a population of about 60,000 residents and 10,000 cats.
Stray Cat Alliance, a nonprofit with an 11-year history of serving Los Angeles, along with local organizational partners, more than 60 volunteers, and residents of 90037, canvasses the neighborhood on an ongoing basis to offer information about spay/neuter services. Like a grassroots political campaign, I Spayed L.A. uses proven community organizing tactics. Volunteers go door-to-door; block and neighborhood captains provide information and resources so local residents are empowered to help their own communities. Stray Cat Alliance has set up two trap depots in the area, and is teaching residents how to use them humanely. Spay/neuters are performed locally at Animal Rescue Center in South Los Angeles, and paid for by Stray Cat Alliance.
“I can’t say enough about the work that Stray Cat Alliance is doing in South Los Angeles,” said Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy, animal behaviorist and star of “My Cat from Hell.” “From hands-on rescue to educating the community about responsible pet care, I Spayed L.A. is a model program for trap/neuter/return that urban areas all over the country should be implementing.”
“U2” and Jay MacNeal, currently homeless in the 90037 area, help feed and take care of cats, even sharing their own dinners with the local cats if necessary. “There are a lot of stray cats around here,” said U2. “They keep getting pregnant over and over again. Get your cats spayed or neutered and stop the population, because no one wants to take care of them.”
In addition to nearly 300 cats already spayed/neutered by Stray Cat Alliance, the organization has saved numerous abandoned, injured, ill and dying animals in 90037. In just one day, three dogs, two cats and two kittens were rescued, treated for injuries, and placed into foster homes.
“I Spayed L.A. is a partnership with community residents to give them the tools and resources they need to continue this work,” said Stray Cat Alliance executive director Christi Metropole. “We know that even if we came in and fixed every single cat, two years later, the population would return to its original numbers. Our goal is to change hearts and minds so there is ongoing positive momentum, and 90037 can solve this problem without outside help.”
Stray Cat Alliance estimates that by sterilizing 70 percent or more of all cats in this zip code over the next three years, it would eliminate, or nearly eliminate, intakes from that zip code at the South Los Angeles shelter, where the kill rate for cats exceed 80 percent.
About Stray Cat Alliance
Stray Cat Alliance works for a no-kill nation, where every cat has a right to be safe, healthy and valued. Since 2000, it has empowered hundreds of volunteers and thousands of community members to care for more than 75,000 Southern California cats in need. Stray Cat Alliance performs Trap-Neuter-Return and other health services, and runs an adoption program in Los Angeles, placing thousands of cats in homes. Stray Cat Alliance advocates humane care of homeless cats, and reducing kill rates for cats in shelters today. See for more information.