‘Cat Ladies of Wetumpka’ charged for feeding + capturing stray cats—hear from local spay/neuter expert

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Help save animals’ lives—spay/neuter your furry friends. (Bham Now)

A recent case in Wetumpka has caused quite the stir. Known as the “Cat Ladies of Wetumpka”, Mary Alston, 60, and Beverly Roberts, 84, were found guilty of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct after feeding and capturing/fixing local stray cats in the area. Read on for more about the case and why it’s important to spay/neuter your pets.

What happened?

After a lengthy five-and-a-half hour trial Tuesday in Elmore County, the Cat Ladies of Wetumpka were charged with misdemeanors for feeding and capturing stray cats. The animal loving women are involved in a process called trap/neuter/release, where they would capture stray/feral cats, spay/neuter them and then either have them adopted or return them to the area where they came from.

According to Wetumpka police, feeding the feral cats had created a nuisance as it attracted more animals to the area. Additionally, local police claimed the women had received multiple warnings to stop feeding the stray cats.

Body cam footage shows three cop cars arriving on scene when Alston and Roberts were detained. The women were arrested after reportedly failing to leave the area when ordered to.

Alston and Roberts’ work helps to reduce overpopulation of animals in the community—a major problem that is often overlooked. Just one spay/neuter surgery can prevent potentially millions of homeless animals.

The two ladies, who have been named on AL.com’s “22 Alabamians Who Made a Difference in 2022” list, have garnered national attention for the case from animal rights advocates and outraged locals.

Roberts and Alston must now pay $100 each in fines on top of court costs and two years of unsupervised probation.

Hear from spay/neuter experts

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Alabama Spay/Neuter (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Many don’t understand the consequences that come with neglecting to spay/neuter your pets. In Alabama, animal overpopulation is a HUGE problem that oftentimes goes overlooked.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters. There are many reasons for this, but there is one easy solution: spay female pets and neuter male pets. These surgeries are quick and easy, and organizations like Alabama Spay/Neuter provide high-quality, low-cost surgeries for those who can’t otherwise afford it.

Kathy Freeland, trap/neuter/release (TNR) representative for Alabama Spay/Neuter, let us know what you can do to help.

“Reducing the overpopulation of cats and dogs required spaying or neutering your own pet and adopting your pet from an animal shelter. Do NOT buy one from a breeder. Adopt don’t shop!”

Kathy Freeland

People like Kathy help save lives of animals across the state, just like the Cat Ladies of Wetumpka. If you’re interested in physically supporting their efforts, you can volunteer with a local rescue organization which does TNR to trap and transport feral cats to spay/neuter clinics.

Unable to physically volunteer? You can always help by donating funds to local clinics like Alabama Spay/Neuter, or assist in feeding feral cat colonies in your area by donating food to those who care for them.

“More long term, you can support legislation to require spay/neuter of pets in your state and community. Other states have such legislation and it has drastically reduced the overpopulation of cats/dogs in their communities.”

Kathy Freeland

Right now, you can sponsor the surgery of two pets for the price of one when you donate to Alabama Spay/Neuter. Donate here.

Support the Cat Ladies of Wetumpka

“The Cat Ladies of Wetumpka need your help. A city judge has convicted us of trespass for performing Trap/Neuter/Return. Up to this date, our attorneys have been working for free. We are appealing this case to the Circuit Court, where we are entitled to a jury trial and to the Alabama Supreme Court, if necessary. We request anyone interested in helping us overturn this tragic conviction to donate to help with the defense of this case, and to pursue a civil lawsuit against the City of Wetumpka. Small or large, any amount will help. Any funds remaining after the case is concluded will be used toward TNR efforts in the area or to national animal organizations.”

Cat Ladies of Wetumpka, in a statement on Go Fund Me

If you’re interested in helping the Cat Ladies of Wetumpka with legal fees, you can donate directly to their defense fund here:

What do you think about the arrest of the Cat Ladies of Wetumpka? Find us @thebamabuzz on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn and let us know.

Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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