The leading companion animal issue in Massachusetts is the overpopulation of cats and kittens; Charles River Alleycats (CRA) was founded in 2002 to address this issue by reducing the number of homeless and feral cats in the greater Boston area through non-lethal means. We received our 501©3 non-profit status in 2004 and in 2006, acquired Somerville Alleycats AdvoCats, which had worked exclusively in Somerville. At that point the organization changed its name to Charles River Alleycats. In 2009 we increased focus on Boston towns because a key cat nonprofit working in that area ceased operations leaving a big lack of services and resources.
Our chosen focus is on Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of "free-roaming" (feral, lost, stray) cats because we believe that the way to address the overpopulation problem is to reduce the supply of kittens and cats into the system. There will simply never be enough adoption demand to handle the number of cats and kittens born every year. There are an estimated 92 million owned cats and kittens in America today; every year, another 92 million are born either from owned cats or those on the streets.
The only solution to the overpopulation problem is to prevent new births. To that end, we will both help cat owners sterilize their cats and work with the caretakers of free-roaming, un-owned cats to get them sterilized. Our core volunteers help feral colonies needing assistance and link up low income cat owners with reduced fee spay/neuter services. We have strong relationships with rescue facilities across the Greater Boston Area to place friendly and adoptable stray cats and kittens.
We continue to be available to feral colony caretakers that we have helped over the last ten years who monitor and care for their colonies.