Spring Has Sprung . . . And Here Come The Kittens!

It happens every year with the arrival of good weather! The unneutered male’s fancy turns to . . . well, you know—and before we know it, we have kittens, hundreds of them, thousands of them, all of whom will themselves be breeding within a few months. It is a cycle that never ends. But there is something you can do.

While some of the cats you are seeing may be neighbor’s pets, it is likely that many are stray or feral.

So What’s the Difference?

A feral cat is one whose home is outdoors and who has not been socialized to people. It cannot, in most cases, be “taught” to become a pet, and is therefore unadoptable. If taken from its outdoor home to a shelter, it will be killed.

A stray cat, on the other hand, is a former pet that has been lost or abandoned. These cats are generally adoptable and make wonderful housecats.

But There Are So Many!

According to the Tree House Humane Society of Chicago, “February and March are the peak pregnancy months for feral cats  . . . they have an average of 1.4 litters per year, with an average of 3.5 live births.” In addition, a kitten can become pregnant as early as four months old. Utilizing statistics from the  American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) it is easy to calculate that the current estimated 36,656 stray and feral cats in Syracuse this spring, could easily reach over 100,000 by winter. Not all of them will survive the winter of course, but many of them will, and the cycle will start anew next year.

What is the Answer?

The answer to pet overpopulation is spay and neuter, which we encourage every pet owner to do. With regard to unowned cats, whether stray or feral, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only method of feline population control endorsed by all major animal welfare organizations, including The American Humane Association (AHA), The Humane Society of the US (HSUS), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA and The National Animal Control Association (NACA), to name just a few. Why? Because it is affordable and it works! 

What is TNR?

According to Neighborhood Cats, “Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as “TNR,” is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling feral cat population growth. Using this technique, all the feral cats in a colony are trapped, neutered, [vaccinated for rabies,] and then returned to their territory where caretakers provide them with regular food and shelter. Young kittens who can still be socialized, as well as friendly adults, are placed in foster care and eventually adopted out to good homes.”

Why Not Just Take Them All to the SPCA?

Feral cats taken to a shelter are typically killed immediately. This is not an option that is popular with most Americans.  Furthermore, according to the ASPCA, “Eradication . . . of a feral cat colony . . . almost always leads to the “vacuum effect” [wherein] either new cats flock to the vacated area  . . . or survivors breed . . . .  Eradication is only a temporary fix that sacrifices animals’ lives unnecessarily, yet yields no positive or beneficial return.” In other words, the trap and kill methodology does not work.

So What Am I Supposed to do?

The City of Syracuse does not currently have any programs for cats. This does not, however, mean you have no options.

The cats in your neighborhood have been abandoned by your former neighbors. They are now “community cats” and the resolution of this problem must be undertaken at the community level, given that “nobody’s” problem is in actuality “everybody’s” problem. Learn more about this subject at Alley Cat Allies.  Talk to your neighbors and decide on a neighborhood approach. The CNY Cat Coalition can’t take the cats, but they can assist with trapping as well as other details. They have a low cost spay-neuter clinic available by appointment at 420-7729.

Spay and Neuter Syracuse (SANS) is another local clinic. They do not help with trapping but do offer spay-neuter services. They can be reached at 422-7970.

It has been said that there are only three things you can do with a feral cat:  1) Nothing, 2) Trap & Kill, 3) TNR. The first one means next year you are going to have at least 10 cats where today you have 2. The second means the same thing BUT it will cost you $$. The third one is the ONLY one that will provide a permanent solution to your overpopulation problem. So get busy! Learn more, White kitteneducate your neighbors, and have a TNR party!


In April of 2013, AAGS launched the Keeping Faith Fund, named for a dead pit bull dumped along Onondaga Boulevard in Syracuse.
On Saturday, March 22, 2014, children playing in that same area found the bodies of two dogs that had been brutally murdered. The attack on these two dogs was so vicious that the pictures cannot be displayed.


SEND A MESSAGE THAT This behavior WILL NOT be tolerated in our community!

Please help the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse and Cuse Pit Crew to offer compelling rewards leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of these types of crimes!

Be part of the solution! Please CONTRIBUTE GENEROUSLY to help make our community safer for adults, children, and animals!



Reward Offered


Visit to Operation PETS

On Monday, March 5, several AAGS Board members traveled to Buffalo, NY to visit Operation Pets Spay-Neuter Clinic of WNY. Our mission was to look over their shoulders and pick their brains relative to starting a high-volume, high-quality, low-cost spay-neuter clinic here in CNY.

You would think that the presence of  visitors might be viewed as a nuisance on a busy clinic day, but the staff at Operation Pets could not have been more welcoming or gracious. They shared their methods and answered all our questions, obviously enthusiastic about helping to bring this important service to another NY community.

Our thanks to all the staff at Operation Pets!


Operation Pets’ welcoming front entrance.




Vet in surgery
Vet in surgery


The incision

The incision

Matching Funds for Donations to the Keeping Faith Fund

We are VERY EXCITED to announce that AAGS’ new corporate sponsor, Staffworks, has pledged MATCHING FUNDS for all donations to the Keeping Faith Fund, established to identify, apprehend, and convict those guilty of abusing animals such as Jax.

Please DONATE NOW  to make your contribution go twice as far!

Announcing New Corporate Sponsor

The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse is proud to introduce its new corporate sponsor, Staffworks, a staffing services company with six branch offices in Central New York, one of which is located in Syracuse.  Through the Staffworks Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation in Utica, AAGS has gratefully accepted a grant in the amount $5,000 in support of our work. Staffworks LOGO

Please be sure to visit Staffworks for all your staffing needs!


Justice for Jax

Jax Flyer

Dog Cried All Night But Nobody Came

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Animal advocates are hoping a reward will help the investigation of another apparent case of dog neglect and abuse, after they say an extremely thin male pit bull was found dead in Syracuse.

The dog, who members of the Cuse Pit Crew named Jax, was only 13 pounds and was likely starved to death according to advocates.

The white and tan pit bull had no fat left on his body and pressure sores covered his skin.

“A very, very neglected dog. This dog hasn’t eaten in weeks, possibly a month. It’s probably one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen in terms of how skinny and emaciated the dog was,” said Stefanie Higgins, Co-Founder of Cuse Pit Crew.

The emaciated pit bull was found dead in between dumpsters on Smith Lane, on the East Side of Syracuse.

The Cuse Pit Crew is hoping someone will be able to help them find the owner and is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to a conviction.

“We are hoping it just gets people to speak up more. We want people to know if they see something, to say something,” Higgins said.

Tuesday also happens to be Pit Bull Awareness Day in Onondaga County.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact the Syracuse Police Animal Abuse Tip Line at (315) 442 -5336.

All tips will remain confidential.

URGENT! Please Contact the Governor NOW!



Keeping Faith Flyer

Local news outlets  broke the story a week ago of Faith, the neglected and abused pit bull whose body was stuffed into a garbage bag and thrown out like trash across the street from Southside Academy Charter School.

It was the LAST STRAW for us!

This is Animal (and Child!) Abuse Awareness Month.  Abuse of our most helpless and voiceless is NOT acceptable!  In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a plan of action!

FIRST, AAGS, along with its affiliated program, Cuse Pit Crew, is announcing the establishment of “THE KEEPING FAITH FUND” to offer REWARDS for the arrest and conviction of abusers and killers of animals! Any funds not expended on Faith’s case, will be retained in a fund explicitly for this purpose.

What we need YOU to do– in order to make “offers they can’t refuse” to those “in the know”– is, FIRST of course, DONATE, DONATE, DONATE if at all possible. You can do so securely via Paypal or credit card by simply clicking the DONATE button at the top of this page OR by mail to: AAGS, PO Box 94, Liverpool, NY 13088.

SECOND, you can SHARE, SHARE, SHARE this flyer, and ask your friends to donate as well!

THIRD, please feel free to print out the flyer and distribute it in any areas you feel animal cruelty is a problem – in other words, basically everywhere!

This is the first of several ways you can help address this problem. We will be rolling out more in the coming days or weeks. We want the lowlife who think it’s ok to hurt animals to SEE US COMING and “BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!”