Although precise statistics are difficult to determine, animal advocacy organizations estimate that millions of animals are put to death in shelters across the United States each year. Because of their more prolific breeding cycle and other factors, the overwhelming majority of these animals are cats. Feral cats, homeless and largely unadoptable, are routinely euthanized, as are newborn kittens and pregnant cats that demand more care than many overcrowded, underfunded shelters can provide.
In the 1990’s the concept of feral colony management began to spread, along with the practice of trapping, neutering or spaying and releasing (known as TNR) feral cats back into the colony. Long before that method even had a name, one woman, Helen Sanders, saw this problem of homeless, stray cats, and felt they deserved care, not death. Over the years she even encountered physical threats from people who wanted these stray cats shot, not fed, but she persevered.