There was much to do long in advance of the Conservation Congress’s annual meeting in Green Bay back in April of 2005. A man in LaCrosse had proposed a law that would allow people to shoot feral cats they saw roaming around.
The word spread far and wide and was even picked up by national media sources across the USA. Wisconsin had become known as the cat killing state. There was discussion about the cats killing song birds, destroying people’s gardens, and spreading disease. Cat lovers asked, "Was there no hope? What if the cats were injured and left to suffer and die? Would they have no voice? Would the innocent cats suffer needlessly?"
NO THEY WOULD NOT! A “Don’t Shoot the Cat” campaign hit the floor running. People started organizing, flyers were handed out, phone calls were made, and by the 7pm meeting in April of 2005 the cats had a voice. Hundreds of people came to not only speak on behalf of the cats, but to organize a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. The voice behind the organization was a woman who had done TNR on her own for years. She had formed a kinship with a feral cat who came to her doorstep one night. A cat she would never forget and forever try to make other feral cats’ lives as good as she did for that one.
After much discussion at the Conservation Congress’s meeting through the state of Wisconsin, the newly proposed law went down and a dream began. Four women met in the basement of Oak View Veterinary Clinic in Green Bay, WI to form a plan. An organization called Cats Anonymous was born.
All that happened because one woman had a dream and others joined her who were passionate about making a difference in the lives of feral, stray, and barn cats. The woman who spoke for those without a voice, Vicki Becker, continues to play a key role in the operations of Cats Anonymous and makes her voice heard whenever necessary on behalf of the cats. She is affectionately known as the “Queen Mum” of the organization. The three others who joined in her dream were Dr. Lisa Lorenz, Dr. Nicole Gardner, and Sharon Bauknecht.
Under the amazing leadership of the first President of the Board of Directors, Daphne Coplin, more supporters including Regan Wallenfang, Lisa Kay Peters, and many more were brought into "the fold". Together they all worked to create the framework that would continue to educate the public and put TNR into action for our community.
We don't know how long it will take to reach our ultimate goal, but we do know that the community has responded with more support than perhaps any dreamed possible. Now we need you! Please consider volunteering your time and treasure to help feral cats.