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Alliance for Stray Animals and People  


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Who We Are

The Alliance for Stray Animals and People (ASAP) offers urgent help to animals and people. Within our modest means we help stray cats by providing food, shelter, and foster homes. We provide basic necessities for people and assist them in taking advantage of available area resources.

Historically, our "constituency" is cats living where it is not safe to continue to live.

Alternatives are limited for street cats. Managed colonies run into difficulty if a caretaker cannot continue – or if the area is under demolition (as happened recently in DC’s Shaw neighborhood due to Convention Center construction).

ASAP pays medical and other costs relative to maintaining cats until permanent situations can be found or the cats are adopted.

The need is overwhelming. To manage the flow, we make referrals and donate funds to non-profit organizations who help. We assist indigent persons with basic necessities.

If you can assist -- or are already engaged in similar activities -- consider collaborating with ASAP to enhance the effectiveness of your efforts and for possible tax advantages.

The funds at our disposal at a given time determine whether an animal on the street can be rehabilitated. Foster homes who shoulder the cost of helping animal after animal and people who assist strays on the street deserve our support.

How We Began

In 1987, a legal secretary (Joanna Harkin, ASAP founder) acquired a real estate license and started selling houses in inner city areas. Here she came upon many stray cats and her first finds (Mildred Fierce, Myrna MOY "Mother of the Year", and Mabel Black Label) introduced her to the terrible conditions under which street cats live. Cats struggle daily to survive in alleys, behind restaurants, around dumpsters, and in parks.While working with homeless cats, Harkin and others took note of people in distressed neighborhoods and their lack of basic necessities. For example, the man who was being evicted and didn’t have anywhere to take his cat. Of course ASAP was able to help the cat – but the man needed assistance as well. Thus the Alliance for Stray Animals and People (ASAP) was incorporated on June 23, 1998 and was granted tax-exempt status on October 7, 1998.

Joanna Harkin

Joanna Harkin
ASAP President

Cat Adoptions

ASAP has a steady supply of wonderful cats available for adoption both through Riverside Rescue and sometimes being fostered for the Washington Humane Society (WHS). To see WHS's foster cat page on their website,click here.   ASAP performs home visits and requires an adoption fee to cover vaccinations and spay/neuter. Adult cats are neutered or spayed; cats and kittens are tested for disease and are dewormed and vaccinated.

The majority of our rescued animals are abandoned and need medical attention beyond the basics. ASAP is grateful for donations to cover veterinary costs and a myriad of other expenses to help animals, people who help animals, and indigent people.

Street Cat Philosophy

ASAP believes animal welfarists must work together toward a common objective of doing what is best for each animal in each unique situation.

ASAP applauds the work of Alley Cat Allies in feral cat colony education. Longevity and quality of life are enhanced when cats are sterilized and food and shelter are provided. Trapping, rehabilitating, providing ongoing veterinary care and otherwise maintaining feral cat colonies takes a continuing commitment of time and resources. Diligent guardians are a critical component of success.

Without intervention, stray cats suffer premature violent or difficult deaths, and it is inhumane to allow them to breed and die on the street. In some difficult circumstances, death is inevitable and humane workers alter not whether but how a cat dies.

ASAP volunteers work to stabilize, find homes, and maintain as many cats as possible. We work with individuals and other groups (e.g. Riverside Rescue, The Washington Humane Society and Animal Allies) to seek humane solutions without resorting to euthanasia. We respect each animal as a sentient being (even if at times it feels to us that we are emptying the ocean with a teaspoon).

Recent Cases

A veterinary technician has spent thousands of her own dollars feeding and vetting the Lorton cats; a college student is helping relocate cats abandoned on her campus; two elderly women in Anacostia call regularly about homeless cats; a mother of five young children in Temple Hills, MA does what she can to help neighborhood strays; a bike courier (also the mother of a severely disabled daughter) helps numerous cats on her route; a grandmother in public housing calls when cats  turn up on her block . . . ASAP can continue to assist these and others with your help.

View ASAP's Success Stories

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Alliance for Stray Animals and People
P.O. Box 65438
Washington, D.C. 20035-5438
(202) 331-1330

Website up keep by Tisha

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