Specials  In Association with  Does someone you know deserve flowers?    free t-shirt 120
Click through ASAP's site to these affiliates, make a purchase and up to 15% of your sale is donated to ASAP!
Click here to find more stores or other ways to help ASAP!

ASAP_Logo.gif (7728 bytes)
Alliance for Stray Animals and People  

ASAP Journal

December 1999 / January 2000

Dear Friends, Benefactors and Potential Benefactors:

An animal-shelter staff member I know told me she was asked why every animal cannot be saved.  "I wish the community would put us out of business," is often her response.  There simply are not enough foster homes or cage spaces for the 12,000 animals the city shelter receives annually.

One example, however, of a city that has been able to change the fate of animals in the city shelter is San Francisco.  Adoptable animals now find homes through the privately funded SPCA.  Groups that cover vet expenses
and buy food for animals and groups that foster animals and advertise for homes spare the lives of animals who might otherwise have become "shelter statistics."

National well-funded humane groups advocate for animals and educate.  I am quoted in the current issue of ASPCA's Animal Watch on the subject of winterizing outside structures for feral cats, however the work of umbrella organizations may not directly affect an animal's life.  Animals often need urgent direct intervention so as not to be brought to animal impoundment agencies.  Some funds need to stay in the community if they are going to make a direct difference in a specific animal's life.

ASAP is one such group that meets the challenge.  It is a "mom and pop" all-volunteer rescue group that helps animals through foster homes and adoptions.  It also reaches out to people while they connect with social service agencies better positioned to meet the needs of people in distress.

ASAP offers individual animal workers/rescuers a charitable deduction for expenses on personal taxes.
Out-of-pocket expenditures of those affiliated with ASAP are deductible to the extent allowed by law.  To get the job done, we collaborate with other groups as we seek to empower individual rescuers.  We also lend a hand to those who must part with companion animals, and do what we can to help the cats at Lorton Prison (i.e, we help supply cat food and find homes for cats who truly are "doing the time without the crime").  ASAP builds community and offers tools (such as the Adoption Interview Questionnaire on our website) to assist those who work with society's throwaway animals -- activities that can overwhelm and isolate individual autonomous rescuers. We want to help them.

As individuals, we have been around for years.  On our Board is a local psychiatrist as well as an individual who, in addition to working with us, finances a private foundation out of her earnings to help animals.  Among our volunteer-supporters is a cat rescuer who lobbies for the American Society for the Protection of Animals (and previously served on the staff of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).   Another volunteer/supporter is active with Friendship Community Council for the Homeless.  Louise Holton, founder of Alley Cat Allies, and I knew each other before the term "feral" became popular, and she also introduced me to the Riverside Rescue Duffeys -- another active hands-on group.

A form prepared for the District of Columbia for renewal of our charitable solicitation license shows the bulk of ASAP funds buys food for animals and pays vet costs.    We spent (over a 10-month period from the time of licensing by the District in November 1998 until August 31, 1999 when the
District's reporting period ended) $7,073 getting the organization up and running (including website site design/ incorporation and licensing fees); $3,692 helping indigent people; $14,136 on pet food and $10,981 on vet bills.  Total expenditures over this ten-month period amounted to $35,883. The organization received donations amounting to about $10,000, and the rest came out of the pockets of volunteers and board members.   Joanna Harkin personally expended about $12,000 (averaging $1,200 per month).   Now that some one-time expenses have been covered, we anticipate more funds will go directly into programs instead of administration/overhead. If you can foster an animal or work with a colony of outside cats or offer your services another way, please call us.   If you are unable to be more
active, please allocate some of your animal welfare donations to LOCAL dynamic groups such as the Alliance for Stray Animals and People.

Joanna Harkin

September 1999

Dear Benefactors and Rescuers: 

Rescue work benefits those who give as well as those who receive. There is much to be learned from the survival instincts of anyone who lives on the street "24/7."   A blind cat named Jodie found at eight weeks is exuberant now at five months (as I write this) in his love of life:  his attentive movements betray his eager interest in every sound, scent and small wafting of air.  Nothing escapes his notice as he experiences each moment with notable alertness.  If only I could relish life moment-to-moment as much as Jodie does.  But I learn from him and more like him -- and am never clear in this work who profits more. 

More would be involved in helping others who live on the street if they could visualize the plight of those who are out there.  Some cats cannot remain where they are indefinitely (a prison is closing, a convention center is being constructed, an 85-year old lady living where her neighbors dislike cats is moving), but some outdoor cats can continue to be supported where they are a while longer.

Unadoptable cats are generally managed in one of three ways:  some are maintained in no-kill shelters; some are humanely euthanized; and some are sustained in outside feral cat colonies. Alley Cat Allies (ACA) advocates for long-term outside care, while the official policy of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is that no cat should be supported in an outdoor living situation, e.g., a cat colony.  When care is lavished on an outdoor colony by a group of doting caretakers, my observation is that some outdoor cats are living better than some indoor cats.  Certainly though there are different levels of care, and some "colonizations" are what others might derisively allude to as "spay and abandon" projects. Because of concerns about levels of care (that the cats might not be adequately protected and cared for over an extended time) and because of space limitations in no-kill shelters, HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA recommend the euthanasia of unadoptable cats.

ASAP focuses on situations where colonization is not suitable for indefinite periods of time, but may be a viable alternative to immediate removal and euthanasia. Among our methodology is a Cat Community Bulletin Board (CCBB) where rescuers may exchange information and alert volunteers and benefactors to cats in need. Specific locations will not be posted and any that appear to be specific will have been altered by the webmistress.  The CCBB is designed to help humane workers to communicate with each other and to exchange information.  It will permit benefactors to visualize some cats in need.  An individual posting a bulletin message may be contacted directly. Gifts may sent to ASAP for a particular situation or, with advance approval, may be advanced directly to a local vet on ASAP's behalf (contact us in advance to insure that your gift is deductible for tax purposes).  As we develop funding, ASAP would like to be able to advance funds to rescuers (either as grants or loans) so that no cat has a litter of kittens for lack of funds.

ASAP believes that some outdoor cats can continue to be maintained (spayed/ neutered/fed/sheltered) temporarily while permanent solutions are sought. It is heart-rending to take stray cats to a shelter for euthanasia -- many people are constitutionally unable to bring themselves to do it even when they realize a gentle death might be preferable to the demise so many cats face on the streets. (Billy Graham once said, "I'm not afraid of dying. It's how I die that concerns me").

Diligent caretakers and considerable outlays of time and financial resources are needed to assist cats in crisis -- to oversee their passage into caring situations where they will be looked after for the rest of their lives. Donations to ASAP directly help animals and indigent people. We are historically cat rescuers who have evolved into helping people to a limited degree, and are refining ways to make our work for homeless and indigent people as visible as our work with stray cats.  ASAP volunteers interact with individuals on a one-to-one basis and offer assistance for basic necessities.  Our financial breakdown for budgetary purposes is 60 percent help for animals and 30 percent help for indigent people with the remaining ten percent allocated to administrative costs.  We are all volunteers and, among ourselves, easily expend more than our means might suggest or dictate.  Your help is very much sought and deeply appreciated.

Another methodology though which ASAP empowers rescuers is that preauthorized expenditures for rescue work within ASAP's purview may be deducted on personal income taxes. Contact us if you are a rescuer expending your own funds at present to assist stray animals (so many of whom on our streets are feline). We also offer resources here on our site to assist in cat placement (see adoption questionnaire, adoption form and cat care). 

Vote with ten and pass it on! Please consider making a $10 donation when you visit our site and forwarding our URL ( to ten others.

Joanna Harkin 


melody.jpg (65600 bytes)

ASAP is Empowerment...

"The Cat Community Bulletin Board  is designed to help humane workers to communicate with each other and to exchange information.."


Two_tiny_kittens.jpg (36852 bytes)

ASAP is Community...

"ASAP believes that some outdoor cats can continue to be maintained temporarily (spayed/neutered/ fed/sheltered) while permanent solutions are sought."


ASAP is Rescue...

"A blind cat named Jodie found at eight weeks is exuberant now at five months (as I write this) in his love of life:  his attentive movements betray his eager interest in every sound, scent and
small wafting of air."


Website designed by Web-Wrights

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

Join our Egroup: Click here!