Nonprofit Spotlight: Alley Cats and Angels

Megan Trapasso, who is on the board of directors for Alley Cats and Angels, arrives at Pet Smart in Morrisville with a kitten in a see-though backpack.

Since 2008, Alley Cats and Angels has saved the lives of over 2,500 cats of all breeds, ages, abilities, and health circumstances.

The Apex-based organization is an all-volunteer, foster home-based cat rescue founded with the goal of “being an advocate for forgotten felines.” It is dedicated to improving the lives of stray, abandoned, and feral cats in the Triangle.

“I think something that makes us unique compared to other rescues is that we are all foster home-based, so we do not have a building, shelter, or one location where people can come look at our cats. All the cats that are in our program are being fostered by one of our volunteers,” said Megan Trapasso, secretary of Alley Cats and Angels.

Huginn, a black-and-white kitten, eyes her sibling Muninn, reaching from the backpack. Huginn is being adopted by Tyler Reino and Taylor Shane of Apex, who first saw the kitten online.

When the cats are ready for adoption, they are held at either the Morrisville or Knightdale PetSmart to help transition these feline friends into their forever homes.

Allysa Thomas, a foster volunteer with Alley Cats and Angels, wanted to help other cats receive the same amount of love she gives her own pet. In 2019, she signed up to volunteer as a nightly cleaner, and when COVID-19 hit she interviewed to become a foster parent. Since then, Thomas has poured her heart and soul into the rescue.

“Being able to see our shyer cats and kittens blossom into their own personality and develop confidence is so rewarding. I have had the pleasure of fostering several very shy cats and kittens, and watching them go from hiding to walking around either my house, or seeing updates from them in their forever home house owning it, is the most rewarding,” said Thomas.

Jackie Mecca of Knightdale cuddles with her new kitten during an adoption event at the Pet Smart in Morrisville.

Along with the unique foster services provided, the organization also focuses on those cats that may need additional care.

“Our motto is ‘advocates for forgotten felines,’” Trapasso said. “So we tend to gravitate towards the cats that are more needy. …We tend to take the worst of the worst and the ones who need us most.”

However, Alley Cats and Angels does more than offer foster services and host adoption events for cats with varying care needs. Its Barn/Garden Cat program places suitable outdoor cats in rural settings. The nonprofit also has a Spay Neuter Assistance program and a Feral Cat Trap Neuter Release education and assistance program.

The Trap Neuter Release (TNR) program is the organization’s most important focus, Trapasso says, because a decrease in the population of feral cats will make an enormous difference in the community.

Allysa Thomas, a volunteer with Alley Cats and Angels, introduces Muninn the kitten to aquarium fish at Pet Smart in Morrisville.

“There will never be enough adopters for the number of unwanted cats out there, so I think our mission to educate people to spay, neuter, and to manage these feral cat colonies is the best,” she said.

This past year, the nonprofit has had to make some adjustments. Typically Alley Cats and Angels hold adoption events on the weekends at the Morrisville or Knightdale PetSmart. For now, these events have been halted, and others are held virtually, though the organization hopes their programs will return to an in-person fashion soon.

“We have tried to limit the face-to-face contact we have with people, due to safety. We have been doing more video meet-andg-reets, especially when the pandemic first started, so people would Facetime with the cat that they might want,” Trapasso said.

Meet-and-greets are now being held at PetSmart by appointment only.

Rico is blind and has two heart conditions. He is one of the special needs cats available for adoption at Alley Cats and Angels.

The nonprofit has also had to change the format of many of their fundraising events, including their biggest fundraiser, Alley Cats and Ales. Usually held at a local brewery, the silent auction was held online last year, and the organization did not raise as many donations as it typically does.

Though Alley Cats and Angels has had to make some changes, its commitment to helping cats in the Triangle has not faltered. The number of cats the organization has taken in has increased from 285 cats in 2019, to 358 in 2020.

One of the greatest needs for Alley Cats and Angels is financial donations, however it can also use volunteers for nightly cleanings at the PetSmart locations and foster home volunteers.

“We can only save as many cats as we have room for in our foster homes, so unfortunately if someone asks us, ‘Can you take this cat or this litter of kittens?’ we can not take them unless we have a foster home for them,” Trapasso said.

For more information on how to get involved in Alley Cats and Angels visit The nonprofit is also accepting donations for its 2021 silent auction, Alley Cats and Ales. For information, contact

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