jesse oldhamJesse Oldham

When Jesse Oldham moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2003 she had no idea that she would become a driving force behind New York City's movement to protect its feral cat population. Feral cats are a particular challenge as they are not domesticated and often live their entire lives outside. Most will not allow a human to touch them, or even make eye contact. Those who do go to shelters will usually be deemed "unadoptable" and euthanized so it takes special consideration to care for them.

In addition to running her own nonprofit feral cat protection and advocacy organization, Slope Street Cats (2004-2009), she's since worked extensively with the NYC Feral Cat Initiative including teaching Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) certification workshops and working as a humane trapping coach.

What do you do?
Right now I work at the ASPCA. My title is Senior Administrative Director for Community Outreach.

What is your history with feral cats?
Honestly, I had no idea what a feral cat was until about 2002. I moved to an apartment in South Slope, Brooklyn, and the area was just overrun with cats ... I tried to rescue what I could and start adopting them out, and then I realized, there were these other cats left over [that] I couldn't touch ... I couldn't get near them.

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