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One of the new panels in the Crow Hill Mural Project promotes spay and neuter for all cats and dogs. (Photo by Jesse Oldham)

One of the new panels in the Crow Hill Mural Project promotes spay and neuter for all cats and dogs.

Photo by Jesse Oldham

NYC Eartips: Fall/Holiday 2010

Eartipped Ferals Paint Their Way Into Crown Heights Mural

by Jesse Oldham, ASPCA

When I heard about the opportunity to do a community mural panel for the Crow Hill Mural Project in Crown Heights, Brooklyn — home to many feral cats — I knew exactly what I'd focus on: spay/neuter! The mural project on Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue (on top of the 2/3/4/5 subway stop) was organized by the Crow Hill Community Association and sponsored by Councilmember Letitia James to make lemonade out of lemons (a stalled construction project had left the neighborhood with eyesore plywood partitions for years).

Since Crown Heights is home to pet cats and feral cats, I opted to paint an overall spay/neuter message, both for pet animals and outside cats. Lots of people stopped by to talk about dogs, inside cats, outside cats, and spaying and neutering. These murals will be there for a few years, in a high-traffic area, spreading the message that animals are valued and spay/neuter is important for communities.

Many people asked about spay/neuter resources, so we decided to include the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals spay/neuter resources website address on the mural to put people in touch with the spay/neuter resources in NYC.

About the Author

Jesse Oldham is Senior Administrative Director for Community Outreach at the ASPCA. Additionally, Jesse founded and directed Slope Street Cats, a Brooklyn-based non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and facilitating TNR for feral cats from 2004 until its phase-out in 2009. Slope Street Cats provided public TNR education and feral cat caretaker workshops and operated a successful TNR trap bank in Brooklyn. Jesse remains active in the NYC TNR community by continuing to teach TNR certification workshops on behalf of the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and continues to develop and facilitate feral cat education and information resources as needed within the community with the ASPCA and NYC Feral Cat Initiative.