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Meet the NYC Feral Cat Initiative Team: Valerie Sicignano


The Cats On My Block by Valerie SicignanoIn 2005, Valerie Sicignano, an animal welfare veteran, began her work with the program that became the NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI) of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

In the ten years since, as NYCFCI’s Community Outreach Director, Valerie has spearheaded key NYCFCI initiatives, including implementing a free specialty training workshop series for feral cat caretakers that covers a range of topics, including bottle-feeding orphaned kittens. She was also instrumental in harnessing the NYCFCI’s resources to provide assistance to local TNR caretakers and their colonies affected by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Super Storm Sandy in 2012.

“I’m especially proud of and grateful to our volunteers for the incredible work they did during Super Storm Sandy,” recalls Valerie, who orchestrated a broad range of relief efforts — from pre-storm relocation of vulnerable elderly, pregnant, sick, and young cats to safety, through the long months of recovery when volunteers delivered food, blankets, cat shelters, self-feeders, and other supplies to devastated areas in NYC, Long Island, and New Jersey.

These days Valerie is focusing on assisting Certified TNR Caretakers in navigating and obtaining the free and low-cost services that are available to them in New York City. She also matches trained volunteers with feral cat caregivers who need hands-on assistance with TNR.

Valerie holds a certificate in Humane Education from the ASPCA and is the recipient of numerous awards from the animal welfare community, including In Defense of Animals.

In 2014, Valerie published her first children’s book, The Cats On My Block, with The Humane Society of New York (HSNY), with 100 percent of the profits from the sale of the book going to fund HSNY’s feral cat program. The Cats On My Block is available for purchase on Amazon.com: http://bit.ly/CatsBlock.