A Baltimore couple documents—and champions—feral cats.

By Amy Mulvihill - November 2014

Photographers Found Nonprofit for Street Cats

A Baltimore couple documents—and champions—feral cats.

By Amy Mulvihill - November 2014

-Photography by Justin Tsucalas

Feral cats have been part of urban life since humans first established cities—and have been misunderstood for probably just as long. But a Parkville couple is working to change that.

In July 2014, married photographers Elizabeth and Jason Putsche founded a nonprofit, Photographers for Animals, which advocates on behalf of animals via photography and videography projects. One current project is a still-untitled documentary about Baltimore’s wild felines that they hope will correct a few misperceptions.

Contrary to popular belief, says Elizabeth, 34, a lifelong animal lover who has worked for several animal-rescue organizations, the cats are hearty and adaptable, but still face challenges, including some from well-meaning humans.

Because feral cats are essentially wild animals, they are not adoptable, “so when you take them to a shelter, they’re held for the mandatory period, and then they’re killed. So to have cats not go into shelters at all is ideal,” explains Elizabeth.

For this reason, the couple champions the trap-neuter-return method (TNR), in which feral cats are caught, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then rereleased.

With their documentary, which they hope to debut in late 2015, the Putsches want to bolster public sentiment by introducing viewers to feral cat caregivers who feed and shelter the animals without making them “pets.”

“There are a lot of people who take care of these cats who you think aren’t being taken care of,” says Jason, 37.

These people often contradict the “crazy cat lady” stereotype, which the couple thinks is an obstacle to TNR acceptance. “There are nurses, law professors, young and old, everyone,” Elizabeth says. “We want to make it more approachable and like a new way to help animals.”

You May Also Like

The Chatter

City Paper Editors and Mark Steiner Join Forces to Create Journalism Nonprofit

Local team looks to fill the void of alternative news in the city.

The Chatter

Local Startup Wins Seed Funding to Help Babies Sleep Safely

Shantell Roberts earns funding from Johns Hopkins to promote safe sleep for babies.

The Chatter

Debate Over Confederate Statues Continues in Baltimore

Mayor Pugh and city residents call for removal of Confederate monuments.

Best of Baltimore

Best of Baltimore 2017

Our annual celebration of all things awesome in the Baltimore region.

-Photography by Justin Tsucalas

Connect With Us

Most Read

Up and Running
Charm City Run opens its eighth location in Fells Point.

The Launch: August 2017
The ten musts from this month's calendar of events.

Baby on Board: A Letter to My First-Born
Your fairytale only-child status is about to change.

Greener Pastures
The vegetarian movement takes root in Baltimore.

You Are Here: Gifted
Scenes from Special Olympics of Maryland, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, and a Tree Bus Tour.