Trap-neuter-return is a humane, non-lethal alternative to the trap-and-kill method of controlling cat populations. Trap-neuter-return (TNR) is a management technique in which homeless, free-roaming (community) cats are humanely trapped, evaluated and sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped, and then returned to their original habitat.
In the long term, TNR lowers the numbers of cats in the community more effectively than trap-and-kill. Good Samaritans in neighborhoods all across the country provide food, water and shelter for community cats, and TNR provides a non-lethal, humane way to effectively manage these community cat populations. In some programs, friendly cats or young kittens are pulled from the colonies and sent to foster facilities for socialization and, eventually, placement into forever homes. Stopping the breeding and removing some cats for adoption is more effective than the traditional trap-and-kill method in lowering the numbers of cats in a community long-term.
The benefits to both cats and communities are numerous.The benefits include:
Another beneficial component of TNR is the positive impact these programs have on animal control officers and shelter workers. Job satisfaction among these workers increases tremendously when the work does not involve the unnecessary killing of healthy animals for the purpose of convenience. This increased job satisfaction results in less employee turnover and an overall improved public image of the shelter. The reduction in killing and animal admissions also provides more time for staff and volunteers to care for the animals in the shelter and give personal attention to potential adopters.Equally important, TNR programs allow animal control facilities to take advantage of numerous resources typically unavailable to shelters that employ traditional trap-and-kill policies. Understandably, people are rarely inclined to volunteer for programs that fail to make them feel good about themselves. Through the implementation of TNR, volunteers know they are making a difference in the lives of the animals, and the community is benefiting from their charitable efforts. Volunteers can help trap cats and also assist animal control in locating other cats in need of TNR services. Commonly referred to as caregivers, these volunteers may also feed and monitor the health of colony cats once they are returned to their original location. Frequent monitoring is an invaluable component of successful TNR programs because caregivers can easily identify new cats who join the colony, so that they, too, can be sterilized, vaccinated and ear-tipped. Another component of a well-managed TNR program is the collection of critical data that can be used when seeking grant funding to expand current TNR programs.
Stats for 2017...
TNR has a great impact in our community here in Fernley and surrounding areas. TNR has been shown to be the least costly and the most humane, efficient way of stabilizing community cat populations. TNR helps stabilize the population of community colonies and, over time, reduces them. Nuisance behaviors such as spraying, excessive noisemaking and fighting are largely eliminated and no additional kittens are born.By stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. Neutering male cats also reduces the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat. That means they attract fewer tom cats to the area, which reduces fighting.
Once cats are caught and taken to the vet for their spay or neuter and vaccines, the vet also clips the tip of the left ear. This is the international sign for a cat that has been trapped, neutered, and released.
If you need help with feral cats in your community and or neighborhood, or have a controlled colony and need some help, please feel free to contact us either on our contact page here on the website, our hotline number at 1 (775) 229-3708, or through our Facebook page.