What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
The TNR process is simple: community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinary clinic to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped (the universal sign that a cat has been spayed or neutered through a TNR program), and then returned to the outdoor homes to which they are bonded so they can live out their lives where they thrive.
For more than a century, the American shelter and animal control system has been relying on catching and killing outdoor cats to control their population. This approach continues to fail, and the number of outdoor cats increases despite the millions of vibrant, healthy outdoor cats who are killed each year. Taxpayer money that funds shelters and animal control agencies is wasted on an endless cycle of trapping and killing. Increasingly, the public agrees that the money spent on killing could and should be reallocated to programs that help animals.
With catch-and-kill policies, cats are removed from an area in the hopes that the population will never bounce back. But removing cats only creates a vacuum in the environment, where new cats move in to take advantage of available resources. The new cats quickly breed and the cat population rebounds, or even grows. Catch-and-kill policies are not only cruel and ineffective, they are the antithesis of the compassionate values of the public, which overwhelmingly supports humane, effective policies and programs for cats.
Through TNR, adult cats, who have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped, are returned to their outdoor homes to live out their lives with their feline families. Many of these cats have dedicated caregivers, who provide food and outdoor shelter with their own time and money.
TNR balances the needs and concerns of community cats and the people among whom they live. The fact is people don’t want cats rounded up and killed. When citizens bring a cat to an animal shelter, they do so believing the cat will be safe and cared for, not terrified in a cage for days only to be killed. What the people want are cat populations stabilized through humane methods that bring cat mating behaviors in check so all can live in harmony.
TNR in conjunction with community cat care best practices is the recipe for happier communities in which cats and people peacefully co-exist. Cats Are Community™, and TNR is the best way to help our feline community members!