TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return – some people call it Trap and Release) is becoming more and more popular these days… especially for those of us cat activists. Jackson Galaxy is a huge supporter of #TNR and we have recently partnered with a nonprofit organization called Best Friends Animal Society to volunteer our efforts for this cause here in our home town.
What it is TNR?
When a stray or suspected feral cat is brought into a local shelter, they take in the kitty, spay or neuter it (sometimes vaccinate too) and then release the cat back to where they originally found them.
I know. When I first heard of this it startled me too.
“Release the cats back into the community?? Why not try and find them a nice warm, loving home?”
My thoughts exactly. In fact, when I first heard this I did some mental math to see how many more cats we could take home… However, in the real world it just isn’t all rainbows and unicorns like we’d hope. There are so many feral cats in our communities that our local shelters are over-run … they just do not have the capability or capacity to house them all – let alone the resources to adopt them all out. This sad fact often leads to a fatal last resort – Euthanasia.
With no home, no room to stay at the shelter and no one to take them back to their ‘community’, these cats simply have no chance. While TNR may seem (on its face) a cold or even callous practice, it is quite simply – in all reality – a second chance at life for these feral, stray or abandoned cats.
What is a feral cat?
A feral cat is an offspring of a stray or abandoned cat. They have never been domesticated and are considered ‘wild” – unfamiliar with human contact. When cats are left out in the wild they will find each other, make a little love, and create more cats. This cycle continues until the kitty population is so enormous that it can no longer be tamed… but can it be controlled without killing?
When you look up TNR you will find many reasons why people support it but, the main reason that Adrienne and I support TNR in our community – and volunteer whenever they need us – is because of the amount of cat lives it saves. We are proud to volunteer with Best Friends Animal Society as they work with the largest kill-shelter in Las Vegas to help teach them how to reduce their euthanasia rates… and ultimately, it is our hope that they will one day – very soon – become a no-kill shelter. With the efforts of volunteers who support TNR over euthanasia, this shelter has already reduced its kill rate by 15% in the first month. Awesome news.
We encourage you to check out TNR programs in your area and see how you might also be able to help save the lives of feral or stray cats. I won’t lie – it can be a difficult task – it’s tough to say goodbye to these sweet little babes, even if only after a short car ride – but it is totally worth the effort – we promise!