Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) is a humane way to address community feral cat populations. Since we can’t adopt them all, this approach allows us to catch feral cats, spay/neuter/vaccinate them and return them to their community.
When we were first introduced to TNR (trap, neuter, release), we were very naive. I mean, how are all the stray or feral cats and kittens not adopted the moment they’re scooped up? The unfortunate reality is so sad… and the reason that TNR is such important work.
Statistics show that over 70% of cats in shelters are euthanized. And worse than this, 80% of these euthanized cats are healthy and adoptable. This means that perfectly healthy cats are being killed every day. Why? Because of overpopulation. Shelters don’t have enough space to home and feed all of the feral cats out there.
Once we learned this reality we started volunteering for our local TNR program. We were part of the release volunteers, so we would pick up the kitties from the shelter after their procedures and bring them back to the exact location where they were picked up.
It was heartbreaking sometimes to release a kitty back into a huge cat colony in a junk yard or a place with heavy traffic nearby. But we continued to help when we could because we knew these cats at least had a better chance at life in these sometimes questionable places – than they did within the walls of our local shelter.
How to help support TNR
Now there are TNR programs across the country, affecting almost every community. If you have time or supplies you can give to help reduce the rate of euthanized cats, contact your local shelter or animal control and ask about TNR.
If you don’t have TNR set up in your community, get a group together or start your own TNR program! Click here to read how to start a TNR initiative.