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Trap, Neuter, Return

Trap, Neuter, Return

 

Methodology

 Trap/neuter/return, or TNR, was an idea that formally gained ground in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. It is now practiced in several countries, and in almost all the states in the United States. Shelters in areas that have successful TNR efforts report far fewer cat intakes (and, as a result, lower euthanasia rates) than they had before TNR was implemented. In Indiana, TNR programs have already been implemented in many cities and towns, including Indianapolis, Bloomington, Speedway, Hamilton, and Terra Haute, and a similar program is running in Elkhart (Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition). Cities across the United States are on board with TNR, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Omaha, New York, Baltimore, San Diego, Miami Beach, Washington DC, and Salt Lake City, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TNR is also sometimes called TTVAR-M, or trap/test/vaccinate/alter/return/maintain, or just TNRM (trap/neuter/return/maintain). The Michiana Feral Cat Initiative practices a trap/vaccinate/alter/return/maintain method – or a TVARM, just to confuse things! In our program, cats are humanely trapped and spayed/neutered by a licensed veterinarian. By sterilizing these cats, we reduce the overall population of free-roaming cats. In the same visit, the cats are also vaccinated against rabies, eartipped (for identification), and given a dose of medicine that helps kills fleas, mites and worms. The cats are held overnight, either by colony caretakers or by our organization, for observation, and then returned to the area they came from. The colonies are then managed or maintained by a colony caretaker, who feeds and waters the cats, provides shelter as needed, and keeps track of any veterinary care the cats might need.

 

Success Rates

  Though TNR is still controversial among some groups, the vast majority of animal welfare agencies recognize its successes and endorse TNR as an effective way to address the free-roaming cat overpopulation crisis. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; the Humane Society of the United States; and the National Animal Control Association, among others all laud TNR groups for their achievements, and support the practice of TNR. TNR groups around the country have seen their shelter intake rates and euthanasia rates drop as a result of their work. In San Diego, Feral Cat Coalition San Diego was able to reduce the San Diego Department of Animal Control’s euthanasia rate by 45% when they implemented an aggressive TNR program in their city. Other cities and towns across the US have seen similar success.

 

     

Surgery

The surgery is done in the morning, and the cats are ready to go by the afternoon. The surgery is always completed by a licensed veterinarian. For females, the incision site is dyed blue – so that if the cat is ever trapped again, and the vet cannot tell by the eartip that she’s already been spayed, there’s another indication of it before the vet has to needlessly open her up for another surgery. The cats are put under anesthesia, and given pain shots after the surgery to help ease any discomfort. Additionally, the cats are eartipped. This is a practice, also done by a licensed veterinarian or their staff, where a tiny portion of the left ear is snipped off while the cat is under anesthesia. This allows the colony caretaker, animal control, and other vets to immediately recognize that this cat is part of a colony, is being cared for, and has already been sterilized – so you can avoid retrapping and adding needless stress to the cat.