TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN (TNR) PROGRAM

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What ARE COMMUNITY CATS?

In Orange Beach we have over 50 community cat colonies. On average, there are about 5-25 cats per colony.

“Community cats” are typically un-owned or semi-owned cats, comprised of both strays
(lost and abandoned former pets who may be suitable for home environments) and ferals (extremely fearful of people and not welcoming of human attention, making them unsuitable for home environments), who are the offspring of other feral or stray cats. Some community cats can be considered loosely owned, meaning that concerned residents feed them and may provide some form of shelter in their own homes or on their own property, but do not always identify the cats as their own personal pets. 

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The Benefits of a Community, Animal Control, and Shelter supported TNR Program.

Benefits of an Organizational Trap-Neuter-Return Program 

Through Trap-Neuter-Return, cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Stray cats (cats socialized to humans) and kittens are adopted into homes, and healthy adult feral cats are returned to their outdoor homes, where their lives are greatly improved without the strains of mating behaviors and pregnancy. Another important component of a Trap-Neuter-Return program includes outreach—promoting organizational services and educating the public about humane methods of cat care.

For an organizational program, it is important to understand that Trap-Neuter-Return involves straightforward steps that result in significant, measurable, and positive outcomes for the cats, the community, and your organization.

Organizations realize positive benefits after implementing Trap-Neuter-Return, including:

  • Improving the cats’ lives;

  • Stabilizing colonies—reproduction stops and litters are not born;

  • An immediate reduction in calls from neighbors about behaviors associated with mating, including spraying, caterwauling, fighting, roaming, and breeding;

  • Resources previously spent on ineffective removal and/or lethal services are spent on non-lethal, life-saving, positive, publicly-supported initiatives such as subsidized neuter services, adoption, and outreach programs; and

  • Positive public reaction, fundraising platforms and partnership opportunities, media exposure, and support from staff, volunteers, other like-minded organizations, and the community at large.

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What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats. Now in practice for decades in the US after being proven in Europe, scientific studies show that Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.

Trap-Neuter-Return is successfully practiced in hundreds of communities and in every landscape and setting. It is exactly what it sounds like: Cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are returned to their home—their colony—outdoors. Kittens and cats who are friendly and socialized to people may be adopted into homes.