T.N.R. stands for trap-neuter-return. It is a procedure where an animal is caught in a live trap, taken to a vet for sedation and sterilization, and then released back to where it came from. It is an animal rescue strategy that humanely solves the problem of feral cats breeding and perpetuating the cycle of miserable, hungry, short lives in the wild. Feral cats that have been TNR’d get to live out the rest of their lives without the hormonal issues of fighting, spraying, and roaming, without struggling to raise sickly, hungry kittens, and most importantly without making more of themselves. The idea is that TNR stabilizes the size of the colony, and then attrition naturally reduces its size over the years until all of the cats have passed away.
No feral cat asked to be a feral cat; they exist because of a mistake a human made in not getting a pet spayed or neutered and then either losing it, abandoning it, or letting it outdoors where it started a feral colony. It would be unethical to have a feral cat pay with its life for a human’s mistake. TNR is an ethical solution to the problem of multiplying feral cats.
All feral cats put through our TNR Program are spayed or neutered, tattooed, and vaccinated at our expense. There is no cost to the member of the public who receives this service for his/her feral cat(s). If a cat shows signs of parasites (i.e. fleas, lice, ear mites, worms), then it is treated for that, too. If illness or injury is discovered by the vet, then we have that treated, unless the ailment cannot be treated, or the cat cannot have quality of life, or the cost of treatment is beyond our means, in which case we would have the cat euthanized.
Our TNR Program is for adult feral cats. Our Foster Care Program is for feral kittens who are 8 weeks old or younger. We do not TNR these young kittens and put them back out to feral life, nor do we give them to the property owner to keep as a pet.
The first step for a person to utilize our TNR program is to agree to our TNR standards, which are:
1) the cats will be returned to the property after they have been sterilized and vaccinated;
2) the cats must have fresh water and a daily meal of cat food from the property owner forever;
3) in the event of a cat becoming seriously ill or injured, CCR will be notified so that the cat can be re-trapped and taken to a vet; and
4) all cats on the property will be sterilized, not merely some of them.
The second step is for the person to watch the following playlist of videos to learn how to TNR the cats. This playlist is mandatory viewing so that things are done properly:
If the person wants additional guidance, she can watch this playlist too:
The third step is for the person to agree to our equipment standards, which are:
1) the equipment will be returned to us after having been bleached and rinsed;
2) while loaned out, the equipment will be kept in a secure place that is also dry so that the metal won’t rust; and
3) no harm will come to any animal trapped in our equipment, whether it was caught intentionally or not. (For example, even if the person does not like raccoons, if she catches one in our trap, she must simply let it go free.)
Once the person confirms to us that she agrees to our TNR standards, that she has watched the videos in the “TNR Essential Instructions” playlist and will follow the procedure in it, and that she agrees to our equipment standards, then we will loan her trapping equipment and authorize her with our vets to make appointments for her feral cats.
The person phones the vet and books her spay appointment(s) according to the vet’s availability and her own availability.
The person carries out TNR.
The person completes a simple form that we will give her called a TNR List, which documents the cats, and, upon completion of the project, gives us a copy of it for our records.
Importantly, when the person brings a feral cat to the vet for sterilization, she must tell the vet her name, address, and phone number so that these details can be linked to the new tattoo number that will be given to the cat. This linkage will save us from doing a lot of detective work if the cat is ever picked up again later on.
Sometimes there is a desire for TNR to happen for a feral cat but the ability to trap is an issue because:
1) the cat lives at a property where the owner is infirm elderly or disabled and is not physically capable of carrying out TNR, and there are no able-bodied people in the household, or
2) the cat lives at a property where there is no property owner present, such as at a construction site.
In the above circumstances, what we can offer is this: we can add the person’s name to our trapping agenda as being in need of a volunteer trapper. The trapping agenda is a never-ending list. We have only a couple of volunteer trappers. We can make no promise that assistance will come in a timely manner. There is no timeline for anyone on the trapping agenda to have her cats trapped, and higher priority trapping jobs may very well jump above her to the top of the agenda. The wait could be many months, and when trapping season ends there are always untouched locations still on the agenda. And, of course, during the wait, the feral cats will still be multiplying. Our volunteer trappers are always extremely busy working on the trapping agenda, but nevertheless, the wait can be lengthy. This is the best we can do given our very limited human resources.
If you have read all of the information above and agree with our requirements, and you would like to utilize our TNR Program to get your feral cat(s) spayed or neutered at no cost to you, and any kittens under 8 weeks old put into our foster care program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your situation. We specifically need to know right away how many feral cats you have, if any of them look pregnant, and if you have kittens under 8 weeks old on the property. Trapping kittens is a very urgent matter so that they can be placed in foster care and socialization can quickly begin. Trapping heavily pregnant cats is also a very urgent matter so that we can place them in foster care where they will have and raise their kittens in a clean, warm, secure environment.