TNR is a research-based program supported by many local and national humane organizations coast to coast and is the most effective approach for reducing cat population.
In May, 2015, the Virginia Office of the Attorney General clarified their 2013 opinion on Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), emphasizing that private organizations are allowed to engage in TNR under state law.
Why are the cats here?
Community cats are the offspring of abandoned and free-roaming pet cats that were never spayed or neutered. They live quite independently in an outdoor environment, forming colonies around sources of food, water and shelter.
What should be done?
Through TNR programs, community cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, given a rabies vaccination, given a FVRCP vaccination, tested for FeLV/FIV and ear-tipped. While recovering, we evaluate each cat's personality. Are they a stray cat who has somehow lost its home or are they unsociable? Adoptable cats should be brought into our foster program to find them a furr-ever home. Nonsocial cats are returned to their territory where caretakers provide them with regular food, water, and shelter.
What’s an “ear tip?”
Ear-tipping is a method of identifying cats that have already been spayed/neutered and vaccinated. When the cat is under anesthesia for the spay/neuter surgery, the tip of the left ear is surgically clipped. This doesn’t hurt the cat or affect his hearing, and makes it possible to visually identify which cats in a colony have already been trapped, neutered and returned.
Why not remove the cats?
Because some community cats were never socialized to people, they are not adoptable. In addition, removing the cats from the property creates a “vacuum effect.” The existing conditions – food, water and shelter – that allow the existing colony to survive in the area draw new cats. TNR is not only the compassionate, humane choice but the only effective option as sterilization ends the reproductive cycle that grows the colony. Other nuisance behaviors, such as yowling during mating, fighting and territorial spraying, are diminished or eliminated once the cats are sterilized. Vaccination for rabies prevents the threat of disease, keeping the cats healthy and the community safe.