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Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program

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Arlington Animal Services is working with community partners to help manage the feral cat population in the City of Arlington through a community Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. A substantial number of cities and counties across the United States promote TNR as a method of animal control for feral cats. The objective of this program is to humanely trap, spay or neuter, vaccinate, ear tip (for identification purposes) and return each feral cat to its original habitat or colony in its designated area.

Implementation of the TNR program will help reduce the number of feral cats subject to the perils of starvation, contraction of rabies, and accidental deaths from motorists to name a few. Studies indicate that the current method of humanely catching and euthanizing feral cats is ineffective and costly. TNR stops the breeding cycle of feral cats and gradually, over time, eliminates what is known as the “vacuum effect”: in basic terms, whenever feral cats are removed from an area, new feral cats move in to take advantage of the new available resources (like food and shelter). Additionally, property nuisance issues such as noise from screaming cats, scratched/damaged vehicles, odors stemming from feral cats marking their territories, and disrupted trash disposal will eventually be reduced as their population begins to decline.

Sponsoring organizations and individuals approved as colony caretakers with the sponsoring organizations have agreed to act to minimize feral cat numbers and nuisances.

This program was approved and recommended by the Animal Services Center Advisory Board for consideration by the Mayor and City Council, and approved by Resolution on August 20, 2013. A host of major animal welfare organizations also approve of this program. Arlington Animal Services would like to express special appreciation to PetSmart Charities for a grant award and a donation from Best Friends Animal Society dedicated to this program to help build a more thriving community. For more information, contact Dianne Tawater at 817-459-6190.