TRAP NEUTER RELEASE PROGRAM
The Trap Neuter Release program, also known as TNR for short, is a method used in controlling feral cat population.
Many communities see TNR as a way out of their overcrowded shelters and the increasing number of calls to animal control about stray and feral cats. Stopping the birth of cats on the streets through TNR means lower intake rates for stray cats into the shelters, less competition for homes for healthy, adoptable cats already in the system, and reduces the numbers of euthanasia’s for all cats. A TNR cat can be identified by the ear tipping that is done during their neuter procedure. The very tip of their left ear is removed in order to identify that it has been altered and vaccinated. The Trap Neuter Release Program is one of the no-kill movement’s most powerful tools.
But opposition to TNR does exist. Ecologists and wildlife advocates want domestic cats out of native environments, because of their destruction to native wildlife. Domestic cats are prolific hunters of birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and other creatures. Even well-fed cats in TNR colonies still hunt; this instinct is separate from the urge to eat. It is said that these animals are not indigenous to the area and this is a man-made problem; therefore man has a responsibility to solve it and that re-abandoning these animals is not the answer.
Free-roaming cats are subject to many outdoor hazards. They may be hit by a car, attacked by other animals; they can contract fatal feline diseases from other free-roaming cats and succumb to harsh weather conditions.
There also seems to be a double standard of owned vs. free roaming cats.
For the most part the TNR program sounds like a good start but I feel that there are environmental concerns with this program that needs to be addressed. Although everyone involved with the Trap Neuter Release program demand respect for their accomplishments, they also need to understand that many people feel strongly about their accomplishments with wildlife preservation which deserves the respect as well.