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Bryan Kortis, Executive Director 212-662-5761 Trap-Neuter-Return: Colony & Community Solutions.

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Presentation on theme: "Bryan Kortis, Executive Director 212-662-5761 Trap-Neuter-Return: Colony & Community Solutions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bryan Kortis, Executive Director Trap-Neuter-Return: Colony & Community Solutions

2 Today’s topics: 1.Effective advocacy – persuading officials to try TNR 2.Effective implementation of TNR on the colony level - Mass Trapping 3.Effective implementation of TNR on the community level - essential elements of a program

3 What is “TNR”? Feral cat population control method involving: 1. Trapping members of feral colony 2.Neutering (and rabies vaccination & eartipping) 3. Return of ferals to original site 4. Long-term caretaking/monitoring

4 Effective advocacy requires: (a) presenting TNR as primarily an animal control issue (not a humane one) (b) being able to explain persuasively why TNR works while other methods fail (c) establishing that the community has a feral cat overpopulation problem

5 Popular failed alternatives: 1.Trap and remove (whether to euthanize, relocate or rescue) 2.Feeding bans 3.Do nothing

6 Trap and remove fails because: Habitat remains unchanged (food, shelter) Surrounding colonies and/or newly abandoned cats move in (“vacuum effect”) Untrapped cats in the colony overbreed Insufficient animal control resources Caretaker resistance

7 Feeding bans fail because: Bans are almost always unenforceable Cats remain in the territory Cats still reproduce even if deprived of food Sick cats lead to parasitic infestations & disease

8 Doing nothing fails because: Habitat continues to support population Population control becomes “natural”: disease, fighting, traffic, etc. Nuisance behavior continues unabated

9 TNR is effective because: 1.Takes habitat into account (not creating vacuums) 2.Eliminates reproductive capacity, leading to gradual attrition 3.Gains caretaker cooperation 4.Attracts volunteers & resources (life affirming) 5.Provides long-term monitoring system

10 Building the case for a new approach: 1.Local shelter intake and euthanasia rates (and $$ spent), 2.Complaint calls 3.Anecdotal evidence – letters, petitions, speakers at town meetings 4.Reasonable estimate of numbers 5.Use the Neighborhood Cats “Sample TNR Policy Presentation” – free download at: (scroll down page)

11 Mass Trapping: effectively using TNR on the colony level What is it? The TNR of an entire feral cat colony at once. Why use it? Immediate population control Rapid reduction of nuisance behavior More efficient and easier than “one at a time”

12 Mass Trapping: Preparatory Steps 1.Establish a feeding pattern & count the cats 2.Secure a holding space if necessary (5-6 days) 3.Schedule spay/neuter 4.Secure needed equipment, volunteers & transportation 5.Arrange emergency vet care (if possible)

13 Mass Trapping: Catching the Cats 1.Withhold food the entire day before (unless severe weather, then for 24 hrs.) 2.Leave at least two days for trapping 3.Prepare all the traps at once 4.Use more than one kind of bait

14 Catching the Cats (cont’d) 5.Tape cardboard on the trip plates (right) 6.Tuck sheets under handles 7.Place all traps out at once 8.Cover and remove trapped cat only if upset 9.Replace trap that worked – “hot spots” 10. Log by trap #, description and colony

15 Mass Trapping: Caring for Trapped Cats Holding Space Warm, dry & secure Line floor & tables with plastic Keep cats covered Feeding & Cleaning Use trap dividers aka “isolators (Tru-catch model TD-2 ) Line floor with newspaper Do one end, then the other (must have traps with rear doors) Twice a day

16 Mass Trapping – the Release 48 hours recovery time recommended 24 acceptable for males, 72 for females Lactating females can still nurse post-spay

17 Mass Trapping - Resources 1.“How to Perform a Mass Trapping” – 32 minute VHS video produced by Neighborhood Cats 2.“The Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook: A Guide to Trap-Neuter-Return for the Feral Cat Caretaker” – 109 page manual Available as a set for $24.95: 3.ASPCA’s Imagine Humane: Innovation Bank – complete description of Neighborhood Cats’ mass trapping program Go to then do a search for “Imagine Humane Neighborhood Cats”www.aspca.org

18 Community TNR Program – Essential Elements Administrative TNR group or organization, preferably 501(c)(3) Program Coordinator Municipal approval or at least “benign indifference” Funding (can be caretaker-financed to start)

19 Funding model – Long Beach, NY 1. Caretaker pays veterinary costs - $50 per cat 2. Caretaker takes a training workshop and leads the trapping - $25 per cat 3. Caretaker reports colony and helps only re: feeding & info – no cost (if and when funding is available) Priority given to caretaker-financed projects

20 Community TNR Program – Essential Elements Field Work Low cost spay/neuter Traps and dividers Trappers (which may require workshops) Program Coordinator - authorizes projects, communicates with caretaker - arranges/authorizes vet appointments - arranges trappers, volunteers, holding space, transportation

21 Community TNR Program – Essential Elements Caretaker Incentives Protection of cats from seizure / return of eartipped cats Food drives Highly Recommended Colony registration database (but only if managed by the 501(c)(3) and locations and names are guaranteed confidentiality) Follow “70% Rule” (preferably “90%”!)

22 Community TNR Program – Resources “The Nuts & Bolts of a Community-wide TNR Program” – transcribed lecture by Bryan Kortis, Neighborhood Cats “Sample Training Workshop Outline” Both can be downloaded for no cost at

23 National Feral Cat Summit Saturday, October 15, 2005 Philadelphia, PA (Wyndham Hotel) Registration = $40 For complete program and registration info, please go to:


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