Programs for Municipalities
the best way to deal with them is Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR).
You do not need to be a “cat-lover” to support TNVR.
You simply need to share the goal of fewer cats on our streets.
More and more municipalities are seeking humane and effective strategies to manage feral and free-roaming street cats in their communities. Feral Cat FOCUS encourages and assists with the implementation of TNVR programs to effectively manage feral and free-roaming cat numbers.
Feral cat management is a complex and emotional issue and Feral Cat FOCUS is here to help. We offer presentations on the many benefits of instituting a TNVR program. We provide Western New York municipalities, as well as business and residential complexes, with the information and tools needed to establish an effective TNVR policy and program.
WHY TNVR WORKS
TNVR is the internationally accepted, effective and humane method of controlling feral and free-roaming cat populations. TNVR has been practiced for decades in the U.S. and is successfully practiced in hundreds of communities and in every landscape and setting. TNVR offers a long-term solution. It humanely stabilizes and reduces the population, improves the cats’ lives, saves taxpayer dollars, address neighbors’ concerns, and helps the entire community reach a solution that benefits everyone.
OTHER METHODS FOR ERADICATION DON’T WORK
People assume that the quick solution of removing feral cats will make everything better. Trying to simply remove feral cats from their territory – whether to trap and kill, euthanize, feeding bans, rescue, relocation to another site or place in a sanctuary – does not end up lowering the number of feral cats. New cats replace the old ones and nothing much changes in terms of overpopulation and nuisance behavior. There is something about the location that brought the original cats there that will keep bringing more cats to the location, whether it is shelter or food source. This pattern is termed the vacuum effect. Trying to rescue all of the feral and free-roaming cats and find them homes is impossible given their numbers and limited socialization.
TNVR MUST BE A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
Collaboration is especially important when TNVR is practiced on a communitywide scale. Members of the local animal welfare community, veterinarians, and colony caregivers, must work together to perform the actual trapping and surgeries. The municipality — including animal control officers, public health officials, and elected officials need to be partners in the effort. Community residents should be educated and consulted so they do not resist or resent the process.
HOW TNVR WILL BENEFIT YOUR TOWN
The fact is that feral and free-roaming cats are out there. TNVR means they are not reproducing (spayed or neutered), are disease-free (vaccinated), are fed and cared for by a caregiver, and cause less problems for the municipality. TNVR is the humane and effective way to control feral/free roaming “community cats”.
- Feral and Stray Cat Population Reduction for the Community as a Whole. Current theory holds that when 70% of the homeless cats in a given geographical area are neutered, births equal attrition and the population stabilizes. Above 70%, the population starts to decline with the rate of decrease growing increasingly faster as 100% altered cats are approached.
- Lower Euthanasia Rates. Fewer free roaming cats in the community as a result of TNVR lower euthanasia rates at local shelters in two ways. First, fewer unadoptable feral/free roaming cats are brought in and immediately euthanized, because they are unadoptable. Second, fewer feral kittens are brought in and adopted out, freeing up shelter space and homes for cats who otherwise would have been euthanized for lack of homes and space in shelters.
- Fewer Complaints to Animal Control. A declining feral cat population achieved through TNVR means less nuisance behavior in the community at large (yowling, fighting, unaltered males spraying, marks on cars, feces) which equals; fewer complaints.
- Mobilization of Volunteer Work Force. Because TNVR is life affirming, it attracts large numbers of volunteers unlike efforts to trap and kill feral cats. The ability to mobilize volunteers is essential in order to put an end to feral and free-roaming cat overpopulation.
- Cost Savings. Lower euthanasia rates at local shelters, fewer complaint calls for animal control and the use of a large volunteer work force all save money for municipalities which means taxpayer dollars.
- Gaining Caregiver Cooperation. Caregivers know the cats’ numbers, whereabouts and habits, and they can withhold food and facilitate the trapping. Their cooperation is crucial for a successful attempt at feral cat population control. TNVR gains their assistance because these cats will not be harmed, whereas attempts to trap and euthanize provoke caretaker resistance and lack of trust.
- Improved Public Relations for Animal Control and Shelters. When animal control and shelters support TNVR instead of trying to round up and kill the cats, their public image improves. This can lead to more volunteers, more people coming to municipal shelters to adopt cats and improved fundraising.