What is TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release), and why does it work? Here’s how TNR works:
A feral cat colony is identified.
The cats are trapped humanely.
The cats are transported to a clinic for their spay/neuter surgery and rabies vaccination (at minimum).
The cats have their left ear “tipped” for future identification.
The cats are returned to their colony within 24 – 48 hours.
Volunteers feed and care for the cat colony on a daily basis.
TNR stabilizes the colony size by eliminating new litters. It also reduces the nuisance behavior associated with unsterilized cats. TNR’s most measurable effect is that fewer cats/kittens flow through animal shelters, resulting in lower euthanasia rates and increased adoptions of shelter cats. For more information on TNR please visit www.alleycat.org or The Neighboorbood Cats TNR Handbook
HSSWMO Feral Cat Policies Our mission is to provide affordable, high-quality spay and neuter surgery to help reduce the amount of unwanted pets that end up euthanized in municipal shelters. We are committed to working with groups and individuals working on trap-neuter-release (TNR) and hope that our flexibility and pricing will allow you to help more cats in your community. What is a Feral Cat? A feral cat is one that lives outside and is not socialized to humans. Feral cats can have the same lifespan, and the incidence of disease is just as low, as companion cats. Feral cats can live long, healthy lives, content in their outdoor home. Feral cats typically live in colonies where they have access to food and shelter. An unmanaged colony can become a problem, with rampant breeding, and the onset of problem mating behaviors (fighting, yowling, etc.). However, feral cats should not be taken to the animal shelter, as they are not adoptable and can only be euthanized. Catching and killing the cats does not work - when cats are removed from an area, survivors breed to capacity or new cats move in (this is known as the “vacuum effect,” and is well-documented). Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective method available to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis faced by this country. This method has been endorsed by national animal welfare groups, as well as many animal control departments, as the best option for feral cats and the communities they inhabit.
Humane Society of Southwest Missouri Community/Feral Cat Program **Please notify the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri 24-48 hours before you plan to trap any feral cats to secure an appointment for the surgery.
Feral cat surgeries are available on Monday through Thursday only.
For the sake of their health all kittens must be 2 pounds before they can be altered. It is sometimes difficult to tell if they are of weight just by looking at them. If you trap kittens and they are declined for surgery due to being underweight there will be a $10 fee charged per kitten that is declined. Please understand that we cannot weigh kittens until they are anesthetized and must be cover of cost associated with that procedure.
One or two feral cats do not need an appointment; however, 3 or more on any given day do require an appointment. If you are planning a “trapping Blitz” (a large number of traps being set at one time), please contact the HSSWMO a week in advance so that we can adjust our schedule and plan for greater than typical number of surgeries on the anticipated day.
Individuals (non-rescue groups) are required to leave a deposit of $50 (cash or check) at the time of drop-off. This deposit is in place to ensure pick-up. The deposit is entirely refundable at the time of pick-up.
Feral Cats must be checked in by 8:15 am and must be picked up the same day by 5 pm. We assess late fees for late pick-up.
All feral cats must come to the clinic a in a secure, live-release trap. No exceptions. This is for the well-being of the cats and the safety of our staff. If they are tame enough to be put in a carrier they will not be considered feral, and a regular surgical appointment must be scheduled. If the cat is found to be tame upon intake a regular surgical fee will apply. Please totally cover the trap with a large towel or sheet upon capture and keep trap covered until drop-off for surgery. Please do not put bedding, towels, metal plates or cans inside the trap.
Feral cats must be fasted by the trapper – no food after 7 am the day of surgery. If there is a food bowl in the trap with the cat, please just turn it over.
Any cat that arrives in a live-release trap will not receive a physical exam to determine fitness for anesthesia prior to receiving anesthesia.
We do not recommend combo tests on feral cats. Alley Cat Allies does not support testing feral cats for FeLv or FIV. Considering the cost of the test in conjunction with the low rates of disease (1-2% of the feral populations according to ACA). Low likelihood of transmission between adult cats, poor viability of the virus, the fact that we will not euthanize an asymptomatic positive cat, we believe the funds are more effectively invested in providing spay/neuter services. For further questions we encourage you to visit www.alleycat.org.
However, should you request a combo test on a feral cat the fee for that test is $20. Should the cat test positive and you wish it to be euthanized that service should be performed by your veterinarian and will not done at the HSSWMO.
All feral cats will receive an ear tip. The only exception will be feral kittens under 12 weeks of age brought in by a 501(c)3 agency that intends to socialize them and adopt them out.