Community Cats and Trap/Neuter/Return • SPEAKER’S NAME • CREDENTIALS • ORGANIZATION AFFILIATION (If Applicable) • CONTACT INFORMATION • Phone • E-mail INSERT A PICTURE OF THE SPEAKER HERE Free-Roaming Cat Dynamics Ownership status • Owned • Unowned Lifestyle • Indoor only • Free-roaming outdoor • Free-roaming unowned Socialization status • Friendly • Unsocialized Continuum • Move from one lifestyle to another Community/Free-Roaming Cats Exist in all types of environments May impact: • Public health • Environment • Cat welfare 7% to 26% of U.S. households feed community cats* *American Association of Feline Practitioners Control Methodology Community cats are often deemed unadoptable and killed in shelters Community cats produce the majority of kittens entering shelters Lethal control, used for decades, is the primary method employed Trap and Kill Ineffective Fails to curtail population growth Costly Leads to compassion fatigue: • High employee turnover in shelters • Taints public image Publicly unpalatable Philosophical Shift in Animal Control “The cost for picking up and simply euthanizing and disposing of animals is horrendous, in both the philosophical and the economic sense.” (Mark Kumpf, President, National Animal Control Association, 2010) Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) TNR: A Comprehensive Management Plan Humanely trapped Spayed/neutered Ear-tipped Vaccinated Returned to the original habitat Non-lethal deterrents recommended What? You Return Them? Benefits of TNR Reduces shelter admissions and euthanasia rates Improves public health Provides access to grant funding and volunteer participation Decreases nuisance complaints TNR Successes Jacksonville, Florida: Feral Freedom Net savings: 2007-2010 • $160,000 • 13,000 lives Decrease in feline nuisance complaints 31% decrease in feline shelter admissions: • FY06-07 13,455 • FY09-10 10,302 Jacksonville: Feral Freedom Impact on Feline Live Release Rate LRR (%) w/FF LRR (%) w/o FF 100 Percent of Intake 80 60 40 20 0 JUL 07 JAN 08 JUL 08 JAN 09 JUL 09 JAN 10 JUL 10 Salt Lake City: Feral Fix SLC Feral Fix Program (launched in 2008) • 2008-2010: SLC improved its save rate by 40.4% Result: overall cost savings of more than $65,000 • 2008-2010: Utah save rate only improved 4.7% In 2010, SLC realized a 21.8% decrease in shelter cat intake from 2009 No increase in feline nuisance complaints Other Examples Maricopa County, Arizona: cost per cat • $61 to trap, hold and euthanize • $23 to TNR Indianapolis, Indiana: cost per cat • $130 to trap, hold and euthanize (national average) • $20 to TNR (IndyFeral) Utah Community Cat Act §11-46-303 The Community Cat Act gives cities the freedom to release cats immediately for TNR Hazards of Feeding Bans • Impossible to enforce • Starving cats continue to breed • Desperate cats move closer to homes • Malnourished cats are more susceptible to illness and parasites • Other food sources are available Problems with Cat Licensing Difficult to enforce May increase shelter admissions: • If too costly, people relinquish cats Hard to market for indoor-only cats TNR implications: • Cost-prohibitive • Cats are not “owned” Hazards of Pet Limits • Negatively impacts responsible pet owners • Difficult and costly to enforce • Fails to prevent hoarding situations • Limits are arbitrary Cats Are Not the Primary Threat to Birds “By far the largest threat to birds is loss and/or degradation of habitat” • Human development • Agriculture Chemical toxins Direct exploitation: • Hunting • Capturing birds for pets Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Threats to Native Birds www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/conservation/planning/threats Liability Unsocialized cats tend to avoid people, thus minimizing likelihood of contact Community cats are vaccinated against rabies Liability results from negligence A municipality’s involvement in TNR for the purpose of reducing free-roaming cat populations, protecting public health (through mandatory rabies vaccinations), and resolving nuisance complaints is NOT negligence Advantages of Adopting a TNR Ordinance Promotes community involvement Establishes reasonable standards Defines duties Encourages caregiver cooperation Gains caregiver trust Effective Public Policy Must consider the human dimension No solution works in every area Need creative, integrated programs Must be cost-effective TNR (for maximum effect) • Caregiver trust/cooperation • Adoption Existing Resources in (insert name of city/town/or county) Compile a list of all resources available to support TNR of free-roaming cats: • • • • • Funding Existing programs Volunteers Cooperative agreements Etc. Ask them for what you want • Be clear and concise • Do you want: Money? If so, how much? Bans lifted? TNR ordinance adopted? Thank you!