DIRECTIONS • Compile all critical information (See the Best Friends worksheet/checklist) • Make copies of the Best Friends FAQ document for officials • Delete this slide from your presentation • Personalize this PowerPoint presentation as appropriate • Practice the presentation, keeping in mind any time constraints Community Cats and Trap/Neuter/Return • SPEAKER’S NAME • CREDENTIALS • ORGANIZATION AFFILIATION (if applicable) • CONTACT INFORMATION • Phone • Email 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 Traditional Management Methods Community cats are often unsocial, so they are deemed unadoptable and killed in shelters Community cats produce the majority of kittens entering shelters The sheltering system is illequipped to handle these unsocialized animals 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 Non-Lethal Management Plan Humanely trapped Evaluated by a veterinarian Spayed/neutered Ear-tipped Vaccinated Returned to the habitat where originally trapped Cat Deterrents • Provide non-lethal, proactive strategies • Deter cats away from areas where cats are not wanted (e.g., backyard, garden) Video about cat deterrents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nnOibg6nYc 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 Stabilizes and even reduces the number of cats TNR Successes Jacksonville, Florida: Feral Freedom Jacksonville reported: 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 Feral Fix program (launched in 2008) reported: • 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 (as Reported by Some Organizations) 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 Gives Utah cities the freedom to release cats immediately for TNR Community cats are eligible for release prior to the 5-day hold period Hazards of Feeding Bans They are 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 Criminalizing kindness is bad public policy Problems with Cat Licensing Difficult to enforce May increase shelter admissions because if too costly, people relinquish cats Hard to market for indooronly cats TNR implications: • Cost-prohibitive • Cats are not “owned” Hazards of Pet Limits Limits are arbitrary Negatively impacts responsible pet owners Difficult and costly to enforce Fails to prevent hoarding situations May deter people from fostering animals 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: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/conservation/planning/threats Liability Unsocialized cats tend to avoid people, thus minimizing likelihood of contact Community cats are typically 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 (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 and 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!