PROCEDURE FOR TRAP NEUTER RELEASE PROGRAM
You’ve made the decision – you’re going to get the feral cats in your life fixed! Now what? Often people reach for the first trap they can find, but that’s a mistake. Doing a Trap Neuter Release (TNR) project well requires planning and preparation. Taking the time to think it out will make the process easier for you and the cats, and help you avoid the pitfalls that can happen when you’ve got a feral cat sitting in a trap and aren’t sure what to do next. Here are some basic steps to follow:
- KNOW YOUR STUFF
Check with Beaumont Animal Control regarding the TNR program and how to successfully trap community cats, what materials, and supplies will be needed, and how to line up a veterinarian for after the cat is caught.
- UNDERSTAND THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD
They are called “community cats” for a reason- they don’t usually live in isolation, but are found among us, in alleyways, next to the office parking lot, behind the supermarket, etc. The more informed you are about the neighborhood and how people feel about and act towards the cats, as well as the cats environment, the better the situation you can create for everyone.
- ARRANGE FOR SPAY/NEUTER, TRAPS AND TRANSPORTATION
Once you know how many cats you intend to TNR, consider the need for traps, as well as transportation. Traps can be reserved from Beaumont Animal Control, or you can use your own. Beaumont Animal Control does have a limited supply of traps available for rent to the public. Rental fees are $25.00 for 5 days of trapping. Take into consideration how the animals will be transported – transportation may be necessary to and from the colony site to the holding space, as well as to and from the spay/neuter clinic. Once you are ready to get started, take an approximate count of how many cats you are needing to catch and Beaumont Animal Control will issue one (1) voucher for each cat.
The voucher will be honored only at: The Ramona Animal Clinic at 690 Humane Way San Jacinto, CA 92582. Please call ahead for availability, and to schedule an appointment. They can be reached at (951) 654-3110. Community (feral) cats, can be dropped off first thing in the morning in the trap at the clinic Wednesday through Saturday and should be picked back up the same day. Outdoor cats that are pets can also be issued a voucher for this program.
Now you’re ready for the fun part – trapping! Withhold all food the day before trapping begins so the cats are more likely to head into the trap. Allow at least two days to trap even if you’re after only one or two cats, and three days if you’re after more than a few. This will allow sufficient time to trap in case of bad weather or someone unexpectedly leaves out a bowl of food that morning. On the scheduled day, transport the cats to the clinic, then pick them up and bring them to your holding space for recovery. After they’ve had enough time to recuperate, return them to their territory. If there were a couple of cats you didn’t catch in time for your spay/neuter day, keep trying to catch them for as long as it takes to get to the rest of the colony. The hassle of arranging their surgeries will often be less than the difficulty of trying to trap them later.
The cats should require minimal care and will soon return to their normal routine. Choosing TNR is a safe and humane way to manage the Community Cat population in your neighborhood, which makes for a better quality of life for both the animals and your neighbors.