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T (TRAP) N (NEUTER) R (RETURN)

What is TNR?tnr

Trap, Neuter, Return is a nationally recognized program to humanely and proactively manage the health and population of feral or stray cats in a community. TNR reduces or stops the repeated cycle of litters of kittens born, improves the health and behavior of community cats and provides a resource to neighborhoods experiencing a large cat population.

How Does TNR Work?

T (Trap) - Volunteers place humane live traps on properties over a designated weekend. The traps are baited with cat food and are checked frequently. When cats are caught in the live traps, they are transported to the Shelby County Animal Shelter. Cats remain at the shelter until Monday morning. Volunteers then return to the property and re-set the traps.

N (Neuter) - On Monday, the NOMAD mobile vet clinic comes to Shelby County. Cats are spayed or neutered, given a rabies shot and a general health check and are ear tipped.

R (Return) - Once recovered from their surgery, the cats are transported by volunteers and animal shelter staff back to their original neighborhoods.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I see a lot of cats in an alley by my house. Can you trap there? TNR can only be conducted in neighborhoods where program volunteers have permission from a homeowner to place traps on the property. For the safety of the animals and volunteers, trapping cannot take place in alleys or other general public areas.

Why do the cats have to come back? Why can’t they go to a farm or to the shelter? There are simply not enough homes, farms or cages for the homeless cat population in Shelby County. Feral cats are highly unlikely to adjust to indoor living and prefer their outdoor communities. TNR provides a safe, humane and proactive method to slow or stop the population growth as well as make community cats better neighbors. Spaying and neutering reduce problematic behaviors such as fighting and spraying and improves the health of cats.

Why is the cat's ear tipped? Ear tipping is a universal symbol that a cat has been through a TNR program. Repeated trapping and transporting of already spayed or neutered feral cats is very stressful for the cat and reduce the time volunteers can focus on other populations. While the cat is anesthetized for their surgery, a small portion of the left ear is removed. It is painless for the cat and allows volunteers to easily identify cats that have already been through the program.

What can I do to help?

tnrSpaying and neutering your own cats is the most important step you can take to help the cat population in Shelby County. If you have a neighbor, friend or family member with a cat overpopulation problem, talk with them about TNR and contact the Shelby County Animal Shelter for help and support.  If you see a large number of cats in your neighborhood, volunteer to have traps placed on your property. You can also volunteer to be a caretaker for cats in your neighborhood. TNR is most successful when colonies of cats who go through the TNR program have caretakers who watch over the group, provide food and notify the shelter of any new cats in the area so they can also be spayed/neutered.

For more information on TNR, please visit:

https://www.alleycat.org/our-work/trap-neuter-return/

https://bestfriends.org/our-work/best-friends-advocacy/protecting-community-cats    

Shelby County Animal Shelter
1100 Clem Road
Sidney, OH 45365
Phone 937-498-7201
Deputy Kelli Ward—Dog Warden
Amy Simindinger—Community Cat Coordinator

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