The Sterling Heights Police Department recently began implementing an innovative Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) program to reduce feral cat populations thanks to the approval of a $5,000 grant.
Through the TNR program, the Sterling Heights Animal Control provides inquiring residents a trap and a voucher. Once the feral cat is trapped, the resident can transport them to All About Animals veterinary clinic where the voucher can be redeemed as payment to have the cat neutered or spayed and vaccinated. The resident can then transport the trap back to where the cat was originally secured for release.
“This program offers a more efficient and humane way for our animal control officers to work in partnership with our residents to prevent an increase in the feral cat population in our community,” said Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski. “This TNR process is practiced in hundreds of communities in all different types of settings, and in many cases, kittens and cats who are friendly and socialized may even be adopted into loving homes. In the past, many of these cats would end up being euthanized in shelters. This program helps prevent that.”
Feral cats are unowned domestic cats that live outdoors and avoid human contact. They often live within groups of cats that remain in the general vicinity of others. One unaltered female cat can have up to 20 kittens per year. Within seven years, one pair of cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 kittens. In the United States, only roughly three percent of outdoor cats are currently spayed or neutered.
TNR helps decrease the feral cat population and is endorsed by Best Friends Animal Society and the Humane Society of the United States.