What is the Trap-Neuter-Return Program?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) decreases stray and feral cat populations without harming cats. Accomplished through a partnership between feral cat colony sponsors and caretakers and the city, TNR involves (1) trapping all or most of the cats in a colony, (2) getting them sterilized and (3) releasing them. Cats returned to the wild are tagged on the ear to identify them as sterilized.
TNR is supported by numerous cities and counties as the only proven way to effectively control feral cat population growth. (Feral cats are born or raised in the wild, or have been lost or abandoned and reverted to wild behavior. They exist in large numbers and roam free throughout urban areas. In seven years, a pair of cats and their offspring can yield 42,000 cats.)
City council approved amending the city’s Code of Ordinances to allow the TNR Program. Numerous animal welfare organizations also approve this program such as Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends Society, Maddie’s Fund, and Feral Friends Community Cat Alliance.
How does Trap-Neuter-Return help our community?
- TNR helps reduce the number of feral cats subject to the perils of starvation, contraction of rabies and accidental deaths from motorists to name a few.
- TNR ensures that feral cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and adequately cared for by feral cat colony caretakers.
- TNR diminishes nuisances or other public health or safety threats caused by feral cats (such as noise from screaming cats, scratched/damaged vehicles, odors stemming from feral cats marking their territories, and disrupted trash disposal).
- TNR reduces the number of feral cats in the animal shelter
What can I do to help?
Spay/Neuter Domestic Cats: Residents are encouraged to spay or neuter all domestic cats. Low cost programs, such as Spay Neuter Network and Texas Coalition for Pets, provide transportation services from the Prairie Paws Adoption Center.
Volunteer on the Grand Prairie Cat Crew!
Grand Prairie’s TNR is operated by volunteers who will work with Animal Services staff. To volunteer for any of the following roles on the Grand Prairie Cat Crew, please call 972-237-8575 or email email@example.com.
- Cat Colony Caretakers feed and water daily, keep count of cats in the colony, and ensure all cats are sterilized and have tipped ear.
- Transporters pick up feral cats, keep them overnight and transport to get spayed/neutered.
- Block walkers walk neighborhoods (with others) where there is known feral cat issues and they leave Trap-Neuter-Return information for residents.
- Events and outreach volunteers help us spread the good word for cats (at various times and places)!
Foster kittens: Fostering kittens through the GP Cat Crew program helps socialize feral kittens. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Donate: Donations to the program are appreciated! Please call 972-237-8575 or email email@example.com.
Spring and Summer – Kitten Season!
Besides being the time of year when the Shelter sees the highest volume of kittens, spring and summer are when the most people surrender adult cats. Kittens and cats are surrendered when their owners move, are travelling, or develop allergies. This means that the cat cages at the Shelter stay mostly full from April through October.
The Shelter uses a variety of other means to help save cats during the busy spring and summer seasons. In addition to partnering with numerous rescue groups, the Shelter will place cats and kittens in loving foster homes while they wait to be placed for adoption.
During the height of kitten season, the Shelter asks for citizens to help save more Grand Prairie cats by following these guidelines:
- If you see a healthy stray cat, leave it in place so it can potentially find its way home. Since there is no law in Grand Prairie against free-roaming cats, the Shelter asks residents to leave healthy stray cats where they find them.
- Unless there is an immediate threat, leave kittens in place where their mother can find them, especially if they are too young to eat on their own. If you need to move the kittens, place them nearby where the mother can find them.
- If you must intervene with kittens, offer to help the Shelter by providing in-home foster care until the kittens are 8 – 10 weeks of age. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on fostering.
- If you are thinking about surrendering a cat or kitten, consider keeping it through the summer until the volume of cats and kittens entering shelters and rescues slows down.
- Spay or neuter all tame cats you currently own. Low cost programs, such as Spay Neuter Network and Texas Coalition for Pets, provide transportation services from the Prairie Paws Adoption Center.
- Get involved with the Shelter’s trap-neuter-release program to have feral cats spayed or neutered. Call 972-237-8575 or email email@example.com.
- If you have a cat that is pregnant, keep the mother and babies until the kittens are 8 – 10 weeks of age to help the shelter conserve foster homes for kittens who otherwise have no place to go. Keep the mother cat in your home until after all the kittens are adopted and consider spaying the mother cat.