What is TNR?
TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Return. It refers to the practice of trapping stray and outdoor cats, including feral cats, for the purpose of spaying or neutering them, giving them vaccinations (rabies and distemper, usually), and returning them either to where they were trapped, or to a colony where they can be managed and monitored.
TNR is meant to be a method of population control that is a humane alternative to the traditional model of trap and kill. Feral cats, semi-ferals, and many community cats do not stand a chance in most shelters (including BCAS), and are euthanized simply for being deemed unadoptable. However, these cats were never meant to be kept indoors as housepets. The majority of ferals and community cats are surviving and thriving outside just fine on their own, and we believe they should be allowed to remain that way.
The two handouts below from People for Animals contain helpful information:
Would you like to support TNR but don't have any cats to trap? The Friends of BCAS can always use donations of cat traps. See our wishlist on the Tomahawk page.
I Need Help Trapping Cats in Burlington County
The Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter can help. Send an email to email@example.com or call 609-479-1966 with the following information:
- your name, address and phone number
- approximate number of community cats requiring TNR
Are you are willing to TNR the cats yourself, but do not have traps? Friends of BCAS has traps you can borrow. Please fill out our cat trap agreement and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your full deposit will be refunded when the trap is returned.
Need our help with TNR? An experienced volunteer can help but you will be responsible for helping to cover their costs ($5/cat).
To trap community cats, here are the traps and dividers we recommend:
- Safeguard with rear door trap
- Safeguard Trap Divider Fork
- Safeguard Trap Cover
- Tomahawk Cat Trap -- we suggest the powder coat finish for an extra 15 percent
- Tomahawk Cat Trap Cover
- Tomahawk Divider Fork
- Tomahawk Clear Sliding Rear Door
- Havahart Cat Trap Kit
Most TNR advocates are left to their own devices and use their own personal resources (read: money) to help cats in their area. If you really want to help your community cats, be prepared to pay for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations. Check out our list of low-cost spay/neuter resources here:
- Friends of BCAS and People for Animals low-cost spay/neuter clinics
- Other low-cost spay/neuter clinics
There are a few TNR groups or individuals who may be able to help citizens in the following areas:
- Bordentown City: Bordentown City Cats - BCC is the only fully established TNR organization with full permission to operate in their township out of all of Burlington County that we are aware of. BCC's resources only extend to cats within Bordentown City. They may provide TNR advice, training, and on-site trapping assistance within Bordentown City.
- Mount Laurel Township: PineyPawsRescue.org - Piney Paws is a non-profit feral advocacy and TNR organization operating primarily in Mount Laurel. They may provide TNR advice, training, and on-site trapping assistance within Mount Laurel.
- Burlington City and surrounding areas: Barbara Moos at email@example.com or 609-499-8999 - Barb is an individual TNR advocate who is available to provide TNR advice and instruction. She may be able to help with on-site trapping, transport and logistics in the specified areas. She can NOT assist financially.
- Bordentown, Florence, Columbus: Marlo F. at firstname.lastname@example.org - Marlo is an individual TNR advocate who is available to provide TNR advice and instruction. She may be able to help with on-site trapping, transport and logistics in the specified areas. She can NOT assist financially.
I Want My Township to Support TNR
Wonderful! This is exactly what we need; people like you to speak up and make some noise about the welfare of your community cats. The short version of how to get started is that you need to address this with your township. Each Township in New Jersey sets its own rules as to what is allowed and not allowed in the township, including feeding or caretaking for cats. Collect other like-minded individuals in your area, put a plan together, and start making calls to your township to find out how best to communicate with them, and if they are already aware of any TNR initiatives in place.
Also, check out the links below for more information on TNR, its benefits, and how to address it with municipal governments.
More Information About TNR
- FriendsofBCAS.org - TNR Ordinances in Burlington County - Resource compiled by FOBCAS/BCAS. Lists all townships, ordinances available online, and our ordinance interpretations.
- AlleyCatAllies.org - This is a huge resource for outdoor, feral and community cat supporters.
- MaddiesFund.org - Community Cats
- MaddiesFund.org - Return to Field (Webinar) - Discusses the pros and cons of TNR without the colony management aspect.
- APLNJ.org - Animal Protection League of NJ; TNR Advocates - Offers assistance on the municipal level with advocacy, program building, and more.