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We are proud to announce that after five years of working through our pilot program designed to show that Trap Neuter and Release works and saves lives, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners voted to implement a new ordinance allowing healthy, free-roaming cats to be returned to their natural homes. This ordinance went into effect in November, 2017.
There is overwhelming evidence gathered from successful programs throughout our state and country that the most effective way for communities to handle the special population of free-roaming cats is to implement Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR).
All free-roaming cats brought to HSTC are evaluated for the TNVR program. These cats have displayed behaviors unsuitable for placement in a home environment. Eligible cats must have been thriving in their natural environment and must be physically able to continue to maintain a high quality of life in the outdoors. TNVR cats are then spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated for rabies, evaluated by a veterinarian, treated with Revolution, and ear tipped to identify them as spayed, neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are then humanely returned to their home or their colony—outdoors.
Simply removing free-roaming cats from their territory – whether to trap and euthanize, rescue, or relocate to another site or place in a sanctuary – does nothing to lower the number of free-roamingcats in our community. New cats replace the old ones, and nothing much changes in terms of overpopulation and nuisance behavior. Something about the location brought the original cats there and that will continue to attract more cats to the location. It could be shelter, a food source, mating or other factors.
TNVR stabilizes the population (fewer to no births), results in lower animal control costs, reduces nuisance complaints by residents, address neighbors’ concerns, alleviates public health concerns, and improves the cats’ lives. This life saving program helps the entire community reach a solution that benefits everyone. Support of TNVR, along with an aggressive public education program emphasizing the benefits of spaying and neutering, is critical in the effort to control the free-roaming cat population in Martin County communities.
For more information, please call (772) 600-3205 or e-mail MartinCountyTNVR@HSTC1.org.
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