Humane Society of Walton County to host TNR class Tuesday, April 9

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Walton County Humane Society began a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program in conjunction with Walton County Animal Control and Best Friends Animal Society. The plan is that at the end of the 12-month period, HSWC and BFAS will get together with Walton County officials to discuss finding ways to sustain the program if it proved successful. They do, however, need the help of the community to ensure its success. Traps are to be put out and monitored and cats have to be taken to get the surgery and then returned to their original environment. There are people in the community who do this already and the financial subsidy for surgery and vaccinations will help.

The HSWC will host a class from 5:30 – 7: p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 2024, in the Monroe-Walton Library in Walton County to help volunteers in the community who are helping with the TNR program.. The Monroe Library is located at 217 W. Spring St., Monroe. This is the second such glass to be hosted by the TNR program.

BFAS will provide funding for 500 surgeries during the pilot program. According to HSWC’s TNR coordinator, Dawn Smith, somewhere between 80 and 100 such surgeries have already been performed.

The way it works, WCAC refers calls about healthy outdoor cats to HSWC who manages these calls and mitigates nuisance complaints. They loan out traps and the caregivers can bring the cats directly to the surgical provider. This helps free up WCAC to deal more with the enforcement side of animal control and prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

TNR helps stop the never ending breeding cycle of feral cats, thereby improving their lives and preventing expansion of the colonies. It also cuts down on the large euthanasia rates at animal control facilities, providing a life-saving solution to feral community cats. The cats also get at least one occasion in their lives to see a veterinarian and get vaccinated.

According to Alley Cat Allies, “Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for stray and feral cats. Now in practice for decades in the US after being proven in Europe, scientific studies show that Trap-Neuter-Return improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.”

Alley Cat Allies reports that TNR is successfully practiced in hundreds of communities in the US. Cats are “humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian to be neutered and vaccinated. After recovery, the cats are returned to their home colony outdoors. Kittens and cats who are friendly and socialized to people may be adopted into homes.”

You can read more about the science behind TNR and how it works at this link on Alley Cat Allies.

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