What is the shelter's approach to TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release)?

The City does not have a Trap Neuter and Release Program (TNR) and it is currently prohibited by City Ordinance.  The Animal Advisory Board reviewed TNR during the February 12 board meeting.  In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas (only in cases of extreme infestation), eartipped (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to the area where it was originally trapped.  TNR claims various benefits which are detailed below with local facts.

Claims of TNR*Facts
Increases Live Release RateStudies show that 56% of cats will fall victim to predation. 1
Reduces operating costsStill costs of spay/neuter, vaccinations. 2
Reduces/eliminates behaviors that lead to nuisance complaintsCompliant behaviors include feces on property, living in yards, damage to vehicles.3
No confirmed case of cat to human rabies transmission in 30 yearsIn the state of Texas since 2007, there have been 227 positive rabid cats- 2 in Fort Bend County.4
FIV and FeLV extremely rareSince 2014, SL has had 31 cases in stray cats.5
Live full and healthy lives outdoorsStudies show a feral cat lives just 1-5 years when the normal lifespan is 12-20 years.6
No disease risk to humansIntestinal parasites have been found in 75% of stray cats coming in the animal shelter.7

Based on the above information and lengthy discussion among the board members, the board decided not to implement a TNR program at this time, but all agreed education and outreach is needed to reduce the feral cat population.


  1. The welfare of feral cats and wildlife. (2004, November 1). Retrieved from http://abcbirds.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Jessup-2004-Welfare-of-feral-cats-and-wildlife.pdf
  2. Feline Leukemia Test, Eclipse 4 + Feline leukemia Vaccine, Rabies vaccine, spay/neuter, housing for recovery costs are over $100 compared to euthanasia costs which are less than $35 per animal.
  3. These are common complaints taken by Animal Services.
  4. Rabies Surveillance in Texas. Retrieved from https://dshs.texas.gov/IDCU/disease/rabies/cases/statistics.aspx
  5. Tracking done by Animal Services. Appropriate communications efforts have been made to affected areas.
  6. Indoor and Outdoor Cat Life Expectancy Differences. Retrieved from vetinfo.com/indoor-outdoor-cat-life-expectancy.html 
  7. Tracking done by Animal Services on medical intake. Additional source: Zoonotic diseases associated with free-roaming cats. (2013, May). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22830565

Show All Answers

1. What do I need to adopt a pet from the shelter?
2. Do I need to license and/or register my pet?
3. Does the shelter offer veterinary services?
4. What is the shelter's position on "No Kill"?
5. What is the shelter's approach to TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release)?
6. Does Animal Services provide traps for nuisance animals and/or wildlife?
7. What other agencies are there in the area?