TNR Program Information for Feral Trappers
Thank you for participating in West Michigan Spay & Neuter’s TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) Program!
Please read the following to help you achieve trapping success.
- Note that the R is for RETURN, not simply RELEASE. For the safety of the cat, you must return the cat where you found it. Doing otherwise will endanger the cat as it will try to come back to its last home, likely getting killed in the process.
- Get the cats on a regular feeding schedule. If possible, for 1 to 2 weeks prior to trapping day, set food out right next to unset trap to get them used to the traps. Most ferals and strays come out in the evening, so place food and water sometime after dinner, but before dusk. Once the cat is in trap, do not open the trap to put in either food or water.
- If traps are exposed to the elements, do not leave traps out overnight. Traps should be checked frequently so that they are not stolen or the cat is left vulnerable.
- Cover the trap after catching a cat and please be sure trap is covered when coming into the clinic. This will help reduce stress for the cat. We also recommend lining the bottom of the trap with newspaper or cardboard. If the cat urinates or other, it will help keep your car and the cat clean.
- On the day of surgery, all ferals or unsocialized cats must come in a live trap for the safety of our staff and the cat.
- WMSNC performs surgeries every Tuesday, Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. Therefore, trap the afternoon/night before surgery is scheduled. Drop off is from 8-8:30 am and pick up time is 7:30 am on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and 8:30 am on Thursdays.
- We have a limit of 2 ferals per client per day. If you exceed this number you may be asked to drive the cat(s) to C-SNIP in Grand Rapids for surgery.
- You must call our office to let us know what day(s) you would like to trap. We are limited by space as to the number of ferals we can accommodate per surgical day.
- Bring a recovery crate (a large carrier) where the cat will spend the night after surgery. We have carriers if you need one to borrow. Each feral will get a vaccination for rabies free of charge.
- WMSNC will follow the national protocol for identifying a sterilized cat and “tip” its left ear. This means, that the cat will have the very tip of its left ear taken off surgically. This is done when the cat is under anesthesia and it will not have any discomfort because of it. We have 2 main reasons for ear tipping:
1.) Ear tipping allows future trappers to identify the cat as being “fixed” and it won’t be taken in for surgery over and over needlessly.
2.) The tipped left ear will protect the cat from being turned into a shelter or rescue, where it will surely be euthanized. Most shelters and rescues know not to accept a cat with a tipped left ear, as it cannot become a pet.
- Release of ferals is an individual decision. Some recommend holding the cats, providing food and shelter (especially for females) for several days. We realize most people do not have the ability to hold a feral for any length of time. You have done the best you can for the cat – by spaying or neutering it. This is the most important thing you can do.
- Thank you again for helping reduce the number of kittens being born.
If you need help/advice, feel free to contact our clinic.
West Michigan Spay & Neuter Clinic
6130 Airline Rd.
Fruitport, MI 49415
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