Trap-neuter-return is humane, effective

I was deeply troubled by the Dec. 11 letter, “ ‘No-kill’ plan admirable, but sadly it’s not realistic,” which misled readers about trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs and shelter practices.

The writer’s assessment of TNR is woefully misinformed. The fact is TNR is the only humane and effective method of reducing feral cat populations. Cats who undergo TNR are humanely trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated, and returned to their outdoor homes. This immediately stabilizes the population and reduces colony numbers over time. Cats in a TNR program are cared for by loving caregivers who provide them with food, ongoing veterinary care and even outdoor shelter during colder months if needed. Shelters that continue to carry out catch-and-kill are prolonging an archaic and cruel policy that has been practiced for a century without success.

The real problem with the shelter system is outdated policies and the propensity to kill animals without considering humane alternatives. We applaud shelters that enact effective life-saving programs such as TNR, foster networks and low-cost spay/neuter services.

Trap-neuter-return is endorsed by all national reputable animal protection organizations and is a model program practiced in thousands of communities, including many in New York. Progressive shelter policies such as TNR are being embraced by cities and counties across the United States not only because they are effective, but because Americans demand humane policies that protect the animals in our communities.

Becky Robinson

President and Founder

Alley Cat Allies