On March 9, 2011, the Town of Springdale adopted Best Friends Animal Society’s Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Community Cat Program. The program services 38 other communities in southern Utah and northern Arizona. The recently enacted Senate Bill 57 defines a community cat as “a feral or free-roaming cat that is without visibly discernable or microchip identification of any kind and has been sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped”.
The typical trap-and-kill methods are cruel, inhumane, and create a vacuum as do attempts to relocate cats. This “vacuum effect” allows other cats to move in and take advantage of the newly available resources and to breed prolifically (puberty usually occurs between 6 and 9 months of age). If just 3 kittens survive in a litter, they and their descendants can go on to produce over 11,000 cats in 5 years!
TNR is a humane, non-lethal approach to community cat population control. Cats are captured in humane traps and transported to Best Friends Animal Society for spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and ear-tipping (¼ inch is removed from the tip of the left ear to show they have been sterilized.) Then they are released back to their original territory. They have no more kittens, their lives improve, and populations stabilize and will decline over time. Bad behaviors associated with mating, such as yowling and fighting, stop. Best of all, the service is free!
The Town is a support system for this program, not a supplier of money or labor. Zion Animal Lovers is part of the program, too. More volunteers are needed to assist in trapping, monitoring, and transporting the cats, as well as community outreach. Residents of Rockville and Virgin can also take advantage of this program at no charge.
The Community Cat program recently lost its Volunteer Coordinator when Cheryl Frassa moved away from the area. If you are interested in working with community cats or would be willing to serve as the new Volunteer Coordinator, please contact Police Chief Kurt Wright at 435-772-3434 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.