3. Set policies and establish a trapping plan.
Launching an organization-sponsored Trap-Neuter-Return program is just one element in your new, comprehensive humane approach for cats. If you operate a shelter, then our Toolkit for Shelter Transformation covers the steps shelters must take to best serve the cats and the public.
Establish a trapping plan.
Once you have the research and support in place, you can get down to creating a trapping plan. Use your data to identify colonies and map their locations. Use your connections with caregivers and volunteers to put your trapping plan into practice.
Learn all you can about the actual process of Trap-Neuter-Return. Read our How to Conduct Trap-Neuter-Return Guide and watch our video, Trapping Cats: How to Trap an Entire Colony.
Once you have these preparations in place, consider implementing a pilot Trap-Neuter-Return program before attempting to address the entire community. A pilot program focuses Trap-Neuter-Return on no more than one or two neighborhoods. Pilot programs are designed to be successful with the minimum commitment level of resources and volunteers. They are also a good way to get buy-in from government officials, if that is a goal of your organization. Providing assurance that the program will be tested first and modified as needed has persuasive power. If the pilot works, it is more likely that an expansion program will be supported.
Targeted trapping is a method of trapping, neutering, and vaccinating an entire colony at one time before moving on to the surrounding colonies in a specific geographic location. This method is inclusive of all cats in the neighborhood, because it provides opportunities for residents to get their companion cats neutered and vaccinated at a reduced cost. Including these cats helps reduce the chances of future colonies being created. Targeted trapping allows you to focus your work judiciously and accomplish more in the long-run. Learn more about targeted trapping.
Next Step: Determine a funding plan