Update: December 21, 2018
Alley Cat Allies is disappointed to announce that the Round Rock City Council passed the amendment to its animal control code that will harm cats by penalizing their caregivers and creating barriers to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).
Our expert staff and advocates on the ground worked hard to improve this ordinance, but unfortunately it still contains restrictive language that will make it harder for compassionate people to care for cats. We thank everyone who took action to help us fight this dangerous change and we will continue to monitor the situation.
Update: December 12, 2018
The Round Rock City Council moved one step closer to passing an amendment that would put cats at risk by creating barriers to Trap-Neuter-Return, and by penalizing people who care for community cats. Last week, the council passed the first reading of this harmful ordinance despite efforts by Alley Cat Allies and our supporters to defeat this amendment. If council members vote to pass the measure at its second reading on Dec. 20, it will become law. We are urging residents in Round Rock to attend the next City Council meeting on Dec. 20 to continue to fight this measure. Speak up for cats at the second—and final—reading of the ordinance.
Update: October 26, 2018
Good news! The Round Rock ordinance was tabled for further review. It will likely be after December when it is brought for its first reading at a City Council meeting. Alley Cat Allies will continue to follow this ordinance and provide updates.
The Round Rock, Texas, City Council is considering an ordinance that makes changes to the animal control code that include harmful language about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only humane and effective approach to address community cat populations. The provisions in this ordinance are restrictive and would interfere with the program rather than support it.
Alley Cat Allies is urging Round Rock, Texas, residents to tell their City Council members to oppose Ordinance No. 2018-6037 and attend the City Council meeting on Oct. 25, at 6 p.m., to speak out against this bill. The city council meeting is at the City Council Chambers, 221 East Main St. in Round Rock.
Under the proposed ordinance, community cat caregivers would be required to register to carry out TNR for the cat colonies they care for, get written permission from the property owner where the cats live, and do recordkeeping. These requirements are burdensome and time-consuming for good Samaritans who are simply trying to help cats and their community. These requirements would deter caregivers’ efforts to spay and neuter the community’s animals, and sometimes make TNR impossible to do or force caregivers to operate in secret.
Many caregivers are apprehensive about revealing their identity or the location of their cat colonies. Alley Cat Allies has documented many instances in which caregivers were subjected to verbal harassment, physical coercion, job loss, and eviction— and situations in which cat colonies were killed.
Another provision of the ordinance would require cats to be removed if they were perceived as a nuisance—without residents first trying effective humane deterrents. It is stressful for cats to be removed from their outdoor homes, and when they are taken to animal shelters, most never make it out alive. They are killed because they are not socialized to people and therefore not adoptable.
Ordinance No. 2018-6037 does not support community-based spay and neuter programs. Rather, it continues to set up hurdles and criminalize the compassion of Round Rock residents.