The Anne Arundel County Council in Maryland voted unanimously on January 2 to pass an ordinance that removes barriers to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). The ordinance will save community cats’ lives by keeping them out of shelters and returning them to their outdoor homes.

Alley Cat Allies thanks all of our supporters in Anne Arundel County who took action, either by contacting their council member in support of the ordinance or by testifying in person.

The ordinance will:

  • Define important terms, including “community cat,” “community cat caregiver,” “eartipping,” and “Trap-Neuter-Return.” Eartipping is the universal sign that a cat has gone through TNR.
  • Permit eartipped cats to be at-large, so animal control officers won’t take them to a shelter.
  • Allow caregivers to reclaim eartipped cats impounded at shelters.
  • Allow caregivers and animal welfare groups to reclaim impounded community cats who aren’t eartipped, and direct them to a TNR program.
  • Permit individuals to do TNR.

Alley Cat Allies would also like to thank Rude Ranch Animal Rescue in Harwood, Maryland, which was instrumental in getting this ordinance passed. Alley Cat Allies has long pushed for TNR in Anne Arundel County and has worked with Rude Ranch Animal Rescue to help fund a pilot program there.

Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane and effective approach to community cat populations.