On February 17, members of the Virginia House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Sub-Committee voted 5 to 3 to table SB 1390, the bill that would affirm Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for community cats as legal in every Virginia community, meaning no further action on it will be taken this year. The decision was made despite the Senate approving the bill with a two-thirds bipartisan majority a week prior, plus numerous calls, public comments, and testimony from constituents who support TNR.

TNR remains legal in Virginia. SB 1390 sought to add language to state law that would clarify this fact to all localities, many of which have hesitated to start a TNR program over confusion about whether it is permitted.

Alley Cat Allies deeply thanks every Virginian who spoke out to their legislators on behalf of cats and kittens these past weeks. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the senators and delegates who voted in favor of SB 1390 to advance Virginia’s commitment to humane, common-sense animal policies.

Though the tabling of this bill is disappointing, it won’t stop us. Alley Cat Allies continues to work to dismantle the baseless arguments of opposition groups still blocking progress on TNR and other humane programs for cats. We are strategizing with cat advocates right now on a plan to ensure the measures outlined in SB 1390 become Virginia law. If you live in Virginia, we will let you know when and how you can help.

In the interim, we encourage Virginia residents—and everyone—to learn about the issues affecting cats and educate their fellow community members and government officials. Let them know that TNR is sound, effective public policy backed by science and empirical evidence from communities around the world, including in Virginia. Alley Cat Allies’ education and advocacy resources are available to you at any time online.

Thank you again to all who took the time to defend cats throughout Virginia with us this month. We will keep in touch and keep you updated.