It’s very encouraging to meet property management teams who realize the benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for people and catsan experience I recently had in Prince George’s (P.G.) County, MD.
A property management team had reached out to the National Cat Help Desk for information on how to properly manage their apartment building’s growing cat population. The community loves the cats very muchtenants feed the cats every day, and they call the cats by name. One of the maintenance workers even walks around every morning to check on the cats, on top of her normal work duties.
This apartment complex needed a solution that would humanely and sustainably stabilize their cat population. As Kathleen Hernandez, administrative assistant for the property said, “Because we love our cats, we want what is best for them.”
As many of you know, ongoing maintenance is just as important as the initial trapping. In order to make relations between the cats and tenants as smooth as possible, we provided the apartment complex with brochures to distribute. They can now teach their tenants about community cats and explain the vacuum effect.
We also provided the property management team with our “How to Live with Cats in Your Neighborhood” brochureone of my favorite resources. This brochure is really helpful for encouraging peaceful coexistence between people and cats because it lists easy solutions to cat behaviors. For instance, did you know that by simply sprinkling coffee grounds or orange peels in an area, you can keep cats away?
By providing proactive education and listening and responding to complaints, this apartment complex now has a much lower chance of tenants calling animal control.
And don’t forgetanimal control can be a positive ally! Besides the population control, community relations, and health benefits of TNR, eartipping cats also gives them some legal protection in certain places. P.G. County has an eartip ordinance, which states that any P.G. County Animal Control Officer who traps or responds to a trapped, eartipped cat in the field is required to release the cat back at the location where she was trapped, unless the cat shows signs of injury or illness. This means that instead of placing healthy, unadoptable cats into a shelter system that has no room for them, animal control releases cats back into their colonies to live healthy lives outdoors.
Eartip protection is a great starting point for a city or county that’s interested in immediately decreasing the number of cats taken to shelters. Check out our Help with Ordinances page if you’re interested in learning about the different kinds of language that can be included in cat-friendly ordinances!
So, how is the property management team feeling after completing a successful TNR program?
“The experience was great with Alley Cat Allies. Thanks to them, we were able to Trap-Neuter-Return the stray cats. We are very happy with their service and how it helps prevent the population’s growth. We would definitely recommend [Alley Cat Allies] to anybody who is going through the same situation as ours.”
There you have it TNR is good for properties, good for counties, and (as always) good for the cats!
Until next time,
Diana Cruz is a National Cat Help Desk Specialist with Alley Cat Allies. Diana recently returned from Prince George’s County, Md., where she met with a property management team that is making a great effort to protect community cats.