Fact Sheet| Cats and the Law, Trap-Neuter-Return

Cheyenne, WY, passed an ordinance in November 2014 that was drafted by Alley Cat Allies. We were also the inspiration behind the initial idea of transforming Cheyenne for the better of cats and citizens.

After attending our national conference one year, a staff member at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter was inspired to protect her city’s cats. She and her colleagues at the shelter lobbied to start their own TNR program, which eventually led to the TNR ordinance.

Cheyenne’s ordinance is simple, which allows it to function without government overregulation. When local officials overregulate TNR, it is usually unhelpful and impedes the process by discouraging citizens from getting involved.

What we like about the ordinance:

  • It states that the city recognizes TNR as “the only effective and humane method to manage, and over time, reduce the population of community cats.”
  • It specifies that community cat caregivers, organizations, city staff, and animal control officers are allowed to carry out TNR.
  • It provides simple, straightforward definitions of the terms community cat, caregiver, eartip, and TNR.
  • Community cat caregivers are empowered to reclaim impounded community cats from the shelter without proof of ownership for the purposes of TNR.
  • It decrees that an eartipped cat received by the shelter will be returned to the location she was trapped, and that trapped eartipped cats should be released on-site unless veterinary care is required.