Guide/How-to| Cats and the Law, Trap-Neuter-Return

After you’ve sent your own email or letter to your elected officials, reach out to like-minded residents by sending an “action alert,” which is an email or social media post asking others to join you in helping cats in your community. Reach out to your friends and family, and ask them to forward the action alert on to their own contacts. If you are already part of a local animal welfare organization, ask the organization to send the message to its supporters alerting them to the proposed legislation and asking them to contact their legislators.

Check out our sample action alert template to get started:

Download: Word File

Subject line: Speak out for your community’s cats!

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to ask you to join me in supporting a proposed ordinance that would approve Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for community cats (also known as feral cats) in [LOCATION]. TNR, where cats are humanely trapped, taken to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped, and returned to their outdoor home, is the only humane and effective approach to community cats. Please take a few minutes to email members of the [LOCATION] [CITY COUNCIL/COMMISSIONERS], urging them to support this legislation.

Animal control’s outdated approach to community cats has been to catch cats and bring them to a shelter where they will be killed because they are not socialized to people and therefore unadoptable.
Animal control’s outdated approach to community cats doesn’t work, and here’s why: Officers catch and bring community cats to shelters. This is a death sentence because these cats are not socialized to people and are unadoptable. Catching and killing cats creates an endless, expensive cycle of cruelty that wastes taxpayer’s money.

Please take action today. Join me in letting our legislators know that we want humane policies for our community’s cats!

In your letter, mention that you are a constituent who cares about your community’s cats, and that you support TNR as the best approach to community cats.

Here are a few talking points for your letter:

  • Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective approach for community cats. Community cats are humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign that a cat has been part of a Trap-Neuter-Return program), and then returned to their outdoor home.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return stops the breeding cycle and eliminates mating behaviors, such as yowling, spraying, roaming, and fighting. Trap-Neuter-Return also benefits public health because community cats are vaccinated against rabies.
  • Removing cats from an area (i.e. catching and killing) is futile. When cats are removed from an area, an influx of new, unsterilized cats move in to take advantage of available resources – and reproduce. This well-documented natural phenomenon is known as the “vacuum effect.”

When you’re ready, send your email to:

[CONTACT NAMES AND EMAIL ADDRESSES]

Thank you for speaking out for animals in your community!

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]