Letter to the Editor for April 29, 2022.
To the Sebastian Daily Editor:
I’m writing to share my support of Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) efforts in Indian River County. TNVR programs are humane for feral cats and effective for communities. By trapping, neutering and vaccinating healthy community cats and then returning them to their outdoor homes, shelter overpopulation is greatly reduced, and resources and funding used to catch or control cats that thrive outside can be used where they are more urgently needed.
Hundreds of counties have adopted TNVR programs, and research supports that they are effective at shrinking outdoor cat populations while significantly reducing unnecessary euthanasia. Studies also show that cats in TNVR programs typically have low rates of disease and enjoy healthy life spans.
Environmental law attorney specializing in the protection, reservation and enjoyment of habitat, Virginia Sherlock, participated in drafting the ordinance for our neighbors in Martin County. The pilot program commenced on July 1, 2011, for TNVR of feral cats in 10 monitored colonies. By June 30, 2016, the number of feral cats was reduced by 42%.
The pilot program was extended until November 28, 2017, when the Martin County Commission adopted a county-wide TNVR ordinance, which is still in effect and is working well to keep the feral cat population under control.
Because feral cats produce many litters, the colonies continue to expand, which means birds and local wildlife face greater threats where there are no TNVR programs in place. TNVR programs help to reduce the number of feral cats in the community and provide feeding stations to allow the cats a source of food.
The main purpose of the TNVR approach is population reduction by breeding prevention. TNVR is a non-lethal solution and is representative of the caring, pet-friendly community that Indian River County strives to be. With support from our local leaders, this is one more way we can be a leading community that does what’s right for our people and pets.
Executive Director H.A.L.O. Rescue
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