By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — A meeting on implementing a TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release) program in the city will be held Wed., Jan. 17, 6-7 p.m. at City Hall in the second floor meeting room.
The purpose is to review, discuss and hear public comments about an agreement between the City of Long Branch and Monmouth County SPCA to implement a TNR program for cats in Long Branch.
MCSPCA and Long Branch Health Department officials will review program guidelines, sponsorship requirements and other standards.
For a while, the Health Department has been looking for a way to address complaints about stray cats and the nuisance they cause in a humane way. Last fall, they announced they were working with the Monmouth County SPCA on a TNR program.
According to the MCSPCA website, last year more than 1,500 feral cats were euthenized in Monmouth County, a situation it calls “unacceptable.”
Under the TNR program, feral cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, and then returned to near where they were captured to live in a managed cat colony. Kittens and friendly strays are put up for adoption.
The SPCA says that the traditional method of dealing with strays, known as Trap-Remove, in practice means
“Trap-Kill.” In addition, it’s more expensive (TNR is supported by grants), and there aren’t enough resources to get rid of all strays. Plus it doesn’t work, since when a feral cat colony is removed, other cat colonies move in.
TNR reduces the population immediately by putting some up for adoption. It also reduces disease, since the animals can be vaccinated when they are taken in. Spayed/neutered cats are much less likely to roam, yowl or fight, since those are associated with mating.
Because the colonies are supervised by registered caretakers, this also stops “drive by feedings” of strays, which can attract unwanted wildlife.