The Baltimore County Department of Health has decided to ignore decades of scientific research regarding the efficacy of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the most effective and only humane method of feral cat population control, in favor of continuing to trap and needlessly kill feral (undomesticated) cats and penalize those who care for them.
Feral cats can live happy, healthy lives outside if given proper care and shelter. Many feral cat caretakers are currently conducting TNR projects within Baltimore County. They are stepping up to the plate, on their own time and dollar, to trap, vaccinate, alter, and care for the cats that exist within their communities. These Good Samaritans face fines at the hands of Baltimore County Animal Control for addressing an issue that others in their community have created, and the cats they care for are still at risk of being trapped and killed by Animal Control simply because they are not adoptable.
Some of benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return include:
1. A healthy and stabilized population that decreases naturally throughout the years.
2. The creation of a rabies barrier through the vaccination of feral cats.
3. The elimination of nuisance behaviors due to the benefits of spay/neuter and ample access to food.
4. Reduced burdens on Animal Control Officers and Baltimore County's budget.
The legalization and implementation of Trap-Neuter-Return in Baltimore City in 2007 has been successful, and we hope that there can be a similar outcome in Baltimore County.