PURPOSE: Lac La Biche Regional Humane Society (LLBRHS) believes that the most humane, effective, and financially sustainable strategy for controlling feral (free-roaming) cat populations is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), whereby ferals are trapped, sterilized, vaccinated and returned to their colony of origin. TNR programs have the ability to stabilize the population of a feral cat colony and, over time, reduce it. At the same time, the objectionable spraying, vocalizing and fighting behaviors of cats in the colony are largely eliminated. POLICY: This policy includes procedures and guidelines to coordinate the humane trapping, spaying or neutering and rehoming of stray and feral cats within the Lac La Biche County Region (restricted to private property by owner request or with owner permission) to improve the health and welfare of the stray and feral cat population (both urban and rural) through a volunteer-based initiative; thereby proactively addressing feral cat complaints and reducing health risk to the public. In order to stabilize and eventually reduce the feral cat population through attrition, the LLBRHS supports the management of feral cat colonies through TNR, distribution of exclusionary devices and deterrents, and public education regarding the humane management of feral cats. Ideally, the management of feral cat colonies should include trapping, scanning for the presence of a microchip, vaccination with a modified live vaccine, sterilization, ear “notching” side of leftear as a visible sign that the cat has been sterilized). DEFINITIONS: For the purposes of this policy: “Municipality” means the Corporation of Lac La Biche County. “Feral Cat” means an undomesticated male or female cat of any age that, in general, receives little human contact or care and lives outdoors or unconfined at all times. “Trap Neuter Return” or “TNR” means the community-based Trap-Neuter-Return initiative operating in Lac La Biche County & managed by the Lac La Biche Regional Humane Society. “LLBRHS” means the Lac La Biche Regional Humane Society “Rehome” means to permanently adopt a cat to a new home and owner to be a house pet, support animal, mouse control/ barn cat or similarly cared for, or to join a managed Feral Cat colony. “Stray Cat” means a domestic male or female cat of any age, lost or abandoned by their owner, which lives outdoors or unconfined at all times.
PROCEDURES: A - Authority, Monitoring & Reporting:
The LLBRHS shall establish procedures as required for the initiative and shall monitor and report on activities, issues and complaints annuallyto the Municipality. The LLBRHS and all personnel shall adhere to the provisions of this Policy and Procedures at all times.
The LLBRHS shall designate or remove the designation of persons as TNR volunteers at their discretion, except where the Society determines that a person has violated provisions of this policy and may not participate in TNR activities. TNR volunteers shall carry identification recognized by the LLBRHS while involved in all TNR activities.
The LLBRHSprovides authority for TNR personnel to:
Safely trap and remove Stray and Feral Cats in Lac La Biche County; orto spay or neuter Stray and Feral Cats; and
to Rehome Stray Cats.
B – Special Provisions:
Small Kittens:Because the mortality rate of feral kittens is 75% on average, small kittens will be fostered/tamed and offered for adoption.
Sick or Injured Cats:Unless treatment can be entirely performed at the time of surgery (eg, cleaning/repairing a wound or extracting a tooth), humane euthanasia will be performed to prevent suffering.
Pregnant Queens: All pregnant queens will be spayed.
Nursing (lactating) Queens:If a lactating female is trapped, the caretaker should search the area for the kittens. If kittens cannot be located, every effort should be made by the caretaker to have the cat spayed and to release her within 24 hours of trapping so that she can care for and nurse her kittens.
Liability: All volunteers and feral colony caretakers are required to sign release forms prior to participating in TNR including both trap loan and clinic release forms. Rabies vaccination is recommended for volunteers that trap feral cats for TNR. Humane trapping and safety instructions will be provided to all volunteers. If a volunteer is scratched or bitten by a feral cat, they will be instructed NOT to release the cat and to bring it to the shelter for appropriate rabies quarantine.
Cat Bites: In the case of any bite to a human, an official bite report must be completed and filed with the Health Unit (780-623-4471) within 24 hours or as soon as possible. In addition, an in- house bite report must also be completed. If the bite occurred prior to impoundment, it is imperative that the date of the bite and the name and contact information of the person who sustained the bite be recorded at the time of impoundment. In the event that medical attention is required, either at the hospital or medical clinic, a report will be filed by the health service provider.
Identification:To ensure that surgery is not performed on the same cat twice, the left ear of every cat will notched. Cats with notchedleft ears will thereby be readily identified as graduates of TNR and will be released immediately if re-trapped.
Medical Care during Surgery Clinics:
At the time of surgery, all cats will receive the following:
Cats that are pregnant or dehydrated will also receive 150-250 ml SQ fluids.
Infections disease will be assessed on a case by case basis.
C - General Provisions:
Only licensed, humane, live traps approved by the LLBRHS may be used for trapping Stray and Feral Cats. Once baited, TNR personnel shall not leave traps unchecked for periods longer than 8 consecutive hours.
Live traps containing cats are to be handled with care at all times to ensure cats experience minimal discomfort. Whenever possible, feral cats will not be handled directly but will be transferred using cat dens, guillotine doors, nets or other humane restraint equipment. Whenever possible, feral cats will be sedated or anesthetized prior to extensive handling.
Cats which are captured are to be checked for identification as soon as safely possible.
In the event a cat is found with any form of identification (including a tattoo, microchip, collar or other identification), TNR personnel shall immediately notify the LLBRHS and the cat shall be released to the LLBRHS within 12 hours.
Where a Stray or Feral Cat is found without identification, TNR personnel shall provide LLBRHS with a description of the cat including the sex, breed, colour and age within 24 hours.
TNR personnel shall be responsible for making all arrangements for Stray and Feral Cats to be spayed or neutered and to receive other veterinarian recommended medical treatment. All expenses and responsibilities incurred with the TNR initiative, including medical costs, relocating responsibilities and the care of cats prior to Re-homing, shall be the sole responsibility LLBRHS.
Stray Cats may be kept in an approvedFoster Home or temporary shelter of TNR personnel while awaiting veterinary treatment or adoption or while being socialized for adoption provided that the cats:
Are well cared for and;
Do not create a nuisance to neighbouring residents.
When rehoming Stray, the TNR initiative shall ensure that, upon adopting a cat, owners:
are made aware of pet ownership responsibilities; and
sign a record indicating they will care for the cat in accordance with their responsibilities and applicable Municipal by-laws.
The activities of the TNR initiative must not conflict with and, where possible, should enhance theoperations of the LLBRHS.
TNR Personnel shall follow all applicable Municipal bylaws as well as any relevant Federal and Provincial legislation and regulations. At all times, the TNR Initiative shall endeavor to address residents’ concerns regarding Stray and Feral Cats while safeguarding the health and welfare of Stray and Feral Cats in the Municipality.
Recognition by Municipal Animal Control Officers and shelter staff that an ear-tattooed cat has already been spayed or neutered allows for healthy, unsocialized cats to remain at or to be returned to their origin, rather than be admitted to an animal shelter. The TNR program will only return cats to their origin if they are receiving adequate food, water and shelter, and if the environment is conducive to successful outdoor living. The programs will advocate for the well-being of the cats, mediate cat-related neighborhood nuisance complaints and assist with installation of exclusionary measures or deterrents to limit cats’ presence in dangerous, ecologically sensitive or contested areas.
Every effort will be made to place well-socialized free-roaming cats and kittens in new homes when feasible.
Managed colonies will not be supported;
in ecologically sensitive areas;
in areas where demolition or development is impending;
where cats are being subjected to harm or abuse; or
where, despite best efforts, nuisance complaints cannot be satisfactorily mediated.
In such cases, efforts will focus on relocating the colony, paired with the adoption of sociable animals and the placement of unadoptable animals into legitimate, humane sanctuaries as required. In addition, after the cats are removed, exclusionary measures and deterrents can be put into place to prevent immigration of new cats to the area.
Failure to abide by this policy may result in persons no longer being permitted to participate in TNR activities or the withdrawal of authority for the TNR initiative.