In May, Cache Humane Society signed a one-year agreement with the Logan City Police Department to establish a trap-neuter-release pilot program that will change the way feral cats are handled in Logan.
In the new program, community members will continue to call Animal Control if they have issues regarding free-roaming cats. When the cats are picked up, they’ll be brought to Cache Humane Society where they will be sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped and then immediately released at the location where they were originally trapped. Stacey Frisk is the executive director of Cache Humane.
“The justification behind trap-neuter-release is that cats tend to be very territorial. So by sterilizing, vaccinating, and then releasing those cats back at that location, you establish a territory of non-breeding cats. The alternative is simply removing those cats from that territory, which creates what we refer to as a vacuum, and you will promptly see that territory occupied by cats that are unlikely to be sterilized and unlikely to be vaccinated.”
She says about 500 stray cats come to Cache Humane every year through Logan City Animal Control. Only about 2% are reclaimed as pets. The majority of the unclaimed cats are the ones the humane society aims to help with trap-neuter-release. Frisk hopes this new program will help diminish the amount of breeding cats in Logan.
“Trap-neuter-return also allows us to move feral cats more quickly through our facility which minimizes stress and exposure to disease. The way Utah state law works regarding impounding animals – you have two options when a cat is picked up by animal control. That cat can either be held for 5 days at a licensed-impound facility like ours. And those 5 days are meant to give their family time to find them before they are put up for adoption or, if a community chooses, those cats can be trapped-neutered and released immediately”
Frisk says this program will actually save Logan citizens more money since the process before was to hold the cat in the facility for 5 days. The facility bills the city for those days spent in the shelter. She says trap-neuter-release costs less to operate than the 5-day system.
Salt Lake City, Draper, Weber County and Brigham City are among other areas in Utah participating in the trap-neuter-release program.