MADACC was pleased to offer our municipalities a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for feral cats that is one of a kind and addresses both the concerns of residents and is compatible with municipal ordinances and health concerns. You can read the proposal by clicking here. To date, the only municipalities to have adopted this ordinance is:
Understanding that individuals and rescue groups in the community were already practicing TNR all over Milwaukee County, unregulated and against local ordinances, there was no longer the option of permitting it or not. Instead, it needed to be managed in a way that took the interest of all stakeholders to heart.
What makes this program so unique is that rather than an animal advocacy group, or a large humane society simply sterilizing and vaccinating feral cats and returning them to where they were found without the permission of a property owner, this ordinance allows those who find a feral cat on their property to take that initiative themselves. If you do not want the cat returned to your property, you have no obligation to TNR that cat.
Those who do wish to TNR a cat, will have to follow these guidelines put forth in the ordinance:
- – A TNR cat is defined as ear-tipped, sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated for rabies before placement on property.
- – The Releasing Agent must register the rabies vaccination and microchip information with MADACC as well as their contact information. This is required should the cat be trapped and brought to MADACC as a stray or nuisance animal. You must provide this information to MADACC prior to or at the time of release for the cat to be included in the program. MADACC can take this information over the phone or in person at our facility.
- – No more than 2 feral cats may be released on any property.
- – Observed feeding can be done from dawn to dusk. Food may not be left out all day as it will attract more cats and wild animals including coyotes. No feeding may be done overnight. Water may be left out 24 hours per day.
- – If a registered feral cat is brought to MADACC, the Releasing Agent may retrieve the cat during the first two days for no fee unless rabies vaccine needs a booster per law at which time a $15 fee will be assessed.
This program also allows rescue groups to pull cats deemed feral from MADACC and place them with individuals who would like to provide care to up to two feral cats on their property in municipalities that are participating in this program. Again, those cats must be sterilized, vaccinated and chipped to the person releasing them on their property and that information must be filed with MADACC.
At the end of the day, the way to ending problem outdoor feral cat populations is by making sure all these cats are sterilized. This program allows those who feed outdoor cats to get them sterilized and prevent future breeding while maintaining a low population to reduce the impact on neighbors and wildlife. It also allows those with problem feral populations to trap and remove those cats from their property without the worry of the cats being returned.
All animal welfare organizations agree that pet cats should be exclusively indoor pets, or only allowed out with a leash or in an enclosed patio or other cat friendly enclosure. We recommend sterilizing all indoor cats as well, which helps if they ever get outside from being part of an accidental litter.