Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program
For Community Cats
Are you feeding stray cats?
Like many other animals, feral cats live outdoors. If you are feeding neighborhood cats in the City of Colorado Springs, thanks for being a good neighbor. You can improve their quality of life by volunteering to be a Feral Cat Colony Manager for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.
Spayed and neutered cats make better neighbors and will help reduce the cat overpopulation problem. The annoying cat mating behaviors such as yowling and fighting will decrease and there will be no more stray kittens.
We want to help provide care for these stray cats in the City of Colorado Springs by:
-Providing free spaying and neutering.
-Vaccinating against rabies and other illnesses.
-Once trapped, sterilized and vaccinated, cats will be ear-tipped for identification purposes. By ear tipping we will easily identify a cat as being already sterilized and reduce stressful handling.
The goals of the HSPPR TNR Program are to provide care for the feral cats in the community, lower the cat euthanasia rate and implement a humane solution to the feral cat problem.
Colony Manager Volunteer Profile
Minimum Age: 18 (Volunteers under the age of 18 may assist in colony management but must always be accompanied by an adult when performing the duties of the Colony Manager (CM)).
Major Objective: To provide assistance in addressing the feral cat and cat overpopulation problem by working within the HSPPR TNR program.
Responsibilities: To feed and maintain the grounds of a feral cat colony everyday. To observe and report colony for: sickness or injuries, birth of new kittens, new colony members and other events monthly (or sooner if needed). To post door signs in the colony neighborhood, so locals have an understanding of the program. To humanely trap and transport colony members for sterilization. To coordinate with co-colony manager to ensure colony is cared for everyday.
Training: Attend the Colony Management Training
Commitment: 3 Hours a week. It will take approximately 20 minutes a day to feed, maintain the colony grounds and fill out the colony report.
Volunteer Profile: This volunteer should be an avid cat person, enjoy working independently and is an outdoor enthusiast. We need someone who can lift 40lbs. This volunteer should live in the same neighborhood-location as the colony.
Benefits: To participate in a program which leads to humane treatment of feral cats. To work with other volunteers who have the same goals. To provide care for cats that have no resources or protection and actively help to reduce the cat overpopulation problem and thus cat euthanasia rates.
What are the responsibilities of a Colony Manager
1- Feeding - ensure the colony is adequately supplied with food.
2- Monitoring- monitor the colony for new animals, unsterilized animals and threats to the colony.
3- Sterilization- bring community cats into the HSPPR surgery center for sterilization.
4- Maintenance- clean and maintain the colony grounds as well as the colony shelters.
5- Educating- educate citizens about the benefits of a TNR program. This mostly refers to hanging door flyers in the colony neighborhood.
About Ear Tipping
- Ear tipping is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Ear tipping is the easiest way to indentify a feral cat as being sterilized. If an ear tipped sterilized feral cat is caught during a “TNR catching”, the cat can immediately be released. If the cat is otherwise IDed (such as a tattoo or microchip) the feral cat would be subjected to stressful handling which would also expose the CM to possible injury.
- Ear tipping is a medical surgical procedure done while the cat is under anesthesia.
- Ear tipping shows that a cat has been sterilized, vaccinated and is part of a managed feral colony.
- Ear tipping is considered essential by experienced feral cat advocates and is endorsed by all major humane groups
- This procedure is not equivalent to ear cropping for cosmetic fashion in dogs.
Common Questions about the TNR Program
How is a feral cat colony sanctioned?
A feral cat colony is sanctioned when it is recognized by the HSPPR TNR Program Manager (PM). Obviously, permission from the owner of the property is essential. An agreement between the property owner/CM/the HSPPR to allow the HSPPR TNR program to “provide care” for the colony via free sterilizations, testing and vaccinations, will be signed. This “agreement” is otherwise known as the CM contract. Once the CM contract is signed and the colony is sanctioned the colony is registered with the HSPPR TNR Program and the HSPPR will be able to provide the cat colony services.
What is the purpose of the Colony Manager contract?
In order to define expectations and avoid possible conflict, a contract is signed. This way both parties know what to expect and what each party’s responsibilities are.
What are the benefits of working with the HSPPR on the feral cat issue?
Sanctioned colonies are provided free rabies vaccinations and sterilizations. Feral cats are also exempt from impound fees and licensing.
How does the colony manager maintain a colony and communicate with the Program Manager?
Colony Managers are required to report once a month (either email or phone call) about any changes or events pertaining to the colony.
Does being a Colony Manager require public speaking?
No. Being a colony manager means sometimes speaking with member of the public to answer questions about the benefits of the HSPPR TNR Program. It does not require colony managers to stand before crowds of people to make speeches.
What are the requirements and time commitments of a colony manager?
Colony Managers need to be at least 18 years old and willing to visit the colony once a day for feeding and colony maintenance. They will need to make arrangements to havethe colony cared for in their absence.
If you are interested in helping your neighborhood stray cats, please email the HSPPR Trap-Neuter-Return Program Coordinator, Angie Davis or call her at 719-302-8786.