I am a volunteer for a local animal rescue, and I also co-founded a group that takes pictures and videos of cats at our local county shelter to market them and increase their chances of making it out alive. Our shelter started a TNVR program several years ago. We have more recently been seeing even friendly cats (and kittens!) being scheduled for TNVR. I am very concerned that these cats are cats who had owners that moved away and left, or they are cats who are lost and unfortunate not to have been microchipped. Friendly kittens being TNVR'd when there are so many empty cages at the shelter, is just wrong in my opinion. The rescue group that I volunteer with and foster for, has saved many of these friendly kittens after finding them on the feral cat patio about to be TNVR'd after being transferred from the shelter to this vet clinic that is a partner with this shelter. Many times we have received contact forms through our rescue, stating the people brought these friendly cats to the shelter to be adopted because they do not have a food source where they are living, and the shelter staff noted in the records that the cats are very friendly, yet they were still "TNVR'd" back to the location where there was not a food source for them.
I am posting this because i want to get a feeling for what other county shelters around our country are doing. When i inquired with our rescue coordinator at the shelter about what criteria makes a cat become eligible for TNVR, here was their response: "We follow TNR best practices recommended by animal welfare organizations and Best Friends references most of our reasoning behind why we TNR friendly cats. In the majority of cases, if a cat is friendly and is healthy body condition they either have an owner or a caregiver already taking care of them. Many indoor/outdoor or outdoor owned cats end up getting picked up or brought to the shelter as strays and actually do have a caregiver caring for them. If a cat is in good condition it generally means that they are thriving in their current environment. We TNVR all stray cats that meet the criteria whether they are friendly or not. Kittens that are over 2 lbs. and friendly go into adoptions."
Even though they say they put friendly kittens up for adoption, we keep finding them scheduled to be TNVR'd and have heard from good samaritans about friendly kittens with ear notches that had come from this shelter.
I would welcome any feedback from other cat advocates. Do you think this is responsible TNVR? Do you feel that, if there is room at the shelter, friendly stray cats should be put up for adoption and given the chance to find a home rather than going back out to the streets? Do you feel friendly kittens should ever be TNVR'd?
Thank you so much!