Lawton, Oklahoma has recently been overrun by an extensive population of #Feral Cats and to help the animals, several animal welfare groups are working through a proposed #Trap-Neuter-Return Program. The stray cats are helpless in their need to live and survive in the area, but with the much-needed help, the number of felines can be managed and lives saved. These colonies of cats have been growing for the past 30 years, and it is crucial to managing their numbers.

What is the Trap-Neuter-Return Program?

With so many feral cats in the Lawton, Oklahoma area, they continue to reproduce uncontrollably, increasing the number of felines. The proposed Trap-Neuter-Return Program (TNR) is designed to locate the feral cat colonies, safely trap the cats in crates, and get them to a participating veterinarian to spay and neuter the animals. After the surgery, the cats would then be released back into their own colonies to live out their lives without reproducing or being subjected to euthanasia. Animal welfare groups like the Fix Lawton and Alley Cat Allies is funded through various donations that will provide for the TNR program.

Controlling feral cats in Lawton

If approved, the TNR program will eventually work to decrease the feral cat population since they cannot reproduce. Along with the funded animal welfare groups, other volunteers will help in catching the cats and monitoring their feeding stations. Many people feed the stray and feral cats which are against city ordinance, but the hope is to revise the ordinance as a means of implementing the TNR program. There is a difference between the stray and the feral cat. Strays are often used to human contact whereas the feral is like a wild animal. A spokesperson for animal welfare told reporters that “You have to put them down because we will never put them anywhere. If you look at it through the TNR eyes, we fix the cats and put them back into their colonies, so they get to live out their life, and it’s more humane. They actually get to be pro-active in the community and allow them to be the mouse and rat catchers and actually give them a humane way to live.” The TNR program will be voted in coming weeks.