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Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program

Animal Outreach of Shelby County helps caretakers of community, unowned, or feral cats with a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program. We focus on humanely reducing the number of community cats living on our streets. Last fall, we started hosting a large volume spay day, exclusively for community, unowned, or feral cats. That spay day relies on donations from caretakers to make the day possible. We are able to offer free TNR surgeries when funds are available (we rely on grants* and donations). 

Eligibility Requirements

Cats must:
Be from an address within Shelby County
Arrive in a trap or hard carrier
Be over three months of age (roughly three pounds in weight)
Appear healthy. If there are health concerns, email or call before trapping.
All cats must be picked up same day

Surgery Package

In an effort to reduce the community cat population, the TNR surgery package provides:
Spay or neuter
Rabies vaccine
FVRCP vaccine(when donated by the manufacturers)
Ear-tipping—the tip of the left ear is surgically removed. An ear-tip is the universal symbol of a spayed or neutered outdoor cat.

Trap Loans

Free trap loans are available to anyone trapping within Shelby County. Traps can be loaned for TNR only. We do not loan traps for removal or relocation of cats. At times there may be a waiting list. Traps are typically on loan for a two-week period.
You are more than welcome to use your own traps!

Some Resources and How-to’s

The Kitten Lady has a great video on how to trap cats for trap-neuter-return.

Want to print out a how to on trapping, from A-Z? We have a pdf you can print off.

Once you’ve signed up for the trap-neuter–return program (click or scroll down to the bottom of this page), you are eligible to schedule surgery appointments when we text or email that registrations are open. 

Animal Outreach of Shelby County doesn’t operate a veterinary clinic. We contract with a full service veterinary clinic in Greensburg, Indiana to provide spay/neuter services to community cats in Shelby County. We have a limited number of humane, live traps to loan to those of you without your own.

Cats can be in a carrier if friendly or a trap if unsocialized/skittish/feral. Please, if the cat is not 100% able to be handled safely by strangers, err on the side of safety and transport the cat in a trap. If anyone on the veterinary staff gets bit or scratched by a cat in a carrier, the cat will have to be held for rabies quarantine. And we certainly don’t want the staff member injured!

The benefits of spaying and neutering the unowned cat population include:

Stops breeding and prevent unwanted litters of kittens
Saves taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of animal shelters
Helps improve the health and quality of life of outdoor cats
Reduces nuisance behaviors like spraying, fighting, howling, and roaming