Friends of Felines – Cape Hatteras Island
Organized efforts of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) began in Denmark and England over 35 years ago. TNR was formerly introduced to the United States in 1980, and in 1990 Alley Cat Allies (www.alleycat.org) created a nationwide network. Since then there has been a progressive movement for the protection of feral cats, community cats and their offspring. In communities where TNR is practiced, feral cat and community cat numbers have dropped.
The definition of ‘feral’ is to exist in a natural state; having reverted to the wild state as from domestication. In other words, cats that have reverted back to the wild state after being lost or abandoned, or the offspring of a stray or abandoned cat that has had no human contact for the first few weeks of life. A ‘community’ cat is an outdoor cat that lives a healthy, active life outdoors. They may or may not be wary of individuals and frequently acknowledge their caregivers. They are also considered ‘feral’.
TNR is a comprehensive management plan where all healthy feral and community cats are sterilized, vaccinated and returned to their habitat where long-term care is provided. TNR programs operate largely or entirely through the dedicated efforts of committed volunteers.