Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino have announced that the Town Animal Shelter has just surpassed 10,000 spay/neuter surgeries in its comprehensive Trap, Neuter and Return Program for feral cats. The milestone comes less than four years after the town launched the initiative, which has helped to stabilize the town’s free-roaming cat population.
“The spaying/neutering of 10,000 feral cats in our area reaffirms the Town of Hempstead’s commitment to a responsible and humane method of reducing the number of cats roaming the streets,” stated Supervisor Murray. “We encourage residents to assist the Town Animal Shelter by reporting feral cats in their communities, and there are even opportunities for neighbors with training to participate in the program.”
“I applaud Supervisor Murray for her leadership on this important issue in the Town of Hempstead,” added Senior Councilman Santino. “Our Trap, Neuter and Return Program has made a significant impact on the town’s feral cat community.”
“I am proud to partner with Supervisor Murray and Senior Councilman Santino to continue this humane and effective strategy in the Town of Hempstead,” added Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney.
Under the TNR program, a feral cat is trapped in a specially designed trap, transported to the town Animal Shelter to be spayed/neutered, and then, after a recovery period, returned to the same location where it was trapped. The goal of TNR is to allow cats to continue living in their natural habitats, but without the ability to reproduce and add to the feral cat population. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the TNR strategy is the only humane and effective method of controlling the number of feral cats living in a community.
Residents who are trained in TNR are encouraged to participate in the free program, but should first contact the Town Animal Shelter before trapping or transporting a cat to the shelter. Cats brought to the town Animal Shelter for TNR will also receive free rabies and distemper vaccinations, flea control and ear tipping (ear tipping lets other residents know that the cat has already been “fixed”). For a $25 cash payment, residents can also have cats tested for feline AIDS/leukemia.
The Hempstead Town Animal Shelter is located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh. For more information, call the Shelter at (516) 785-5220 or visit www.toh.li/animal-shelter.