TNR: Trap, Neuter and Return:
Improve the Lives of Street
Sharon Warner Methvin, PhD
Department of Anthropology, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland, OR
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Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is
practiced in many cities in the US,
including my hometown where
we have neutered 75, 000 street
We have been doing TNR since
TNR is a process where caregivers who
are feeding street cats trap them in
They then take them to be neutered
and after recovery, return the cats to
where they are feeding them.
Adoptable cats and kittens are placed
in homes whenever possible.
The goal of the program is to reduce
suffering for existing street cats and
prevent the births and suffering of future
One cat can produce many litters of kittens
for which there are no homes.
In the US only 4 of every 10 kittens born
will find a home. The rest die or are injured
on the streets.
People sometimes feel overwhelmed
and wonder what difference they can
really make to help animals have a
I hope this talk has inspired you and
provided you with knowledge, ideas
YOU can make a difference!
The first official TNR community project in
Nanjing will be conducted this month at Lingu
Temple. Approximately 25-30 cats are cared for
by the temple monks. One elderly monk at the
entrance to the temple feeds around 15 cats
faithfully every morning and evening. Others
lounge blissfully and safe inside the temple
grounds. The temple has posted four large
notices that address the kind treatment of the
temple cats, and all animals, and the promotion
of TNR as a humane alternative to killing other
An old man was strolling along a beach one day. In the
distance he saw a young boy and girl reach down, pick
something up and throw it back into the sea. Drawing nearer,
he saw that the sand was littered with thousands of small
stranded sand dollars. The children were patiently picking
them up, one at a time, and returning them to safety below
the water. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Saving sand
dollars," replied the children as they continued about the job
at hand. "But the beach is littered with dying sand dollars.
What possible difference can you make by doing this?”The
young girl bent over, picked up another, and threw it back in
the water with all her might. Then, turning to the old man,
she said with all the wisdom of a child:
"I made a difference for that one."