Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County Animal Control will partner with private groups to catch, sterilize and release feral cats, instead of euthanizing them.
The ordinance unanimously approved by county commissioners Monday replaces an old, blanket policy of holding all loose animals for three days and then euthanizing them if no one claimed them and they were not adoptable.
Private volunteers and funds will carry out the TNR policy, while the county will still take feral cats if the person complaining about them requests it. Volunteers will also vaccinate the cats before releasing them.
"We thank the commissioners for their vote today in support of trap-neuter-return (TNR), the only effective and humane approach to feral cats in a community," Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies, said in a statement. "This is a major advancement for cats and the people who care for them, and we look forward to working with Wake County as it implements this life-saving program."
Alley Cat Allies had threatened to sue Wake County, saying it had broken an unwritten agreement to allow it to operate a TNR pilot program.