Spay/Houston to test new TNR MASH unit in Conroe area

Published 12/14/2011


Testing to begin in Conroe and Willis starting in January 2012

CONROE, Texas -- Spay/Houston has received funding from the Robbie Jones Animal Welfare Fund to help subsidize the cost for more than 200 surgeries for free roaming cats. In an effort to measure the effects of trap/neuter/return on intakes and euthanasia rates at a community shelter, Spay/Houston has selected the City of Conroe Animal Shelter as a target. The idea is to spay and neuter free roaming cats in the Cities of Conroe and Willis through the practice of Trap/Neuter/Return or "TNR."

“Success of a good TNR program takes buy in from shelters, the public and rescue groups,” explains Spay/Houston’s executive director, Deana Sellens. “We are very excited to be working in Conroe! We have been running a transport into this community for over a year and the compassion of the community toward the animals is not like anywhere else!”

The Spay/Houston MASH unit will be set up in Conroe with the help of volunteers from Clipped Ear Cat Sanctuary. They will be identifying colonies of cats, training trappers and volunteers, lending traps out, and providing support for aftercare of the cats. The program will begin in January with as many as 10 cats per day. Free transportation service will be provided for these cats for those who cannot drive to Houston. A “Feral Cat Day” will also be hosted in early February where they intend to spay/neuter 80 to 100 cats before kitten season (spring) starts!

TNR is just like it sounds. It is the practice of trapping free roaming cats, having them sexually sterilized and returning them to their point of origin. TNR is an alternative solution to catch and kill. It is a non-lethal method of reducing the number of unwanted cats in an area. Effects of TNR are immediate and long term if they are ongoing. Numerous studies have shown that TNR works. If you compare shelters who simply catch and kill, you will not see a reduction in the shelter’s intake and euthanasia rates of cats and kittens.

When you remove a free roaming cat from its location, other cats simply move in to take advantage of food, water and shelter previously guarded by the removed cat, and you often see rodent and snake infestations following the removal of cats. Cats can have as many as 4 litters per year, so as the breeding stops, cat populations are reduced significantly.

The average stray female will have 5 litters in her lifetime (roughly 22 kittens). Approximately 13 will survive kittenhood (roughly 6 females and 7 males). These 6 females will go on to have 22 surviving kittens each, so 1 un-spayed female can be expected to result in 3,200 kittens over her lifetime.

The cost of TNR is typically between 25-35 percent less expensive than catch and kill to the tax payers. The TNR process works to reduce the population through natural attrition. The average lifespan of a free roaming cat is only 2 years.

If you would like to volunteer or help financially support the continued efforts we are putting into this great community, please contact Deana Sellens.

Spay/Houston is a not for profit, low cost spay/neuter and wellness clinic for cats, dogs, and rabbits. The clinic is owned and operated by Adopt A Cat, Inc., a no kill cat sanctuary and shelter. The clinic is open Tuesday through Saturday by appointment for surgery and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for wellness on Saturdays. Spay/Houston also runs a transportation service to and from underserviced areas for pet owners who cannot make the drive.