Hurst advocates of TNR, or trap-neuter-release, a humane approach to controlling feral cat populations, may finally have an ally. Recently appointed by Hurst City Council as the new director of the Hurst Animal Shelter, Amanda Earl believes the policy could help lower kill rates.
Earl told the Weekly that she will comment on her efforts when the process is further along. For now, she said, it is too early to discuss anything publically.
The TNR movement is still relatively new in North Texas, and like the city councils in nearby Bedford and Euless, Hurst City Council has not gotten around to considering TNR yet, meaning that many feral cats brought to the shelter are euthanized. Fort Worth adopted the policy in January 2013 at the urging of residents and numerous animal welfare groups. TNR advocates say that by vaccinating and neutering cats, the wild animals’ population can be controlled and even diminished without the need for putting down the frisky felines.
The bulk of the TRN work in the Mid-Cities tends to fall on nonprofits such as Panther City Feral Cat Coalition and Mid-Cities Community Cats, whose volunteers return feral cats to their colonies and often foot the bill for medical procedures. Mid-Cities Community Cats vice-president Connie Stout said Earl has responded positively to the possibility of adopting TNR in Hurst.
Encouraged, the nonprofit’s directors posted on their Facebook page that there is now a “good chance” that Hurst City Council will adopt TNR and called for Hurstians to volunteer to help trap feral cats, deliver them to the city shelter for vaccination and neutering, and then return them to their colonies.
“We’re offering our services to the Hurst Animal Shelter,” Stout said. Earl “definitely believes in TNR.”
If the new policy is adopted, Stout added, her group plans to document the intake and euthanasia numbers at the city shelter and use the data to advocate for TNR in nearby Euless and Bedford.
The next animal shelter board meeting is scheduled for sometime in August.