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Spotswood seeks to control feral cats with TNVR program

SPOTSWOOD–Seeking more control over the feral cat population, the Borough Council adopted an ordinance amending the municipal code to establish a Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release Program (TNVR).

“This ordinance is basically putting in an ordinance that we can do a trap and release program within the Borough of Spotswood. So we partner with a rescue that would collect any feral cats within our community, they would neuter or spay them. If they have a good personality we’ll have them tried to be adopted out and they wouldn’t be chipped so that we can control the population of cats,” Mayor Jackie Palmer said during the April 19 council meeting.

Cats in managed colonies are vaccinated against rabies and are spayed or neutered, thereby controlling the population, which is more humane than trapping and euthanizing, according to the council.

Palmer said the borough has never had a TNVR program before.

“Any cat that’s considered a feral cat that doesn’t have an owner – so the way the program will work is there will be caretakers that … will be responsible for ensuring the health and well-being and feeding of these animals. They will be trained appropriately so they’re volunteers within the community,” Palmer said.

Palmer said the borough already has a few volunteers who want to be part of this program, and they’ll be colony caretakers.

“The idea is to have a set feeding spot for them so that they’re easier to track. Once they’re trapped they can be neutered, spayed and chipped so that we know what cats are in our community,” Palmer said. “Obviously, after they’re spayed and neutered they cannot reproduce anymore. So hopefully over time our population of feral cats and cats that live outdoors … will reduce significantly.”

Before the ordinance was adopted, resident Nancy Fradella asked the council if the ordinance could be renamed Toby’s TNVR Program.

“I’ve been interested in this since before the winter. I want to thank Jackie Palmer. I have given us the opportunity to go forward with the council to have this voted on because the problem with a lot of these feral cats being in the community is that a lot of them are sick,” Fradella said. “I [also] just want to ask too if the ordinance’s name could be changed because it all started with one animal that I think is no longer with us and it was Toby. So instead you could have it be named Toby’s TNVR Progam?”

The council agreed to rename the ordinance, the Toby TNVR Program.

With an unanimous vote, the council approved and adopted the ordinance to establish a TNVR program to help control the borough’s feral cat population on May 3 during the council meeting in-person and via video conference.

This ordinance will be in effect after its adoption and any publication required by law, according to the council.

For more information, visit www.spotswoodboro.com or call 732-251-0700.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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