Fulton County & TNRC

ABOVE: An ear-tipped cat means a feral that has been TNR’ed. The ear-tip is universally on the left ear. TNR is practiced in Great Britain (since the 1950s) and Denmark (since the 1970’s)  and is now used all over the world. In the United States Alley Cat Allies began advocating,  legalizing and instituting the practice beginning in 1991. https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/tnr-stray-cats-meaning-history-statistics.

COMMUNITY CATS: If there are free-roaming cats around your home that are not ear-tipped, you are soon going to have a Community Cat Colony. A single cat can have 3 litters a year— perhaps 18 kittens will soon be looking at you very innocently and will begin their own families at about 6 months old. These free-roaming neighborhood cats are many times feral from lack of human interaction as kittens. To sustainably and humanely control these community cat populations Trap, Neuter, Return, Care (TNRC) is universally utilized worldwide.

THE TNRC SOLUTION:  Atlanta LifeLine’s Community Cat Program will (1) show you how to trap feral cats and then (2) provide economically priced vet facilities where these feral cats are humanely neutered by veterinary teams trained to neuter, vaccinate and ear-tip ferals (to identify them as neutered). The only requirement is that the cats are in a trap, which Lifeline will also provide with training if requested.
Because most of these cats are unsocialized and feral and do not want to live with a human, the adults are returned back to their neighborhoods where designated caretakers maintain them as roaming cats.  Ferals are well acclimated to the outdoor environment (cats lived almost 100% outdoors until cat litter was invented in the 1950’s), although they appreciate shelters if provided. If the feral kittens are young enough they can be tamed and human homes found for them.
Once a cat is ear-tipped it is protected by Fulton County Animal Control as a cared-for, free-roaming, feral community cat.

GET CONCISE INFORMATION HERE: https://lifelineanimal.org/community-cats/
LifeLine’s Community Cat Program (part of Fulton County Animal Control run by LifeLine Animal Project ) is metro Atlanta’s first and largest Trap-Neuter-Return-Care (TNRC) assistance program. It is dedicated to humanely managing community cat colonies using TNRC. The umbrella organization, LifeLine Animal Project, established in 2001 by Rebecca Guinn,  now manages the Fulton and DeKalb County Animal Services shelters, two of the largest county shelters in metro Atlanta. In addition to overseeing shelter operations in both counties, LifeLine also provides Animal Enforcement and Field Services in Fulton County.


1. SUSTAINABLE ECONOMICS: Controlling cat populations sustainably saves taxpayers many dollars a year at animal shelters. Before TNRC feral cats, being unsocialized, were not adoptable and gathered up and euthanized at great expense. Called the “vacuum effect”, some cats always resisted being gathered up and would quickly repopulate and start the process over again.
2. SUSTAINABLE, NO PESTICIDE PEST CONTROL :  Starting at least 12,000 years ago early agrarian societies formed a symbiotic relationship with cats as very useful pest control around granaries. Domestic Cats are very good preditors with only Canidae (foxes, wolves, coyotes, dogs) higher in the food chain. Even when a cat is well-fed they think pests are entertaining playthings and a pest population will not thrive with a cat around.  This makes a  community cat’s presence and smell a natural deterrent to rodents and snakes who might be thinking about moving into the area. Studies have shown  (for example wolf-deer environmental studies) that having predators present balances the natural environment and keeps pest populations down.
3. SUSTAINABLE CAT POPULATIONS : When there are community cats in an area they keep other cats from moving in. And no kittens are growing up wild. After about 12-16 years and the cats have aged out, a maintained colony will not replace itself.


      • http://www.commonsenseforcats.com/
        Common Sense for Cats explains how TNRC works sustainably, saves money and respects the lives of animals.
      • https://www.alleycat.org/
        Alley Cat Allies
        “Beginning in the early 1990s trap/neuter/return (TNR) protocols, pioneered in this country by Alley Cat Allies, changed the fundamental paradigm for managing free-roaming stray and feral cats – collectively known as community cats.”
        – Gregory Castle, CEO Best Friends Animal Society
      • https://bestfriends.org/
        Best Friends Animal Society is visionary and well organized with 33,000 acres in Utah.  Receiving good guidance from Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends brought  LifeLine’s Community Cat Program to Atlanta in 2011.


“You don’t lose cool points for compassion”  – Sterling Davis-

Interesting Atlanta Story: Why Sterling Davis Left His Music Career To Become A Feral Cat Advocate