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Trap-Neuter-Return Program


Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a program in which outdoor cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, ear-tipped and returned to the location where they were found. TNR is the most humane and effective method for stabilizing and eventually reducing outdoor cat populations.




Outdoor cats are humanely trapped by TNR participants, including trained volunteers, caregivers, and other qualified participants. The traps used are humane "TruCatch” box traps.  Traps, training and instructions are provided through ADLA’s TNR Program.



The cats are neutered or spayed by a veterinarian. These surgeries are sometimes called “fixing” or “altering” a cat. The left ear is “tipped” to identify the cat as fixed. “Tipped” means that a tiny part of the ear's tip is snipped to indicate that the cat has been altered. This procedure is performed while the cat is under anesthesia. Ear-tipping is a universal identifier of a sterilized homeless outdoor cat and helps those who are trapping cats to know that the spay/neuter has already been completed, thus avoiding subjecting the cat to a needless trapping and a second unnecessary surgical experience.



The cats are returned to their original location where caregivers may continue to provide food and water.


● Ends the breeding cycle and stabilizes cat populations
● More effective and less expensive than extermination
● Eliminates or minimizes annoying behaviors such as spraying, yowling and fighting
● Helps end the suffering of unwanted, homeless cats
● Reduces euthanasia by decreasing the number of homeless kittens born on the streets and turned into the shelters

For more information, please contact
ADLA/The Spay Neuter Hotline


  602.265.7729 (SPAY)
or visit

Animal Defense League of Arizona's website

*Spay Neuter Hotline is a program of ADLA

For additional rescources about TNR, found kittens and more, please visit -

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