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 those participating in the TNR Program or volunteers assisting those who qualify for “trapping assistance”. The traps used are humane, "TruCatch box traps."


The cats are spayed or neutered 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 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 due to the number of cats and kittens flooding the already overburdened shelters

For more information, please contact
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