The purpose of the community cat program for West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Services is to reduce the breeding and over population of community cats while addressing complaints and concerns from our residents. The Community Cat program aims to achieve these goals while helping the maintain a No-Kill status among the shelter population. The best way to do this is through the Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) Program.
What is the Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) Program?
Trap/neuter/return (TNR) programs involve trapping, neutering/vaccinating, and returning community cats to their original outdoor locations. It is not only the most humane method of preventing cats from entering the shelter system; it’s the most effective.
Community Cats are trapped and brought to the shelter. Ideally, they should be in the Shelter no longer than 48 hours – enough time to do a health assessment, vaccinate them, and get them fixed. The cats are then returned to where they were picked up or trapped.
When do you offer the TNR Program?
The TNR Program is available year-round. However, from November 20 through January 31 the program is available by appointment only.
Why is the program only available by appointment during the winter months?
Outdoor community cats are different from the sweet, spoiled cats that curl up inside on the couch. During the winter, outdoor cats develop a thick undercoat -- just like all wild animals. This protects them from the cold and wetness. If they are brought in for any length of time they could start to shed that undercoat putting them in jeopardy. Because this is the coldest time of year cats don't typically breed, so there is no urgency to get them fixed. Additionally, if a cat is left in a trap it has less ability to stay warm.
Cats are smart and know where the best places are to hide and stay warm in the winter. If you are worried about community cats staying warm during the winter, we encourage you to put out a winter den. A quick internet search can provide information on creating a den. We can also provide resources upon request.
Should I provide food or shelter for community cats?
Sometimes there are caregivers for one or more cats in a community. These caregivers provide food supplement and/or temporary shelters during the winter. While this is a wonderful gesture, it is not necessary for community cats to thrive. Cats are scavengers and those born into this type of life and environment know how to find food and shelter. West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Services does not provide food or shelters for caregivers. We can, however, provide information on food resources and how to build a shelter.
You are responsible for the care of any animal captured. The trap should be placed where the trapped animal is protected from the elements and water must be accessible to the trapped animal. The animal must be turned into West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Services, released at the trap location, or returned to its owner. You are not allowed, by state law and local ordinance, to release or relocate the animal to other locations.
Trapping is not allowed on weekends or holidays. If an animal is captured, please contact West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Services Dispatch at 801-965-5845 Monday-Friday during normal business hours for pickup or you may bring the animal to the shelter during normal business hours. The Shelter is located at 4522 West 3500 South in West Valley City. The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Community Cat Coordinator
West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Services has a full-time person assigned to the Community Cat Program. If you have any questions or concerns regarding community cats, or would like to schedule an appointment during winter months, please contact our coordinator at 801-965-5812 or via email.