TOWSON, MD—During Monday night’s meeting, the Baltimore County Council passed the Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act.
The legislation, which was introduced by County Executive Johnny Olszewski in October, formalizes the county’s existing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) pilot program to humanely and effectively maintain the free-roaming cat populations.
“We know that TNR is an ethical, humane, and non‐lethal way to lower our County’s free-roaming cat population,” Olszewski said last month. “Affirming the County’s existing pilot program into law will help ensure we continue to responsibly address the number of feral cats in our communities.”
The Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act codifies a Trap-Neuter-Return program in the County Code and require the Health Officer to establish guidelines and procedures for a TNR Program.
TNR involves the humane trapping of cats that reside outside and show no signs of having been owned. Once trapped, a cat is sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped at a surgical center, and then returned to the area where they were originally found.
TNR responsibly reduces the population of free-roaming cats in communities, protects human health by vaccinating the cats against rabies and is supported by leading animal advocacy organizations, including the ASPCA and the Humane Society. BCAS has operated a pilot TNR program since 2015.
Baltimore County now joins Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, and Prince George’s County, as well as numerous jurisdictions nationwide, in operating a TNR program.
Additional information about the program is available online here.
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