Humane Events

Join Our Mailing List

Powered by Robly

Protecting TNR Efforts and Feral Cats in Texas - National Humane Education Society

May 22, 2023

Paws Up!

To the Texas Humane Legislation Network for playing a vital role in creating House Bill 3660 and to Representatives Cody Vasut (R-Angleton) and Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) for introducing this bill in an effort to protect trap, neuter, return (TNR) programs in Texas. HB 3660 clarifies that releasing a feral cat back into the wild after being spayed or neutered is not considered cruelty to nonlivestock animals.

Feral cats can be found in communities throughout the United States. Their numbers increase around a constant food and water source provided by compassionate individuals whose houses the felines visit. The kind act of feeding one cat can quickly become a complex problem when six or more cats join the first one. When left without a plan of action to spay or neuter these homeless cats, six cats can explode into twenty cats.

Feral cat colonies arise from human negligence. This negligence may stem from 1) a lack of education on the importance of spaying and neutering companion animals, 2) an inability to afford the spay or neuter surgery, or 3) a blatant lack of care. Whatever the reasons may be, many kindhearted individuals and animal welfare groups have taken it upon themselves to decrease the feral cat populations in their areas. This is accomplished through TNR or trap, neuter, vaccinate, and return (TNVR) programs. These programs provide a viable and humane solution to keep feral cat colonies from exploding out of control.

According to a news article, Representatives Vasut and Cain introduced House Bill 3660 to protect TNR/TNVR programs in Texas due to the current wording of the Texas Penal Code § 42.092 regarding cruelty to nonlivestock animals. Under the current law, individuals participating in TNR/TNVR programs could potentially be charged with abandoning a cat that they trapped and released back into the location they were found after being spayed or neutered. This bill came to fruition through the tireless efforts of the Texas Humane Legislation Network.

The House and Senate have favorably supported HB 3660, and the bill is waiting for Governor Abbott’s signature. Do you support efforts to decrease the population of feral cats humanely? To learn more about the effectiveness of TNR, please order or download NHES’ brochure here.

Take Action: Texas residents, please contact Governor Abbott to show your support for House Bill 3660.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 responses to “Protecting TNR Efforts and Feral Cats in Texas”

  1. Irene Renfro says:

    Please pass this bill. We have 13 TNR kitties , or more who we have TNR to live on our property. They are better off not far as opposed to reproducing.

  2. Pamela Joan Olsen says:

    TNR has made a huge difference in my New York community.

  3. Caren Patterson says:

    Read today that Texas HB 3360? to prevent prosecution of tnr back to where animal was trapped, was signed into law. My question is can a city council override that bill and require person(s) to release cats outside of city limits once trapped and altered? Would really like some clarification on this or someone I can get in touch with. Thank you.

    • Nevie Brooks says:

      Hi Caren, I’m not well-versed on HB 3360’s text specifically, but I can tell you more about how Texas state law works in concert with local city or county laws. Since HB3360 is now a Texas state law, it would override any local governments’ authority to pass a law that directly contradicts it (just like when federal laws are introduced requiring something, individual states can’t pass legislation that would ban the ability to adhere to a relevant federal law).

      Exceptions happen, when bill language that is signed into law provides for it, so HB 3360 may have language that allows for some exceptions for local governments as far as the requirement they be released where they were found. It also may have undergone changes in the journey from its introduction with language requiring TNR’d cats be released in the location trapped, to that part being removed by the time it got to the governor’s desk for signature.

      If the final version of the bill that was signed into law, however, still has that language stating the trapped and altered cat must be released in the same location it was found, and does not have any language outlaying exceptions, then local city councils would be violating state law by requiring trapped-altered cats to be released somewhere other than where they were trapped. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *