New Law Will Ensure Vital Programs Will Keep At-Risk Cats Out of Shelters
AUSTIN (May 18, 2023) – Best Friends Animal Society, the leading national animal sheltering organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025, applauds the passage of HB 3660 to protect unowned cat programs. Authored by Rep. Cody Vasut and sponsored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini and supported by Best Friends Animal Society, HB 3660 will add to the Texas Code of laws language that ensures Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) programs, also called Community Cat Programs, are unencumbered by state cruelty laws.
TNVR is the only scientifically proven way to control unowned cat populations humanely and effectively. TNVR means cats are humanely trapped, examined by a veterinarian to ensure they are healthy, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and returned to their outdoor home. Most unowned cats are cared for by community members and often referred to as community cats.
The Best Friends Houston Pet Adoption Center has performed more than 3,000 spay/neuter services over the last year and through Best Friends Network Partners more than 37,000 community cats have been sterilized statewide.
“One thing we can all agree on is that rounding up cats and impounding them in a shelter just to be killed is a terrible way to spend Texas residents’ resources,” said Laura Donahue, Senior Director – Legislation and Advocacy, Best Friends Animal Society. “Community cat programs help end needless killing, save valuable resources, empower community members to deal responsibly with unowned cat populations, and reduce the burden on Texas shelters. This legislation to remove perceived barriers to TNVR or community cat programs will ensure these programs grow and is a win for shelters, communities, taxpayers and, of course, cats.”
With twice the number of cats killed in Texas shelters compared to dogs, community cat programs are essential to saving valuable taxpayer resources, humanely addressing unowned cat populations, and relieving compassionate animal shelter workers from the intense emotional burden of euthanizing healthy cats.
“Texas should continue to empower communities to care for animals responsibly and humanely without the burden of unnecessary laws, bureaucracy, or fear of prosecution,” added Donahue.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.