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Animal advocates react to new proposed bill to protect TNR programs in the state

Posted at 6:43 AM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 07:43:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On its way to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desk is House Bill 3660. It will protect Trap-Neuter-Return programs in the state of Texas.

“TNR Programs, Trap-Neuter-Return, consist of trapping the cats, using a humane trap and bringing them in to get spayed or neutered and then releasing them back into the community in which they came,” Jackie McCollough said.

McCollough with the Gulf Coast Humane Society said she’s aware of the controversy surrounding HB 3660.

Currently, there is a request for Attorney General Ken Paxton to determine whether TNR programs conflict with the animal cruelty section on unlawful abandonment.

“These are cats that have lived outside this entire time. They come from that area, and that’s where they’re best suited,” McCollough said.

Gulf Coast Humane Society doesn’t have its own TNR program, but they work with nonprofit groups and individuals who dedicate themselves to this work, like Kim Grigg, a board member with Faith and Hope Dog Rescue.

Grigg tells us there’s a major overpopulation of cats.

“There may be upwards of 65,000 cats on the streets, and I think it might be higher from what I’ve seen,” Grigg said.

From this number, only 3% are neutered and vaccinated.

Grigg and other TNR programs go out several times a week to help with this problem.

“If it’s allowed to continue to let these populations grow, you’re going to have sickly cats running on the streets,” Grigg said. “With the program, they’ll get spayed and neutered and ear tipped, they’ll get their rabies shot, and that way they can be somewhat healthy and not spreading diseases around.”

Grigg said, currently, local TNR programs are funded by grants.

McCollough wants to see these groups continue without any issues.

“This bill will really clear up some of the language and make sure that in Texas, we can continue TNR programs,” McCollough said.