Community Cats Program

Cat-ResizedHarrington is partnering with the Delaware SPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, Alley Cat Allies, and volunteers from the community to implement a feral cat management program. Based on the recommendation of animal experts, Harrington has adopted a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program to handle the feral cat problem. This page contains information about the program and what you can do to help.

Feral cat management is needed. There are problems associated with colonies of free-roaming cats for both the animals and the community. These issues are magnified as the population of the colony continues to quickly grow:

  • frequent and loud noise from fighting and mating behavior
  • strong, foul odors from unneutered male cats spraying to mark their territory
  • flea infestations and property damage
  • visible suffering from dying kittens and injured adults
  • high mortality rate resulting from malnourishment,  parasitic infection, and unadoptable trapped cats being euthanized
  • males that roam and fight may be injured and transmit diseases to one another through bite wounds
  • higher animal control costs associated with trapping, caring for, and euthanizing feral cats
  • Feral Cats – FAQs

Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program:
The program being used to manage feral cats is a Trap, Neuter, Return program. TNR is a non-lethal strategy to reduce the number of feral cats and improve the quality of life for the cats, other wildlife, and people. Colonies of cats are trapped; transported to a facility to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped*; and returned to the site where they were captured where a caretaker will supervise the colony. There is an immediate reduction in cats because trapped feral cats that are sick or injured are euthanized and kittens are evaluated for adoption. Ending reproduction means that cat population will reduce over time. People and pets are protected from the possibility of rabies infection. Caretakers provide food, water, and shelter for feral cats, seek care for injured or sick cats, and trap new cats for neutering and vaccination or adoption. Feral cats’ nuisance behaviors diminish once neutered, and their quality of life and health improves because they no longer have kittens or fight over mates.*Ear-tipping involves the surgical removal of the top of the cat’s ear, which does not hurt the cat and is a visual indicator that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated.

How to help:
This program relies on the support of volunteers and donations. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you!

    • Donate Both funds and supplies are needed for the success of the TNR program.
    • Monetary donations assist with the purchase of traps, transportation to and from the clinic, veterinary services, and resources for colony caregivers.
    • Supplies are also needed to help care for community cats and ensure their quality of life.
–  gently used bath or beach towels
–  newspaper
–  cans of tuna, sardines, or cat food with a strong odor
  • Donations can be mailed to or dropped-off at Harrington City Hall:
    City of Harrington – Community Cat Program
    106 Dorman Street
    Harrington, DE 19952
    Please make checks payable to the City of Harrington.
  • Community Cats Donation Form
  • Volunteer. People are needed to assist with trapping feral cats for transportation to a veterinary clinic and to take care of colonies of cats. Being a caretaker involves providing food, water, and shelter for feral cats; monitoring the cats for problems; and trapping new cats to be TNRed. The caretaker is a vital person to the long-term strategy of the TNR program to reduce the number of feral cats and improve quality of life. If you would like to donate your time to trapping or colony care-taking, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer at (302) 398-4428.
  • Report free-roaming cats. Please call the Code Enforcement Officer at (302) 398-4428 to report feral cats so that they can become part of the TNR program.

Information for cat owners:
As part of the feral cat management strategy, volunteers will be trapping cats to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated for rabies. If you own a cat in Harrington, the following is recommended:

  • Keep your cat indoors. This will ensure that your cat is not misidentified as a free-roaming cat.
  • Collar your cat if it is outdoors. Trappers can easily identify your cat as a pet if it is wearing a collar.
  • Spay or neuter and vaccinate your cat. To prevent overpopulation and behavior problems and to ensure the health of your cat, please spay or neuter and vaccinate your pet. Services to transport, spay/neuter, and vaccinate for rabies are available through the Delaware SPCA for $25. For more information, please contact Lauren at the Delaware SPCA Georgetown at (302) 856-6361. Those on public assistance can also take advantage of the Delaware Spay/Neuter Fund.

Community Cats Program Partners:

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • Lee & Margaret Dean
  • Myrna Graham

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