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Courts / Law

Hillsborough County Commissioners Okay Feral Cat Program

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The Hillsborough County Commissioners have given the OK for the Animal Services department to go ahead with their trap-neuter-release (or TNR) program for feral cats.

The Animal Services department will start the two-year pilot program. Up to 2,000 feral cats will be captured per year. They'll be vaccinated, neutered and released back into approximately their original area.

The idea is to reduce the number of feral cat euthanizations and still keep the number of feral kittens down.   

The county commissioners approved the measure with one opposing vote.

County Commissioner Victor Crist thought the program didn't do enough for other wildlife.

"I will be leading the cause for the squirrels and the birds and the other indigenous animals who will lose their lives as a result of this decision," he said.

County Commissioner Sandra Murman said it was the most humane and cost-efficient option.

"I fully support it, I think it's the way to go," she said.

"It's practical, it's common sense -- it really is. This is about actually helping cats have healthier lives."

The TNR program originated in Jacksonville in 2009.

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