Alley Cat Allies, the nation's largest advocacy organization for cats will present the Architects of Change for Cats award to the city of Harrington on Oct. 16, National Feral Cat Day. Harrington is being recognized for implementing a community-wide Trap-Neuter-Return program for outdoor cats.
The award is given to communities that have taken steps to help but also reduce community cat populations in a humane way.
In 2012, the Harrington city council was approached by the Delaware chapter of the Humane Society of the United States and volunteers interested in starting a TNR program. Soon after, the city updated its code to allow for such a program.
There are an estimated 600 community cats in Harrington. So far, more than 380 have undergone TNR.
“Harrington is honored to accept this award,” said City Manager Terry Tieman. “We saw the Trap-Neuter-Return program to be a win-win from the start. Because of the combined efforts of Harrington, the Humane Society, Alley Cat Allies, Pet Smart and community volunteers, this program is a success. It is a wonderful example of what pulling together can accomplish.
“Since implementing the program complaints have become basically non-existent”, she said. “This program also improves the cats' lives by vaccinating and neutering them.
“Research shows that cats that are trapped, neutered and returned have better relationships with people who live near them and that cat colonies decrease in size over time.”