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Laurel officials to consider switch to trap-neuter-release of feral cats

Currently Laurel follows county code of trap and kill

By Melanie Dzwonchyk, mdzwonchyk@patuxent.com

2:37 PM EDT, March 27, 2012

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Laurel is closer to adopting a trap-neuter-release program to reduce the number of feral and stray cats in the city, now that Mayor Craig Moe has expressed his support for adopting the TNR program. City officials said Monday that city staff and an ad hoc committee are reviewing the possibility of Laurel adopting a TNR program, where stray and feral cats are trapped, evaluated, vaccinated and sterilized by veterinarians, then returned to where they were trapped.

Currently, Laurel follows the Prince George's County code, which calls for trapping and euthanizing feral cats. Before the city can change its method of cat control, it first needs to pass legislation to change the city's code.

At a community workshop on feral cats held in February, Moe said he was "keeping an open mind" on a proposal that the city switch from killing feral and stray cats to using a TNR program. The workshop was held at the request of cat advocates in Laurel who were already trapping and paying to have feral cats neutered in their neighborhoods.

In addition, city officials are working with the county Animal Management Department to create a satellite office to issue pet licenses for city residents.