BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County leaders made some changes this week that could save the lives of feral cats.

Previously, it was not legal to trap, neuter, and then return feral cars into the wild in Berkeley County. But on Monday, county council members voted to approve a TNR program.

“It’s just it’s a humane option over trapping and bringing feral cats into the shelter that do not do well in the shelter environment. They’re not adoptable pets and they usually end up being euthanized,” said Debbie Allen, Berkeley Animal Center manager.

Allen said the trap, neuter, and release option allows the shelter to spay and neuter the feral cats, vaccinate them, and then ear chip the animals so that it is easier for people to identify that they have already been sterilized. “And then they can return them back to the community where they used to live and where they know their resources are,” she said.

It helps to save the lives of feral cats who otherwise may have been put to sleep. It also allows Berkeley Animal Center to have fewer cats they need to keep. And in turn, fewer kittens will mean fewer feral cats in the long term.

 “We had to be able to provide the statistics,” said Allen. “We worked really hard with the Humane Society, Best Friends, and Charleston Animal Society and lots of many, big organizations.”

If you had a cat near you, you would call to schedule an appointment for the day when a veterinarian will be on-site to spay or neuter. Volunteers would bring the cat by that day. It would be spayed or neutered and get its shots, spend the night and the next morning, volunteers would return the cat the next morning.

This program is designed to get Berkeley Animal Center up to a 90% or more no-kill rate for cats.

If you would like to take part in this program, just go to Berkeley County Community Cats Facebook page.