Baltimore County Council passes Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act

TOWSON, MD – During Monday night’s session, Baltimore County Council passed the Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act.

The law, introduced in October by County Executive Johnny Olszewski, formalizes the county’s existing Trap Neuter Return (TNR) pilot program to humanely and effectively conserve the free range cat populations.

“We know TNR is an ethical, humane and non-lethal way to reduce the free range cat population in our county,” Olszewski said last month. “The confirmation of the district’s existing pilot program will help ensure that we continue to deal responsibly with the number of wild cats in our communities.”

The Joy Freedman Care for Cats Act codifies a trap neuter return program in the county code and requires the health officer to establish guidelines and procedures for a TNR program.

TNR involves the humane trapping of cats that are outdoors and show no evidence of possession. Once caught, a cat is neutered, vaccinated, and earplugged at a surgical center, and then returned to the area where it was originally found.

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TNR responsibly reduces the population of wild cats in communities, protects human health by vaccinating cats against rabies, and is supported by leading animal welfare organizations including the ASPCA and the Humane Society. BCAS has been running a pilot TNR program since 2015.

Baltimore County is now joining Baltimore City, Anne Arundel Counties and Prince George’s Counties, as well as numerous jurisdictions across the country, to operate a TNR program.

Further information on the program can be found online here.

Photo via Pixabay