Baltimore County offers a free Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program that focuses on humanely reducing the number of community cats living on our streets. There are several benefits of spaying and neutering the unowned cat population:
- Stops breeding and prevents unwanted litters of kittens
- Saves taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of animal shelters
- Helps improve the health and quality of life of outdoor cats
- Reduces nuisance behaviors like spraying, fighting, howling and roaming
All participants will be required to:
- Adhere to the TNR Program guidelines
- Complete the Feral Cat Caregiver registration form before a TNR surgery appointment can be scheduled (even if you are only helping transport or trap for another member of your community.)
- Retrieve the cat the same day as the surgery
- Return the cat outdoors to where they came from after the surgery (Note: If you plan to remove the cat from the colony for any reason, the cat will not be eligible for this service.)
- Be an unowned, community cat living outdoors at an address within Baltimore County
- Arrive in a cat trap or transfer cage, with only one cat per cage. No carriers or crates.
- Be over three months of age and three pounds in weight and appear healthy. If there are health concerns, we are not able to address them. Note: If any of the cats are found to have a wound of unknown origin, they will be subject to a 120-day quarantine. You might have the option of doing the quarantine in your home, if you’re willing, and are approved by the Rabies Investigation Officer. If you’re not able or not approved to quarantine, then the cat will be euthanized.
The TNR surgery package provides:
- Spay or neuter
- Rabies vaccine
- FVRCP vaccine (protects against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia)
- Left ear-tipping (a symbol of a sterilized outdoor cat)
- Tattoo on the abdomen
- Microchipping (Note: All cats will be scanned for a microchip prior to implanting. If any of the cats are found to have a microchip or sign of ownership, they will be impounded for a 72-hour stray hold. You may come to claim them after the 72 hours, if no owner comes forward to redeem them.)
- Vet exam while sedated
Schedule an Appointment
Appointments are available at the Dundalk Surgical Center and Baldwin Animal Shelter. To schedule an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dundalk Spay and Neuter Surgical Center
Appointments available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Baldwin Animal Shelter
Appointments available Tuesday through Friday.
13800 Manor Road
Baldwin, Maryland 21013
You must receive a confirmation of your appointment prior to coming to the clinic. We’re not able to offer walk-in service at this time.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up
Drop-off time is 8 a.m. and pick-up time is 3 p.m. At pick-up you will receive a Health Summary and Rabies Vaccine Certificate for each cat.
We cannot guarantee that any items left with the cats while in our care will be returned at time of pick up.
Any collars will be removed and thrown away, as they should not be worn by outdoor cats, due to the strangulation hazard.
If linen, bowls, etc. become soiled, we will make every effort to bag them to return to the transporter, but it is possible they may be lost in the process. Replacement items that can be provided upon request at time of pick up may include (but is not limited to):
- Trap covers
- Linen, blankets/sheets, towels
- Other personal items in or on their cage/carrier or trap.
Only those who meet the following criteria are eligible for a free trap loan for the purpose of bringing outdoor cats to our facility for TNR surgery:
- You own the property where trapping will take place (Note: If you do not own the property where you plan to trap, consider buying your own trap or renting one from ABC Rentals or the Maryland SPCA.)
- You can bring cats to and from our TNR clinics
- You have an approved application on file
TNR Surgery appointments, trap loan pick up, and trap return date will all be scheduled before the loan is given. There will be a wait time. Trap loans are loaned for one month only. Email the TNR Coordinator to request a loan. We do not offer any transportation or trapping assistance.
When storing traps, keep them indoors with the trap doors securely closed. Return the trap loan as soon as possible.
The following documents are required before a loan can be given:
- Feral Cat Caregiver registration form
- Permission for Baltimore County to Enter Property
- Trap Loan Agreement
Other documents might also be required, depending on property ownership where trapping will take place.
Learn more about humane deterrents and repellents or how to build winter shelters for community cats. If the cats are a nuisance for neighbors, keep an open dialogue and contact our staff for mediation assistance.
Learn more about how to trap, transport and return feral cats below.
- Consider feeding twice a day, for 10 minutes to train the cats to show up regularly.
- Fold one sheet of newspaper to line the bottom of the trap and cover the trip plate.
- Check the weather (temperature, precipitation-rain, snow, wind). Prepare an area away from animals and children to hold the cat that is temperature controlled and out of the elements.
- Set the trap at feeding time. If needed, skip a feeding or 2 and try again.
- Place traps on a level surface where cats have been seen, where they won’t be noticed by passersby.
- Put smashed food directly on the newspaper by the door with the carabiner and make a trail leading to it. Try using: wet food, sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, or fried chicken.
- Cover the trap with a blanket, sheet or towel and tuck the cover under the trap slightly.
- Setting the trap: lift both rings, open the door, lift the metal piece that controls the trip plate and rest the door against it. Secure the opposite door with the carabiner.
Once the trap is set:
- Wait quietly 50 to 100 feet away and wait to hear the trap door close (it’s a metallic sound).
- Check the trap every five to 10 minutes. The trap must be monitored closely.
- Lift one edge of the blanket to look for an eartip and make sure you have a cat and not a wild animal. If you trap a wild animal or eartipped cat, release them immediately in the same location.
- Make sure the carabiner is securely clipped to the sliding door of the trap and the 2 rings on the other door are at the bottom, below the notch.
- Keep the trap covered at all times with a blanket, sheet or towel.
- Move the cat to your temperature controlled space that is out of the elements.
- Do not put fingers in the trap, try to open the trap, or allow children or pets near the trap.
- Consider putting down a tarp or shower curtain and newspaper/towels under the trap.
- Keep the cat in the main compartment of the vehicle. Do not place the cats in the trunk or in the open bed of a truck anytime for any reason.
- Cats should be returned the day after surgery in the same place they were trapped. If you must return them the same day as surgery, wait until they’re bright/alert and oriented.
- Return the cat facing away from the street and 100 feet (or more) from your vehicle.
- Place the trap on a sturdy surface with the door facing away from you, remove the cover, and open the door. The cat will likely run out of the trap. If that doesn’t happen, tilt the trap so the back is slightly up and tap on the back of the trap to encourage the cat to leave. Do not put your hand in the trap.
- Resume the feeding schedule. The cat may hide for a few days, which is normal.
- After cats have been sterilized and vaccinated, they should be monitored (eating, drinking and activity level) for any signs of illness or injury.
After cats have been sterilized and vaccinated, they should be monitored for any signs of illness or injury. If the cats need medical care, consider contacting the clinics below to inquire about low-cost care, as this is not something that BCAS can provide.