Feral Trap/Neuter/Return Program

Spay-neuter surgeries for the TNR program have resumed.  

Any person coming to the Society for TNR services must follow the safety guidelines listed below: 


  • Because the number of surgeries we are able to accommodate is limited, any spay/neuter surgery for the feral cat community is by appointment only. These can be made by emailing snclinic@anticruelty.org. We are not able to accommodate walk-ins as we work to ensure safety for the shelter and clinic staff, volunteers, and visitors
  • Any person bringing cats for spay/neuter must call when they arrive to be allowed into the building
  • Only two people per group are allowed to enter the building together
  • Any person entering the building will be required to wear a mask. 
  • Any person entering the building will be required to take their temperature. Any person with a temperature over 100.3 degrees will be denied entry
  • Every person is required to abide by the social distancing recommendations of being at least six feet apart.
  • Visitors are only allowed into the Clinic and are not allowed to travel to other areas of the shelter. 

We look forward to providing support to the feral cat community and we appreciate support for our guidelines as we work together to keep our community of caring safe and healthy. 

Return Program

It is estimated that there are about 800,000 feral cats in Cook County and up to 60 million feral cats nationwide.

What to do about feral cats is a controversial subject and discussions about this issue usually become very emotional. On one end of the spectrum of opinions are people who strongly believe that all feral cats should be eliminated by whatever means available. As you can imagine, this is a highly unpopular belief among most cat lovers. At the other end there are those that believe feral cats have every right to live “free” with no intervention. Most people believe that something needs to be done about the large feral cat population but want to keep the cats alive. Currently, there is little scientific data to objectively evaluate various approaches to reducing the feral population and in reality, there is no one solution that will work in every community.

In November 2007, a Cook County ordinance took effect that allows the establishment of managed feral cat colonies if they are registered with a department approved sponsor.

  • Approve feral cat colony caretakers
  • Help resolve any complaints concerning the cat colonies
  • Maintain records (size, location, vaccination, microchipping, S/N)
  • Provide written educational training for caretakers
  • Report annually
  • Register the colony
  • Vaccinate for rabies, micro-chip, and sterilize the cats
  • Eartip left ear of cat that has been vaccinated and sterilized
  • Provide food, water, shelter, and medical attention
  • Observe the colony at least twice per week and keep records
  • Obtain written approval of property owner if require access to provide colony care
  • Remove kittens after weaned and find homes for them and sterilize the queen
  • Report semi-annually

The Anti-Cruelty Society encourages and supports actions to minimize the problem of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats. We provide traps to facilitate feral cat colony management. Spaying/neutering is critical and essential components includes public education that reduces the number of cats abandoned or allowed outside unsupervised and the number of kittens being born.