EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Governor Greg Abbott recently signed House Bill 3660 into law, protecting those who trap, neuter or spay, and release feral cats back into the wild from animal abandonment charges.
Cats that have been fixed by TNR (trap, neuter, return) programs are easily recognizable, as the top part of one of their ears have been clipped off.
According to the Texas Tribune, some animal conservancy organizations, such as the American Bird Conservancy, say releasing feral cats hurts the bird population.
However, Terry Poulos, president of El Paso TNR, says this type of program is simply the best way to keep the feral cat population under control.
“One unaltered female over five years, with all of her litters, can produce over 20,000 cats," said Poulos.
"The numbers are exponential, so we are all very very dedicated, very well educated, and understand the importance of TNR," she adds.
She also says there is a huge difference between simply releasing a stray cat back into the wild, versus fixing it and putting it back where it was found.
“If they’re trapping them and releasing them somewhere else, that’s a felony, and that’s a death sentence for that cat, because its instinct is to make it back to its home," said Poulos.
"In the process, that cat is not fixed, so it’s just going to reproduce. The issue is not solved," she adds.
Poulos told ABC-7 that volunteers are always needed at El Paso TNR, and encourages everyone to become informed about the TNR program in order to help the stray population in their community.