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The Trap-Neuter-Return program, or TNR, is an effective and humane method used to stabilize community cat populations. It is program free of charge to all Miami-Dade County residents providing free spay/neuter surgeries for healthy community cats. 

The TNR service includes:

  • Sterilization
  • Rabies vaccine
  • FRCPC (feline booster shot)
  • Ear tip
  • Delivery back to the community

How it works

Residents of Miami-Dade County can use their own cat traps or rent them from Animal Services to trap a community cat. If rented from the Pet Adoption and Protection Center, the cat traps must be picked up and set up by the resident. A $50 refundable deposit is required and must be paid by cash, credit card or check. The $50 refundable deposit will be held for 10 days. Customers who do not return the cat traps within 10 days forfeit the deposit.

Once the community cat is caught, the resident must take the trapped community cat to the Pet Adoption and Protection Center. Animal Services does not pick up cats in traps.

The cat is then sterilized and receives its rabies vaccine and feline booster shot. A small portion, 1 cm., of the tip of the left ear is removed to provide visual confirmation that they have been sterilized and Animal Services returns the cat to their community.

All healthy community cats are eligible candidates for TNR. Cats that are injured or diseased are not returned back into the community.

Over time, the stabilized population declines, resulting in the humane reduction in free roaming cat populations.


Cat Trapping Tips

Below are a few tips on trapping community cats.

  • You may have more success trapping if you withhold food 24-36 hours prior to trapping and then trap at the usual feeding times.
  • Place a thin layer of paper in the trap if the wind is not too strong to move the paper around.
  • Place the bait, usually canned cat food or tuna fish, into the far back of the cage and secure the door with the clip.
  • Place the cage in an area where stray cats are often observed.
  • Place the cage on a level surface. If placing on grass and soil make sure the door will close completely.
  • After setting the cage, it maybe helpful to place a sheet or pillow case over the cage.
  • Cats often venture into enclosed areas.
  • Remove yourself from the immediate area.
  • Check the cage as often as possible. It is not recommended to leave the traps unobserved for any length of time.
  • After the cat has been caught, completely cover the cage with a sheet or a large pillow case. This helps to calm the cat.
  • Please do not allow children or pets near the cage.
  • Place the cat in a protected area where the elements will not harm the cat and transport it to Miami-Dade Animal Services as soon as possible.
  • When transporting the cat in a car, place a trash bag or tarp under the cage. Keep the cage covered. Do not transport the cat in the closed trunk of the car or in the back of an open pick-up truck.

TNR Hours

Cats may be presented for TNR at the Animal Services Department seven days a week, Monday - Sunday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. No appointment is required. The TNR office is closed on all Miami-Dade County holidays.


If you have any questions about this program, check out the TNR FAQs page.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Wed Jan 4, 2017 2:59:42 PM

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