The Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) Program is a humane alternative that helps manage and reduce the numbers of feral/wild cats. LCAS offers the free use of live traps (they require a $50 cash refundable deposit) and will spay and neuter feral cats for you at an affordable price. All TNR cats will receive an ear tip, which doesn’t harm the cat and is much safer for the cat than being handled a second or third time to see if it is “fixed.” An ear tip is a universal symbol and it lets a Veterinarian or shelter know that there is no reason to handle the cat as it can’t reproduce.

Please make sure that the cats you want to TNR are not house pets. Feral cats are wild animals like a raccoon or opossum and they cannot be picked up or handled without being in danger of being bitten. If the cats in question are friendly and can be easily handled by humans, you can bring them to the Shelter where they may be put up for adoption.

LCAS cannot take in feral/wild cats because they are not adoptable and they are dangerous to our staff. Unfortunately, feral/wild cats that are surrendered to the shelter will be euthanized for a $20 fee. TNR offers another option to reduce the population of feral cats, while letting them live out their natural lifespan.

Have you seen cats with ears like this?

These cats have been “ear-tipped” or “notched.” This is a surgical alteration showing that a free-living cat has been spayed/neutered. It’s part of the TNR Program, which means “Trap, Neuter, and Return.”

These cats should never be re-trapped or brought to a shelter, unless they are sick. Instead, they should be left in their neighborhood to provide cat population control. Studies have shown by just being there, these feral cats prevent other cats from moving into the area. And, because they have been fixed, they will never have litters of kittens.

Even if you don’t like cats, TNR ear-tipped cats have an important job to do in keeping your neighborhood a nice place to live.

How TNR Works

We don’t have the resources to come out and trap cats for you, but you can rent traps from us, which require a $50 cash refundable deposit. If the cats in question involve your neighbors, we recommend that you discuss TNR and its long term benefits before you begin.

The TNR Process

We do TNR surgeries on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You must call the Shelter for an appointment. You will want to trap the cat the night before or early in the morning and drop them off at the Shelter in the morning before 9 a.m. They will be spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, and given a rabies vaccine. They can be picked up in the afternoon, before we close at 5 p.m. It is best if you can hold them in a garage or barn for the evening to make sure they are alert before releasing them to their colony.  *TNR cats are required to arrive in a live trap.


The cost of TNR service is $25 per cat. The cost includes:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Rabies vaccine (cats can carry rabies)
  • Ear-tipping (see image top, right). This is required.

You do not need to be a low income household to qualify for this service.

Christy Peterson
Animal Shelter Director



(517) 546-2154

We are closed weekdays from 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. for lunch

Animal Viewing Hours

Mon – Fri
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Office Hours

Mon – Fri
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Closed County Holidays


418 S. Highlander Way
Howell, MI 48843

Non-Emergency Complaints

(517) 546-9111


(517) 546-0232