Strays / Feral Cats
Free roaming cats also referred to as community cats present a challenge to the health and safety of county citizens as well as the health and safety of the cats. In order to confront this challenge with a new approach the Board of County Commissioners has approved a 3 year pilot Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, & Release (TNVR) program.
For Community Cats - TNVR Program:
Please contact Meow Now Pinellas, a community organization that is participating in the TNVR efforts in Pinellas County for assistance or concerns about a cat colony in your neighborhood.
If you know of free-roaming community cats, please contact MEOW Now at (727) 203-5255 for TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return) services.
Under the new TNVR pilot program individual citizens and groups that provide food and care for feral or "community cats" can legally do so under the new ordinance. Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release (TNVR) activities and programs are authorized in Pinellas County with the following guidelines.
- Community cat is any feral or free-roaming cat that is cared for by one or more individual caregivers, provided that the cat is sterilized, up to date on rabies vaccination and distinguished from other cats by being ear-tipped and tattooed.
- Community cats are exempt from the county ordinances for being at large outdoors and being abandoned.
- Community cats are exempt from the county licensing requirement. But caregivers must maintain a record of up to date rabies vaccination.
- If a community cat is impounded, it shall be held for seven days including the day of impoundment. A caregiver may redeem a community cat within the holding period upon paying the reclaim fees.
- The first time a community cat is impounded, the community cat will be microchipped and vaccinated for rabies in accordance with the applicable law.
- All community cat locations must be maintained on the private property of the caregiver or on property belonging to another landowner with that landowner’s permission.
- A community cat must not be released within 150 yards of any park, conservation land, beach, wildlife area, day care center or elementary school.
- Community cats must be provided with basic necessities on a regular and ongoing basis, including, but not limited to, proper nutrition and medical care.
- Food must be maintained in proper feeding containers and placed in a manner and for a duration that will not attract wildlife or other animals.
- Water must be provided and must be clean, potable, and free from debris and algae.
FY16 Pinellas County Animal Welfare Trust Fund
Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return (TNVR)
Reimbursement Pilot Program
Animal Services is piloting a program funded through the Animal Welfare Trust Fund to provide reimbursement to community cat organizations within Pinellas County that operate a TNVR program in accordance with the county ordinances. This pilot program is for FY16 only. Continuation of the program in subsequent years will depend upon funding levels and verifiable TNVR efforts in the Pinellas County cat community.
Animal Services will reimburse agencies for community cat organizations for rabies vaccination and sterilization totaling $12,000 from the AWTF for TNVR Programs within Pinellas County.
- The community cats must reside in Pinellas County.
- Applications must be received by February 29th, 2016. For application information, please send an email to AnimalRequests@pinellascounty.org
- A maximum reimbursement of $3000 will be awarded to each applicant.
- Program must benefit Community Cats only, not owned animals.
- Cat must be ear tipped at time of sterilization surgery.
- Cat must be vaccinated for rabies at time of sterilization surgery.
- Services must be provided between October 1st, 2015 and July 31st 2016.
- Final Fiscal Year invoice must be received by August 31st 2016.
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