Feral cats; trapping, neutering, and returning to site activity. (SB693)

Introduced By

Sen. Steve Martin (R-Chesterfield) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Trap, Neuter, and Return activity. Permits a person or organization, such as an animal shelter or humane society, to trap and sterilize a feral cat before returning it to the site where it was trapped, or to a suitable alternative site. The bill excludes a participant in such an activity from the definition of "owner" regarding custody of the subject cat; under current law, abandonment of an animal by an owner is a misdemeanor. The bill also exempts a participant from liability to the owner of a feral cat for capturing, sterilizing, releasing, or providing medical care to the cat. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


11/25/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15100927D
11/25/2014Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/13/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB693)
01/29/2015Committee substitute printed 15104554D-S1
01/29/2015Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (10-Y 4-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/02/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2015Read second time
02/03/2015Reading of substitute waived
02/03/2015Committee substitute agreed to 15104554D-S1
02/03/2015Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB693S1
02/04/2015Passed by for the day
02/05/2015Read third time and passed Senate (28-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB693S1)
02/09/2015Placed on Calendar
02/09/2015Read first time
02/09/2015Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/09/2015Assigned ACNRsub: Agriculture
02/16/2015Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/24/2015Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 9 minutes.


Swannie M. Weaver writes:

Please support bills SB693 and HB1586 for the humane treatment of cats in Virginia.

Mo Larmour writes:

This is animal cruelty disguised as a "good thing" The purpose of TNR or cat colonies is to have the cats die off on their own. It says so in the literature HSUS and the ASPCA distributes. That way cat do not get euthanized by the animal shelters, just live an life out in the wild. Well in the Northeast with the recent large snow storms, Colony Cats are found frozen to death. I know, because i found 10 of them dead. One cannot get out during a blizzard to make sure they do not get buried alive. What is more cruel? I no longer support any cat colonies or TNR. Better to have died more humanely than a slow death suffering from freezing.

Connie S. Moore writes:

Oppose SB693. TNR is just another term for "abandonment" and "dumping." Deliberately turning cats loose, whether or not they've been neutered, is cruel and inhumane. TNR advocates deny the reality of the gruesome things that happen to cats who are outside. They are so opposed to euthanasia that they think dying in horrible ways is better. We're all aware of the torturing and killing of outdoor cats.
"Releasing" just one cat is irresponsible, and to "release" thousands of cats is completely wrong. The whole idea of TNR is flawed, regardless of how TNR spins it and regardless of the false, skewed statistics that TNR advocates quote. TNR is cruel.
Living outside is never, ever in the best interest of a cat.

Jeff Smith DVM writes:

TNR programs are an attempt to control the overpopulation of stray animals. Studies have show that this is very difficult to accomplish. More than 80% of stray animals in a population must be neutered before a drop in population can be seen. TNR programs are of questionable effectiveness for population control.

TNR does nothing to protect the returned animals from starvation, exposure, and diseases. Deaths by natural causes are often inhumane ways to die.

TNR programs do nothing to help prevent the spread of disease. In fact by returning animals to the streets without any responsible parties, we increasing the likelihood of diseases being spread to other animals and people.

In many parts of the state, we have a significant rabies problem in wild animals, the reason this has not affected people is because of animal control programs and vaccination programs protecting pets. TNR programs are returning "wild" animals to our populated areas and creating a place for rabies virus to come into contact with humans.

TNR sounds like a humane option on the surface, but the actual ramifications of the programs are not good for the animals or the people involved.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I note that those raising objections don't propose an alternative. These cats are going to live out the rest of their lives as wild animals. Period. The proposal here is to spay them, to keep the population from increasing, and ideally to eventually eliminate it.

charles h henderson writes:

Do not think that cats should be running wild with the threat of rabies and other diseases with no responsible party.

Tim writes:

I'm with you Waldo Jaquith. Others are complaining but offer no other solutions; typical. How is living out the rest of your life inhumane? An idiotic statement, indeed! Is that inhumane for our Senior Citizens, too? If opponents of this cannot offer any suggestions maybe they would like to pay for the spay/neuter program and find the cats a home or take them in themselves. How concerned are they now? Not willing I bet. This is at least a decent proposal to stem the tide of cat births.