You’ve seen them in your neighborhood, colonies of stray cats surviving on garbage, seeking shelter under cars and bushes, and running scared from anyone who approaches. Some are emaciated, ill or injured and their numbers keep increasing. These “community” cats, some who were born in the wild and some who have been abandoned and reverted to a wild state, fight a daily battle to survive and those that are captured and brought to animal control facilities are euthanized.

In Hillsborough County, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) has saved countless lives through their Trap/Neuter and Return (TNR) program. Now, through a generous grant of $20,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center, TNR is coming to Sun City Center. The grant will allow HSTB to provide free sterilization of 500 feral cats in zip codes 33598, 33573, 33572 and 33570.

TNR is the only proven method of humanely managing feral and stray cats while at the same time reducing their numbers. With TNR, cats are trapped, sterilized, vaccinated, ear-tipped (the international symbol for sterilization) and returned to their colony where a caretaker provides them with food and water and monitors their health. Because fixed cats no longer reproduce, the number of cats in the colony will gradually diminish through natural attrition. More information about the TNR program at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and information about how to coordinate services for feral cats can be found at or by calling 813-625-0910.