A group of stray kittens poking out from a shed.

Press Release – Sioux Falls Non-Profit Seeks to Tackle Cat Overpopulation Through Implementing a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Program


Mychelle Garrigan
Sioux Empire TNR Coalition

Sioux Falls Non-Profit Seeks to Tackle Cat Overpopulation Through Implementing a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Program

Sioux Empire TNR Coalition Seeks a Change to Sioux Falls Animal Welfare ordinance.

Sioux Falls, SD: The Sioux Empire TNR Coalition, a 501c3 non-profit comprised of local cat rescue groups and volunteers is seeking to have the Sioux Falls animal welfare ordinance amended. The goal is to provide language that protects local rescuers and volunteers who wish to trap, neuter, vaccinate and return feral, or “community”, cats to eventually reduce the overwhelming number of cats and kittens that the Sioux Falls Humane Society and private rescue groups are faced with.

States board member Heather Swanson, who also is the founder of rescue group The Kitten League, “As a rescue, we are inundated with calls for help with abandoned kittens, roaming kittens, homeless and unhealthy kittens and occasionally, abuse and neglect calls involving homeless cats.” The Sioux Empire TNR Coalition was founded in order to target overpopulation at the source, says Founder and President Mat Tougas. “Rather than creating yet another rescue group which would fill up almost instantly with cats, we want to implement a TNR program here in Sioux Falls, as well as in other areas of the state, to bring the cat population to a manageable level that Animal Control, shelters and rescue groups can reasonably handle.

TNR programs have been successfully implemented throughout the United States and internationally and have been shown to be effective in reducing cat overpopulation. Major organizations that support TNR programs include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Animal Control Association, among many others. 

The current Sioux Falls animal welfare ordinance is unclear in regards to TNR and open to interpretation. The Coalition intends to push the City Council to amend the ordinance to add clear language that protects private non-profits to create a TNR program, in cooperation with Animal Control, the Police department, the Sioux Falls Humane Society and other local rescue groups. Proposed language, as well as facts and research links are available on the Coalition’s website at https://siouxempiretnr.org

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About the Sioux Empire TNR Coalition: Formed in 2022, SETNR is composed of local cat rescuers and volunteers committed to reducing cat overpopulation through a TNR program and public education, as well as increasing the availability of low-cost spay/neuter services for the public. More information can be found on our website at https://siouxempiretnr.org.