Published on:  
Dec 30, 2015

What can animal control officers say when residents object to cats being returned to the neighborhood after neutering?

Dear Million Cat Challenge,

What can my animal control officers say when residents object to the cats being returned to their neighborhood after neutering? – Neighborly

Dear Neighborly,

Animal control officers are often on the “front lines” when residents are concerned or upset about animals in their neighborhood. The ACOs play a critical role as a resource for community outreach and education. Oftentimes, it’s the ACO who is the first person to tell residents about options for community cat management.

Concern about complaints from the public is often one of the major barriers to adopting a Return to Field program. They do occur, but universally, shelters report it’s not as common as they anticipated.

ACOs can help by having conversations that get to the root of the complaint and then asking them to allow the program to work. Most are okay after that; they just need to know they’ve been heard and that someone is going to help.

More helpful tips can be found on the Best Friends website.

Dr. Julie Levy