essex county board of commissioners hold tnr (trap-neuter-return) committee meeting to address concerns regarding feral cats throughout essex county

Essex County Commissioners TNR Committee Meeting – May 5, 2021

(Newark, NJ) – On May 5, 2021, District 3 Commissioner Tyshammie L. Cooper, Chair of the Essex County Commissioner TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Committee, held a virtual meeting of the Board’s TNR Committee to address the overpopulation of feral cats in communities throughout Essex County. In attendance were District 5 Commissioner Vice President Carlos M. Pomares, District 1 Commissioner Robert Mercado, District 4 Commissioner Leonard M. Luciano, Essex County Administrator Robert Jackson, and members of the public representing the Associated Humane Societies (AHS), St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, People for Animals, and Communities Promoting Animal Welfare of New Jersey (CPAW NJ).

Items discussed during the meeting included, an overview of Essex County’s TNR program, plans for the program going forward, and the role organizations and concerned citizens can play in addressing the issue. Over the last two years, Essex County has increased the yearly financial allocations to the TNR program by 500%. Although funding has improved, the issues of loud noise, disease carrying cats, and traffic concerns arising from the overpopulation of feral cats are still prevalent – particularly in the communities of Belleville, Bloomfield, Newark, Orange, and Irvington. Also discussed was the need for the organizations to provide metrics that show the effect of the TNR program. Quantifiable numbers that show a reduction in intake of cats at local shelters, or a reduction in complaints by residents about feral cats, will show that the TNR program is working, and will also show where future resources from the county should be allocated.

Organizations like the American Humane Society, which has partnered with Essex County for the last two years, and CPAW NJ, which has been giving virtual workshops to show prospective trappers techniques on the best way to trap cats and participate in the TNR process, have been very helpful in improving the county’s TNR program. While the virtual workshops have been successful, community outreach to raise awareness about overpopulation issues remains at the forefront of what must be done to correct this problem.

Commissioner Cooper thanked the representatives from the organizations for their work in the community and their work with the county in addressing these issues. “The AHS, CPAW NJ, People for Animals and other organizations have stepped up to help us deal with the overpopulation of feral cats.” She continued, “Thank you for helping us put together a comprehensive, structured, realistic plan to address this problem and the issues it is causing in our communities.”

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For Additional Information:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5695 (fax)
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102