Bill to Protect Trap-Neuter-Release (T-N-R) Programs in Texas Heads to Governor's Desk


T-N-R programs control outdoor cat populations in a safe and humane way.

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, May 19, HB 3660, by Representative Cody Vasut and Senator Judith Zaffirini, officially heads to Governor Abbott's desk after passing the Senate 31-0 this week and passing in the House in late April.

Currently, there is a request for an opinion before Attorney General Ken Paxton to determine whether T-N-R programs conflict with the animal cruelty section on unlawful abandonment. This bill clarifies that T-N-R programs in Texas are not considered abandonment under the Texas animal cruelty law and therefore protects such programs. T-N-R programs control cat populations without unnecessarily killing the animals through spaying, neutering, and vaccination.  

"No Texan should go to jail simply for participating in a T-N-R program like those which have been around for decades," said Representative Vasut. "I appreciate my local district attorney and animal welfare groups bringing this issue to my attention."

“We applaud Representative Vasut and Senator Zaffirini for passing this important legislation that will ensure T-N-R programs are not misconstrued, and unlawful abandonment under the Texas animal cruelty law is not weakened,” said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director of the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN). “We advocate for T-N-R programs in Texas as they have proven to keep cat populations in our communities humanely controlled. THLN was instrumental in passing the Animal Cruelty Bill in 1997, then strengthening it four more times. At no time has THLN ever considered a T-N-R program abandonment under the Texas animal cruelty law.”  

“TACA strongly believes that local jurisdictions are best suited to determine what programs and services are most appropriate for their individual communities,” said Jamey Cantrell, President Texas Animal Control Association. “Cities, counties, non-profits, and individuals across Texas have chosen to utilize T-N-R for humane population management, and any limitation on the use of this life-saving technique will set the animal welfare movement in Texas back decades.”

“Texas Pets Alive! has long championed the ethical process of T-N-R, knowing it saves lives,” said Katie Jarl, Executive Director of Texas Pets Alive!. “The goal of T-N-R programs is to protect the life-saving efforts of animal welfare organizations and advocate to increase live release rates throughout Texas.”

“Aside from saving the lives of tens of thousands of cats in Texas every year, the practice of T-N-R creates healthier communities by protecting from disease through vaccines and decreases the free-roaming cat population by stopping new litters from being born,” said Ed Jamison, President of Texas Unites. 

To learn more or to schedule an interview, contact Cara Gustafson at 561-797-8267 or [email protected]


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