Tonight could be the night or soon thereafter where a program would be enacted in the borough of Freehold putting in mandates when it comes to stray and feral animals.

An ordinance could possibly be enacted tonight as public comments are welcome at the borough council meeting.

In short, Freehold Borough Business Administrator Stephen Gallo said that this ordinance under consideration would bring a pilot program to the borough known elsewhere as Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release and if enacted, it could start in early 2023.

There is no current or ongoing issue in the borough that brought on this ordinance and consideration of the program, just that Gallo says, "vaccination of feral cats against rabies makes sense. This is not a reaction to any current crisis. The program is to facilitate the reduction in the number of feral cats in the community."

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It has been an issue brought up by residents living in the borough of Freehold though.

"Many residents have expressed concern over the growing number of feral cats in the community. The TNVR strategy is considered an effective way to curtail the growth in number of feral cats in the community."

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The pilot program being pitched would be in effect for two years but could be extended depending on a vote as that time gets closer.

Under the ordinance being considered, should the program not be renewed the Animal Control Officer for Freehold Borough would take back over the reins to manage community cats and when needed, capture and bring to the appropriate authorities.

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There will be the allowance of "Community Cat Colonies" in Freehold Borough where cats that congregate could be taken care of by a "Community Cat Caregiver" and that's something you can apply for as well to ensure the cats are vaccinated that can be recaptured, register the cat colony, spay/neuter the animal, provide evidence and descriptions to the appropriate office in the borough and then provide food/water/shelter if feasible.

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If a cat were to give birth, you'd have to remove them from the rest of the Cat Colony.

You'd have to report to the Animal Control Officer in Freehold Borough.

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