Video clips: Two examples of TENVAC cat sanctuaries:
Left - Cat House on the Kings, north of LA, and
Right -  Lana'i Animal Rescue Center, Lana'i, Hawaii

TENVAC is a professional program with the serious intent to eliminate feral cat populations at the same time it provides sanctuary where cats that cannot be adopted can live out their lives protected and cared for by responsible people who are accountable for their well being. It protects wildlife, property and environment, is open to public scrutiny, places responsibility for the health, breeding, and acts of their cats right where it belongs - on cat owners - and success can be measured because records are required and open. A TENVAC program would also reduce euthanasia rates for Animal Control, but do it without the destruction TNR programs cause. 

TENVAC - because of love, security, and respect for all

TENVAC has the potential to unite a divided citizenry.

The following sections display some of the fundamental objectives of a TENVAC program, funding sources, and community benefits (see the AWAKE! Guide for more information (1.). 

 TENVAC (Trap-Evaluate-Neuter-Vaccinate-Adopt-Contain) Sanctuary Program

Born Feral, Living Loved

The control of animal populations is a polarizing issue. An effective management program starts by bringing stakeholders together to find common ground on which they can agree. Effective programs and solutions are based on combining truths from both sides, the willingness to admit the opposing side has some valid arguments, then combining the best of both; very seldom is there only one right and one truth.  A program is then designed around these agreements and will have parts everyone can support (1.). The human community is at peace.

TENVAC acknowledges, respects and addresses the issues of all stakeholders, without compromising the most important concerns of each. TENVAC is a progressive, innovative method that protects human health, wildlife, property rights, and the cats themselves, and for cities, reduces euthanasia statistics. TENVAC has the potential to unite a divided community. Unlike TNR, which abandons cats, TENVAC accepts responsibility for human irresponsibility and bad behavior by providing for, in a sanctuary environment, the long-term care of feral and stray cats that cannot be re-socialized or adopted. This includes senior and disabled cats.

Feral cats are domestic animals created by humans for companionship and to protect granaries.  They are not wildlife. Feral cats have the potential to be re-socialized when placed in an environment with close human contact.

Objectives and Mission of a TENVAC feral cat sanctuary and adoption center:

A. To protect human health, wildlife, property rights, and the cats themselves
B. To reduce feral and stray cat populations
C. To re-socialize feral cats, strays, and kittens for adoption
D. To provide a forever home for non-adoptable/senior/disabled and FIV positive, but otherwise healthy cats
E. To be an example of responsible pet ownership and educate the public as to what that  means
F. To encourage and assist cat owners to establish Catios in their yards to contain and protect their pets

 Not a Rational Debate

The concept of managing free-roaming/feral domestic cats is not tenable on public health grounds because of the persistent threat posed to communities from injury and disease. … Children are among the highest risk for disease transmission from these cats. … Allowing cats to roam free is not in the best interests of the community’s health and deliberate release or abandonment of feral or domestic cats is not sanctioned under Florida’s conservation and cruelty laws.

The director of Animal Services said recently he is “trying to balance the public health concerns with that of the cat.” Balancing the public health concerns with those of the cat is not a rational debate. Our children and our citizens must come first in this balance. Don Thompson,

"...This program will be a model for animal control that emphasizes the fundamental requirements of Responsible Pet Ownership: shelter, water, food, basic medical care,
and a safe environment that protects both the animal and public health. (1.)

"TENVAC is the only solution that addresses the issues of all stakeholders without compromising the most important concerns of each party involved." (1.)

It is impossible to expect
residents to understand the
importance of Responsible Pet
Ownership if the animal control
policy for feral cats is to simply
dump them outside! (1.)

TENVAC, Not TNR  page

 published March, 2014      original text and drawings copyright Feb. 2014

A TENVAC program accepts responsibility for feral cats that were created by human ahandonment by providing for their long term care in a protected environment. At the same time that it protects the cats, it protects human health and wildlife. TNR does not accept responsibility for the lives of the cats, protect them or anyone else. It is a dumping program.  The cats are dumped and the dumpers walk away with no further responsibility other than providing food. This is not respect for anyone or anything. It is certainly not love for the cats.

Effective programs and solutions are based on combining truths from both sides, the willingness to admit the opposing side has some valid arguments, then combining the best of both; very seldom is there only one right and one truth, as TNR advocates would have you believe.

The Feral Cat Program

Columbus, Georgia

To meet its objectives and mission, a TENVAC Sanctuary will:

1. Provide care for un-adoptable feral/stray/disabled/senior cats in a homelike sanctuary
environment for the rest of their lives. The sanctuaries will have cat proof fencing and inside egress to cat houses; ongoing medical care and human contact will be provided.
2.  Make every attempt to re-socialize feral and stray cats and re-home them directly to
individuals or through ACC and state licensed shelters and organizations.  
3.  Establish a citywide trapping program and engage citizens at large to trap and deliver feral
and stray cats to the TENVAC facility.
4.  The TENVAC facility will encourage colony keepers to become part of the TENVAC program by
encouraging them to surrender their cats, then, under supervision and guidance, continue caring for them at the facility.
5. The facility will license cat colony keepers who want to keep their cats at their homes by helping them establish fenced Catios on their property. The number of resident cats allowed will be determined by property size, location, zoning, and the ability of the keeper to care for the cats as required by TENVAC standards. Neighbors within a designated distance must give their permission.
6. Home-based Colony Catios operating as a licensed part of the sanctuary program will be inspected periodically, and the owner will be required to keep specific records.  
7. All cats surrendered to the program will be considered the property of the facility.
8. The TENVAC program will promote Catios as a method for cat owners with 5 cats or less to protect their cats by containing them within the resident’s yard space and home. The facility will do this by direct assistance, instructions, advertising and public information.
9. The TENVAC facility will work with licensed shelters and other organizations to re-socialize and adopt feral and stray cats, provide medical care, and ongoing care of the cats, and in other positive ways that meet and promote the mission and objectives of TENVAC.
10. A committee, guided by a director, will develop management practices and procedures, facility operations, regulations, and standards to govern the activities of  the TENVAC program and its licensees. All practices, procedures, operations, personnel, volunteers and shelters involved with program will be held accountable under these standards and regulations; participants judged to be in violation will be dismissed from the program.
11. Outcomes will be verifiable and a system of checks and balances established to verify that
 the TENVAC facility is operating to meet its mission and objectives.
12. Detailed records established by the Director and Committee will be required of every part of the program, from funding, facility management, and operations to the care of individual cats. These records will be transparent and available for study and scrutiny, as will be the whole program, facility, and activities.
13. The TENVAC facility will operate as a separate division of Animal Control located at a different site, but accountable to ACC and city council. This direct association with ACC will enable the  city to monitor and verify the operations and mission.
14. The TENVAC facility will operate under state and local animal codes and licensing.
15. Once the facility is operating, cats will be delivered directly there.
16. The TENVAC program will use networks of veterinarians, shelters, and volunteers currently in use under TNR, as well as establish new networks.


- Corporate sponsorships
- Individual sponsorships
- public donations
- Grants
- Fees (to be established)
-Other sources that will be identified

- The TENVAC facility will operate using the spay/neuter programs, and shelter, rescue, andvolunteer networks already in place under TNR, or establish these networks.

- Utilize community resources unique to each city:

  • As an example, in Columbus, Ga., students in the trade schools of Columbus Technical College, working under the guidance of their professors, could design and build the facility.These students would draft site, buildings, and utility systems plans, construct the buildings and foundations, and install plumbing, electrical, drainage, and sanitation systems. This would be a real world opportunity for students to practice skills and techniques they have been learning at Columbus Tech. Finally, the students can include this experience on employment resumes.

  • Again, as an example in Columbus, Ga., prison trustees could provide labor for grounds keeping and maintenance, re-socializing ferals, and do other jobs that would usually require a paid employee. As a precedent for this, some prisons around the country have programs in which inmates  work directly with dogs to re-socialize them and prepare service dogs for further training.   
  • People sentenced by the judicial courts to community service could work out their sentences at the TENVAC facility.
  • Another example of a community resource in Columbus, Ga. is students in the Environmental Science and Biology Schools at Columbus State University. These students could assist in the vet clinic, as well as in other areas. Students could gain valuable fieldexperience by studying the diseases, behavior, and environmental impact of feral cats.
  • Accounting and Mathematics students could be involved with statistics, record keeping, accounting, and assessments, and Business students could gain experience by assistingwith management practices.


  • has the potential to unite a community divided by the activities of a TNR program.
  • Acknowledges, respects and addresses the issues of all stakeholders, without compromising the most important concerns of each.
  • Restore property rights that are restricted under TNR programs.
  • Protect human health, wildlife, and the cats.
  • Engage citizen involvement.
  • Young children over a certain age and under supervision could volunteer at the facility, and schools could bring children on field trips.
  • Teaches by education and example the responsibilities of pet ownership.
  • Could significantly reduce feral and stray cat populations. 


  • Cats are sterilized and minor injuries are treated onsite at the Way Station medical clinic, which means Veterinarians will not incur in-house expenses for sterilization, caging, employee pay, janitorial, equipment and anesthesia, time in handling the cats, and other associated costs as they do under TNR.
  • Vets can volunteer to serve at the Way Station on a schedule with other vets, sharing the load among them.
  • Pet clients at vet clinics are not exposed to infectious diseases as they can be when feral and stray cats are brought into a clinic.
  • The clinic space and veterinary and employee time are dedicated to their paying clients.
  • Veterinarians can gain community support by advertising their participation in the Way Station TENVAC program.
 1.  Awake! A Public/Private partnership and TENVAC Sanctuary, or to see the program on the site, go to