Free-roaming cat spay/neuter grants

community cat in front of drop trapYou can help reduce the number of free-roaming cats in your community and lower intake and euthanasia at local shelters with a PetSmart Charities®  Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) grant,  now available in two categories: Free-roaming Cat Spay/Neuter and Community Cats Grants. 

Learn more about how to implement these kinds of projects by reading PetSmart Charities Community TNR: Tactics and Tools, which you can download for free as a pdf file or purchase as a book.

Free-roaming Cat Spay/Neuter

These grants provide funding for TNR projects designed to alter a substantial percentage of free-roaming cats in a specific target area.  By fixing most of the cats in an area, reproduction is greatly reduced and the cats’ population gradually declines.  The result: fewer cats and kittens brought off the streets to local shelters — and fewer calls to animal control and your organization.

Grants are available for up to $100,000 a year for 1 or 2 years.  This means the maximum grant is $200,000 over 2 years.  501(c)(3) nonprofits, government agencies, tribal entities and First Nations are eligible.  (If you are a government agency, tribal entity or First Nation, please see the special instructions for municipalities at the bottom of this page.)

It’s important that your project:

  • Will make a big difference in your community by getting most of the free-roaming cats in your target area spayed or neutered (free-roaming cats may include feral, stray or unconfined pet cats).
  • Has a geographically defined target area, such as a town, city, county or ZIP code.
  • Is primarily focused on free-roaming cats.  You can include indoors-only pet cats provided you expect they will make up less than 50% of the surgeries.
  • Can be measured for impact with objective data, such as intake, complaint calls, requests for assistance or a before/after census of the free-roaming cat population.

Grant funding should go primarily towards spay/neuter expenses.  Other allowable expenses may include rabies vaccinations, traps, transportation, marketing, personnel hired just for the grant project or added hours for existing part-time personnel.

How to apply

Our next grant application cycle for Free-roaming Cat Spay/Neuter grants will open on Jan. 15, 2015, and will run until available funds are exhausted.  We encourage you to apply early!

Community Cats Grants

Our new Community Cats Grants are available to public or private agencies operating open admission shelters.  The proposed project must combine a Return to Field (RTF) program with a Targeted TNR project. 

An RTF program addresses free-roaming cats brought to the shelter who are healthy but unadoptable due to temperament or lack of space.  Instead of being euthanized, these cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, eartipped and returned to their original locations.  Euthanasia rates decline and the shelter environment becomes less crowded and healthier.

A Targeted TNR project is designed to alter a substantial percentage of the free-roaming cats in a high need section or sections of the community.  Depending on the circumstances, an effective targeting strategy may also include the TNR of other cats at locations where RTF cats are released.  Targeting in this manner can lower intake.

Grants are available for up to $500,000 over a maximum of 3 years.  501(c)(3) nonprofits, government agencies, tribal entities and First Nations are eligible.  (If you are a government agency, tribal entity or First Nation, please see the special instructions for municipalities at the bottom of this page).  While the open admission shelter in a community must be the applicant, we encourage collaborative efforts and will consider the support of other local agencies in evaluating a proposal.

Allowable expenses include spay/neuter subsidies, rabies vaccinations, equipment, transportation (including a designated vehicle), marketing and personnel hired specifically for the grant project.

How to apply

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis by invitation only. For more information, please contact program manager Bryan Kortis.

New to TNR?

Is your organization just starting out with Trap-Neuter-Return?  Get the information and guidance you need from the Mentoring Program for Free-roaming Cats by Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (MRFRS), sponsored by PetSmart Charities.  MRFRS, an agency with a long and successful history practicing TNR, will mentor and provide funding for a small Targeted TNR project.  Afterwards, MRFRS will assist with preparation of an application to PetSmart Charities for a Free-roaming Cat Spay/Neuter grant.  Visit MRFRS for more details.

Municipalities applying for the first time  

All United States governmental entities applying online to PetSmart Charities for the first time are required to supply us with a copy of their Federal letter from the IRS.  If your finance office does not have the original letter you will need to contact the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 for a copy of your “Governmental Information letter” free of charge.

Canadian municipalities are required to supply us with a copy of your GST Sales tax form and a letter from your finance office that provides legal name, address and business number.

Once you have this information, contact our Tech Support Team to open a “Support request for Municipality access.”

Returning Municipalities:  If you’re a governmental entity you may need to supply us with a copy of your IRS Federal letter (US), or GST sales tax form (Canada) before you can be registered.  If you believe your organization has already supplied this documentation, contact our Tech Support Team to assist you with registration.


 “The ripple effect of TNR is enormous.  Fewer cats coming in means fewer euthanized and more resources available for the other animals in our care.”

— Julie Justman, Associate Director, Pueblo Animal Services, Pueblo, CO