In 2020, Dakin launched The Kitten Street Team, a program to address a critical need in our community. The goal of this team of specially-trained volunteers is to assist in controlling feral cat populations in the Pioneer Valley. TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is a humane and effective way to prevent unwanted litters of kittens born outside year after year. Together, we can help more cats live safe, healthy lives.

How Does TNR Work?

The general TNR process involves monitoring active feral cat colonies, collecting data, and working with local residents to learn more about the cats that live there. Humane traps are set up and the team works to trap as many members of the colony as possible at the same time. They will then receive spay/neuter surgery, recovery time, vaccines to protect them from rabies, and an ear tip before release. The ear tip is a painless procedure completed while the cat is under anesthesia. It is a universal symbol to future TNR workers that that kitty has already gone through a program. TNR keeps adult feral cats safe and healthy and prevents a future of critically ill, orphaned kittens with no place to go.

Request Help with Feral Cats

If you are caring for, or aware of feral cat colonies in your community and are unable to perform TNR yourself, please contact Dakin’s Kitten Street Team. Our service area includes Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties. This program is solely operated by volunteers and response time will vary based on team availability. The contact form is for adult cats only.

If you come upon kittens born outside, call Dakin at (413) 781-4000. Kittens born outside are often sick and in need of urgent care.

Get Involved - Volunteer Opportunities

Looking to get hands-on experience as a volunteer member of Dakin’s Kitten Street Team? Email us at for more information.

Other Ways to Support The Kitten Street Team

Dakin’s programs are made possible through the generosity of our supporters. As the only non-profit, full-service animal welfare organization serving our region, there is a critical need for accessible veterinary care, preventative care for feral cats, emergency pet food aid, and more. Our programs are funded and maintained with your support and your gifts change the lives of pets and their people every day. Keep up with the Kitten Street Team by signing up for our free eNewsletter, What’s Shakin’ at Dakin.

Additional Resources

For information on the basics of TNR, working positively with neighbors, post-surgical care, and more, click here for a resource from The San Francisco SPCA.