Caring for El Paso’s free-roaming community cats humanely with free spay and neuter surgeries using the trap-neuter return method (TNR).

What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a population management technique. Community cats are humanely trapped, surgically sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, and returned to their original habitat.

How do I schedule a spay or neuter service?

Please contact Mary Speer Program Coordinator at 915-532-6971 ext. 135 to schedule a service.

All treated cats are ear-tipped. This means a small portion of their right ear is surgically removed while under anesthesia to identify that they have been spayed or neutered.
No other vaccines or procedures are available
HSEP does not provide trapping or transportation services
Cats must arrive at a scheduled clinic in an approved, humane, live trap, regardless of temperament.
Kittens from 8- to 16-weeks are the only cats accepted in carriers.
DO NOT transport cats or kittens in an open bed of a pick-up truck or in the trunk of a car with no ventilation.

How can we prevent unwanted litters?

A cat can become pregnant as early as four months of age. That’s why it’s important to spay or neuter all of your cats. HSEP stabilizes and reduces the population of community cat colonies using the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method through the Mary Speer Cat Spay and Neuter Program.

What is a free-roaming Community Cat?

A community cat is any free-roaming feral cat, untamed stray, or a friendly abandoned cat. Even lost cats are considered to be Community Cats. These cats live outdoors in groups called cat colonies.

What is kitten season?

You may have noticed more kittens around your neighborhood lately. Kitten season, also known as feline breeding season, occurs mid-March and ends in October. Shelters across the nation experience an intake overflow of homeless newborn litters around this time.

What do I do if I find abandoned kittens?

Leave them alone. Keep an eye out for the mother cat’s return from a safe distance. Litters are often separated from their mothers before they are able to eat on their own. As a result, these newborns often lack important nutrients needed to strengthen their immune system.


“Pet overpopulation affects everybody. Spaying and neutering permanently remove the pets from distraction and discomfort, and they can live a healthy, happy, and longer life.”

Mary Speer was a wonderful woman who dedicated her life to serving the animals of El Paso. When she was 30, she founded the El Paso Friends of Animals. Spaying and neutering cats was among her most noted efforts. When donations from the public fell short, Mary would often pay for the cats’ operations herself – an act of kindness she practiced for more than 50 years.

Upon her passing in 2014, she bequeathed a generous portion of her estate to the Humane Society of El Paso. Her gift allowed HSEP to create the Mary Speer Program for Community Cats to address El Paso’s cat overpopulation in a humane, non-lethal way. It’s an enduring gift that ensures the best kind of care for every kitten and cat.

Are you a friend to animals? Consider making a legacy gift of your own to the Humane Society of El Paso. Please contact Executive Director Deb Benedict at 915-532-6971 for more information.