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Granite Shoals launches community cat management program

Granite Shoals launches community cat management program

Lionhearts TNR Director James Tieman gives a clinic on how to humanely trap wild cats during a Granite Shoals Feral Cat Advisory Committee event at the Granite Shoals Airport. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Twenty-one volunteers showed up for a trap-neuter-release cat management clinic in Granite Shoals on Monday, Feb. 5. The city’s newly formed Feral Cat Advisory Committee hosted the event in the aftermath of a cat-killing discussion by a different committee that turned the town upside down late last year.

The growing population of wild cats in Granite Shoals became a flashpoint for community activism in December, when a recording of a public meeting on how to handle feral felines was shared online. The recording included an in-depth discussion between the city’s Wildlife Advisory Committee and then-City Manager Peggy Smith on lethal management of the animals, including whether to trap and shoot multiple cats and how to handle mass burials.

Following the recording’s release, dozens of residents expressed outrage at the content, resulting in Smith’s resignation. Wildlife Advisory Committee Chair Todd Holland resigned soon after, saying he was moving out of the city and no longer eligible to serve. 

Also in the aftermath, the Hill Country Humane Society severed its ties with Granite Shoals. The City Council then created the new feral cat committee to come up with humane ways of handling the feral population.

Lionhearts TNR was one of several cat advocacy groups to offer help. Director James Tieman conducted the trap-neuter-release workshop on Monday at the Granite Shoals Airport to get the new committee started on its mission.

“The volunteers needed a good orientation on how to use traps,” Tieman told before the presentation. “My goal today is to teach as many people as we can how to do TNR and how to use a trap properly.”

Volunteers will be trained to set traps, transport cats to veterinary appointments, make sure they recover from their spaying or neutering operations, and release them back at the proper location.

According to Tieman, and many animal rights organizations, the TNR method is effective in keeping the wild cat population down. The cats are also vaccinated in the process. One ear is clipped so the animals can be easily identified as having already undergone the TNR process. 

The Granite Shoals Feral Cat Advisory Committee is also being supported by Hill Country Cats, Living Love Animal Rescue, HOPE Animal Clinic‘s Dr. Natalia Lord, and the Hill Country Humane Society.

Committee Chair Michele Landfield told she hopes the committee consistently maintains the number of volunteers that attended Monday’s clinic.

“We want to see a lot of volunteers trapping and pitching in,” she said. “When it all went down with the Wildlife Advisory Committee, I knew somebody had to step up and get things rolling.”

To learn more about the Feral Cat Advisory Committee, call the city at 830-598-2424 or email