Community Cats

Community Cats

Animal Humane Society’s Community Cats program works to improve the lives of free-roaming and feral cats in our community and reduce the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy cats that are not suitable for adoption.

What is a community cat?

Community cats are un-owned cats that live outdoors in the community. They may be feral or friendly, may have been born into the wild, or may be lost or abandoned pets.

What happens to community cats at AHS?

Stray or free-roaming cats that are friendly and would do well in a home are made available for adoption or placed in our adoption preparation programs. Feral cats that would not be appropriate or happy as pets are sterilized, ear-tipped, vaccinated, and released in the same outdoor location where they were found.

Why return feral cats to the community?

Euthanizing healthy cats is no longer an acceptable option. Removing these cats from the community does not eliminate the nuisances they create and actually encourages cat populations to steadily grow. When you return cats that have been sterilized, they continue to use resources but are unable to reproduce, decreasing the free-roaming cat population over time. Sterilization also reduces problematic behaviors like fighting and spraying.

Will community cats suffer if we return them?

Under this program, only feral cats that are thriving are returned to their environment. If the cat is healthy, we know it has found a source of food and shelter in the community, just as other wild animals have. 

What about our cold winters?

While it’s hard to imagine living outdoors during our winters, we know cats have adapted and manage to survive year round. Similar programs have been successfully implemented in all types of climates across the U.S. and Canada.

Don’t outdoor cats kill birds and wildlife?

Although community cats often hunt to survive, this program will reduce the impact on birds and wildlife by gradually decreasing the cat population over time.

What should I do if I find a cat with a tipped ear?

A tipped ear indicates that the cat has already been sterilized and vaccinated, so you can simply leave that cat alone. Ear-tipped cats that are surrendered will be returned to the community.

Does AHS actively trap, neuter, and return community cats?

AHS currently operates a targeted trap-neuter-return program in the 55303 and 55304 zip codes. Our staff and volunteers work with community members and feral cat colony caretakers to humanely trap cats, transport them for surgery, ear-tipping, and vaccination, and return them to the colony following treatment.

What if I have more questions?

Call Animal Humane Society’s community cats coordinator at 763-432-4892.

Animal Humane Society's Community Cats program is supported in part by a grant from PetSmart Charities.

Animal admissions

Animal admissions

Surrender your pet

Animal Humane Society has an open admission philosophy, which means we accept every animal regardless of health, age, breed or temperament that is surrendered to us. Let's work together to ensure the best possible solution for you and your pet.

Found a stray?

Our five metro-area shelters provide us with the best opportunity to place stray animals that are not reunited with their owners into new homes.

Alternatives to surrendering your pet

Alternatives to surrendering your pet

We at Animal Humane Society may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be alternative re-homing options available to you. Please consider the following alternatives before surrendering your pet.

Why are you considering surrendering your pet?

Surrender forms and fees

Surrender forms and fees

Surrender forms

Pet profile forms and veterinary records are critical to our evaluation process. The more we know about your pet, the better we're able to place him or her into a new home.

Please bring the appropriate completed form to your appointment.

Required form  Fee**
Canine profile $50 each, $85 for litters of two or more puppies
Feline profile $50 each, $85 for litters of two or more kittens
Rabbit profile $30 each, $45 for litters of two or more bunnies
Ferrets, chinchillas*  $30 each
Other small animals and birds* $10 each

* A profile form is not required for ferrets, chinchillas, other small animals and birds.

** Animal Humane Society is a private, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. We are also not affiliated with any national humane organizations.


The cost to care for and re-home pets can be in the hundreds of dollars for each animal that comes into our care. AHS asks for a surrender fee to help subsidize this cost. The fee is non-refundable and is not dependant on the outcome you choose for your pet after its evaluation.

Surrender appointment process

Surrender appointment process

Our goal is to find a happy home for every healthy and treatable animal. We can achieve this by knowing more about the animals that come into our care.

If you’re surrendering a litter of kittens, please learn more about our Kitten Support Project before calling. Click here for information on bringing in wildlife.

Appointment process

  1. Call (763) 412-4969 to schedule an appointment to surrender your pet to Animal Humane Society.
  2. Complete and print out the required corresponding surrender form and bring it and a copy of your pet’s veterinary records with you to your appointment.
  3. Your appointment will take approximately 30-45 minutes and will include a health exam and behavior evaluation of your pet. Your pet's placement in our adoption centers is based on a variety of factors, foremost of which are the results of the exam and evaluation which will be shared with you.
  4. After all information about your pet has been gathered and the animal evaluation completed, we will discuss your options with you so you can make the best decision for your pet.

If your animal has bitten or broken skin in the last 10 days, please contact your local animal control agency.

Animal Humane Society is an open-admission organization that accepts all animals. As a result, not all animals are able to be placed for adoption and humane euthanasia may be considered in some cases.

Surrender your pet

Surrender your pet

Let's work together to ensure the best possible solution for you and your pet.

Alternatives to surrendering your pet

We may be able to help you keep your pet at home or there may be alternative re-homing options available to you.

Kitten Support Project: Help us Help More Kittens

Kitten Support Project: Help us Help More Kittens

If you are considering surrendering kittens or a mother with kittens less than 8 weeks of age, please read the information below before bringing them to Animal Humane Society.

Our Challenge:

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