The Florence Area Community Cat Project is a collaborative program to humanely and effectively reduce Florence County’s community cat population.

Thanks to funding from Best Friends Animal Society‘s Shelter Collaborative Program, Charleston Animal Society’s No Kill South Carolina 2024 initiative is partnering with Florence County Environmental Services, Jayne Boswell Animal Shelter, with support from Florence Area Humane Society and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue to bring TVAR to Florence County. Florence County Council took an important step in passing an ordinance allowing TVAR as of February 2023.

Charleston Animal Society veterinarians will spay & neuter 1,000 community cats in 2023. For more information, contact the Florence Area Community Cat Program Coordinator at 843-996-8879 or


What is a community cat?

A community cat, also called a free-roaming cat, is any cat that lives or spends time outdoors. Most community cats live in a small group of about 3-5 individuals called a colony.

What is TVAR? How does it reduce the cat population?

TVAR is a population reduction strategy that stands for Trap-Vaccinate-Alter-Return, sometimes called TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) or SNR (Stray-Neuter-Return). Community cats are not held in the shelter, instead they are spayed or neutered (“altered”) and returned to their outdoor home where they were picked up. The key is to sterilize cats at a high volume, before they have the opportunity to reproduce.

Is TVAR a common and/or accepted practice?

South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association (SCACCA) fully supports the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA) position on community cats, which reads:

“It is the position of NACA that indiscriminate pick up or admission of healthy, free-roaming cats, regardless of temperament, for any purpose other than TNR/SNR, fails to serve commonly held goals of community animal management and protection programs and, as such, is a misuse of time and public funds and should be avoided. “

TVAR is encouraged by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is considered a best practice by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, American Association of Feline Practitioners, Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, and Best Friends. Twenty-nine of South Carolina’s 46 counties have implemented a TVAR program as of 2023.