LEWES, Del.- After months of work and past public outcry from cat lovers, the city of Lewes has adopted a new feral cat policy.

The city and the Brandywine Valley SPCA partnered to address the ordinance and manage a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for the cats. According to the BVSPCA, the ordinance removes outdated language that refers to euthanasia and specifies the use of humane traps, a timeline for checking the traps, and ensures cats are brought to no-kill shelters.

"We appreciate the city's efforts to update legislation in support of humanely and effectively managing free-roaming, unowned cats in our communities," sys BVSPCA CEO Adam Lamb. "This has been a very positive and collaborative effort that reflects a humane community of which we're proud to be a part."

Lewes Mayor Ted Becker says the ordinance is similar to the state law that gives free-roaming cats full protection of animal cruelty laws, and has provisions for feral cat caregivers. Becker says the policy also encourages adoption.

"Many feral cats although they appear feral can be socialized and can be successfully placed," he says. "We encourage people to take them, work with the Brandywine Valley SPCA or some other no kill shelter to try to place as many of these cats into a loving environment where they can be cared for."

Questions about free-roaming cats and TNR programs can be directed to the BVSPCA Georgetown Campus at 302-856-6361.