Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Give Life to Free Roaming Cats #BtC4A


I am joining a movement which is near and dear to my heart. In case you are new to my blog, I am an adult shelter rescue cat…working hard to make a difference for all those similar to me—who do not have the voice I now have thanks to social media.

Are you ready to join me?

Are you ready to join me?

Today, I again proudly join the global Blog 4 The Change movement.

I pawticipate

I pawticipate

My post this quarter is very important to any and all who want to see the live release rates RISE at their local public animal shelters. Come on, read more, learn, ponder the information and then hopefully, you will JOIN me and Mom L in helping all free roaming community cats live their lives beyond being trapped and left at an animal control shelter to be euthanized.

Interested? Read on.

sign with WM ed s

Now you may be wondering just what is the Return to Field Program? Mom L and I learned about this opportunity to save the lives of Free Roaming Community Cats (FRCC) through one of our rescue pals, Ms Julie, founder of Outcast Cat Help. Now you likely wanna know what is the difference between FRCC versus “Feral Cat”? Right??

Let me help you with that explanation. Basically, they are the same. End of explanation…ok? It is just a new label to address the same challenge.


FRCC/Feral Cats are frequently trapped by humans who feed them, but do not know what to do about managing the increase in numbers as the FRCC multiply due to lack of being spayed/neutered. Those cats are dropped at public animal shelters across the USA…and then the cats—who have been living a life free from humans, are subjected to anywhere from 72 hours to 5 days on “hold” just in case some human arrives to claim them. The ending is not freedom. It is almost always being euthanized. Healthy, but unadoptable, often young cats who have clearly been fed by someone who cared.

You can see that all these FRCCs are desperate, afraid and also…healthy, and longing to live.

Can I please leave now??

Can I please leave now??

The FRCCs are both young and adult…

Let's Talk



  • FRCC receive FVRCP & rabies vaccintation; administered by the shelter, at no cost to the transfer partner rescue, for this program. Additionally, each cat receives an examination which includes a Body Condition Scale assessment (BCS) and is treated for fleas. Additional treatable medical issues are also addressed.
  • The cats may be part of an established colony with a caregiver/feeder. The rationale behind RTF is that if the cat has a good or better BCS (not starving), that cat is getting food from somewhere.
  • The FRCC must suffer through the hold period at public animal control shelters and all involved know that the end is death. When the public shelter has Transfer Partners in the local rescue community, these cats can be Returned to Field, meaning the area within which they were trapped, taking no longer than the time to recover from S/N surgery.
  • Once the FRCC are removed from the shelter, there is SPACE for other cats who are not adverse to human contact; and who are adoptable. A Total WIN-WIN!


  • Who will take care of the cats who are RTF’d? Great question. And, given that someone was kind enough to trap the cat, kittens etc….that means someone will care for the newly S/N cat/kittens and there will be NO MORE born into this community
  • Kittens who are not open to socialization are returned with siblings and/or their Mom Cats
  • Adults who are shy, but open to human contact are given the opportunity to live in foster and seek adoption.

Take a look at so many FRCCs being released through OCH’s transfer partnership with my county Animal Services Shelter…615 FREE ROAMING COMMUNITY CATS RETURNED TO FIELD…that is SIX HUNDRED FIFTEEN CATS SAVED!!

Which means MORE space at our county shelter for the adult cats and kittens who are truly adoptable…is there ever a better WIN-WIN???

Please support Return to Field in your local cat rescue community…just say’in…


Additional Information:

Million Cat Challenge: Return to Field

Maddie’s Fund on RTF

Jackson Galaxy on Return to Field

Huffington Post

Managing Community Cats

Transforming Local Government

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29 thoughts on “Give Life to Free Roaming Cats #BtC4A

  1. Pingback: UPDATE: Feline Express™ Driver | Savannah's Paw Tracks

  2. It feels so counter to what we feel we should be doing but it works and saves so many lives. How can that not be a good thing

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  5. Very interesting!! I’ve never heard of FRCC or Return to the Field — but in reference to the names only. We at BtC4A are 100% behind programs like this to help cats that would never work well in an adoptive/domestic setting. And you’re right; they’d only be euthanized if they were turned over to the local shelter. Taking care of them, but allowing them to live out their lives in their natural (outdoor) setting, is the most humane, sensible approach. It’s wonderful that you’re educating the public about this!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals,
    Kim Thomas
    Be the Change for Animals

  6. Very interesting! I aware of TNR but Return to Field is new to me. It definitely sounds like a program shelters need to have in place. Thank you for sharing and thank you for joining in Blog the Change!

  7. Thanks for the info Savvy.

    Emma and Buster

  8. pilch92 on said:

    Excellent post! Thank you for spreading the word.

  9. This is a great post like usual. You rock BtC, BFGF! TW is dense and still doesn’t know the different between TBR and RTF.

  10. meowmeowmans on said:

    Bravo! What a wonderful and important program to help those community cats! We have groups who do this here, too, and we are so thankful for them. And for you!

  11. Billie Cummings on said:

    Thanks for the information. I didn’t realize what the program was until you showed me. It sounds great. Thanks so much.

  12. Pingback: Be the Change - My Blog the Change Roundup - Christy Paws

  13. Susan Mulloy on said:

    Thank you Savvy and Mom L for spreading the word. This is a wonderful program.

  14. What a pawsome program! We hope other communities adopt this type of program.

  15. That’s a lot of saved cats! What a great idea. I hope more communities get involved with programs like this. It seems like it is a win-win for everyone.

    Thanks for supporting BTC and sharing this on the hop.

  16. S & S…..615 iz a mega total lee impressive number 🙂 HOORAY…. de shelters heer …..R werkin TWO GETHER now; in sted oh…a part…..for de better mint oh R community catz 🙂 kewl huh ♥♥♥

    heerz two a jewel tetra N jawfish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

  17. Great post – I’ve learnt a lot about community cats!

  18. Amen, amen, amen to every bit of that sweet Savvy!

  19. Savvy, what a fantastic post! Thank you so much for writing about this important topic.

  20. A pawmazing program. No one in this US state has heard of this, I am pawsitive. It would take educating these closed minded hoomins but I’m willing to have a go at it. At this moment there are NO No-Kill shelters here. Animal life is expendible. Makes me n mom profoundly sad. We will read the links and spread the news. Fanks Miss Savannah.

  21. smseattle on said:

    Thank you so much for this post, Miss Savannah! The more education and the more kindness towards free-roaming cats, the better the world will be for all of us!

  22. a great program – we hope more places get on board with returning ferals to their HOMES

  23. Bravo, you are the russian blue lady with the heart of gold! We will read the links and maybe we can find a way to help the lady with more than just with food, who takes care of the feral cats in my village ….

  24. Great post Savvy…….certainly this is something we would support in our community…….thanks too for all the links for further info- everyone should look into this!

    Love, Sammy

  25. Great job!!!! As you can imagine this is an issue dear to our hearts. Yin and Yang’s Mother is a free roaming cat. We has our paws crossed she has been re-trapped and spayed by now. They trapped her once but because she had nursing kittens released her, but she ran off cause being trapped spooked her. ~Scylla & Family

  26. We have several large groups here who do a lot of work with community cats down here in Los Angeles – Stray Cat Alliance, Kitty Bungalow and Fixnation among them – and we are big supporters of them!

  27. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Great Post! Help human’s understand how to do what’s best for the individual cat while still limiting future community cats. A truly inspirational post. Congratulations!

  28. Bravo Savvy..a great informative message told in a non emotive rant is ALWAYS listened to ! People love facts and knowledge on how to help..and you have provided this in a way to engage readers..we may all be tbe converted but someone will learn some info that WILL save lives..loves Miss Bev xxx

  29. Wow – a candidate for Post of the Year here. Well done Savvy, I hear your heart and soul in this piece – brilliantly done!

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