Community Cat Program

Community Cat Program

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

Through the Best Friends Animal Society‘s Shelter Collaborative Program and No Kill South Carolina, the Darlington County Humane Society is partnering with the Charleston Animal Society, the Florence Area Community Cat Program, and MSPCA-Angell to bring TVAR (Trap-Vaccinate-Alter-Return to Home) to Darlington County.

For more information, contact the DCHS Community Cat Program Coordinator at 980-277-0704 or

Trap-Vaccinate-Alter-Return to Home Frequently Asked Questions

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 [TVAR], 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 VeterinariansAmerican Association of Feline PractitionersHumane Society of the United StatesASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society. Twenty-nine of South Carolina’s 46 counties have implemented a TVAR program as of 2023.