This shelter in Washington is helping cats find forever homes by giving them "mouse management" jobs at farms.
An animal shelter in Washington has taken a talent many cats naturally have and turned it into a profession in an effort to save them and find their forever homes.
The shelter, SpokAnimal, created a program called Farm Livin’ where their homeless cats are given a second chance at life by being “hired” by farms, warehouses, or any property with mice to chase out and hunt the mice.
Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 1,700 cats have found their calling with this program. The property owners are able to apply for a “free” cat—with the condition that they provide the cat with at least a barn or farm as permanent shelter and food to supplement what they catch.
Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters. Of these millions of animals, 1.4 million are cats.
While many dogs are able to recover from a variety of situations, such as abuse or being stray, through training, cats are typically tougher to train and prefer to be independent; this causes them to be more prone to becoming feral and therefore less adoptable.
That’s why Farm Livin’ is such a great program for many cats that enter the shelter which are otherwise difficult to find homes for. The cat’s new job gives them a purpose, creates a new home at a farm where owners might not have been previously looking to adopt, and allows for the cat to have a home without being too close to humans if that’s what they prefer.
Before the cats are allowed to go home with their new owners, they’re also spayed/neutered, given vaccinations, and sent with a bag of food to get them started.
SpokAnimal is also looking to expand its program so that it can help cats around the country find forever homes in rural areas. Anyone interested in the program can find more information here.
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