Cats free to good barns
Humane society adopting out farm cats
Wednesday, Dec 01, 2010 06:00 am
With its shelter space bursting at the seams, the Edmonton Humane Society is reminding the public about a special program that can put cats to work for local farmers.
The society’s Barn Buddies program takes otherwise unadoptable cats and makes them available at no cost to those willing to take them.
Shawna Randolph, spokesperson for the society, said the cats in the program wouldn’t do well in a regular adoption, but can still be great pets.
“This program gives the cat a second chance.”
Randolph said the society doesn’t send out cats that won’t do well in a home, because it is counterproductive.
“If there is a problem with the cat that will not be worked out, it is not an adoptable cat, meaning we know that if we adopt it out it is going to be sent back.”
She said cats in the Barn Buddies program often have trouble using a litter box or are aggressive towards other cats and wouldn’t do well in a home.
She said having them become barn cats is a good way to move them out of the shelter.
“A shelter is not appropriate for the long term.”
While there are no adoption fees for the barn cats, the society does ask prospective owners to promise to give them shelter and food daily.
She said while the cats are often good mouse catchers, they need more than that.
“You still have to feed mousing cats. They can’t be expected to live on what they may or may not catch.”
People can register with the program online or over the phone. Randolph said when the society identifies an animal for the program, they work quickly to have it moved out.
“They have to commit to picking up the cat within 24 hours,” she said. “Basically when we call, it is a come-now situation.”
Randolph said the shelter is currently at capacity and is looking for more members of the program to help ease some of the pressure.
She said there are five cats staff have determined are a good fit for the program, but that number is constantly changing.
The society also has an unusually high number of cats in care this week, with more than 400 felines filling every nook and cranny of its building.
Randolph said that is much higher than what they are used to.
“It is just unheard of that we have over 400 cats and kittens in our care.”
On Wednesday the shelter will be waiving all adoption fees on any cats with white fur as part of a regular promotion they do on the first Wednesday of each month.