Feral cats have been given a second chance and an important job in the state of California. Thanks to a local animal welfare organization, Voice for the Animals Foundation, these animals are doing what they do best…rodent patrol!
The group has established a “Working Cats Program” to promote TNR and the humane control of feral cats. After being spayed/neutered and vaccinated, the cats are relocated to businesses in the area that are experiencing rodent problems. Businesses slowly introduce the cats to their new home over a period of 30 days. Eventually, the cats become familiar with their surroundings and the dependable food source provided by care takers encourage the cats to stay put.
Feral cats are currently employed by the Los Angeles Flower Market, the Crossroads School campus, and recently by the Los Angeles Police Department Wilshire and Foothills Divisions. According to the Voice for the Animals, it is the cats’ scent that keeps the rats at bay. Although they are great hunters, rats get one whiff of the cats and vacate the premises. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, the LAPD states they are happy with the outcome and are working on introducing more ferals to other divisions. There are officers at each station more than willing to care for the cats. “If I were a wild cat, that would be a great job. Your meals are there, your housing is there, you’re at a police station so you’re safe,” says Commander Kirk Albanese.
“Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rats, this method proves to be effective, humane and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win-win situation!” proclaims the Voice for the Animals Foundation on their website.