Across the nation, animal shelters are faced with difficult decisions every day. One of the frequent issues they must deal with is how to handle cats with low chances of being adopted. These are the cats who are feral, unfriendly, or just plain unsuitable for a traditional family home. These cats take up valuable shelter space, but they can also spend years in the shelter before a suitable situation comes along.
That’s why the Heritage Humane Society in Virginia took a bit of an alternative approach to finding new homes for these cats. Catherine Watts, the medical team lead at the humane society, began personally seeking out opportunities for feral cats, or cats with behavior issues, back in 2014. She first found a home for Spike, a cat who was “hired” by the Jamestown Feed and Seed to take care of pests in the warehouse.
With Spike’s success, Watts continued working to find homes for cats which would otherwise be euthanized. Watts found homes for seven cats in 2014 and 17 cats in 2015. In 2016, Watts found homes for almost 90 cats, and the Cat Career Program was born.
The Cat Career Program runs on donations, which allow the program to adopt out cats without an adoption fee. The cats are vaccinated, as well as spayed or neutered. The donations help to cover those medical costs.
Program cats are carefully assessed to determine what type of home would be right for them. The program uses different classifications for barn cats, and this careful attention to detail helps to ensure that suitable homes are found.
And as for Spike? He’s doing just great in his new home. It took him a while to settle in, but he takes his job of mouse hunting quite seriously.
Would you like to donate to the program? Visit heritagehumanesociety.org/donate/ to do so.