PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA – A new PEI Humane Society initiative is almost like a work placement program — except if there is a match, the cats get a job with humans who have a position available.
The working cat program helps felines which were “kind of falling through the cracks,” according to Jennifer Harkness, the Humane Society’s development co-ordinator. Those who might be categorized as “unadoptable.”
The program been running now for about a year and has adopted about 20 cats.
“So they weren’t house cats but they’re not feral cats either,” she said.
“They’re still OK being around humans, they want a dry, safe place to live. They just prefer to spend the majority of the time outdoors or all of the time outdoors.”
Most working cats are adopted by people with barns or large gardens and of course, they need help keeping pests at bay.
The fee for adoption is $25, which helps pay for deworming, vaccinations and spaying /or neutering.
The Humane Society also offers help as the animal adjusts to its new home but is careful to point out that a working cat still comes with responsibilities.
Cats need safe, dry places to live.
“Keeping that animal healthy, providing food and water, because they can’t always just survive on rodents,” said Harkness.
“And then, of course, providing a safe, dry place for them to live that is secure, even if it is outdoors.”
She said it’s important the cat has a place to hide and be safe from predators.
Beau the cat came to Lisa Chaisson’s farm last winter. He has been a great help keeping the vermin away, she admitted.
“We have lots of feed in the barn and we have a number of animals to feed, so they’re kind of always around and it’s not very nice,” she said.
“He’s a great personality. He looks forward to the morning and evening visits.”
The Humane Society doesn’t have any working cats up for adoption at the moment, but there’s a waiting list for anyone interested.