Since I'm rather fond of cats, this news gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Philadelphia's Animal Care and Control Team established the [Working Cats] program about four years ago to place unadoptable cats — the biters and the skittish, the swatters and the ones that won't use a litter box — into jobs as mousers at barns or stables.
The shelter recently expanded the program to move cats that were less-than-ideal pets into urban jobs at places like factories and warehouses as a sort of green pest control. The animals are microchipped, vaccinated and free of charge.
. . .
At Bella Vista Beer Distributors, mice were gnawing on bags of chips overnight, leaving a mess and forcing staffers to throw out about 15 bags a day, owner Jordan Fetfatzes said.
They tried exterminators, but nothing worked. An employee found ACCT's program online, and Fetfatzes eventually decided on Gary, a white male with one blue eye and one green that had "behavioral issues." Gary wasn't accustomed to people and would hiss from the crate. At first, Gary would stay in the office and would only go into the warehouse after hours.
As the weeks passed, he warmed up to workers and customers, and has transformed into a sweet, playful mascot with free rein of the store.
"My only complaint is sometimes he gets in the way of a transaction," said Fetfatzes, who describes himself as a "dog guy" who's turned in to a cat lover thanks to Gary.
Neighborhood kids come in just to say hi to him, and he loves to play soccer with a worker who balls up cash register tape and kicks it around as Gary bats at it.
As for the mice, they vanished, seemingly repelled by Gary's scent, Fetfatzes said.
"You're not only saving your business money, you are helping save the life of an unwanted pet," he said. "And in this case, we made a friend."
There's more at the link.
Feral cats - particularly urban ones - live pretty miserably, a lot of the time. It's nice to see them get a second chance at a better life.
If your local animal shelter or control office doesn't have a program like this, why not send them a link to the article, and suggest that they consider establishing their own version?