Monday, June 17, 2024

Furry Friends Feature: Ready for Hire! Career Cats

Employees are a hot commodity these days. One section of the workforce that’s available to hire immediately are Career Cats from the Heritage Humane Society.

For some cats, sitting on laps for snuggles is a hard pass. Others simply enjoy “working.” They crave the thrill of the hunt, the freedom of the outdoors, and cherish far-reaching independence.

The Career Cat Program is ideal for local barns, warehouses, wineries and distilleries, greenhouses and residential homes willing to adopt the shelter’s furry friends. Career Cats span from friendly to feral. Typically, they did not have the opportunity earlier in life to learn how to socialize with human companions making them shy and even fearful people.

Getting down to business

Every year organizations in the Greater Williamsburg area and beyond adopt a total of dozens of Career Cats. Adopters of Career Cat often opt for multiple cats. They are highly motivated “employees,” spending their days on the prowl as great exterminators and cost cutters. A working cat enjoys patrolling their property keeping rodents away and even helping to keep bugs to a minimum. As a natural, eco-friendly way of reducing pests, they eliminate traditional, generally toxic, pest control treatments or traps, and they often deter pests from getting into feed, barns, supplies and more. This saves adopters money and keeps everyone safe. As a big bonus, adopters can feel good knowing they’ve provided a rescued pet a second chance at life.

A previously adopted Career Cat named Jasper “working” in his new home

Benefit packages for adopters

Career Cat adopters have the benefits of knowing these evaluated felines come with a “full benefits package.” These cats have:

• Been spayed or neutered
• Received basic feline vaccines
• Received FIV and feline leukemia testing
• Been microchipped
• Been ear tipped
• Received initial flea and tick prevention

Salary expectations

The adoption fees are waived for Career Cats. They simply ask for “compensation” in the form of fresh food and water, a warm, safe shelter (garage, barn, warehouse, etc.), and any veterinary costs.

Set up for success

For those interested in adopting, they can complete an online Career Cat interest form. The Heritage Humane Society Adoption Team will reach out to the potential adopter to learn more about their wants and needs so they can be introduced to the Career Cats that may best suit their interests.

“Our Heritage Humane Society Career Cat program has been a great success in teaming up cats eager to live and roam outdoors with adopters who are interested in naturally eliminating and preventing rodents and pests,” says Helen Harris, Medical & Foster Care Supervisor at the Heritage Humane Society.

“Two is better than one! We oftentimes recommend that at least two Career Cats be adopted together,” adds Tori Fisher, Medical & Foster Care – Cat Lead for the Heritage Humane Society. “The move will be less traumatic and adjustment to their new home easier if they have the security of one or more companions.”

Acclimating career cats to their new surroundings takes just a little time. The Heritage Humane Society can provide an initial set up for the first three weeks. This includes a crate, litter, a litter pan, dry and canned food, bowls and blankets to assist in cat care. Cats are territorial creatures and want to feel safe in their environment. Once accustomed to their new surroundings including where they feel safe, have established their scent and understand they have a guaranteed food source, they get busy “working.”

Meet Lennox and Gotham

Lennox

Gotham

Lennox and Gotham are two of the current Career Cats ready for adoption at the Heritage Humane Society. Lennox is a 10-month-old male cat that was found stray near Two Drummers Smokehouse. Since his arrival, shelter volunteers have been spending a lot of time with Lennox, getting him more comfortable and confident around people. Because of his blossoming personality, the hope is to find a home where he could be an indoor/outdoor kitty.

Gotham is a one-year-old male cat. He was found stray, trapped, and brought to Heritage Humane Society in January. He is still shy around people; however, the shelter team has noticed him gaining more confidence since they moved him into one of the cat colony rooms to have more space and be with other cats.

Both Lennox and Gotham are being housed in the shelter’s cat colony rooms. Visitors are welcome to come visit with them between 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. There will be many more career cats becoming available for adoption in the coming weeks.

Laura Hineman of Fox Wire Farm is a devoted adopter of Heritage Humane Society Career Cats. The working farm has adopted multiple career cats from the shelter. Their huge property is home to alpacas and other livestock. They provide shelter, food and water to the cats and in return, the cats stay busy controlling the rodent population.

“I think Career Cats are a must-have for anyone living in the country,” shares Laura Hineman of Fox Wire Farm. “The Heritage Humane Society has provided Fox Wire Farm with numerous Career Cats over the years. The cats are easy to care for and they enjoy being mousers. In addition to being good workers, they become great companions. If you love country living, you’ll love having Career Cats!

To learn more, visit HeritageHumane.org or call 757-221-0150. Heritage Humane Society is located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

We have mousers waiting to “work” for you!

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