'Working' cats for hire at Routt County Humane Society | SteamboatToday.com

‘Working’ cats for hire at Routt County Humane Society

Ute, a short-hair barn cat found in the McCoy flats, stares out from his cage at the Routt County Humane Society. All of the barn cats at the shelter are now free to adopt. (Photo by Derek Maiolo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Thirty-two barn cats rescued from a property in McCoy, Colorado have put the Routt County Humane Society beyond maximum capacity.

Mikhaila Hobbs, a worker at the animal shelter, said that has led to some interesting accommodations.

“We have cats in the bathroom at this point,” she said.

The adoption fees for all of the Humane Society’s barn cats have been waived to encourage people with enough open space or a mouse problem to take them in.

Cary Rentola, development manager at the Humane Society, said the cats are not very sociable and prefer to live outside. Many of them, like 3-year-old Pork Chop, are trained mice killers.

For that reason, Rentola called them “working cats” that could help with pest control in a barn or warehouse. While they require little attention, Rentola said it is important to provide them occasional food and water, as well as a litter box for the first month. Otherwise, they may abandon any new owners.

Chunk and Otoe wait for their vaccinations. All of the barn cats from the shelter will be spayed or neutered and will have up-to-date vaccinations. (Photo by Derek Maiolo)

Despite the influx, the Humane Society is an open-admissions shelter, which means employees do not turn away animals. They have put several of them in foster care while they work to find suitable homes for the feral felines.

Routt County Animal Control began transporting the cats in early December from the property in McCoy to the animal shelter after their owner died. It took several trips and more than a month to find and capture all of the cats. The final load arrived at the shelter on Jan. 4, bringing the total count to 32.

Because the cats have grown up outdoors, Rentola said it is even more important for them to find homes.

“The longer they’re in the shelter environment, the more anxious and upset they get,” she said.

All of the cats will be spayed or neutered and have up-to-date vaccinations prior to adoption.

To apply or learn about the working cats up for adoption, visit the shelter, view them online at routthumane.org or call 970-879-7247.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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