In 2016, rat control problems increased 67% due to milder winters and longer breeding seasons. Residents spent thousands of dollars on poison and inspectors, but nothing worked, until they turned to an old-fashioned, non-toxic, solution to the horrific problem.
The Tree House Humane Society began pairing feral cats with people in need of rodent control—and their “Cats at Work” program became a win-win for everyone.
Tree House says it became the country’s first cageless, no kill cat shelter in 1971. While some of the felines brought to the shelter are wild and unadoptable, the cats could still serve a valuable purpose—just by being themselves.
After paying a fee to the shelter, the Empirical Brewing company welcomed two cats to their warehouse where rats had been spoiling grain by endlessly chewing tiny holes in the bags of hops.
A side benefit for employees is the fun and camaraderie provided by the sight of cats at work during the day.
Neighborhoods where rats had run amok are also benefiting from the transplanted colonies of spayed and neutered cats.
The idea has spread to other cities, including Austin, Texas. Two organizations in Los Angeles, including the Best Friends Spay/Neuter Center, have adopted the Tree House program in their own city, placing animals at locations, such as the L.A. Flower Market, transforming them into rodent-free spaces.
Meanwhile, the waiting list at Tree House, which hires out the wild wonders in Chicago, is now 60 days or longer. (Editor’s note: Program details have changed since the publication of this article, so visit TreeHouseAnimals.org for the latest.)
(WATCH the video or READ more at CNN) – Image via CNN video
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