Since the Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center and WildCat Foundation/SpayNation launched the Cats Clocking In Working Cat program in March 2019, 141 unwanted cats have been hired to patrol businesses and residences throughout the Parish.
The program offers an all-natural pest control solution, free of poisons and traps and matches cats that are unsuitable for a traditional adoption with business and home owners. “We often receive cats that come off the street, and they’re used to living outdoors. They’re resourceful and may not be a typical adoption candidate, but they deserve to live and need a place to reside and thrive,” Delahoussaye said.
In exchange for food, water, shelter and basic medical care, the cats protect their new home from rodents. Kathryn Reaux was one of the first to request a cat through the program and is satisfied with her employee. “Our working cat, Roz, has done a fantastic job keeping rodents off of our property. Even with sugar cane fields nearby, we haven’t seen a mouse in over a year.”
Working cats are employed where pest control is needed such as barns, farms, factories, warehouses, stores and private property. Cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and ear tipped at no cost to the adopter. Typically, working cats are adopted in pairs to keep each other company.
Adopting a working cat, in part, helps the shelter to reach and maintain no-kill status, meaning 90 percent of the animals that enter the shelter leave alive through adoption, owners reclaiming them, transferring them to rescue partners or the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.
Year-to-date, the shelter has an 88 percent live outcome rate. Delahoussaye added, “Our staff and volunteers are dedicated to every animal in our care, but we need the help of our community to obtain this goal. Adopting, fostering, spaying and neutering pets are sure-fire ways to not only achieve no-kill status, but maintain it.”
To sign up for Cats Clocking In, email the shelter at LASCC@lafayettela.gov.