Santa Rosa County Animal Services is launching a barn cat program to place hard-to-adopt animals in a safe and comfortable habitat. A barn cat program places fully vetted healthy cats into safe, independent living spaces such as a barns, warehouses or factories – at no cost to county residents – to help fill important jobs as a pest and rodent managers. Full vetting includes spay or neuter, feline HIV and leukemia tests, rabies vaccinations, feline respiratory virus vaccinations, as well as worm and flea treatments.
“This is a great opportunity for our residents to have an environmentally friendly rodent management program and give a home to a deserving animal who might otherwise not find one,” said Dr. Megan Arevalo, shelter veterinarian. “While we are offering barn cats at no cost to our county residents, a donation to offset vetting costs is appreciated.”
To be successful, placement should be far from busy roads and in an area with no predators. A relocation period of at least two weeks within a large crate is recommended to adapt the cats to their new area prior to release and to help ensure they stay at their new home. Many barn cats enjoy companionship and a pair of cats is often recommended. Shelter, daily food and water, and vet care are a requirement.
The shelter does not adopt out cats as barn cats if they are suitable to be household companions. Cats are included in this program for one of the following reasons:
- The cat has litter box habits that make them unsuitable to live indoors and for whom medical conditions have been ruled out.
- The cat is under-socialized, shy, or fearful of people. The shelter encourages adopters to work with these animals as many of them will warm up to their owners after time.
For more information on the barn cat program, contact Santa Rosa County Animal Services, 850-983-4680.