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New VB Program Offers Humanitarian Solution to “Barn Cats”

Finnley Brakke

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The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center (also known as the VBACAC) has recently started a program that has not received much attention but is one that I feel is an amazing and innovative step in helping to spare the lives of countless animals brought to them. They have begun a Barn Cat Placement Program.

This program will take cats that don’t qualify to be adopted into homes because their litter box habits are too inconsistent, they came in as strays and are too independent to be indoor pets, and/or they are too shy and fearful around people and would prefer to be outside with other cats.

The VBACAC´s website fully explains the program to anyone interested, listing the requirements to adopt, what the VBACAC will provide, as well as all other information pertaining to how the pets must be cared for and additional facts. The VBACAC is wisely only adopting the cats out in pairs, which will help to provide comfort to each, reducing their stress and improving their quality of life.

These wonderful cats are the best way to control mice and rat populations in barns, creating a mutually beneficial relationship for both the cats and owners. The cats receive a warm home, company, food, water, a clean litter box, and mice to hunt, and the owner doesn’t have to worry about their pest problem anymore.

Aside from helping the owner keep their barn rodent free, this innovative program will actually be life saving for the cats. This program would allow shelters to rescue more strays off the streets and adopt them out quickly without worrying about either domesticating them, finding a household to take in these wilder felines, or putting them down. By lessening the time these cats spend in the shelter, there is more space available for other pets that still desperately need to be rescued and find a loving family to call their own.

In addition to saving the rescues who will occupy the barn cats´ previous space in the shelter, this program will also save the lives of the barn cats that it adopts out. Animals that are deemed unadoptable into family homes because of their behaviors or mannerisms are euthanized in shelters, because they don’t have the space or resources to keep them. Many older strays who are set in their feral ways fall prey to this sad fate, but the Barn Cat Placement Program will offer them a second chance at life. The very skills they needed to stay alive on the streets almost condemned them to death in a shelter, but could now be used to benefit a kind barn owner and obtain them a better life.

I think this program has already proven itself to be an effective, innovative way to help feral stray cats, and believe that all shelters should have a program like this one. There’s no reason that a shelter shouldn’t have a program like this, because it doesn’t require any extra effort or resources on the shelters part, aside from what they already provide to the animals they take in and creating a section on their website to explain the program to those interested. The point of animal shelters is to decrease the number of stray animals on the streets, and to rehabilitate and rehome these rescued animals. The Barn Cat Placement Program will help to better achieve this goal for a broader number of animals, and should therefore be put in place in all shelters across America.

I urge anyone who could provide a barn cat with a safe home and may have a barn or space where they would benefit from two furry renters to visit the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center´s website and consider giving two frightened cats a second chance at life.

Below are links to the stories included in The Roaring Gazette’s first issue of the 2017/2018 school year.

Cybersecurity, toppling regimes, and facing terrorism by Aniyah Lewis

Lion Voices: What did you do this Summer? by Bethany Hansel

Students want vending machines open more often by Danielle Erestain

Meet a Lion: Mr. Falls by Aliyah Alli

NBA Superteams a new trend by Danielle Schirru

Remember why they’re kneeling by Marissa Goodall

New VB program offers humane solution for “Barn Cats” by Finnley Brakke

Hispanic Heritage Month an opportunity to re-think how we teach History by Ashley Archila-Ventura

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New VB Program Offers Humanitarian Solution to “Barn Cats”