In January 2018, Pitt County Animal Services provided the Solid Waste and Recycling Department with two of the newest “employees” through the adoption of “Dempsey” and “Dumpster,” two feral cats provided as part of the Barn Cat program at the Pitt County Animal Shelter.
The Barn Cat program was designed to give independent feral cats a chance at life. Even though these cats may not be suitable as indoor pets, they still provide usefulness to the community through their instinctive efforts in rodent control and barnyard animal companionship. The program only requires a $20 adoption fee, which covers the cost of vaccination, spay or neutering, and having ears tipped to indicate they have been sterilized. Adopters must agree to provide cats with a barn or sheltering structure, water, and food to supplement what they catch.
Once adjusted to their new surroundings, Barn Cats often tend to stay where they are, helping to maintain the rodent population. Some even grow to become friendlier with their caregivers over time.
Both Dempsey and Dumpster now spend their days at the Transfer Station, located off of Allen Road in Greenville, with Dempsey working at the scale house near the front entrance and Dumpster working at the Main Offices building. Since taking on their respective positions within the Solid Waste and Recycling department, they have been largely successful in helping to eliminate rodent incursion into staff offices and other facilities. Pitt County Recycling Coordinator Paula Clark noted the simple efficiency and benefits of the Barn Cat program, saying “it was a great opportunity to help give these cats a new lease on life, who might not normally get one, while at the same time helping us keep our outdoor facilities clean and free of ‘uninvited guests.’”
The Barn Cat program provides an all-natural form of pest control for barns, warehouses, shops, or wherever the potential for rodent problems may occur. To learn more about the program, or to adopt a “Barn Cat” of your own, contact Pitt County Animal Services at 252-902-1725, or visit the Animal Shelter during their adoption hours of 1:00pm-5:00pm Monday-Friday, and 11:00am-4:00pm on Saturdays.