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    This, I find, rather neat.

    Original Article:  http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20110505/NEWS/110509843/1001&parentprofile=1058

    Feral Cats Get ‘Life’ in Prison

    Feral cats that might otherwise face a death sentence, are getting another chance at life through a prison work program.

    Susan Paul, president of the Carson Tahoe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, estimates more than 8,000 feral cats live on their own in Carson City, and that those brought in to Animal Services face euthanasia because they simply are not adoptable.

    The “Trap, Neuter, Release” program isn’t always the best way to go in a community, Paul said, because “people don’t necessarily want these cats brought back into their neighborhoods.”

    But an alternative program kicked off about eight weeks ago is meeting with success in Carson City — a partnership between Northern Nevada Correctional Center and the CTSPCA.

    The prison, facing infestations of mice, squirrels and pigeons, has enlisted the help of feral cats to cut down on the chance of disease transmission.

    “It’s mainly for rodent control,” Paul said. “They told me the earth literally moves at night.”

    Adam Watson, assistant warden in charge of programs for NNCC, called the new program “quite a success.”

    “There has been a noted reduction in the populations of pigeons, squirrels and mice since the cats were brought in,” Watson said.

    “We put some domestic — not tame — cats in the warehouse, and we have not lost one 50-pound sack of rice or flour since,” he said.

    “This has had a noted impact on pest control. There are plenty of places for the cats to hide and we have feeding stations for them. The only alternative for them was putting them to sleep, so they’re doing their job and we’re providing them with shelter.”

    Paul said Carson City Animal Services holds feral cats for her for three or four days after neutering.

    “We test for AIDS and leukemia, spay and neuter them, then vaccinate, plus give them a dose of antibiotics before we move them. You want them to go into a healthy new environment,” she said.

    Gail Radtke, Carson City Animal Services Manager, said the program benefits the shelter, as well.

    “Carson City Animal Services is so appreciative of Susan Paul … for her love and effort to save the lives of the feral cat population in Carson City,” Radtke said. “Members of this community have also expressed their gratitude of this program, knowing that these cats have a second chance at life.”

    Paul said there are 10 houses and five feeding stations set up inside the prison to accommodate more than 25 cats, and she goes out regularly to take food and check on them.

    They are named only Inmate 1, Inmate 2, etc., she said.

    “We worried at first about what the inmates might do, but it’s pretty hard to catch a feral cat, and I invite anyone to try to pick one up,” she said. “We started slow by moving five out there, and they did alright, so we added more.”

    She said that some cats have tried to climb the fence which is topped by razor wire, but there have been no casualties.

    Although one cat got caught in the razor wire, the maintenance folks are good about getting them down using welding gloves, she said.

    “Most run like hell when you turn them loose, and we have lost a couple of cats that escaped somehow. We also have a backup plan in place to take them to the vet if one of them gets hurt, but their alternative to this program is death, so this program comes at an opportune time, and this is a godsend for these cats,” she said.

    “This is helping the pigeons to move away and find new nesting spots, and the squirrels are moving too, so the prison is benefiting,” Paul said.

    Another big plus, she said, is that it costs the state nothing for rodent control, since the cats are doing their jobs effectively.


    Nice way of giving mother earth the chance to hold everything in balance herself.

    More or less a similar thing has been done in my hometown. There they used hawks to get controll over the unnumbered pigeons.
    Another example is, that you now can see more often a kind of highstand for buzzards at the country side. The farmers are “using” them as a kind of natural protection of their fields.

    The only thing I can say to that is, that I do highly appreciate it! For me this is how you can bring back the natural order/balance into things mankind has had his hands in for to long.


    While I agree this is better than just killing them, I can’t help but worry.  Humans greatly misunderstand and underestimate cats.  They have a strong family structure which is being utterly destroyed by this process.  Then they are being thrown into a strange environment where they have to create a new structure.  They don’t forget their previous family members either.  It’s no different than taking random people and moving them to a work camp where they may or may not see their family again.  They get to live, but at what expense? 

    I don’t understand what the big deal is about having cats around.  We had a feral population at our last apartment and it was fine. They kept primarily to the small wooded section along the creek.  They didn’t cause trouble for anyone but the other animals.  Perhaps it’s time for people to learn to coexist instead of thinking they should be able to sterilize their environment to suit their needs.

    As a cat owner who has to carry around a traumatized cat after she’s had nightmares of yet again having her babies forceably removed during her spaying I can’t help but see how much human ignorance and arrogance we have toward animals.  We’re really lucky they don’t have thumbs!


    The only gripe I have about the cats in my neighborhood… feral or otherwise, is that they tend to be a bit too fearless, refusing to budge from the middle of the road…

    I’d agree that the ideal solution is peaceful coexistance, and a recognition that Earth belongs to billions of life forms, not just those hairless apes with the artificial caves.

    However, I’m still encouraged that people here came around a little bit, and decided that euthanasia probably shouldn’t be the first choice.

    Cat-jitsu… seems to not require thumbs.      :)


    Another plus to this program is that it is potentially removing a lot of poisons from the environment, substances that might have been ended up in the food chain or the waterways. I would say that even if the cats are displaced, it is a matter of the greater good being served.


    IF the cats are causing issues, then relocating them is a more acceptable solution to killing en mass.
    +cats = -poison so that’s good.

    But I too have cats and one I have because she’s a mutant… on each of her front feet she has a fully functional  thumb… thankfully we don’t have mice… I’d hate to be that mouse because in addition to the functional thumb in between her toes and the thumbs she has a functional claw… 


    Thumbless catjitsu is dangerous enough… i fear your cat with its thumbs will be all too good at that.  :P

    Kol Drake


    I had to chuckle at this one since there have been times when I have wiggled my thumbs at my daughter’s feline friends.
    Thumbed cats could be the real ‘end of the world’ foreseen by then 2012 stone calender!


    My sister has a cat who has thumbs.  He is an excellent hunter.  I think he looks like he has a baseball mitt on.

    I have a shared feral cat with some neighbors.  Known as “PitStop”, he goes around but I suspect my home is his major home.  (I let him in – I have 10 plus spayed females who are clawless Aunties to “PitStop” and he is very well behaved – and outside his scent keeps true feral cats from the area.  He doesn’t spray in the house – thank goodness.  I suspect he was once an apartment cat from a couple blocks down.) 

    He has been around for 2 wiinters now – and I will likely take him to the vet with my calicos and have him checked out, given shots, because he really does keep the neighborhood quiet and contained.

    It’s something that I read other neighborhoods have begun doing – keeping feral Toms to a reasonable number and as Inari said letting cats do their thing outside safely.


    Whoa!  I just got an e-mail…  lol…

    I have 2 10-year old calico spayed females – declawed from the shelter – who do great with “PitStop”.  He’s very gentlemanly…

    12 cats – Yee Gods!

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