When Austin Pets Alive! rescues abused or poorly socialized kitties from the shelter, sometimes we have to consider a non-traditional home placement. In fact, APA! has placed 132 “Barn Cats” in the last year, which contributes to Austin’s No Kill status. APA! believes these kitties don’t deserve to die simply because they can’t go into a home environment. Just by looking at these cats, you’d never know they were feral or under-socialized, but we recognize that they deserve shelter, access to food and water and the stimulation of “critter hunting” that a barn placement provides.
Here are some additional facts about our Barn Placement program:
- We like to place at least 2 cats at each location, since kitties do better socially with a buddy.
- Our release process includes a Phone Survey, Site Visit, Supply Allocation & a Placement Checklist.
- We make sure that an enclosed space is available for the cats to acclimate for a week, like a shed or a large dog kennel, and access to food, water and shelter.
- We recommend that food be picked up at night to prevent visits from unwanted animals and predators.
- Cats with chronic health concerns are not considered viable for release and other options are pursued.
- Cats who test positive for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) are not released. Instead, we have a FeLV+ Sanctuary at our Manchaca location where we prefer to let these cats live until they find homes.
- Cats who are declawed cannot defend themselves in an outdoor environment, and are not considered for Barn Placement.
- If kittens are under 12 weeks old, they are put through a socialization program instead of being released.
- And most importantly, 132 cats would have died at the shelter had there not been a Barn Placement program within APA!
Just like all APA! cats, Barn Placements are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, given preventatives for fleas/parasites, and tested for FIV/FeLV. As you can imagine, sometimes just performing standard medical exams on these cats can be tricky. They are scared, probably have never been touched by a human before and want nothing more than to run into a small hiding spot and hunker down for the long-haul. To help us continue to expand this program, assist with medical exams, and ultimately the barn placement process itself, we are in need of some basic “Cat Wrangling” supplies.
Specifically, we need three to four Tru-Catch Traps. These traps are are humane, secure and easy to use. We also need two pairs of ACES Cat & Wildlife Gloves, where one pair will be dedicated to the Barn Release process and the other for the APA! Medical Clinic to handle the cats safely and make sure they are healthy prior to release. These supplies can be shipped directly to the APA address: 2807 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704.
Please consider donating these much-needed supplies so that we can continue to save these lives!