Barn Cat program update

by austinpetsalive • Posted in: Awareness/ PR

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!

6 Responses to "Barn Cat program update"

  1. Amysays: January 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    We use TruCatch traps and love them. In addition to the 30LTD traps, you might want to get one or two of the fat cat traps. They cost a little more but are wider and some cats go into those more easily.

  2. Kathy Brightsays: January 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I would like to donate a trap, but live near Lakeline. Can I drop it off at the PetsMart Location at Lakeline?

  3. Sharon Lawrencesays: January 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    What are the options for borrowing our trap back if we give it to you? Who loans out traps? I have my colony in good shape but periodically a new kitty comes through so I may need access to a trap in the future.

  4. Shoreysays: January 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Kathy: Yes, if donating in person Lakeline is perfectly fine! Just please leave a note with it to go to HQ.

    Sharon: Our current situation with traps is that we are currently borrowing/lending but often find ourselves needing one to handle an immediate situation and are without one. We hope to get at least one that is always at the ready so we can save lives. In the meantime, if we can borrow one of yours that would be helpful.

  5. stacie Neallsays: February 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Is there a phone number and contact person I can call for help with a cat
    that needs to be back in a barn environment? She showed up in my front yard and I located the owner- who had moved her from a barn in the country to this busy neighborhood. The owner does not want her back and I am concerned for her safety. Will be glad to do anything needed to get her relocated. Just learned about this program and have hopes something can be done. Thank you!

  6. austinpetsalivesays: February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Stacie,
    Thank you for trying to help this poor cat. We have a small team of volunteers who can offer advice – just email them at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Unfortunately, we are usually so full with taking pets directly from euthanasia lists at shelters that we are unable to take others from the community.