Cats born in the wild get a second chance

In Dickinson, hundreds of lost and abandoned cats are brought into the shelter every year, many of which are feral, but a new program is making sure these cats that are born in the wild have a place of their own.

Feral cats aren't exactly warm and cuddly creatures.

"You would have a hard time picking one up, because they are going to run away," said Pam Cote, Gladstone resident.

Barn cats, or feral cats, prefer the great outdoors over a warm house, and Cote likes having them around the farm with chickens.

"We hardly ever see a mouse so they are doing their job, but its nice that they have a place,
because they were cats that were wild and didn't have a home," said Cote

The reason feral cats were able to find a safe shelter on Cote's farm in Gladstone is because of a program called the Barn Cat Project, which recently started in the Stark County area.

"I started the Barn Cat Project because cats reproduce very quickly and there are a lot of homeless cats in Dickinson. Just because these animals don't have homes doesn't mean they don't have value," said Beth Hurt, founder of the Barn Cat Project.

Hurt said all the animals are treated by a veterinarian before being placed on farms.

"Oreo's Animal Rescue covers 100-percent of the medical expenses for spaying, neutering and vaccinating these animals," said Hurt.

Even though they don't come in the house, Cote makes sure they are taking care of.

"They always have food and water, as much as they want. They are in the barn so they are out of the elements. The have straw to sleep on, so they will always have enough to keep them warm," said Cote.

She has about six cats roaming here property right now, but isn't planning on bringing any more in just yet.

Hurt said the Barn Cat Project has placed more than 60 feral cats in safe environments this year,
but still has plenty cats looking to be adopted.

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