What's new alley cat?

by Rachel Maisler

The Humane Rescue Alliance has launched a creative initiative to help combat the city’s growing rat problem while providing a second (or maybe third) life for cats in their shelter who might not otherwise be adoptable.

The Blue Collar Cats program places healthy cats with businesses and homeowners in alleys and alcoves around the city. The cats’ only job: patrol their domain for rodents. The program is similar to a barn cat program that might be found in rural areas. And they're looking for businesses or homeowners who want to support one of the Blue Collar Cats...

Cats who qualify for the program might come unsafe areas of the city (one was found on the side of Rt. 395), and typically aren’t candidates for a traditional adoption because they are not socialized to people. Before they are placed, the Blue Collar Cats are spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. The Humane Rescue Alliance provides a shelter for the cat and helps them acclimate to their new home. The cat’s new human is responsible for providing supplemental food and veterinary care.

Erin Robinson, program manager for the Humane Rescue Alliance, says the organization has been trying to find a way to help these special cats for a long time.

“We’re trying to find a good outcome for these cats,” Erin said. She mentioned similar programs in Chicago and Los Angeles, and a barn cat program in nearby Montgomery County. She and her team have been in touch with the other programs to learn about best practices, and plan to continue conversations as the DC program grows.

Erin tells Petworth News that there are already a couple Blue Collar Cats working with restaurants in our neighborhood.

So how would a Petworth business or homeowner adopt a cat? (Sorry renters, only owners can adopt the felines). Visit BluecollarCATS.com and fill out the form at the top of the page, or email Erin’s team to learn more.

Rachel Maisler

Rachel joined Petworth News first as the editor for the Community Calendar, and then against her better judgement, agreed to become a contributing writer to the blog in August 2016.

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