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Feral Cats Employed To Guard Chicago Brewery

Venkman, one of Empirical's brewery cats. DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

Venkman, one of Empirical’s brewery cats. DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

Here is an interesting idea reported by Patty Wetli in DNAinfo  about a group of stray cats that are being used to protect precious beer grain from rats. She says:

Empirical Brewery’s “Ghostbusters”-named feral cat colony, adopted in December through the Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work program.

“If a brewer says they don’t have rats, they’re lying,” said Bill Hurley, owner of Empirical, 1801 W. Foster Ave.

Rodents are attracted to the extremely high-quality grain that breweries stock by the truckload. To the rats, it’s like a “giant block of cheese,” Hurley said.

Empirical hired an exterminator to pay regular visits to the brewery, but still found itself throwing money out the window in the form of gnawed-on bags of barley.

The Tree House Cats at Work Project has so far placed over 400 cats in Chicago and the surrounding districts into places where they provide a service to people in return for supervision. This is an extension of a more usual TNR program:

The Tree House Cats at Work Project is a “green” humane program that removes sterilized and vaccinated feral cats from life-threatening situations and relocates them to new territories where their presence will help control the rodent population. The cats are humanely managed by volunteer caretakers for the entirety of their lives with ongoing support from Tree House as mandated by Cook County’s “Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance”. Rodents are repelled by the cats’ presence and leave the cats’ new “territory”. Many cats will also hunt and catch rodents on occasion, but if they are fed regularly, they usually won’t eat them. Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rats, which are short-term solutions and therefore ineffective, and also dangerous to kids, pets and the environment, this method proves to be effective, humane, and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win situation for the cats and their human neighbors!

We believe that there is every chance that Empirical Brewery’s cats will enjoy long and safe lives in their new occupation. In a world where there are so many cats that it seems almost impossible to home them all, some creative ideas are desperately needed. We would be very interested to hear your views on this.

Pom Pom Mountadam Vineyards Eden Valley, South Australia Photo: @mountadam #distillerycats #winecat #winerycat #vineyardcat #cats #catstagram #instacat #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Distillery Cats (@distillerycats) on Oct 25, 2015 at 9:28am PDT

Source: Pussington Post

Feral Cats Employed To Guard Chicago Brewery

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