In animal welfare, you will hear us speak about how it “takes a village” or “teamwork makes the dream work”. We say these things, not as positive, hollow colloquialisms – rather, because it encompasses the many facets of the work we do.
We are so honored to be a part of the vibrant Fredericksburg community, who continues to bolster our life-saving work through support either in donations, fostering, volunteering, advocating or adoption! We have established so many new programs in the past few years to expand our life-saving reach in the community – things like our Pet Pantry, low-cost vet services, Safe Haven program, Adventure Tails and more. The reason we keep establishing new ways to help the animals and the community that houses them is because there is a deep need.
We recently partnered with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Department and the Spotsylvania Animal Shelter to help out with a hoarding cat situation. Totalling now over 100 cats between shelters from this property, our focus is set in stages. First, triaging medical emergencies through our partner vets like Lees Hill Animal Hospital, Kincheloe and St. Francis Animal Hospital. Second, behavior assessments with our vet partners, medical and animal care team to determine where the cats will thrive. Third, releasing these cats for adoption to the appropriate program: Companion Adoption or, our newly established Fred Farm Fam.
Dalia Salah, deputy director of the Fredericksburg SPCA said, “The cats were not getting daily human contact and had a variety of medical and behavioral conditions. Some of the cats had wounds and ulcers from fights that stemmed from living in close contact with each other. Others had ear infections and skin conditions from mites and fleas. The sickest cats received immediate medical attention at Lee’s Hill Pet Hospital. All will need to be tested for feline leukemia and will be spayed or neutered, but most are expected to recover fully. Once they are fully recovered, the cats will be individually assessed to see what kind of forever home they can go to. Most of them should be fine as adoptable pets, but some may end up doing best in barn homes.”
Generally, animal rescues and shelters that do not already have established barn, working cat or TNR programs to house cats who are truly feral and unable to be handled, will have nowhere to place feral cats. We are committed to this hoarding group in its entirety, and once healthy and up to date on vaccines and spay/neuters – they will either be up for adoption or placed in our new program: Fred Farm Fam. We aim to rehabilitate these young, vibrant and newly healthy cats into a living arrangement that they can thrive in.
What is the Fred Farm Fam? You may have heard them called barn cats or outdoor cats, but they’re all the same: barn cats are cats not suited for traditional adoption, who instead live in barns, workshops, gardens, breweries, and other settings that need a natural, effective means of keeping the rodent population under control. It’s a green, organic way of filling the needs of the cats and the area they are housed in.
*Please note that we do not adopt cats who are suitable to be household companions to barns, only those without other humane options. Shelters and rescues with no programs to place truly feral cats face the harsh realities that their only other option is euthanization. We aim to create this program based on the need for these cats finding homes that they will thrive in. The FredSPCA believes companion cats be kept as indoor pets and not allowed outside without the direct supervision of an adult human.
Where can a barn cat/working cat go to work for you?
Here are some examples: Barns, Stables, Garages, Outbuildings, Warehouses, Wineries and Breweries
What We Provide: We spay or neuter, microchip, and vaccinate all of our barn cats/working cats. At the time of adoption, we will go over with you how to acclimate your new cat to their new setting.
What You Provide
- Short term shelter: a safe, confined space for acclimating the cat to your property such as an enclosed area, stall, or large dog crate (with clean litter box, food, and water) for 3-6 weeks
- Long term shelter: a warm, secure, dry building or space for shelter from the elements and predators
- Daily food and water (cats cannot live on mice alone).
- Long term veterinary care.
- A secure place to keep the cat for the first couple of weeks while she acclimates to her new setting. This should be an enclosure like a tack or feed room. We can loan you an introduction cage if you need one.
- If you adopt a barn cat/working cat during the spring/summer/early fall, your cat will naturally grow a heavy winter coat as the cold weather approaches.
What the cats provide: Barn cats won’t sit on your lap or cuddle on your pillow, but they are wonderful workers providing great natural rodent control in your barn, shed, garage or warehouse. They are the “green” choice, and no job is too small!
Adoption Costs The $30 adoption fee for barn cats/working cats helps us cover some of their medical costs. Since many of these cats thrive in the company of other cats, we offer a $10 discount off the total when adopting more than one barn cat/working cat at a time.
Our Fred Farm Fam felines will be ready for adoption in the next few weeks, as we are currently spaying and neutering in waves to keep up with this new influx. If you are interested in applying to adopt a Fred Farm Feline, email INFO@FredSPCA.org to get started.
Featured Image: Photo by Aleksey Milov