Animal Allies Offering New “Working Cats” Program

Working Cats Program Offers Feral Cat Adoptions to Benefit Local Businesses

ESKO, Minn. – If you frequent Widdes Feed and Farm Supply off County Road 61 in Esko, chances are you’ve met the two newest employees.

They’re friendly, love the occasional cuddle, but are also helping the business thrive and keep rodents at bay.

As customers come in, Buzz and Woody come out to play.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids that come in and they go and look for the cats,” said Josh Widdes, Owner of Widdes Feed and Farm Supply.

He’s no stranger to having feline friends on the payroll.

“It benefits our business having the cats here a couple different ways. First, some rodent control,” said Widdes.

Widdes is now partnering with Animal Allies to help them promote their new program, Working Cats.

“They kind of have a mind of their own but they do their thing,” said Widdes.

As cute and cuddly as the duo is, they get down to business when their human colleagues head home for the night.

“All the cats are spayed and neutered. They’re healthy and vet checked and we do ask that people continue the vet care. They’re not going to reproduce, and that’s the good thing,” said Daryl Yankee, Director of Operations for Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth.

“We can kind of match the cat to your needs,” said Yankee.

Yankee says the new program is critical for the large amount of cats the shelter regularly takes in.

The Working Cats program is very cost effective at Animal Allies. It’s only twenty five bucks to adopt your furry friend.

“The only other way to control pests is to use poison,” said Yankee. “For a situation like Widdes here, they’ve got feed and grain, we don’t want to be introducing poisons into the scenario.”

While some cats may be less social than others, Yankee says the shelter will work with each business as they sign up to find the perfect paw to keep rodent matters to a minimum.

“Some of them are going to be a little friendlier, open to contact with outsiders and strangers,” said Yankee.

“I would almost call them our babysitters because they go and pet the cats while their parents or grandparents are putting their order in for feed and trucks getting loaded,” said Widdes.

If you’d like to learn more or take part in the Working Cats program through Animal Allies, click here.

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