What is a barn cat?
A barn cat is any cat that falls under one or more of the following categories:
- Feral and semi-feral cats with little to no prior human interaction. These cats are shy and fearful of humans.
- Feral and semi-feral cats that are accustomed to surviving independently but must be relocated from their current environment for various reasons (such as living in a dangerous location like city streets)
- Cats whose litter box habits are not consistent enough to be inside-only cats.
Why is this program necessary?
When feral cats are brought to the city pound, they are given a limited amount of time to find homes before they must be euthanized. These cats are nearly impossible to adopt out because they are essentially “wild animals" and the majority of adopters are looking for lap cats.
Second Chances, a non-profit volunteer organization, believes that just because they are wild animals does not mean they should be dead. Instead, the cats should be given a safe environment in which they may serve a purpose and have a chance at a good life!
What are the benefits of barn cats?
Barn cats are the best non-toxic method of rodent control! There are no poisons for children and pets to get into and no need to set nasty traps. When you poison a rodent, you do not know WHERE it is going to die. People are sometimes even forced to tear apart walls to find a decaying mouse body! Yuck!
When you support a barn cat, you should immediately see less critters and their droppings in your barn and outbuildings - even during the caged adjustment period! This is because the mere presence of a cat is often enough to drive many rodents away.
As a bonus – you’ll likely notice less snakes on your property too. Snakes go wherever there are rodents to eat. When the rodents are gone (thanks to the cats), the snakes will leave too!
What's the catch?
There isn’t one! Barn cats are FREE for adoption! However, we do ask that barn cat adopters or “hosts” agree to the following stipulations:
- Never intentionally harm or allow others to bring harm to the cats.
- Follow the proper procedure when introducing the cats to new property (cats must be slowly introduced to their new home or they will most likely run off)
- Provide access to adequate shelter at all times
- Never have rodent poison of any kind on the premises
- Put out cat food and fresh water daily. No, this will not prevent the cats from hunting mice! In fact, it will encourage it! Hunting alone is not enough to sustain a cat's diet. If cats do not have enough to eat, they will move on in search of a new place to live. Therefore, by providing consistent food, the cats will choose to stick around.
Second Chances provides hosts with a starter kit including a one-month supply of cat food. Should further assistance with providing food be necessary, our organization is available to help at any time. Even the best mousers cannot survive on hunting alone. We never want the cats to go hungry!
Table scraps are generally not acceptable as a source of food because many human foods (onions, garlic, raisins, tomatoes, etc) are extremely toxic to cats!
How do I sign up?
It's easy and free! All you have to do is complete our simple application and return it to us one of three ways:
- Drop the application off in person at the City of Dickinson Animal Shelter. Call first to ensure the shelter is open 701.456.7039.
- Email the application to email@example.com
- Mail the application to:
c/0 City of Dickinson Animal Shelter
3405 Public Works Blvd
Dickinson, ND 58601
You can print a copy of the application by clicking the button below, visiting our website secondchancesvolunteers.org , or you can pick one up at the animal shelter or West Dakota Vet Clinic.
For further questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 701-290-9867