Barn Cat program replaces euthanasia with adoption

Posted at 10:40 AM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 12:40:15-05

BILLINGS — You can add Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter to the list of organizations with something to give.

This time, it's cats - of all kinds, in the hopes of solving a growing problem.

Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter is far beyond their capacity for feral and semi-feral, as well as adoptable cats.

"Just an overabundance of feral cats in the shelter and about a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, we started this barn cat program to reduce our euthanasia numbers, we used to euthanize 20-30 cats every week just because they were feral and we couldn't do anything with them," Feline Animal Care Lead Breyanna Cotton said.

So instead of euthanasia, adoption.

"So that's really cool to see them kind of go and people are actually getting a lot of traction here, and they're interested in them, so this was a perfect place for us to set up shop for them," Cotton said.

A life of roaming and even hunting for these cats.

"I think it's extremely important, I mean, like I said, it helps maintain the population of rodents, also, they're pretty good about keeping snakes at bay. We've had lots of people come in and say they have mice in their chicken coops, and if you can get cats in there that aren't going to kill your chickens it's the perfect opportunity," Cotton said, "So, to control the population of all of the unwanted animals that we have, the barn cats are perfect for that."

Each animal adopted from the shelter leaves spayed or neutered, and current on vaccinations.

"All of our cats that are feral come ear-tipped, the left ear, that's just a universal sign that they're fixed so you don't need to trap it and take it in somewhere else," Cotton said.

The shelter is also currently running a "Pick Your Petal" promotion featuring their "Feline Flowers".

Cats are categorized by their personality type, which their adoption fee is based on-ranging up to 15 dollars.

Working cats have no adoption fee.

"So I think it's important for kids to have animals in their homes. I think it's important for adults to have animals so they have a bit of responsibility in their lives, but also just for a little love," Cotton said.

Y.V.A.S also held a grand opening for their new building at 2010 Grand Avenue.

It will serve as a learning center, a space for pet owner workshops, and Kitten Yoga.

Coverage of your favorite teams from Montana's Sports Leader

Rebound: Montana. We want to hear from you.
Do you have story idea, or something you would like us to cover? How about feedback on how we are doing? Drop us a line and let us know.