Working Cat Program in Manatee County utilizing feral cats to help curb the rodent population

MCAS Working Cat Program

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Feral cats in Manatee County now have a purpose. A program through the county’s animal services is bringing these felines to places where they are really needed and utilized.

“These are cats that are going to be outside, you may not see them all too very often," said Hans Wohlgefahrt, Outreach and Event Specialist for Manatee County Animal Services. "Especially if you do have a problem with vermin, rats or mice, this is an ideal solution.”

People can adopt these feral cats. Since they are most likely not going to be the cuddly type, the pet owner’s responsibility is mainly just to feed them and show them love. In return these cats roam around and help take care of the property.

Animal services say it’s ideal for farms and businesses. Many EMS stations throughout Manatee County have taken in feral cats, including Station 5. In fact one of the paramedics had built a shelter to give the six feral cats that are currently on their property a place to stay and keep them safe from other wildlife such as raccoons or coyotes.

“For us we enjoy them, just having them around being able to break away from the daily stress of our job,” said Sherri Pellien, a Paramedic with Manatee County EMS.

Workers at Station 5 are happy they are participating in this program and see it as a win/win for them and the cats. All cats in the Working Cat Program are spayed and neutered and given their vaccines. There are even many of these cats that Manatee County Animal Services uses on their property in Palmetto.

“I think this is an important program because it gives animals that are coming into animal services another pathway for us to consider,” said Wohlgefahrt.

For more information on how you can be part of Manatee County Animal Services Working Cat Program, you can log onto or call 941-742-5933.

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