LAPD Use Feral Cats To Clear Out Rodents
Paul Conneally | December 30, 2007 at 04:45 pmby
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Los Angeles police have begun using feral cats to rid some stations of rats and mice.
The untamed felines, which make poor pets, quickly won over officers at the Wilshire Station.
"Once we got the cats, problem solved," Cmdr. Kirk Albanese told the Los Angeles Times. "I was almost an immediate believer."
The Working Cats program of Voice for the Animals, a local advocacy and rescue group, has placed feral cats in various police stations with great success.
Six of the nocturnal hunters were put on rat duty in the Southeast Station's parking lot, and another group will be housed at the Central Station in early 2008.
The cats don't do much killing. Rather, they simply leave their scent. Once rodents get a whiff, they clear out.
"It's the smell of the cat and the cat urine," said Jane Garrison, a member of Voice for the Animals' board, who selected the half dozen feral cats for the Southeast Station.
It takes about a month for the cats to get acclimated to their new home, she said, adding that feral cats are known for having an almost insatiable desire to return to what they consider their home hunting grounds.
"We are willing to put cats in any safe area -- businesses, hotels, industrial parks, even residences -- and we will do that for free," she said.
Soon the wild cats may get a chance to work at police headquarters, where rats and mice have been spotted in the parking lot and in ground-floor corridors.
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