December 18, 2016 10:16 pm

Halifax cats not suitable for adoption find new homes in barns

WATCH ABOVE: In an effort to reduce the size of cat colonies in Halifax, one group is moving cats into barns. As Global's Steve Silva reports, the group says it's a win-win for everyone involved.

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A program is helping reduce Halifax cat colony populations by moving some cats into barns.

“We had just found a dead rat, actually. So I thought it was a good idea, and we love cats,” said Lindsay Clark, owner of Keough Lane Stables in Windsor Junction.

Bandy and Lynn were delivered to her barn by Lesley Coolen on Sunday.

Coolen, who coordinates the Barn Cat Program for Spay Day HRM, said the cats are from Sambro.

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They lived off food provided by a couple of humans but didn’t have anywhere to stay warm, so she said they couldn’t go back due to the weather.

“They’ll work for their feed,” Coolen said.

Before being allowed to explore the outside world again, the cats will be kept in a room in the barn for at least a week to acclimatize and learn that that’s where they’ll be fed from now on.

After that, the hope is that they will hunt mice.

“It’s natural pest control in their barn, but it also gives the cats a chance,” Coolen said.

That program was started in 2015.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia SPCA program reduces Halifax cat colony populations

Some of the cats, including Clark’s, are brought in through the Trap, Neuter, Return program, which involves several animal welfare groups and is funded through a municipal grant approved in April.

In that program, as the name suggests, cats from colonies are trapped, neutered and, if not suitable for adoption, released back to their respective colonies in a few days.

If it’s determined that it’s not healthy for the cats to be brought back, they may be put into the Barn Cat Program.

“We’re always looking for barns,” said Coolen.

About 30 cats have been placed into barns so far, mostly in Nova Scotia; three were delivered to New Brunswick, she added.

Clark said the barn will get a cat door in the future.

“They’ll have lots of love from all the people who ride and work here and the kids who take lessons, and they’re all very excited to meet them,” she said.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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