We live in a region with many rural communities; an area that also happens to have, overall, a significant number of timid, unsocialized and otherwise feral cats — the result of pet overpopulation and irresponsible animal ownership.
Feral cats, or "community cats," are not a problem unique to the Inland Northwest. Thankfully, though, the Spokane-based nonprofit animal shelter SpokAnimal has been running, since 2009, an incredibly successful program to help these painfully shy or semi-wild kitties find safe places to live, keeping them alive and cared for. SpokAnimal's Farm Livin' program, which places less-adoptable cats on rural properties as "working cats" in exchange for food and shelter, is the feature of a new 10-minute mini-documentary by GreaterGood.org and the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. (Note that the video player has a click-bait-y ad screen that you can skip after 10 seconds before the video begins.)
The video (an emotional and heartwarming watch for animal lovers of any stripe) highlights the success of the program, which has placed more than 1,700 less-adoptable and feral cats on properties across the Northwest. Cats in the Farm Livin' program are adopted out without any fees, and go to their new working homes having been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and with a clean bill of health. Their role as barn kitties is to keep nuisance rodents under control, in exchange for a warm place to sleep, food and water.
The mini-doc features interviews with Farm Livin' cat recipients, program volunteers and SpokAnimal staff. The video was created in partnership by Greatergood.org, an internationally active nonprofit that strives to "improve the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet," and the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. The latter was launched in 2014 by the star of Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell, renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.