Community Cats and Barn Cats
Community Cats Q & A
The directors for three agencies, the Allen County SPCA, H.O.P.E. for Animals and Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, have formed a
partnership, launching a Community Cats Program in Fort Wayne. With the passage of the new Animal Care & Control ordinance signed into law by Mayor Tom Henry, the new Community Cats Program went into effect August 18, 2014.
Q. What Is a Community Cat?
A. It is any outdoor, free-roaming cat that has been evaluated and sterilized by a
licensed veterinarian, ear tipped, vaccinated for rabies, microchipped,
documented with Animal Care & Control and released back into the area from
which it was captured.
Q. How Can I Be Sure My Cat Isn't Mistaken for a Community Cat?
A. The best protection is to keep your cats inside and use proper identification in the form of a city pet registration tag and a pet microchip. Make sure you keep your pet's identification up to date and reflective of your current home address. Should you move, contact our Department to update your information. Should you give your pet away, transfer the microchip and registration information to the new owner of the animal. A cat that is found with proper identification will be held at the shelter for the normal hold period while we trace the identification and make every effort to notify the owner that the lost pet has been found.
Q. What is a Community Cat Provider?
A. A person who provides food, water, shelter or otherwise cares for Community Cats and complies with Administrative Rules for Community Cat Providers. A person so identified shall not be considered the owner or harborer of a Community Cat.
Q. What is Ear Tipping?
A. It is the straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear of a cat while it is anesthetized. This easily identifies the cat as a Community Cat.
Q. What is a Free-Roaming Cat?
A. Any cat not restrained and without acceptable identification.
Q. What are the Provisions of the Community Cat Program?
A. Free-roaming cats without acceptable identification which have been
impounded or trapped in the community may be deemed a potential Community
Cat by the Department of Animal Care & Control based on age, health, and
behavior. Such cats may be transferred to HOPE for Animals for services and
for reintegration back into the community or placement in a barn cat program
administrated by the Allen County SPCA. A cat identified as an existing
Community Cat may be immediately returned to the community and exempted from the legal hold period.
Q. What if a Community Cat Is a Nuisance in My Neighborhood?
A. Animal Care & Control may impound Community Cats which are public
nuisances, diseased, or not thriving due to loss of resources. The
department shall coordinate with partnering Animal Welfare Organizations
and/or veterinarians to offer resource information for establishing opportunities for Community Cats, Community Cat Providers, humane deterrents, and advice regarding Community Cat nuisances.
Q. What Is Required of a Community Cat Provider?
A. There isn't an application process, but you must comply with
Administrative Rules for Community Cat Providers to prevent nuisance
problems that could be reported for enforcement action.
1. Confine free roaming cats and arrange for surgical sterilization,
ear tipping, and vaccination for rabies by a licensed veterinarian,
microchipping and documentation of the foregoing with Animal Care &
Control prior to release back to the community;
2. Seek veterinary care at your own expense for a Community Cat which
appears to require medical attention for serious illness or injury;
aoordinate with an Animal Welfare Organization or the Department to arrange
for impound of the sick or injured cat for euthanasia.
3. Make reasonable effort to work with Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
or designated Animal Welfare Organization to resolve nuisance complaints
using humane deterrents and/or removal of Community Cats identified as a
public nuisance; and
4. Community Cat Providers found to be in violation or managing an excess number of Community Cats as determined by Animal Care & Control may have their Community Cat Provider designation revoked at the discretion of
It shall be unlawful to provide food, water, or shelter to free roaming cats
in excess of thirty (30) days unless the provider presents acceptable
documentation showing implementation of the requirements of a Community Cat Provider.
For additional information call the HOPE Community Cat Hotline at
260-440-8893 or visit the Animal Care & Control website www.fwacc.org.
We are looking for cat lovers who have a barn or other secure outdoor structure and are interested in adopting cats that are not suitable for life inside of a house or are unhappy living inside. Cat temperaments range from feral to friendly. In partnership with Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control and HOPE for Animals, this program is designed to find homes for cats that have traditionally been deemed un-adoptable through our “normal” adoption procedures.
Barn cats benefit their caretakers! Supporting a barn cat is the safest way to control the rodent population in your barn. There are no poisons for children and pets to get into and no need to set nasty traps. They will help keep rodents away from grain and food storage areas, and you'll enjoy watching the cats as well as have the satisfaction of giving them a much-needed home! Consider adopting a barn cat. We will assist you while the cats settle into their new home.
Due to the nature of the program, we may not have suitable cats available immediately, but will try to fill your request as soon as possible. We will maintain a waiting list, as the number of cats available as candidates for the Barn Cat Program will fluctuate. Filling out an application is the first step to adopting. An ACSPCA staff member or volunteer will contact you. A visit to the proposed location to ensure it will provide suitable shelter is optional. When we have Barn Cats for you, you will be asked to sign an Adoption Contract.
Cats that are placed into our Barn Cat Program fall under three main categories:
- Cats whose litter box habits are not consistent enough to be inside only cats and/or who have lived or spent time outside per their previous owner
- Cats who were found as strays and who may be too independent to appreciate living in a house
- Cats who are shy/fearful of people and prefer the company of other cats and animals
We will not place cats who are best suited to be house pets as barn cats and we won't place kittens under age 4 months as barn cats, unless they are feral/semi-feral without hope of becoming socialized (this may be waived on a case-by-case basis). A minimum of TWO cats must be placed at the same location at the same time. We will determine if the cats can peacefully co-exist prior to placement.
For more information about our Barn Cat Program, please click here to download our PDF about the program.
Want to help
Our center is always on the lookout for supplies that will help keep our dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy. From food to toys, we welcome a number of items that will give our fur friends a comfortable lifestyle. Some items can be purchased directly from our wishlist on Amazon.com. Just follow the links.
• Multi-cat enclosed playpen/cage
• Dog agility equipment set
Special Enrichment Items
• Training dog treats
• Soft dog treats
• Adaptil and feliway in spray bottle
• Feliway plug-in diffuser with refills
• Peanut butter
• Disinfectant spray such as Lysol
• Hand sanitizer
• Dish detergent
• 39 gal or larger trash bags
• Tall kitchen trash bags
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
• Resealable plastic bags - quart or gallon size
• 4” x 4” gauze pads
• Postage stamps
• Address labels- white 1" x 2 5/8"
• White & color copy paper
• Duct tape
• Zip ties - medium/heavy duty
• Radient space heater for the feline isolation unit
Cat & Dog Needs
• Box lids from copy paper cases (for disposable litter boxes)
• Heavy weight paper bowls for medication
• Egg cartons
• Dog squeaky toys
• Martingale-style collars (medium & large sizes)
• Kennel slipleads
• Stainless steel pet pails
• Made in the USA rawhide chews
• Kuranda dog beds
• Kuranda Vinyl cat perches
• Screw on cage food & water bowls
• Disposable cat scratchers
• Covered cat play houses (no carpeting)
• Kitty condos
• Kitty Kongs
• Gift cards to PETCO, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, & Green DogGoods
Our Cat & Dog Food
We feed our dogs and cats the following food while in our care.
• Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin (cats & dogs)
• Science Diet Puppy Healthy Growth
• Science Diet Kitten Food
• Science Diet canned kitten & adult cat food
For Our Community Pet Food Donation program
• Dog and cat food, dry or canned
• Aluminum cans, cell phones, laptops, iPods, empty ink & toner cartridges
* We do not take comforters or pillows. (Some of our dogs like to chew the stuffing out of them.)
Donations may be dropped off during our regular business hours.
Article written by volunteer Debra Lockhart
I’ve been volunteering with a local rescue for about a year now and have loved every minute of it. In the past year, I’ve transported dogs, helped rescue dogs off of a chain, helped a dog give birth, adopted and said goodbye as some of my favorites have found their forever home. I’ve gotten to know some dogs more than others and have cheered nearly every adoption and only shed a tear or two for a few who have especially touched me in some way.
Still, there was something missing. This rescue is foster based, and at this time that is the one thing I’m not able to do, so most of my interactions come from adoption events or transport services. If I could bring my dog to work with me things might be different, because sometimes you just need to hug a dog or play with a kitty, so I began volunteering at our local SPCA. I figured that they were located close enough to my office that I could spend a lunch hour or two each week relaxing in the company of a furry little friend under the guise of helping them while in all actuality, reaping the benefits that come with cuddling a pet. Orientation was in two parts so after part one, I was able to ‘socialize with cats’ and I spent a good portion of a lunch hour on the floor of a kitty room getting and giving some soft purr-y love.
Part two allowed us to interact with the dogs and there was a special boy whom I met at both orientations and I was eager to go back and really interact with him on my first “dog day.” Its funny how a dog (or any animal, really) can grab your heartstrings and how it varies from person to person as to who that special furry pal may be. A fellow volunteer nudged me and pointed at a dog, “That’s my dog. I’m going to adopt that one.” “Hmmm, cute dog, nothing special,” I thought. He or she was the kind of dog I might not have given a second glance at if I weren’t here to generally socialize with the dogs.
In the kennel next to “her dog” was the special someone who had me at first glance. Truth be told, “special boy” is not usually someone who would grab my attention… except he did. He was just a medium sized dog, medium hair, medium build but with a deep chest and funny white paws that were too big for his body. (As a further testament to how perception skews what we actually see, he is listed as a large dog with long hair.) There was nothing exceptional… but his eyes. Ah, those soulful cinnamon eyes peering at me over the chew toy he hopefully offered me, they had me at hello.
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