Community service for shelter cats? Hobart man would put mice on notice

2014-01-04T18:56:00Z Community service for shelter cats? Hobart man would put mice on noticeDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Hobart resident Mike Williams hopes to put shelter cats to work for the city.

Williams, who works as a volunteer at the Humane Society of Hobart, made his pitch to the Hobart Park Board recently.

The board tabled the request, which will be discussed at the Jan. 13 meeting.

Williams said his idea is to take cats available for adoption from the shelter and place them in city storage buildings to eliminate rodent problems.

"It's an inexpensive way for the city to control that problem and it alleviates overcrowding here in the shelter," Williams said.

Williams said he got the idea from a friend who told him about a program implemented in Louisville, Ky.

The program has become popular in the Louisville area, where cats are placed in barns and even stables.

"My goal isn't to just stop with the park department. Once the program is up and running in Hobart, any maintenance building or streets and sanitation building could be used. There is nothing wrong with having a mascot," Williams said.

Brenda Slavik, the director of the Humane Society of Hobart, said she has mixed feelings about the plan.

"There's lots of pros and cons to it," Slavik said.

For instance, it would have to be determined who would be responsible for the shots the adopted cats are required to receive as well as neutering and spaying.

Food would also be a consideration because the cats would have to be fed a supplemental diet.

"And not all cats are mousers," she said.

There are typically a number of cats up for adoption at the shelter, currently 30.

Williams, a cat lover who has been volunteering at the shelter for the past three years ever since his cat, Lucky, died, just wants to find places for the stray cats to live.

"In a perfect world every cat would be in someone's home and taken care of. Unfortunately there's more cats than those who are adopting them," Williams said.

Williams, who works at the County Line Orchard in Hobart and also umpires at high school baseball games, has three cats and a dog.

The shelter is at 2054 E. Ind. 130 in Hobart.

Fore information about adoption, call (219) 942-0103

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