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Hobart board opts out of ‘working cats’ idea

Volunteer Mike Williams hopes other city departments will consider using older shelter cats even if Park Board isnt interested idea.

Volunteer Mike Williams hopes other city departments will consider using older shelter cats, even if the Park Board isnt interested in the idea. | Post-Tribune File Photo

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Updated: January 19, 2014 5:23PM



HOBART — The park board isn’t proceeding with a “working cats” program as requested by a Humane Society of Hobart volunteer, but the man who proposed it says he isn’t giving up on the idea.

Volunteer Mike Williams had approached the board in December about adopting a few of the cats at the shelter and putting them to work catching mice in the department’s garage and other buildings.

Williams said the working cats program would help reduce the number of cats at the shelter, especially those older cats that are harder to find families for.

Park board members initially said they would consider the proposal, but this week voted to remove it from the agenda after Parks Supt. John Mitchell said the department didn’t have a rodent problem and he hadn’t heard from Williams since he made the proposal to the board.

“I was in the pole barn and there was no rodent problem there or in the garage,” Mitchell said.

Williams wasn’t at this week’s park board meeting.

When reached after the meeting, Williams said he was disappointed with the board’s decision, but he isn’t giving up.

“I’ll probably try other city departments. I won’t give up on the idea. There is too much potential with this program,” Williams said.

Another volunteer at the shelter said there could be as many as 80 cats there at one time.

Williams said he tried to attend Monday night’s meeting, but couldn’t get there in time.

“It’s my fault, not theirs,” Williams said.

Mayor Brian Snedecor, who was at the park board meeting, said he doesn’t know of any rodent problems in other departments’ buildings.

Williams had told the park board there would be no charge to the city for the cats and the buildings won’t have to be heated. He said all the cats would have their shots and would be spayed or neutered so there is no fear of their multiplying in numbers.

Williams said the city would only need to provide food, drink and the shelter.

He said Louisville, Ky., has a similar program that is very successful.



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