PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Inside Bella Vista Beer Distributor ask anyone stocking shelves and they’ll tell you about their favorite co-worker — Gary.
Even the boss Jordan Fetfatzes enthusiastically admits that he’s the top employee and that is high praise for a cat.
Fetfatzes got Gary when he noticed a mouse problem earlier this year.
“We were looking at over $100 a week in goods being thrown away due to mice trampling on them and whatnot,” he said, adding that there was also a few hundred more, each month, for going to an exterminator. “That was becoming really cost prohibitive.”
As soon as Gary reported for guard duty “the results were like day and night,” Fetfatzes said.
The store owner got Gary from Philadelphia Animal Care and Control, which a few years ago was having to put down many cats who were anti-social and nonadaptable to traditional homes.
Then a program was developed to give those cats a second chance at life by putting them to work rooting out rodents. At first they were adopted out to farms and barns.
Recently, there’s been a lot success with inner-city factories and warehouses facilities like Bella Vista.
“The working cat program has had a very positive effect on our statistics in terms of euthanasia for cats,” said Ame Dorminy with Philadelphia Animal Care and Control. “Now, the cats are thriving. We have a whole other option for them to have a meaningful life.”
Placing a working cat is a fairly simple setup: A little water and food to supplement the hunt, plus a kennel in a corner somewhere.
Although most cats usually remain somewhat anti-social, some like Gary become more accepting of humans. The once frightened feline now lets people pet and hold him.
For more on the working cat program, visit here.