By Ryan Hill

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The Bradshaw Animal Shelter is putting the word out that some of their feral cats are ready to work.

A new program aims to not only save the cats but also provide some pest control.

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Debra Crumpton has dealt with plenty of critters crawling around her Elk Grove home when she came here 13 months ago.

“When I moved in here, there was a rodent problem,” Crumpton said.

But she hasn’t seen any of these pests in about a year all thanks to her barn cats, George and Earl.

“I recently had the pest control folks out here last week as a matter of fact. And (they) found all of my bait boxes full! That’s legendary!” Crumpton said.

These fantastic felines were adopted by Crumpton as part of the Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s barn and garden cat program.

“They’ve been great,” Crumpton said.

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Celeste Ingrid, the program’s director at Bradshaw, told CBS13 that, traditionally, feral cats are euthanized because there hasn’t been a positive outcome for them. But she said these cats are given a new lease on life with the program.

“It’s allowed us to adopt them as working cats, as natural rodent control for wineries, breweries, rural homes, farms,” Ingrid said. “So not only does it save the life of cat but it does provide all-natural rodent control versus using poisons that can poison wildlife.”

The program started in 2013 and has grown over the last several years, according to Ingrid. She also told CBS13 that the program’s reach has also gotten wider during the pandemic.

“We’re receiving adoption applications from much farther out of the area than we normally would. A lot of Bay Area, up north as well, Mendocino,” Ingrid said.

Little furry hunters trading a kennel for greener pastures and giving their owners like Crumpton piece of mind on what’s going on outside.

“You got to pay for the pet food. But they’re also just wonderful,” Crumpton said.

The Bradshaw Animal Shelter said all of these working cats are spayed or neutered to help prevent any overpopulation of feral cats and are they vaccinated.

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Ingrid also told CBS13 that the concern about feral cats in the community killing wildlife, spreading disease is for the most part unfounded.