FieldHaven Feline Center’s 2nd Chance Ranch
By FieldHaven Feline Center
Leading the charge to save feral kitty lives across Placer County and beyond.
Feral cats pose a challenge for animal shelters everywhere. They’re fearful, sometimes aggressive, often deemed “unadoptable,” and are usually euthanized.
However, euthanasia is not an acceptable solution and FieldHaven Feline Center is leading the charge to save feral kitty lives across Placer County and beyond. Before they become residents at 2nd Chance Ranch, new arrivals begin their journey in Buck’s Barn, the holding area where each cat’s health and behavior will be assessed prior to it being spayed or neutered. Buck’s Barn (named in memory of long-time volunteer Buck Ewing) also doubles as a resource center for people who manage feral colonies and offers traps, cages, and all the necessary equipment.
After they are cleared, cats will move into one of four enclosures in the Camp Joe Willie barn (named in memory of Mark Glickman’s beloved tuxedo cat). Each enclosure accommodates eight to ten cats and includes a generous outdoor area. The cats’ temperaments will determine where they will stay: Barn Pals (friendly), Lone Rangers (semi-feral), or Raging Bulls (feral). Cats may move into and out of categories as they acclimate. We anticipate that some cats initially deemed feral will transfer into our adoption program, where we will match cats with adopters.
FieldHaven has been facilitating adoptions of barn cats since our inception in 2003. Last year, FieldHaven helped decrease Placer County Animal Services’ feral euthanasia rate by 89% – in just one year! The agreement was simple: Placer County would spay/neuter, vaccinate, and ear-tip ferals, and FieldHaven would take them into our Rodent Ranger program. We accepted 138 cats from the Placer County shelter. Of those, twenty-six were found to be social and were adopted into homes. The remaining cats were adopted as Rodent Rangers. As a result of our partnership, Placer County now has its own barn cat program and has euthanized zero feral cats this year! We are so proud.
In late October, we will celebrate the opening of 2nd Chance Ranch, a new state-of-the-art facility that will temporarily house feral and semi-feral cats until they’re ready to assume their Rodent Ranger jobs at barns, warehouses, wineries, stables – or wherever unwanted critters invade.