This innovative cat rescue program facilitates the adoption of kittens in a workplace friendly setting. We love this idea!
Need therapy on the job, or a distraction from the stress of the day? One perk that is causing envy in other government offices is the Dona Ana County Office in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They have set up a kitten library in the lobby. Here employees can “check out’ a kitten to play with while they work. The library kittens come from a collaboration between the local shelter and the city officers. All these kittens are available for adoption. Oh, and there are no books in this particular library. Just a lot of kittens!
The story hit mainstream news earlier this summer and created a lot of interest from other government offices and the private sector.
Office managers everywhere are always looking for innovative new ways to help their employees be healthier and happier at work. Could this be a trend we’ll begin to see evolve across the country?
Becky (the office receptionist and the kitten librarian) was quoted saying, “The joy, the smiles, I’ve seen so many smiles.” Checking out kittens for an hour is a very creative way to help employees de-stress during their workdays and also a way for cats to find families. The shelter reports that since introducing this program a couple of years ago, 100 cats have found their furr-ever homes.
Employees can “browse” through the available kittens and choose the one that resonates best with them. They take the kitty to their office and, well, just work. City officers realized that if their workers took just a few minutes to hold a homeless kitten, a bond would form resulting in a relaxed employee and a happy kitty. With luck they form this bond and next step could be an adoption.
These adorable cats cost $50 to adopt. The fee includes having the cat spayed or neutered, given the right vaccinations plus rabies shots. These kitties are also micro chipped, heart worm tested and checked out for feline leukemia.
Employees at the county offices admit that their productivity isn’t as high as when working alone, but job satisfaction skyrockets. It shows to employees that the county does care for the welfare of its employees for also for the homeless animals in their city.
Adoptable cats are the focus of this Kitty Kondo program. Included are also abused cats with minor medical problems or kitties that are not being adopted as quickly as they should be. Tiffany Tillison, a government employee, explained the program. “Most animal shelters are out of the way outside of towns and usually outside the city limits, so you have to be really thinking of adopting an animal to take the trouble to go over there. With this program, hundreds of people come through our lobby every day, so they can’t miss seeing them!”
Tiffany is the drive behind the program. She posted a photo of kitties lounging in their Kondos and wrote, “My work has a ‘cat library.” You can “check out’ a cat to take back to your desk for an hour. The kitties are the newest addition to the library’!” Within a few hours of starting her program, she had ten interview requests and her kitties became local celebrities.
The program began in May 2012 in an effort to adopt out cats and provide easy access to the cats. The goal was also to circumvent euthanizing healthy animals. So far, after a couple of years, the program is a big hit.
It will be interesting to see how many other offices in the public and private sector will follow this lead. It’s a win/win. The employees love coming to work and the kittens almost always find a home!
Would you be a happier employee if your workplace implemented this kind of program? Drop us a note in the comments section below.