PAWS for a Difference

Paws for A Difference, a program offered by PAW Mission, will partner with California’s Youth Camps and select up to 24 youth and 12 at-risk shelter dogs for each program cycle. Over the course of 12 weeks, youth will complete very challenging blocks of course work which involve weekly homework assignments and goals.

Program Goals:
The goal of the our program is to assist with the rehabilitation of both youth and canine. PAWS for a Difference will help work with the youth on learning about and using emotional intelligence to help understand energy and emotions to better connect with their assigned dog and people.

While the youth are training their dogs, and learning how to use emotional intelligence,  they will also be working with a partner to build trust and work as a team to develop empathy and build on appropriate conflict resolution.
The Curriculum:
Program curriculum is designed to ready the youth and dogs for the Canine Good Citizen Certification. This test is not easy. To date, 99% of the world’s dogs could not complete without rigorous and consistent training.

The curriculum uses an excellent guide to understanding energy and emotion, both human and canine. It allows the youth to understand how to process energy and emotions. The curriculum provides valuable vocational training but also allows and promotes spiritual improvement.

Youth Selection:
Youth selection is based on conduct while in camp and demonstrated interest in the program. Youth must have zero, or very few points accrued, and are required to fill out a survey and write an essay outlining why they want to participate in the program. We do not discriminate against violent offenders but do exclude sex offenders and any with a history of animal abuse. This program is set up to establish compassion, develop skills, combat recidivism, and prepare the youth for healthy and productive lives after incarceration.

If you are interested in learning more about our program and our Humane Education please contact us.

Rodent Ranger Cat Team Program

When PAW Mission rescues unsocialized or feral cats from the shelter, sometimes we have to consider non-traditional adoption placement.

PAW Mission believes these kitties don’t deserve to die simply because they can’t go into a typical home environment. We recognize that they deserve shelter, access to food and water, and the stimulation of “critter hunting” that a outdoor placement provides.

These cats are healthy, sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped, and in need of a new rural outdoor home, such as a barn, stable, garage, or warehouse. Our Rodent Ranger Cat Team members are not suited to be indoor pets and, as unsocialized animals, they have no desire to be lap cats. These are working cats, former street cats who are used to outdoor life, prefer minimal to no human contact, and who will happily tend to any mouse, mole, chipmunk, or vermin problems for the small cost of a bowl of cat food and water set out daily, as needed veterinary care and shelter in a garage or barn.

And because we spay/neuter these cats before they leave PAW Mission, adopters never need to worry about endless litters of kittens!

Interested in adopting a Rodent Ranger Team? Read the FAQ below and apply to adopt at the bottom of this page!

How much does it cost to adopt a Rodent Ranger Team?

The adoption fee is waived. You will be responsible for ongoing veterinary care (as necessary), food, water and shelter.

What do I do when I bring the cats home?

When you bring the new cats home, they will need to be confined to an escape-proof room or enclosure like a tack room, garage, coop, or XXL dog crate for 2-4 weeks while they acclimate to their new surroundings. You will feed/water and clean the litter pan daily during the confinement period. After this period of confinement, the cats will usually accept their new home and may be released. You will continue to provide daily food and water and allow them access to shelter such as your barn or garage.

Are they spayed or neutered?

Yes. All Rodent Ranger Cat Teams come spayed or neutered, current on vaccinations, microchipped, treated for worms and fleas, and tested for feline leukemia.

Will I be responsible for future vaccinations?

Any cat you adopt from PAW Mission will be current on vaccinations. Following adoption, you will be responsible for keeping the animals’ vaccinations up to date. The best way to have feral cats vaccinated is with the use of a live humane trap, such as a Havahart. There are a few different organizations that offer low-cost vaccinations and are experienced in safely vaccinating feral cats who arrive in humane traps, you will receive this in your adoption email.

Do you have any friendly Rodent Ranger Cat Teams?

No; the cats in the RRCT program are not social, friendly cats or suited to be pets. They have no desire to be “lap cats” and cannot be touched, or may take a very long time to trust enough to pet. We strongly encourage adopters to offer cats in this program an independent outdoor life complemented by appropriate care and shelter like a barn or garage.

Do you have any kittens on the Teams?

The youngest cats in the Rodent Ranger Cat Teams are approximately six months old. PAW Mission will not adopt younger kittens as RRCT, as they don’t yet have the knowledge, size, or skills to remain safe outdoors. Most cats in the Rodent Ranger Cat Team are young adults between one and five years of age, though we do have younger and older cats available occasionally. If you have an age preference, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you!

What do the barn cats require?

The cats require shelter in a permanent building or structure like a barn, shed, stable, or garage in a suitable rural area where they will be safe. The property should be at least .5 miles away from busy roads. Daily food and water must be provided, as well as any future medical care needed. The cats must also be kept confined for the initial 2-4 week relocation period to ensure a successful transition to their new home.

Can I come look at, or select, my barn cats?

The PAW Mission Rodent Ranger Cat Team members are pulled from high kill shelters in the area, and are not housed on site. When you are scheduled to adopt, PAW Mission will select your team for you based on which cats are the most eager to enter a cat carrier for us. If you have a color, age, or gender preference, we will do our best to accommodate you, though! All RRCT adoptions are scheduled by appointment since it can take some time and extra staff to round the kitties up. Just fill out the application below to get started!

Ready to adopt barn cats?

Fill out this application and we will get back to you shortly!


Dog socializing

Socialization is super important! If your dog is a little fearful at first, start with baby steps and give your pup small victories! Each positive experience helps build their confidence and gives them the ability to be comfortable doing more! #babysteps #dogsocialization #smallvictories #buildconfidence #adoptdontshop #fosteringsaveslives #thePAWmission #comingsoon #wearehereforthem #hereforthem