Police ponder purr-fect cat for Feline Unit

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 6, 2018

 Kitties visit the Troy Police Department to interview for a position in the Feline Unit April 6.

Kitties visit the Troy Police Department to interview for a position in the Feline Unit April 6.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Five kitty candidates, 5-week-old brothers and sisters whose mother was a stray, waited restlessly in their cat carrier for their chance to vie for a position in the Troy Police Department Feline Unit the morning of April 6.

The other contender, 1-year-old Cagney, a stray, waited in a separate carrier.

Andy Bissonette, director of marketing and communication for the Michigan Humane Society, said he reached out to the Troy Police Department when he saw a tweet and learned that the department was looking to add a feline to its ranks.

Bissonette brought the six cats to the Troy Police Department. The five that are not “hired” will be available for adoption at the Michigan Humane Society Westland Berman Center for Animal Care.

He explained that the kittens must be two pounds before they may be adopted.

“They will go a foster home until they make weight, usually eight weeks,” he said.

When not on the job, the Troy police cat will live with a dispatch staff member who has two other cats in her home. She had final say, with input from Troy police Sgt. Meghan Lehman and others, of who the top cat would be. She said her cats are very friendly and sociable.

“This is the first police cat,” said Lehman. “It’s got to be able to do the job. It has to like people, interact with the community and not be camera shy. We’re looking for a cat with energy.”

Lehman said the Feline Unit will be brought in for special duties as needed and will not be on duty all the time.

Later that afternoon, a 5-week-old kitty was chosen as the Troy police cat.

Lehman said police will take suggestions from students in the Troy School District to name the cat, and the community will vote for names that make a finalist list. Details will be announced.

The Troy Police Department is active on Facebook and Twitter. Last month, police said they would add the Feline Unit if 10,000 people followed them on Twitter.

They hit that number, and Lehman purr-suaded police administrators to establish the Feline Unit.

Follow the Troy police on Twitter @TroyMI_Police.

For information on adopting the kittens or Cagney from the Michigan Humane Society, call (866) MHUMANE or visit michiganhumane.org.

Follow the Troy police on Twitter @TroyMI_Police.