Kitty City: Cats, horses and now…chickens

Local News

It’s called “Kitty City” — the place south of Mandan where displaced, mostly disabled kitties go to live out the rest of their nine lives.

But it’s more than just felines.

You may also know it as “Triple H Horse Rescue,” the place where horses go when they have nowhere else to go.

And now, it’s home to another breed.

Not horses, not kitties — “Kitty City” has now become all about the chicks.

At this sanctuary, it’s a different breed but the story is, sadly, the same.

“100 percent, we did not want 25 chickens,” said Kitty City co-founder Alison Smith. 

“They looked real bad. Most of them have broken toes and the tips of all their beaks have been taken off, which is painful. That’s because they were living in such close quarters that they start picking at each other and then there’s blood and chickens will go cannibalistic.”

They came from a factory farm, the kind where they say “cage-free.”

“Cage-free is how they lived. That’s cage-free. You’re not in a cage, but you have the same amount of room,” noted Smith.

It’s not how they live today at Kitty City.

In fact, the chicks like to hang with the horses and follow the felines. Maybe it’s because they never were chickens; that is, never saw the light of day. They don’t even know how to roost, so they’ve taken on a new calling. 

“Nothing bothers them,” said Smith. “When we have volunteers come out, the chickens just flock them, think they’re getting a treat.”

Smith said these chickens will be a part of Kitty City forever.

“The big thing for me, from an animal rescue point of view, is animals are raised for food — we know that, that’s a fact of life. I think the level of treatment should still be humane,” she said.

And although the chicks were never really a part of the plan, a sanctuary is a sanctuary.

A home for the displaced and disabled — who simply need a happy and humane place to live.

One final note: Smith says part of the reason the birds were about to be gassed was that they weren’t producing eggs.

However, since coming to Kitty City, that’s changed. The birds about 22 eggs a day.

The eggs are first offered to volunteers and the rest are sold.

The birds are earning their keep.

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