NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A brewery in Norton has hired a furry friend to help keep pests away.
Jax the cat has been working at Bog Iron Brewing for about four years after owner Brian Shurtleff noticed they had mice getting into their grain.
“He lives on the premises. He’s a working cat. His collar says ‘Bog Iron’ employee right on it,” Shurtleff said.
Jax was found as part of the working cat program with the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts.
Shurtleff thought getting Jax would be a better alternative than using chemicals or poisons around the bar and restaurant.
“Whenever you’re going to have grain, unfortunately, you’re going to end up having rodents,” Shurtleff explained. “Staff members suggested a cat. I was at my wit’s end and said ‘Sure, let’s try it.'”
Thanks to Jax, the mouse problem is gone, but Shurtleff said the only issue is that the cat has stolen the spotlight.
“I’ve been brewing for almost 30 years. I’ve put my life into this place and people are like ‘Hey, can we meet the cat?’ and I’m like ‘Sure, thanks,'” Shurtleff said.
Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Mike Keiley said he has seen more breweries across Massachusetts adopt working cats.
“The natural connection between breweries and cats became apparent to us. There are a lot of cats that do need these types of alternative placements. They need that social interaction and so places that welcome people to their establishment make a nice companion opportunity,” Keiley said.
Shurtleff noted that Jax is compensated for his work in cat food, a warm bed, and a surplus of attention.