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Supply unit uses 'military working cat' to control critters

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mike Young
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Fighting the war on rodent infestation, the 95th Mission Support Group is using a "military working cat" to help reduce the amount of damage to equipment caused by rodents living in the supply warehouse.

The cat, named Wizzo, calls the 95th Mission Support Group's supply warehouse his home. The feline lives and works around the clock to help support the supply group's mission.

"Wizzo is our mobility rodent deterrent," said Heather Chapman, 95th MSG warehouse specialist. "He was brought in for pest control and is earning his keep by doing his job."

The supply group first found a need for Wizzo when they noticed rodent droppings in and around some of the mobility bags, said Bill Martin, contract manager for the base supply contract.

Mr. Martin said mobility bags that sit for an extended period of time can become prone to holes chewed in them from mice and rats. This renders the bags unserviceable, which costs the Air Force money and can create health issues from the droppings left behind.

Supply workers tried to correct the problem using various other methods before deciding to recruit the assistance of a cat. Nothing seemed to work until Wizzo arrived, Mr. Martin said.

"Poison doesn't work inside the warehouse," he said. "By eating the poison, the rodents just get sick and crawl behind walls and die."

"Maintaining Wizzo is low cost," said Jennifer Starr, 95th MSG mobility lead supervisor. "Everyone in the supply warehouse contributes by donating supplies and food for him. It is really a team effort."

Ms. Starr said Wizzo meets the first person who comes through the door in the morning with his prey. He drops it off at their feet as though he is offering them a gift or handing in an assignment.

So far, Wizzo has caught a bird, a rat and three mice, which officially makes him an ace. The supply team keeps his kill count posted on a board for him.

"It seems that whenever anyone starts to doubt his worth, he comes up with another mission completed," Ms. Starr said.

Put to work as the "weapons systems officer" for the warehouse, Wizzo is a little more than a year old and was adopted from a pet shelter in Lancaster, Calif.

During exercises and when there are a lot of people in and out of the supply warehouse, Wizzo is put in his cage.

However, after 4 p.m., Wizzo is left alone to hunt for his enemies, like a furry 'Rambo' in a jungle of crates and supply bags.