Friday, October 16, 2009

Black Cats

Black cats and dogs can be the most difficult to find homes for even though they are often great pets (I have a black dog myself). There are many stories of black cats being used in satanic rituals or otherwise abused around the Halloween season yet there is no evidence that animal cruelty increases during this time of year. Certainly there are stories of acts of cruelty in October, as unfortunately there are cases of animal cruelty all year long. Unfortunately, the urban legends around these rituals have lead many animal shelters and rescues to stop trying to find homes for black cats during the last couple of weeks of October. I think these policies do a disservice to black cats.
The Humane Society of the United States commissioned a review of newspapers across the country published around Halloween going back over 10 years and found no increase of cruelty cases during this time of year. You may remember a sudden increase in animal cruelty cases involving cats last summer in Troy. These cases involve people who are sick and depraved, not performing satanic rituals.
Those acts that appear to be satanic rituals are usually young people imitating what they think rituals would be like, often using symbols they have seen in the movies. In all likelihood, these people will pick up a cat off the street (where there are many) rather than come to an animal shelter where they will be screened, have their ID copied and will pay an adoption fee. Cats of any color that are allowed to roam outdoors are in the greatest danger during the fall as they are all year long.
At the Humane Society will continue to seek loving homes for cats of every color during this time of year because black cats deserve to be in homes, just like all of the others.

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