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 Post subject: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:38 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial
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or for those of you that work in animal adoption/rescue, etc.

I was talking to my mom today and she told me something that was rather disturbing. One of her co-workers volunteers at an animal shelter and this co-worker said that whenever someone adopts a black cat, the shelter has to do welfare checks post-adoption. The reason for this is that apparently some people have a tendency to adopt black cats in order to sacrifice the cats. All I could think is what the hell?!?!? That seems weird and really forked up if it's true.

Can anybody confirm or deny this? I am hoping that the co-worker was lying, but I am now curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:48 pm 
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i used to work at an animal hospital that partnered with a shelter, and i think i remember a rule about black cats not being eligible for adoption around halloween because bad things had happened. but there was no rule like that the rest of the time. also not sure how a welfare check clues you in to a tendency to sacrifice animals.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:50 pm 
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I've never heard anything like that at any of the shelters I've volunteered at, but in the town I grew up in a person was caught sacrificing cats in the park (they had found dead cats there monthly up till the arrest). I don't know if they were black, but they were most likely strays or from pet stores because it costs more adopt then to buy in most cases.
The shelters I have volunteered at always did home checks before approving adoptions as well, and the potential adopters had to pass a screening that had questions about income and their awareness of the cost of owning a pet.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:08 am 
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This is sadly true.

Many shelters and rescues will temporarily remove black cats from their adoptable animals around Halloween for just that reason.

Although these days many places have such strict adoption criteria for all of their animals- and require such steep fees as well, that anyone with these type of intentions gets screened out. Still animal control and local humane societies which have to euthanize unadopted cats and dogs often don't have the resources to do elaborate home visits and so forth so it can happen which is why the simplest solution is to not allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:37 am 
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ugh :( that is sad!

we've had a number of black cats over the years and one reason is because if we had a black stray hanging around our house we would take them in on halloween to make sure no one messed with them and then we fell in love.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:03 am 
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I adopted 3 black cats recently. There was an application with a lot of good questions (are you financially prepared? would you ever declaw?) and they asked for references, and they called the references. We had an initial meet-and-greet with the foster mom and the cats before we were able to adopt, and there were many more questions there. However, I never got the impression that they were because we adopted black cats, I think they do the same for all adoptions.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:11 am 
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That's so sad. I've never heard of the welfare checks. I have been told to keep black kitties inside around Halloween, for that reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:04 pm 
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Ugh. That's so sad! My roommate has a black cat. She specifically wanted a black cat because they're the hardest to find homes for.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Over a decade ago, stories started circulating among shelters and rescues about black cats being adopted for Halloween sacrifices. Most shelters put a lock-down on adoptions of black cats (sometimes all cats) for the week before Halloween, or even the whole month of October. But the horror stories of cats being adopted for this purpose have never been verified. There are people who sacrifice animals for their religions, but I highly doubt they would go to a shelter and pay money for a cat, not to mention going through the application process that many shelters require. So most shelters/rescues have gone back to adopting out black cats without extra restrictions. I would be much more worried about outdoor cats and "free to a good home" cats being used for this purpose (not at any specific time of year, but all year round).

Snopes has some info on the black cat sacrifice debate here


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:26 pm 
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raspberrycomplaint wrote:
Over a decade ago, stories started circulating among shelters and rescues about black cats being adopted for Halloween sacrifices. Most shelters put a lock-down on adoptions of black cats (sometimes all cats) for the week before Halloween, or even the whole month of October. But the horror stories of cats being adopted for this purpose have never been verified. There are people who sacrifice animals for their religions, but I highly doubt they would go to a shelter and pay money for a cat, not to mention going through the application process that many shelters require. So most shelters/rescues have gone back to adopting out black cats without extra restrictions. I would be much more worried about outdoor cats and "free to a good home" cats being used for this purpose (not at any specific time of year, but all year round).

Snopes has some info on the black cat sacrifice debate here


My shelter used to restrict, but we don't anymore. Following the same logic, the staff figured no one was going to spend $100 on a cat just to sacrifice him or her. Combined with the difficulty in adopting out black cats, they just didn't want them to lose a chance to be adopted.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:50 pm 
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I think in general shelters are more careful than they used to be about adopters in general.

Waiting periods and reference checks are much more common than they used to be. When I was in college all you needed was an ID and copy of your lease or mortgage and a small fee.

The all volunteer rescue I work with also doesn't really have special provisions for black cats at Halloween but they do have a lengthy application process for ALL animals at ALL times including a home visit, hour long interview, reference check and a rather high ($175 for cats I don't even know what it is for dogs) adoption fee.


Because of this we feel pretty confident about who is adopting our animals- but we also have almost zero intake policy and are no kill because of that (the animals are all rescued by the founders and we practically never take in others). We therefore can take our time screening adopters (we turn down more than we accept)because we don't have to euthanize to make room a constant influx of animals.


But not all shelters have this luxury and want to get as many animals adopted as possible because the clock is always ticking for the animals. But like I said at the start of my comment I do think even the most cash strapped/over crowded shelters have gotten more careful about who adopts their animals in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:52 pm 
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im catsitting a black cat right now! niles is most definitely not being sacrificed, though he has been known to have his tail pulled by his toddler brother and sister. (hes never been checked on and came from the buffalo SPCA)


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Thanks for all the responses. Raspberrycomplaint, thanks for the snopes link. I think when you factor in the scenarios where people might go out and adopt a black kitty to use as a Halloween accessory, I can see how some shelters might make the decision to be skeptical of anybody adopting a black cat this time of year. Obviously, I was aware of the stigma attached to black cats, but I just never thought about how that would affect shelter policies.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for those of you that have black cats...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:35 pm 
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I know when I adopted Benjamin they were a bit concerned that I was specifically seeking a black cat, but I showed them my black cat tattoo and they called my vet who confirmed that my last cat was all black as well (she died at age 16 from renal failure), just to make sure that I wasn't up to anything. I think it helped that I was living with my parents at the time. They did say that black kitties are the hardest to adopt out, so when I get him a companion, I will most likely get a black kitty then, too

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