Black Cat Adoptions Are A Good Thing -- Really

10-31-2009

I know, I know. Two blogs in one day!

But I needed to get this off my chest. We've been getting some emails from people (one even from Virginia) chiding me for our policy of adopting out black cats at reduced prices on the week of Halloween. One e-mail said we were setting up our cats to be tortured.

The good news is that worries about torturing of black cats is something that doesn't end up to be a problem that actually happens. 

I used to write the pet column for The Oregonian, and I interviewed animal control officials from several local and national agencies about this subject a few years ago. Statistics that animal control agencies keep showed absolutely no indication that the incidence of harm to any cats -- black or otherwise -- increased at Halloween.

Our statistics in Washington County show no indication of any special problems during this time period. Virtually every major shelter in the area has special adoption rates for black cats this time of year.

So why do we have special adoption rates for black cats? It's because they are the least likely to find a home. If we can take a holiday like Halloween to raise people's awareness of the need to adopt, that will save lives.

We screen our adopters carefully. We deny adoptions to people who do not seem to be responsible prospective pet adopters. We have standards that adopters must meet.

So, if you were worried, please be assured that we were very careful and deliberate in this decision to have our special rates. The intent was to save the lives of cats, not cost them.

The good news is that our promotion is succeeding! We've adopted out about three times our usual number of pets the last two days.

As one lovely adopter said to me today, "This is a magic day!"