Halloween is the event that prompts Americans to collectively reflect and debate the issue of animal cruelty, specifically, cruelty to black cats. This, in itself, may not be a bad thing. The sad fact is that animal abuse happens year-round, to all types of animals whether in families, as part of organized commercial abuse or as victims or pranks on the street.
If it takes the urban legend of legions of Satanists targeting black cats to remind us that animal cruelty exists, then so be it.
Halloween is dangerous for all animals.
While abusers might feel more comfortable targeting a loose black cat or other animal on Halloween night, the biggest dangers for pets on Halloween are far less salacious: chocolate, an often-opened door, guests in terrifying costumes, and pets dressed in costumes that are not meant for them.
Do your pets (and yourself) a favor - give them Halloween night off. Settle your pets into a quiet room in your home, with dim lights, soft music, a few toys and treats, and shut the door. If you think the stress of your Halloween bash or a constantly-ringing doorbell may be too much for your pets, consider boarding them for the night.
Most pets that get into trouble on Halloween do so because they slip out the door while treats are being given, or they break away from a trick or treater on the street.
Accordingly, spcaLA will not ban black cat adoptions.
Cats, of all colors, are in ever-increasing supply at spcaLA and other area shelters. It takes them an average of about two weeks longer than dogs to find new families.
At spcaLA, our goal is to find the thousands of animals who come through our doors each year permanent, loving homes. To ban adoptions for one type of animal, especially a black animal, who has a statistically significant hardship being adopted, is doing that animal a disservice. We screen adopters and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
That being said, if an adopter feels uncomfortable bringing an animal home on All Hallows Eve, spcaLA will offer November 1st pick up for any pet scheduled to go home on Halloween night.
Your spcaLA has been here to help every day since 1877.
Finally, spcaLA Humane Officers respond to thousands of animal cruelty tips each year, concerning turtles to tabby cats. If you see animal cruelty, report it by calling 1-800-540-7722 or submitting a tip online. spcaLA offers programs for kids from at-risk communities, juvenile offenders, and domestic violence survivors – all aimed at breaking the cycle of violence.
Special thank you to Miriam Davenport, spcaLA Senior Director, for her contributions to this piece.