110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Oct 11, 2013 - 4:42:41pm
As Halloween approaches, black cats — and felines of other colors — will be on the prowl.
Local animal shelters now allow the adoption of cats during October. In years past, many animal-welfare organizations around the U.S. suspended placing cats with new owners in the weeks leading up to Halloween, for fear the animals would be abused or subjected to cruelty. In some instances, too, people would adopt black cats as decorations or conversation pieces for Halloween parties, only to return them to the shelter after the holiday passed.
"The issue about cats and Halloween is really a myth. We haven't really found any hard evidence to support it. It may be just another urban legend," said Tyler Stover, the community-outreach director of the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach.
Stover went on to say Halifax Humane Society typically has between 150 and 200 cats at any given time, and it is willing to put the cats into new and loving homes.
"To hold them for a length of time in a kennel or cage is cruel," he added, in defense of Halifax's pro-adoption policy.
Another shelter is also willing to pair its cats with people this month.
"We have cats available," said Jane Dunne, who identified herself as "a plain old worker" at the Southeast Volusia Humane Society in New Smyrna Beach.
As for the prospective owners of the shelter's stray and otherwise unwanted cats, Dunne said, "We screen people really well."
Both the Halifax Humane Society and the Southeast Volusia Humane Society receive animals picked up by animal-control agencies of Volusia County and Deltona.
The West Volusia Humane Society has likewise dropped its October-cat adoption ban.
"We have one that just went out," said Gloria Thomas, the executive director of the West Volusia Humane Society in DeLand.
"If we can get a good home, we will adopt cats. We don't want to take a chance on losing a good home. We do what we can to get them out," she added.
Thomas cautioned she does carefully screen people wishing to adopt cats, or any other animals in her shelter. In at least one instance, she recalled, someone had asked for a black cat before Halloween, and, upon learning black cats were not adoptable during October, took a white one instead and subsequently spray-painted it black — and then later brought it back to the DeLand shelter.
"They tried to get it [black paint] off, but they didn't get all of it off," Thomas said.
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