Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cats 1, Loews Hotel 0

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

click to enlarge A kitty condo on Loews property, with a humane trap next to it.
  • A kitty condo on Loews property, with a humane trap next to it.

The cat is out of the bag about Loews Hotel’s war on feral cats. The hotel chain, which promotes its pet-friendly environment with the slogan “Loews Loves Pets,” has reversed its policy on how to handle a colony of cats living on the grounds of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. The hotel used to trap, neuter and release the cats and let them live out their lives on the property, but it was discovered last Monday that the hotel was planning to trap the ferals and take them to local animal shelters instead. According to a statement released by Loews on Wednesday, “All cats that were part of an established colony on property are being safely re-located.” Traps were conveniently placed next to the hotel’s “cat mansions” (small structures resembling dollhouses where the cats were fed when Lowes was letting them live on site), but the cat colony for now remains unharmed and on hotel property, according to a later statement released by Loews.
click to enlarge cathoteljpg
The Riverfront Cats advocacy group led by Christine Michaels originally sounded the alarm about the trapping and urged followers and supporters to email, call and post on Loews’ Facebook page to show their disdain for the hotel’s reversal of its policy on how to handle the cats. The message spread like wildfire and led to an onslaught of negative remarks flooding the hotel’s Facebook page. Some, such as Maria Soroski, called for a boycott of the hotel. Facebook poster Susan M. Bell wrote on the wall: “You may be trapping them humanely, but they are put to sleep at the shelter.” Loews released a statement on Jan. 16 that seemed to indicate that the complaints weren’t going unheard. “Loews Hotel is committed to helping find a solution for the colony of cats at our hotel,” the statement said. “We ask that you assist us in consolidating your ideas and suggestions by posting your comments to this note or future wall posts we make to update everyone.” If the posts on Facebook and blogs are any indication, most of those offering ideas support the hotel’s original policy on the cat problem: Let them stay on the property and continue with the TNR program. A message posted on the Facebook page as of Jan. 18 indicated that Loews is still researching the issue. A note on the page was created where Facebook users can discuss the cat situation.

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