Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Boycott Loews Hotels

The Loews Portofino Hotel in Orlando, Florida, has been a model of Trap-Neuter-Return for many years.  Several hotel employees care for the cats, their houses are designed with the hotel architecture in mind, and the cats have all been fixed and vaccinated.  Despite the success of the colony, which has had stable numbers and no incidents involving people, the management of the hotel has decided the cats have to go because they pose a risk to the guests and staff.  Ironically, the Lowes Hotel chain’s motto is “Loews Loves Pets.”

The Loews hotel has contracted a “wildlife” removal company to “relocate” the cats to the county animal services center.  We all know that “relocate” is a euphemism for bring them into the shelter for euthanasia, as the majority of adult feral cats cannot live happy lives inside a home, and will be deemed unadoptable.  According to VoxFelina.com “For more than a week now, cats have been trapped at both the Portofino Bay Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort properties. From what I can tell, all 10 that have been trapped have been taken to OrangeCounty Animal Services, where they are subsequently bailed out by volunteers for CARE Feline TNR, Inc., the same organization responsible for the sterilization, vaccination, and long-term care of the Loews cats. (This is done, as I understand it, in collaboration with Orange County Animal Services—OCAS provides the veterinary services, and CARE agrees to provide ongoing care.).”

Reports indicate that the wildlife trapping company is not using proper protocol when trapping to keep the cats calm, resulting injuries.  According to an article in the Chicago Tribune: "It's common for some scrapes, but in my 10 years (of trapping) I've never seen injuries like these," says Carol Needham, a volunteer with CARE Feline TNR, a local non-profit that helps feral cats. "The trapping company is apparently not following protocol to keep the cats calm." The non-profit has stepped up to find temporary foster homes for the trapped feral cats and also is seeking new digs for these cats to live out their lives -- not an easy task.”

Like VoxFelina, we encourage everyone to boycott the Loews hotel chain, and to write to them to let them know you are outraged at the cats being removed, when they clearly pose not danger to their guests and staff.

Please write to Jonathan Tisch, the Co-Chairman of the Board and James Tisch, President  & CEO at 667 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10065-8087.  Express your displeasure at the removal of the well managed colonies of feral cats at their properties, and explain that as an animal lover, you will be looking for alternative accommodations when traveling.