5 Halloween Myths That Cost Everyone Money
Myth 5: Black cats are ritually sacrificed on Halloween
Not only is this ridiculously false, but it's a baseless myth that flat-out results in more dead cats.
The folks at Snopes hedged so much on this one that the grown-ups at National Geographic had to step in and dispel this myth once and for all: No, there are no cat-killing cults or groups of Satanists (whatever people think that means) collecting black cats for mutilation or slaughter around Halloween.What National Geographic did find, however, was that veterinary professionals throughout the United States would routinely suspend black cat adoptions on Halloween based solely on hearsay. While they were motivated by the well-being of the animals, their unfounded fears are preventing cats from being adopted and demonizing the black cats themselves. By worrying about the largely fictional slaughter of black cats, these same vets are unwittingly sending hundreds to thousands of black cats to their execution. A study by the University of California at Berkeley last year found that black cats are already far less likely to be adopted from shelters than their siblings of other colors. A 2002 study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science looked into nine months of adoptions at a California pound and found that black cats were about half as likely to be adopted as tabby cats and two-thirds less likely than white cats. Of the 3,000 cats of all colors that came into the pound during that time, only around 600 (20%) found homes. The rest were euthanized. Cats have it tough enough as it is. The Humane Society estimates that 3 million to 4 million cats enter shelters each year, and only half are adopted. The rest, including disproportionate numbers of black cats, are euthanized. We're going to put this as simply as we can: Unless a black cat is in a no-kill shelter such as Black Cat Rescue in Boston, its chances for post-Halloween survival aren't good. Halloween is just about the only time of year that the general population is thinking about black cats in anything other than the most superstitious light. If a shelter is preventing them from being adopted on that day, it's throwing away the cost of caring for them up to that point and, potentially, throwing away their lives. Help a kitty out, will ya? -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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