Halloween brings black cat adoption controversy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Halloween brings black cat adoption controversy

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- With Halloween just around the corner some folks might be looking for a black cat, but some shelters won't adopt them out right now, worrying black cats could get abused over the holiday or abandoned afterward. At the same time, many local animal shelters report they are bursting at the seams with cats of all colors that need homes.

With an extraordinarily high volume of kittens and cats --the Dubuque Regional Humane Society is actually having a Halloween special on cats, and black cats are definitely included.

"We took in, in the month of September, 428 cats and kittens," Jane McCall, president and CEO of Dubuque Regional Humane Society, said. "We were just almost desperate in trying to find a way to get some cats adopted."

Faced with an unusually high number of cats, the Humane Society needed a plan, so they got creative. Cats and kittens are just $60 until the 31st, that's $50 off the usual price of $110. If you're feeling extra festive, there are quite a few black cats to choose from right now.

Waverly pet rescue is more cautious with black cat adoptions this time of year doing tougher background checks.

"You have to have excellent vet references just for the fact, unfortunately, that there are people out there that will take cats and use them for rituals, torture, things like that, during this time of year," Michelle Mulachy of Waverly Pet Rescue said.

One group sometimes, though incorrectly, associated with black cats and sacrifices are witches and warlocks who practice Wicca. Jennifer Meyer is a student of Wicca and says that's just not true.

"Am I going to sacrifice anything? Beyond a loaf of bread? No," Meyer said.

In fact, sacrificing a cat goes completely against Wiccan beliefs.

"Whatever energy you put out into the world must come back to you. Harming an animal? Uh uh. No thanks. I can see where people would get that misconception because witches are often associated with cats. Trust me. It's only a friendship," Meyer said.

And after research, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society agrees; it's a misconception. They say the odds of any people -- witches or not -- adopting black cats for cruel reasons aren't high.

"If people want [black cats], they're available for adoption. That's kind of an old wives' tale about not adopting them out at Halloween. Research has shown it doesn't make any difference," McCall said.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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