I don’t understand how a hotel chain that claims to love pets can turn around and callously set up an extermination program for the handful of feral cats living on its property. For years the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, FL had a model TNR program, run by former-bellman George Ricci and several caring Loews employees. There were even feeding stations built that imitated the hotel’s architecture. Then for no apparent reason, the corporate staff decided that the cats posed a concern “due to the persistent threat of injury and disease,” and have hired a wildlife control service to trap the cats and “relocate” them to the county animal services center where as ferals, they will immediately be killed.
“Loews loves pets?” More like “Loews loves hypocrisy and kills cats.”
Nobody seems to know why these hotels suddenly turned around and changed from feline friendly to out-and-out hostile (they have told employees they will be fired if discovered feeding the cats). There have been no known instances of negative guest encounters with the cats. In fact, most seemed charmed by the feeding stations. The cats themselves are shy, keep their distance from people and do not mingle with the guests at all. Scientific studies have “found virtually no risk to humans from feral cats and diseases associated with cats.”
How many cats are swarming the Loews properties? Numbers vary, but it is somewhere between 16 and 24 cats, all of whom have been neutered, dewormed and vaccinated. That’s it! The most recent animal problem reported at one of the hotels was when one guest’s dog killed a dog belonging to another guest in January. No cats involved.
A number of well-respected groups including Alley Cat Allies reached out to Loews in an attempt to help them with the cats and educate them on the facts, but they were ignored. Loews made its decision based on ignorance, cruelty, and unwillingness to listen to the truth.
How can you help these cats? Even if you do not live in Orlando, there are many ways:
- Pledge to never stay at a Loews hotel ever again.
- Discourage anyone you know from staying at Loews, and tell any professional groups you belong to that you do not want their conferences held at Loews hotels.
- Let Loews know you are not staying there anymore. The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort have a Facebook page, and they do not allow you to post on their wall, but there are ways to still get your point across. You can write a “recommendation” on their page and tell them what you think. You can also link to them in a post you write for your own Wall (“like” the hotel’s page — try not to gag — and then type “@Loews Royal Pacific” in your Wall post and you should get the option to link to them from your post). You can also comment on any of their own posts on their page, as you might see many other cat lovers have already done.
- Also, if you are on Facebook, keep up on what is going on with the cats by “liking” the Save Loews Cats page.
- Educate yourself on feral cats so that you can give a good argument if anything similar happens in your town. Alley Cat Allies has loads of resources for you. They also have a form where you can write to the Loews management and tell them off.
You know, most of us kitties are just one or two humans away from being in the same sort of danger the Loews cats are. Don’t let this inhumane decision stand!
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