Dozens of concerned citizens and activists joined Alley Cat Allies in protesting the inhumane trapping of feral cats at the Loews Orlando hotels on Saturday, April 14. Sixty-eight people raised their signs to demand the reinstatement of a Trap-Neuter-Return program at Loews Royal Pacific, Loews Portofino, and Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resorts after management decided to permanently remove the cats that have lived peacefully on the properties for years.
When Alley Cat Allies learned that the three Loews hotels in Orlando decided to relocate the 23 feral cats living on the properties to an animal shelter, they reached out to the company to offer “guidance and assistance” that would allow the felines to remain in the only home they have ever known.
Alley Cat Allies says the cats are “healthy, neutered, and vaccinated and living peacefully at the resorts.”
Loews management did not respond to Alley Cat Allies’ suggestions, opting instead to implemented harsh new mandates regarding the cats.
“The company forced employees to stop feeding the cats and last week hired a pest control company to cruelly trap them,” said the advocacy group in a statement.
“Cats have been killed, injured, starved and left in traps exposed to almost 90 degree heat,” said Becky Robinson, founder and president of Alley Cat Allies. “Meanwhile, our numerous offers of assistance have been ignored.”
The group felt the only way to save the cats was through a community-wide protest.
“We are protesting the inhumane removal of these cats from their home and asking that Loews reinstate the TNR programs, which had been successfully carried out for years before Loews reversed their policy with no explanation,” Robinson said.
Since the protest there has been no statement from Loews who calls its hotel chain “pet friendly” and offers vacationers traveling with their four-legged family members a special VIP (Very Important Pet) program.
According to the Loews website, the VIP program is available because “Loews loves pets.” The program includes:
- Gourmet room service for cats and dogs
- Special bedding, leashes, collars and litter boxes
- Treats, rawhide bones, catnip and scratch posts
- Pet-walking and pet-sitting services
Sadly, it appears that Loews places value only on animals lucky enough to have owners and not the 23 feral cats who call the property home. Maybe Loews doesn’t understand that the feral cats aren’t different from beloved pets. They want kindness, clean food and water and a safe home.
Loews management should be reminded that the plight of feral cats is entirely manmade and some of the felines living at their hotels may have once been family pets.
Photo Credit: AlleyCatAllies