Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Pets

Keep black cats, other animals safe during Halloween season

Each year at this time, people who own black cats are warned to keep them safe from thieves who might want to use the cats for nefarious purposes. Keep your black cats indoors, owners are told, lest they be stolen and used in dark satanic rituals.

Whether caution is necessary or rooted merely in urban legend, some older news accounts remind us there are individuals who might think Halloween gives them freedom to terrorize or kill an animal for entertainment.

Even using an animal as party decor or for a prank is abuse, plain and simple. Animals don't appreciate the holiday and don't understand the symbolism that surrounds it. Like children, they can easily become frightened seeing people in strange costumes and masks on the spookiest night of the year.

No matter how widespread the problem is or is not, the real fear of an animal being mistreated has caused some rescue agencies to refuse to allow anyone to adopt black cats the last few weeks before the holiday.

"Black cats are off the market until Halloween," said Georjette Thomas, director of advancement at One of a Kind Adoption Center in Ohio. Other shelters observe behaviors of potential adopters for red flags, including the person's age, and his or her specific preference for a black cat.

The association between black cats and Halloween dates back centuries to a time when people believed felines were really witches in disguise.

Halloween originated with ancient Celtic feasts of Samhain, or summer's end, when it was believed that spirits emerged from their resting places to roam the streets and play tricks on the living.

On that night, people would dress in costumes so any evil spirit lurking in the dark would not be able to recognize them. The spirits would be offered food and animal sacrifices.

Black cats were sometimes considered a witch's familiar — his or her supernatural servant — because they are largely nocturnal, roaming at night when people believed that evil lurked waiting to attack unsuspecting souls. Imaginations ran wild when the lack of knowledge prevented people from logically explaining what they couldn't understand.

Still, old traditions and superstitions die hard, and many rescues warn owners to pay special attention to the safety of their pets during the Halloween season.

Comments
Find A Friend: Patty the combo terrier

Find A Friend: Patty the combo terrier

Okay, so it’s not Gasparilla. But Patty’s got purpose, she’s dressed like a pirate to steal your heart. Originally named "Frozen," she held out for a cheerful name and a caring foster family. Patty’s a year and a half old, appropriately energetic, an...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 18

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 18

Hernando County Animal ServicesEllis is a handsome 3-year-old male, orange and white domestic short hair. After being found injured, he was brought to the shelter for care. Since his owners have not claimed him, he is available for adoption. Ellis is...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/13/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 11

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 11

Humane Society of the Nature CoastBoone is an active 2-year-old border collie who exemplifies his breed. He is ready to learn agility, which would enable him to be a very good Frisbee or disc dog, or help herd your livestock. Inquiries about adopting...
Published: 05/03/18
Updated: 05/09/18
Find A Friend: Luke, the Mastiff Mix

Find A Friend: Luke, the Mastiff Mix

Supersize that burrito, please, Luke is one beefy baby. This robust pup isn’t quite a year old and weighs a solid 90 lbs. Larger than life and always entertaining, Luke’s a lover with a smooth coat. He lives for long walks, toys, and other pooches. L...
Published: 05/03/18
Updated: 05/08/18
Find A Friend: Oh Boy, the Cinco De Mayo cat

Find A Friend: Oh Boy, the Cinco De Mayo cat

Fa la la la bamba! Celebrate Cinco de MEOW with a grande adoption special: all cats 5-months and older will be offered to good homes for just $5 on Saturday (May 5). So, snuggle and play with this young chico, a 6-month sweetie called Oh Boy. The mil...
Published: 04/30/18
Updated: 05/08/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for May 4

Hernando Pet of the Week for May 4

Hernando County Animal Services,Rocko is a handsome 7-year-old fawn terrier mix. He was found as a stray on Lake Lindsey Road in Brooksville and is available for adoption. Rocko is fairly calm, super friendly and loves toys. He would do best as the o...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Aidan the Boxer

Find A Friend: Aidan the Boxer

Aidan may be the only sportsfan watching playoff hockey with the volume down. The all-white Boxer suffers no hearing loss and celebrates Bolt goals in uninhibited wiggle-butt glory. Aidan really loves the Lightning, just not the thunder. He’s equally...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Taco the Chihuahua/Terrier mix

Find A Friend: Taco the Chihuahua/Terrier mix

Look closely. There’s a smiling pooch inside this whimsical wrap, and his name is Taco. If you live life like a fiesta, you’ll rate this Taco mucho bueno. He’s a healthy and housebroken Chihuahua/terrier mix bound to spice up your world with companio...
Updated one month ago
Top places to bring your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Top places to bring your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Dozens of places to take your dog in Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg and the entire region.
Updated one month ago