On Saturday, April 14th, dozens of concerned citizens and animal welfare activists joined Alley Cat Allies in protesting the recent inhumane trapping of feral cats at the Loews Orlando hotels and resorts. About seventy people opened their hearts and raised their signs to demand the reinstatement of the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program at Loews Royal Pacific, Loews Portofino, and Loews Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort after management decided to permanently remove the cats that have lived peacefully on these properties for years.
When Alley Cat Allies learned that the three Loews hotels in Orlando decided to trap and kill the feral cats residing on their properties, they immediately reached out to the company to offer their guidance and assistance. Alley Cat Allies says that these cats were “healthy, neutered and vaccinated, and living peacefully at these vacation resorts.”
Loews corporate management, however, did not even respond to Alley Cat Allies’ offer to help, opting instead to implement harsh new mandates regarding these cats. “The company forced employees to stop feeding these cats, and last week, they even hired a pest control company to cruelly trap and dispose of them,” said the advocacy group in a statement.
“Already some of the cats here have been killed, injured, starved, and left in pest control traps for long periods of time, exposed to 90 degree heat,” said Becky Robinson, founder and president of Alley Cat Allies. “Meanwhile, our numerous offers of assistance have been completely ignored.”
The animal welfare group felt the only way to save these cats was through a community-wide protest. “We are protesting the inhumane removal of these cats from their homes, and asking that Loews reinstate the TNR programs, which had been successfully carried out for years before Loews suddenly reversed their feral cat policy with no explanation at all,” Robinson said.
Since this protest on Saturday, there have been no statements from Loews, a corporation that still proudly calls its hotel chain ‘pet friendly’ and that still offers vacationers traveling with their four-legged family members a special VIP (Very Important Pet) program.
According to the Loews corporate website, their VIP program is available because ‘Loews Loves Pets.’ Their 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 now places value only on animals fortunate enough to still have loving homes today, and not on the numerous feral felines who have called their properties home for many years now. Maybe Loews just doesn’t understand that feral cats are no different than their guests’ pets - they want kindness, clean food and water, and a safe place to live, too.
Loews management should also be reminded that the plight of feral cats today is entirely man-made, and that many of the felines residing at their hotels and resorts may have once been treasured family pets themselves, or the discarded offspring of someone’s once cherished pets.