URGENT UPDATE: (This is an update to an alert that Riverfront Cats uncovered and broadcasted in January)
Loews has hired Critter Control and TODAY set traps on all three properties (Loews Portofino, Loews Royal Pacific, and Hard Rock hotels) to trap the cats and take them to OCAS (Orange County Animal Services where they will be killed.
FACT: Traps were set today on all three properties by Critter Control.
FACT: Critter Control of Orlando specializes in removal wildlife animals, not feral cats! (we do not know yet if Critter Control is properly licensed to trap cats). http://orlando.crittercontrol.com/
FACT: Loews NEVER consulted with animal experts. Loews never returned the phone calls, emails, letters of animal authorities such as Alley Cat Allies.
FACT: Loews stated reasons associated with wildlife animals which are very different from free-roaming cats.
FACT: "Feral cat" does not mean it's aggressive. On the contrary, they are skiddish of strangers. These cats are more outdoor pets. They have a home, shelter, know the caretakers and have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and dewormed. Feral in this sense means they do not adapt to indoors and boundaries of walls.
FACT: Loews and City of Orlando have never had a reported case of disease or injury related to a well- managed cat colony that were all sterilized and rabies vaccinated.
FACT: Loews faces much higher risk by allowing domesticated pets inside the property with close contact to children and other guests. Just this past January one dog of a guest, attacked and KILLED the dog of another guest at the Royal Pacific.
FACT: The leader of this effort to help the cats, his employer and the community, was a bellman, George Ricci, who felt compelled to leave his job in order to protect the cats and mostly to educate the public about this cause. The general public has little to no knowledge about free-roaming cats. There are many misconceptions.
FACT: Employees cared for the cats on their own time and money! This was a free service employees provided to their employer.
FACT: The CEO, Jonathon Tisch, promotes good citizenship, yet is threatening employees with their jobs for following a proven model embraced by animal welfare organizations, businesses, and communities across the United States including Disney! The practice is called TNRM. Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage.
Please call the hotel and ask to speak with manager (407- 503-1234). Let him or her know you have a complaint. Don't give specifics to phone taker. Just demand to speak to manager and ask:
1. Why didn't management consult with any animal experts? Animal Control specializes in removing dead animals, not the "congregation and habits of wildlife animals" .
2. Why didn't management return any communications from animal and cat authorities like Alley Cat Allies?
3. Does he/she know distinction between an opossum and free-roaming cat?
4. Why are they abandoning something that worked? If Disney has done it for many years, why can't Loews? There is higher risk of harm and injury from domesticated pets inside hotel. Or higher risk of someone slipping on floor.