Concerns about black cats and Halloween based on myth

By: Kelcie Willis , Cox Media Group National Content Desk


According to some animal lovers, black cats face increased danger around the of October. They insist that these pets are used as sacrifices and in other Halloween pranks.

But Danielle Jo Bays, community cats program manager for the Humane Society of the United States, or HSUS, says myths are to blame.

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"Despite a clear lack of evidence that black cats are at increased risk of harm during this time of year, there is still lingering concern about their safety at Halloween," Bays wrote in a blog post for HSUS.

Bays said that for shelters, the lack of evidence has led to a shift in approaches to black cat adoptions around Halloween, including waived fees.

Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of research and development for the ASPCA, said in a blog for ASPCA Professional that human behavior and the number or black cats -- and dogs -- in shelters leads to the perception that potential pets of that color are more at risk.

"We tend to grip hard to myths, and sometimes when our beliefs are challenged by data, we grip even harder," Weiss wrote.

Concerned animal lovers need not worry, Bays said, pointing out that shelters have trained professionals to assess the motives of potential adopter -- not just around Halloween but throughout the year.

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