The Loews Hotels in Orlando had a model program to address the growing homeless cat population on the property called TNRM--Trap, Neuter, Return, Manage. The cats were all healthy, spayed/neutered, dewormed, given rabies vaccination and fed daily and lived happily on the lush, expansive grounds of the hotel property. They even had beautiful Italian mansions as feeding stations. A perfect wonderland for outdoor community cats until this past March, when David Bartek suddenly ordered the elimination of all the cats.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THE TRAPPING, BRING BACK TNRM, AND FIRE BARTEK.
More importantly, each cat had a name, a story, and knew their caretakers. It was the employees of the hotels that funded and managed this effort out of their pockets. They went so far to custom build the cat feeding stations in Italian mansion styles to complement the hotel theme such as the Portofino.
The program worked! The population was controlled to 20 cats, all the kittens were adopted to loving homes, and the cats stayed to themselves, rarely seen by hotel guests at the Orlando Portofino and Royal Pacific hotels. We visited the hotel last year and were impressed by the program.
Word of the successful program spread to other Universal hotels that asked for help in addressing their growing cat colonies. After a formal presentation by a local organization specializing in TNRM to the neighboring hotels, the Regional Director of Operations for Loews hotels in Orlando, David Bartek, overnight mandated that all cats were to be trapped and sent to the shelter, where they are automatically euthanized. No explanation was given. His exact words "This is not up for discussion".
Loews Hotels then hired a wildlife trapper, Critter Control, to begin the trapping. Photos showing injuries to cats, including gashes in the head, demonstrate the inhumane trapping. A Facebook page was immediately created to document each trapped cat delivered to the local animal shelter titled SAVELOEWSCATS.
Outdoor community cats are not wildlife animals. The Loews Hotels cats are more like barnyard pet cats. After experts emailed and wrote to Loews hotels explaining that by removing the cats, new ones will move in (the vacuum effect), they continue trapping. Sure enough several new unspayed/unneutered cats have moved in. Currently a small nonprofit organization is undertaking the tremendous burden and cost of relocating the Loews cats that are taken to the shelter to save them from euthanization. But this organization can not save the future Loews trapped cats from euthanization for eternity. Loews Hotels will continue trapping and sending cats to be euthanized for years to come.
TNRM works. The key word is Managed. These cats were cared for daily and knew their names and caretakers. Now they are ripped from the only home they knew, traumatized from traps and cages and the unknown. Relocation of outdoor cats is very risky. That is why TNRM is embraced by a growing number of businesses, communities and neighborhoods including Disney, boardwalk in Atlantic City and upscale hotels and resorts in St. Thomas, New York, Paris, etc. to stop the growing population.
Thank you for learning more about the plight of outdoor cats and signing this petition and taking action to save the Loews Hotel cats and future cats.
The sudden decision by Loews Hotels to trap and eliminate harmless cats is void of any common sense and humanity. The current PR Director and former GM at the Loews Portofino were in support of the program. Then came along David Bartek, Regional Director of Operations and without reason, ordered the extermination of these healthy, harmless cats. How does this go unchecked?
This goes against your own brand of "Loews Loves Pets". There is greater risk of indoor domesticated pets attacking other guests or dogs. It has happened as most recently as January of this year at the Loews Royal Pacific in Orlando. While rare, it does happen. Outdoor cats are scared of strangers and run away if someone other than caretakers come close. The outdoor cats pose less risk than indoor pet guests. There has never been an incident regarding the cats.
The U.S. is facing an epidemic rate of homeless cats and dogs in this country. Animal shelters are overcrowded, euthanization rates are higher and costing taxpayers. TNRM is a proven solution especially if employees were managing and paying for the efforts out of their pockets. It cost Loews Hotels nothing. Employees were proud of their efforts and contribution and that they made a difference.
Please rethink this decision and stop the trapping of the Loews cats and future cats. Please reinstitute TNRM and please fire David Bartek. Bring back compassion and common sense.