Keep black cats safe on Halloween


Jasmin Campoya

As Halloween and fall is in season, many black cats suffer from mistreatment due to the superstition of them being bad luck.

Sophia Villalobos, Contributor

Halloween is the time of the year where people of all ages go out and indulge in things like trick or treating. Teenagers have been known to prank houses in the community by throwing toilet paper or eggs and have even gone so far as hurting innocent animals for their own entertainment. 

According to CNN, the stigma against black cats has not only made them less likely to be adopted, but also puts them in danger on Halloween night.  However, Michele Anderson, marketing and public engagement manager for El Paso Animal Services, said that fortunately the mistreatment of black cats does not increase on Halloween here in El Paso. 

Anderson mentioned that black animals in general are harder to adopt and tend to be overlooked but that this is not specific to black cats only. There has also been an increase in stray cats during the COVID-19 pandemic. More Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) programs are needed here in El Paso to aid in eradicating this issue.  

Anderson also encouraged people from our community to help stray cats. Some ways you can help a stray cat are by providing food and water every day, giving them shelter in extreme weather conditions, getting them fixed, chipped and returning them back to the community. Essentially, this is what TNR means. 

A cat’s chipped ear is a surgical alteration on the left ear that helps identify stray cats from cats who have gone through a TNR program. Cats with their left ear chipped should not be trapped or brought to a shelter again. 

“In 2016, the city of El Paso implemented an ordinance that protects cats to be free roaming, meaning they don’t necessarily have an owner,” Anderson said. “A symbol to recognize that a cat is from the community cat program is their chipped ear.” 

Anderson encourages people to be friendly to the cats in their neighborhood, to leave them alone because they know how to live in the community, and they have a food source. She advises everyone to live amongst stray cats cohesively. 

“I see in our community people love black cats, and they have cultural fans because of Salem and what they signify,” Anderson said. “I don’t necessarily see an increase of black cats not being adopted or mistreated compared to other cats.”  

If you see active cruelty or neglect happening, call 911.  


Sophia Villalobos is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]