“Pets allowed” hotel is a dumping ground for cats?

Penns Woods InnA person living near the Penns Woods Inn Manheim, USA, thinks that guests of the hotel abandon their cats at the hotel. He has a seen an increase in stray cats. These are domestic and sometimes declawed cats.

“People come there and bring pets, including cats. But when the people leave, they don’t take their cats with them…” (Ken Kaylor)

This story caught my eye. What is going on? Is this is a new phenomenon? Are people checking into the hotel, which allows pets, specifically to dump their cats? What is going through the minds of people who leave their cats behind at the hotel?


Message to Americans: I am simply reporting what I read in the online American press1 and discussing it. It is interesting to any person, anywhere, who likes and cares about cats. I am being as polite and as objective as possible.


The pictures of the hotel show me that it is made up of semi-detached or terraced bungalows (single story cabins) spread across quite extensive grounds. On the face of it, it is a good place to let your cat go walkabout. Perhaps guests let their cats out to explore the grounds and they get lost or don’t come back. Then the cat’s owner gives up and drives off. Great!

Perhaps it is careless rather than callous behavior by cat owners who are travelling through Manheim and staying at this hotel, which incidentally receives a very poor customer rating. Customer reviews say the place is filthy dirty and needs decorating. The showers don’t have hot water. It appears to be badly managed. It may have a reputation as a place to dump your cat for all I know.

Ken Kaylor’s statement indicates that people deliberately leave their cats behind at the hotel. If that is the case you’d have to believe that some people come to the hotel with the idea in mind of abandoning their cat at the hotel. I would very much doubt that it would be a spur of the moment decision.

If that is true, it is both bizarre and horrible and demonstrates a complete lack of probity and morality.  It really is treating the domestic cat as a consumer “product” that can be discarded at will. Clearly they are not fit to keep cats or any companion animal.


Source:

  1. My Manheim Central News (note: I don’t provide hard links because they often break and I have to repair them. I don’t have the time to do that.
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“Pets allowed” hotel is a dumping ground for cats? — 22 Comments

  1. I suppose if it’s well known that cats are welcome at that hotel and in the grounds, there could be people not even staying there who are dumping their unwanted cats there too. Maybe they think another one won’t be noticed!
    It’s bad enough dumping healthy cats but to dump declawed disabled cats is even worse.
    Have those people got no conscience?
    As for guests leaving their cats, surely there could be some kind of system set up to check people in, they could take s deposit from the guests for each cat, to be returned when they leave the grounds with their cat. No cat booked out, no deposit returned.
    These things seem to keep happening and no one thinks up a logical way to stop them happening …. it puzzles me why not?

    • I agree, Ruth, it is just crazy. Is this what things have come to? Why people just look after their cats in the time-honoured way? Normally. What is the big deal? There is something terrible wrong at the heart of society in America as far as I am concerned.

  2. It’s so hard to find pet friendly motels. People dumping their cats are going to cause the management to get rid of the pet friendly policy and say “no pets” like almost everywhere else. People I know who ran pet friendly motels told me that they never once had damage to a room from someone’s pet. All motels should allow pets, I think. But this kind of thing is a huge reason not to do it. Suddenly you have a feral cat colony you did not want. Terrible. It used to be that tourists would take your pet– it happened all the time when my mom was young and to our friends who owned a motel. They’d find their cat in someone’s motel room– or worse, in their car as the person was about to drive off. This is the first time I have heard of people leaving a pet instead of trying to take one. All we need is those dimwits who try to steal pets to stay at this motel and take a cat or two with them. Kind of like “take a penny leave a penny” at the corner store. “Take a kitty, leave a kitty.” No, I’m just kidding, that’s really horrible. But people in both cases (leaving or stealing pets) are treating living, breathing creatures as if they are worth no more than loose change you find lying around.

    • Ruth, what is going on? I find it extraordinary that people can do this (if they are doing it, which seems to be the case). It is weird to me. It wouldn’t enter my head. For me it is a parallel universe. A world I don’t understand.

      • It is crazy, but I don’t think it is new. I just remembered that our first cat when I was a kid was a stray and my parents immediately assumed she had been dumped by some tourists. Many people come out to the country to dump pets, thinking the animal will have a better chance there than in the city. So I think cats getting dumped by motels is not a new thing, really. It might just be happening more as the economy worsens.

  3. The wierdest stuff happens over there – the stories get wierder and weirder – this is beyond the imagineable partly because it almost doesnt make sense. You have to really think hard to see any sense in it and of course the sense in itself is horrible.

    • You are being kind, Marc. “Weird” is a mild description of some things that happen here in regards to animals. HORRIFYING, INSANE, DEVIANT, DISGUSTING, EVIL come to mind when I look around me. I, truly, love my country with the exception of how some treat animals. It’s hard to see much middle ground. There are those of us who love animals and those who hate them.

      • Good point – why, I wonder, does it have to be either love or hate. It appears that way but there must be some middle ground. When I was very young I was impartial – I didn’t yet love animals, I just loved what they represented – nature – I always loved and respected nature. Can’t all those people who go hiking and for walks in the nature appreciate that animals are a part of it and try to work harder towards helping and respecting them….

    • this is beyond the imaginable..

      Completely agree with you Marc. It is weird. I hope it does not happen but it looks like it does. I am lost for words because it appears people have lost their way completely.

  4. It’s not unknown in the UK for people who pay for their cats to stay at a boarding cattery, to then just leave them their and not pick them up. Sometimes they pay the fee upfront, sometimes half the fee, some catteries didn’t charge until the cat was picked up by the owner.

    Of course these foul people give false contact details. This leaves the cattery owner with a real dilemma. What to do with the cat?

    Our local independent shelter, Holly Hedge is absolutely filled to the max with cats and dogs right now. They just put out a plea for foster homes in the press.

    It’s holiday season and people are just abandoning their cats, locking them out of the home whilst they are away. The lucky ones end up at Holly Hedge.

      • People who dump their cats should never have had a cat in the first place, but who can stop them? Irresponsible people who don’t have their cats neutered and so end up with a litter of kittens just give them away to anyone to be rid of them.
        Cats Protection do home checks and Kays Hill ensure all cats go to good homes, but some places don’t.
        Cats just don’t seem important to some people and it drives me mad too Michael.
        We’ve had people who supposedly loved their cats them, like our ex neighbour. How can some people walk away and leave cats to their fate? Never to know what happened to them after they’d gone? I just don’t understand.

        • People who dump their cats should never have had a cat in the first place

          I totally agree. I know we set standards (as mentioned to VG) but I don’t think it is too high a standard to get rid of the TV or the car before the cat. That appears to be a crazy idea to a lot of people.

          As you say, Ruth, Cats Protection understand this and make sure their adopters have the home and mentality to care properly for a cat. A lot of these people are never committed to caring for the cat for life. I think the economic downturn can sometimes be a convenient excuse to get rid of the cat.

          • Just this week Marion CP has had to take a poorly kitten in to care for, on top of Chester’s high maintenance needs
            (he’s being awkward about anyone touching him now he’s feeling better lol) and all the other kittens she has in care right now. A woman had got 3 kittens from the same litter from a friend, then saw a white one advertised, it was £60 but she just had to have a white kitten too.
            But the poor little soul became ill and she decided she didn’t want it after all and the person who sold her it wouldn’t take it back. So what if that kitten has infected the other 3, no doubt she will expect Marion to take them too and pay vets bills etc.
            Of course she would never dream of giving a donation to CP.
            People like her are just so thoughtless and irresponsible!

    • That’s horrible – how can people be so cruel – they seem to think a cat is a wild animal who can just manage immediately from one day to the next, on their own. It should be seriously punishable. Cat boarding houses should have cctv so they catch the people dropping cats off on video don’t you think – it might help catch them but I guess they wouldn’t get in much trouble even if caught?

  5. In addition to the possibility that people check into pet friendly motels and leave the cats behind, is that people dump cats near motels, period. Or, that stray cats find motels good places to hang around.

    My sis and her husband ended up with a “motel cat”. I don’t know if the motel was cat friendly (accepting cats) or not. Sis and husband did not bring their cats. However, a cat hanging around the motel followed my sis around (she gives off that “I love cats vibe”). Don’t remember all the details about the cat, except my sister would have made sure this was not a local household cat- clearly seemed to be a stray- homeless. So, another cat was added to their multi-cat household!

    • I can see how stray cats are attracted to hotels, which may provide a cover for people who want to abandon their cats at hotels. The fact that stray cats hand around hotels may encourage people to dump them there.

  6. p.s. to above comment. Michael, you’ve written a lot in the past about people dumping their cats- in the context of the worsening financial situation in US and in UK. For example, people moving out of houses (some times b/c of foreclosure) or other financial exigencies. The people find themselves homeless, or in homeless shelters that don’t accept pets. And just leave the cats behind. In some places (as I’ve read over the past several years) cat shelters are full up and can’t take more animals. So, leaving cats behind might be an act of desperation, having failed to find a shelter for them- or others (not the better humans) choose to dump the cats w/o trying to find shelters.

    The whole foreclosure mess in the US has not been dealt with in any sort of effective way by US govt, and that has been going on since the collapse of the “house price bubble”. There has been no prosecution of banks who have lied to borrowers, banks who have lied about details of people honestly trying to sort out a mess created by unscrupulous lenders, and, to add a term most in UK will not be familiar with- “robo-signing”. It is a huge scandal, which the US corporate-friendly government has simply refused to deal with. The banks and various other parties involved in mortgage fraud have not been prosecuted. Same for turning a blind eye to all sorts of other fraud perpetrated by banks and financial institutions.

    While I don’t know the details of the people who leave cats at the “Inn” mentioned (looks like a glorified name for a motel based on the picture) there may be more to the story than meets the eye.

    • p.s. again. It’s not so uncommon for families that have lost their houses to move to motels, as a way not to become immediately homeless. I assume if a motel allowed family cats, that would be a positive for families trying to “hang on”. Not knowing what the situation is at this particular Inn/ motel, vis a vis long term rentals, I have no way of assessing/ guessing at the reasons that cats are abandoned there.

      But, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other motels that experience cat abandonment- families that stay as long as the money holds out, living in one motel room with their cats, and then have to move b/c money is gone. To a tent city perhaps, or living on the streets.

    • As you know we have the same problem with banks in the UK. Perhaps we have been a bit tougher on them than in the USA. As to writing about abandoned cats I don’t really choose the topic. Nearly all news on cats is about five topics (a) feral cats (b) abandoned cats (c) non-native species preying on wildlife (d) shelters – overcrowding and euthanasia (e) cat abuse.

      As I have to write daily to keep the site alive I end up writing about these things. I sympathise with people in financial difficulty. However, they booked a hotel room and drove up in a car. They are apparently not broke. In my book of rules, the car goes before the cat. The TV goes before the cat. All my possessions go before the cat. The cats stays with me.

      I guess I just have different rules to these people. I believe that a lot of people who keep cats, should not. They are not suited to the task and set standards that are too low. I respect other people’s view however.

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