Do dogs get more publicity than cats?

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Does the news media prefer to cover dog stories rather than cat stories? I always thought the media would be unbiased, until many of my rescue friends clued me in that cats get less publicity in times of emergency than do dogs.

There’s a situation going on right now at the shelter where almost all of our cats were rescued from. Greenville County Animal Care Services made the news last week when several hundred dogs were facing euthanasia when their five day hold was up. I won’t even go into the situation from last week, except to say more than 250 dogs were rescued/fostered/adopted.

This large amount of dogs needing rescue happened in the midst of an emergency, when one dog who died of canine influenza led the shelter to remain closed to cats until September 3, when the shelter will reopen. There’s an extended period before dogs will be allowed to leave, due to a quarantine order.

No one is allowed in the buildings except staff. Rescues, fosters, the public and volunteers are banned. The shelter says this is because the canine influenza can be transferred on shoes, and it’s just a precaution.

I wrote an article a few days ago, telling the public about the 300 cats and kittens who are at risk of euthanasia if not out of the shelter by Tuesday or Wednesday. I sent the information to local news stations, but as of Saturday night no one has covered the story.

Shelter cats USA
Note 9/3 means 3rd September 2013
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is an important story for the cats at the shelter. All cats being adopted out through September 6 will have the adoption fee waived. Cats will be tested for FIV/FeLV, vaccinated, microchipped and a paper signed and appointment made for spay/neuter to be done after the shelter gets everything up and running again. Many kittens as young as three months old have already had the surgery and are ready to leave.

Anyone who wants to adopt, please take a look at the cats listed at the links below. There are 95 cats listed on the urgent list for September 3, and an additional 74 who must leave no later than 7 p.m. on September 4. Any cats remaining will be at risk for euthanasia.

Since the shelter is closed to the public, people who want to save a cat have to email the shelter at with the cats name and animal I.D. number. They’ll be given a time to come by the shelter to pick up their cat.

Almost all attempts to save the cats have been through the various rescues and fosters in the area. One rescue, Foster Paws, took as many cats as they could to Petco for a six hour adoption event on Saturday. I haven’t seen any mention about this on any news station, despite sending them the information.

Which makes me agree with what those in the cat community keep telling me – that cats facing euthanasia don’t get nearly the publicity as the dogs do. For the record, I’ve also heard there are more dog rescues than cat rescues out there.

For the record, around 180 dogs are also on an urgent list, meaning they need to leave the shelter on September 7, when their quarantine is over. I want to be fair, so their link is here

There are those of us in the rescue community who are becoming physically ill because of this situation. We feel the shelter should extend the deadline, seeing they’re trying to adopt out several hundred cats over a major holiday weekend. The suggestion of an adoption event was met on deaf ears by shelter director Shelly Simmons.

Labor day is Monday, and the cats only have until Tuesday or Wednesday to get out.

Is it true that dogs get more publicity than cats? It would seem so, but I’d like your opinion. And PLEASE share this article.

Listed below are the articles I’ve published detailing with the crisis:



23 thoughts on “Do dogs get more publicity than cats?”

  1. The cats ABSOLUTELY get less exposure at this shelter. During the last puppy mill bust there was a cat that had a person there to pick it up and they turned them away because they were too busy with the dogs that week. The poor cat died in the cage waiting to be picked up. This cat could have seen a vet and been home but the rescuer was turned away. How many others haven’t we heard of. This shelter does nothing to promote these cats and dumps it all in the hands of the overworked rescues in the area. It is a shame and a travesty. How does one end up with 300 on a kill list, where is the community outreach the trap neuter and release programs, and the pet food banks. Where is the low cost spay and neuter programs and the people going out to educate the community. This problem can only get worse if not addressed. They have people fostering kittens until they are old enough for adoption only to immediately get put on a kill list, are the foster parents informed that the little life they have been fighting so hard to keep alive is going to be put down in 48 hours? I doubt any of them would agree to that. So many problems at this shelter. God Bless those rescuers, fosterers and volunteers on the ground doing something, as they seem to be the only ones.

    • There was a long haIred gold tabby with a black and white short hair listed as returned from foster. Now I can’t find them on any list. There are lots of cats who don’t make it onto a list. And forget food and litter if you foster. You may get a bottle of Clavamox in care the cat gets a URI which most do. Its expensive to foster for them. Of course you could take back a sick cat but we know what happens then. I took a lot of heat for having chip ins but when you divided the money up I got about $40 per cat. Not counting Sealy who had a $1600 vet bill alone. Lots of rescues won’t take a cat without money pledged to cover vet bills. we werent like that to place a dollar amount on a cats life.

      • I totally understand and agree, I do what I can financially to “bail out” many of the cats, and even now with their fees being waived I have pledged money to any rescue willing to take any of the seniors.

        • I was highly condemned for raising chip in money for my rescues. Yet there are many out there now who won’t pull a cat unless a decent dowry is attached.

        • Elisa, I was a confused as to how the whole problem started. Is it that one case of canine influenza, which I presume is very contagious, shut the whole place down so that the disease is snuffed out and to prevent it spreading to other animals?

          That is the way I read it. As it was shut down no potential adopters came to the place which in turn placed all the animals in jeopardy of being euthanised – a crisis. Please confirm or correct my reading of the situation.

          If that is true how common in canine influenza and do all animal shelters do this sort of thing under these circumstances.

          • And the dog with the flu died 3 weeks before the decision to close the shelter for quarantine with reported only the one dog had it. So the quarantine was unnecessary because the incubation period was past the time a dog would have had it. No one allowed in until september 3 for cats and cats have to be out by 7pm. Foster Paws will be back at Petco from noon-8pm with more cats to hope people adopt. sorry for the run together message all i have til i go to work is cell phone. fosters and rescues are full up. i contacted news media again and still no one covering this.

          • You’d be amazed at how much I still help the shelter with covering events and promoting them. I also do lost dogs and cats and reuniting military dogs with their former handlers.I have a well balanced writing career these days and help a lot more people than I did when I was into active rescue. What’s sad is the final 6 months we only fostered. A few people did find out Karma’s a bitch tho.

  2. Yes, dogs do get more publicity than cats. Why? It is difficult to say. It is probably because (a) they have been domesticated longer than cats (b) the dog is more connected to the human, more dependent on the human.

    The domestic cat is still very close to being a wild cat. If you don’t socialise a newborn cat you get pretty well get a wild cat. It is that fine a problem.

  3. Yes, dogs get more publicity because they most always presented favorably. How many dogs can you think of that are/were co-stars in TV programs? I can name SEVERAL, and they are always considered goodlooking, smart, funny, or extraordinary in some other way.I can;t think of any cat co-stars at the moment.
    Plus, there are so many stray, free roaming cats that I think people have become desensitized to their plights, And, its rare to see a stray, free roaming dog.

    • You wouldn’t believe how many dogs I’ve seen drug across the floor of the shelter reception to th temporary holding cages. These dogs are terrified. It’s like they know they’re in a bad place.


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