It seems that Costco has implemented a feral cat starvation plan at their facility in Kahului, Hawaii, on the island of Maui.
Since February 2009, when there were around 80 feral cats living around their facility in Kahului, Cosco management have agreed to allow employee volunteers to manage the colony of cats under a TNR program. It has been effective. In 2017 just 15 cats remained. All the remaining cats are spayed and neutered and being cared for by Cosco employees.
In late October the management made a U-turn in their attitude towards the cats. They decided that the cats will no longer be fed and ordered a feeding ban and moreover they threatened to fire any employee who fed the cats.
Employees who have become attached to the cats are torn between losing their jobs and watching the cats starve. These cats are dependent upon daily feedings and therefore to suddenly stop will have a serious impact upon their welfare.
In the past, Cosco has promoted TNR programs at their facilities so this has come as a great shock. It may well be the case that the same management decision applies to other outlets in other parts of the USA. This is not the first time that corporate management has suddenly changed their attitude towards cats on their land.
The website: In Defence of Animals asks that people help. They are asking that people call and/or email the Cosco decision-makers and asked them to change their mind and reinstate feeding.
Their details are presented below:
- Craig Jelinek, President of Costco 425-313-8100
- James Sinegal, Co-Founder & Former CEO 425-313-8100
- Caton Frates, Senior VP & GM of Los Angeles Region 714-741-7795
- Debra Sarter, Regional Manager 714-534-7080
- Tony Facemire, Maui Store Manager 808-877-5248
Here is their draft letter – use it if you want to:
“On behalf of In Defense of Animals, an animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters, I’m writing to urge you to do the right and humane thing and reinstate feeding of the closely managed colony of community cats living outside your store in Kahului, Hawaii. I’m also writing to urge you to continue to protect community cat colonies at all your stores around the US, and enshrine this protection through an official Costco policy.
In 2009, there were upwards of 80 cats living around the Costco in Kahului. Today, there are just 15 cats living around that same store. It’s a real success story of trap-neuter-release. It’s heartless to put your employees in the position of starving cats they love and have been taking care of for many years.
Costco has community cat colonies located at many of your stores around the US. You have even promoted trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs, like the very successful one they are so cruelly trying to end at the Kahului location. This article promoting TNR (trap-neuter-return) ran in your magazine, Costco Connection, in 2013 [http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201310us?pg=74#pg74].
Trap-neuter-return works! Your Kahului store’s success with the huge reduction in cat numbers over the years is proof of that. Please do the right and humane thing and reinstate feeding of the Kahului store cats and instate a policy to continue to support trap-neuter-return and protect community cats at all your stores! “
I don’t have addresses for the letter but I am sure that you can find them simply enough.