Black cats have traditionally been the most notable animal target on Halloween, but they may have a competitor thanks to a cruel Internet posting that has gone viral, declaring Oct. 31 to be National Kill a Pitbull Day.
Though some animal activists are reportedly regarding it as a hoax, it is nonetheless disturbing to faunatarians, or animal lovers, who hope pet owners will take precautions to prevent any cruelty from occurring to man’s best friend.
The post says, in part, “After you take the kids trick or treating, keep your costume on, round up some friends and kill as many pitbulls as you can before midnight. Baseball bats, knives, bricks and poisons (a hotdog soaked in radiator fluid works well) are all suitable tools.”
“Hoax or not, this person is advocating something that is illegal and immoral,” said Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the ASPCA, adding that animal cruelty is illegal in all states and can be a felony in New York.
Pentangelo said there has not been any recent uptick in cruelty against pit bulls or black cats, but advised that pet owners can never be too cautious when protecting their critters, whom he called “irreplaceable.”
“Pets are precious and due care should be taken to protect their safety, not just on Halloween, but all year round,” Pentangelo said.
Cats, especially black cats, which have been unfairly associated with “evil forces,” can become the unfortunate targets of pranksters on Halloween, notes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In fact, many animal shelters refuse to adopt out black cats during the entire month of October, according to the group’s website.
PETA recommends keeping cats and dogs securely indoors on Halloween as oddly dressed strangers and loud noises can be terrifying. Also, canines can be injured if poked at through fences or pelted with eggs, and cats can easily run out the front door.