MANILA – (UPDATED) Shangri-La at The Fort has released an official statement following the loss of cats wandering in and out of its premises which sparked outrage among netizens.
In the statement uploaded on its official Facebook page on Monday, the hotel made it clear that they have relocated 11 cats, not 38 as initially reported.
It also stressed that “no cats have been killed nor harmed during the course of the relocation.”
“Starting November 2017, the hotel has been undertaking steps to manage its coexistence with cats, starting with its colleagues in the hotel adopting the cats. A total of 12 had been given safe and loving homes,” the statement read.
“Additionally, between January 31 and February 13, 2018, the hotel had relocated 11 cats safely to the residential areas on Ilaya Street and Anastacio Street, both in Taguig City.”
Shangri-La at the Fort cited a February 15 meeting with CARA Welfare Philippines and Cats of BGC to discuss “long-term cooperation to ensure the welfare of the cats in the neighborhood,” as well as “spaying and neutering initiatives” and “assisting on adoption avenues.”
The hotel assured the public that it is working with both groups “to help rescue and bring back the cats to BGC.”
“Please be assured that the management is committed to being a responsible neighbor in the community where we are located, and a good corporate citizen of this country,” it said.
“This incident has been a learning experience for all of us to closely collaborate with experts in our community in order to provide a safe and happy environment for animals and humans alike,” it added.
Around 20 cats were ordered removed from One Bonifacio High Street Park in Taguig City by the management of Shangri-La at the Fort, according to a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The hotel supposedly hired a pest control company to “literally dispose of the cats,” the newspaper said.
ANIMAL WELFARE GROUP REACTS
CARA Welfare Philippines made a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, hours after Shangri-La at the Fort released a statement regarding the BGC cats controversy.
The animal welfare group confirmed that they met with hotel representatives last February 15, but maintained that they were unaware of Shangri-La at the Fort’s plans to remove the cats.
“As far back as November 2017, volunteers had noticed that some of the Shangri-La cats had gone missing. However, none of the investigations led to any conclusions. Neither CARA nor Cats of BGC were informed of any official plans by Shangri-La Fort management to remove the cats,” CARA Welfare Philippines said.
“Neither CARA nor Cats of BGC were informed about the most recent plans to hire Pestbusters to catch or remove the cats early in the morning of February 14th. It wasn’t until volunteers and concerned citizens informed us that the cats were missing that we contacted Shangri-La’s management.”
According to CARA Welfare Philippines, Shangri-La at the Fort only gave them “vague” possible relocation sites for the cats last Sunday, February 18.
“We have yet to be given any sort of proof that cats were indeed adopted by Shangri-La Fort’s staff… The locations given were not ‘exact’ as stated, rather vague descriptions of areas in Taguig. Volunteers are on their way to search the areas today; updates will be posted once we have more information,” the group said.