Barrington Animal Control cat adoption drive is Saturday

Barrington Animal Control cat adoption drive is Saturday


Barrington Animal Control will host a black cat adoption event on Saturday, Oct. 13 during the Pumpkin Junction at St. John’s Church, on County Road.

The cats are being referred to as “mini panthers” because the bulk of those available are black and, according to ACO Patti Watson, black cats and dogs are statistically the most difficult to adopt out.

All cats are neutered and vaccinated. Adoption fees will be waived for the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  1. is the ACO from Barrington out of her ever loving mind????? Adopting black cats in October is a BIG NO to begin with and then FOR FREE??? Are you kidding me????? How far up their butts is their heads??? So far that when they open their mouths they can see!!~

    MOST, if not all, reputable shelters WON’T EVEBN ADOPT OUT BLACK CATS IN OCTOBER, LET ALONE GIVE THEM AWAY!!!! Anyone one know why??? come folks, put on thinking caps and see if we can come up with pne good answer!

    I have one word for this IDIOTS!!!! Come ob Barrington, use those brains and out a stop to this NOW….Shame on the person instructing the ACO to do!! IDIOT!!! ISIOT !! IDIOT !!!

  2. THis should not take place….this is crazy! Reputable shelters do not adopt out black cats in October……Barrington DONT do it, your reputation is on the line, If you care for the animals in your care at all you will NOT go thru with this. And for free…REALLY????

  3. What a terrible idea – the rest of the rescue / shelter universe knows to POSTPONE the adoption of black cats until after Halloween, but this ACO is having a free adopt-a-thon because they’re difficult to place?

    Shame on her and shame on Barrington for putting numbers ahead of the welfare of these animals!

  4. “There is no evidence that adopting black cats around Halloween poses any greater risk to the pets than adopting them at any other time of the year. National Geographic did an article in 2007 titled ‘Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say.’ Experts on Halloween and cults have found ‘no confirmed statistics, court cases, or studies to support the idea that serious satanic cult crime even exists’…There is, however, plenty of evidence to show that not adopting cats of whatever color from shelters will cost them their lives.”

    As someone deeply committed to animal rescue, I personally understand why people would have discomfort around this issue. Regardless of evidence, the concept of animal abuse is scary. However, the fact of the matter is, black cats need more homes. Rescues and shelters can, and do, work very hard to screen and follow-up with adopters, and to implement policies that are effective AND educate the public. I support any effort to find loving homes for animals in need. The alternative is that these cats die in the shelter. Now THAT outcome sounds idiotic to me.

    I hope this event is a great success for Barrington Animal Control.

  5. If a tree falls in the forrest, and one hears it, did it happen? I know that I am paraohrasing, but really, this has been going on for years, and just because you state one study, does that justify having an event like this? Look at the numbers of animals cruelty that have made the news. do you think that people who do these things advertise it or is it done in the privacy of their own homes?

    If it was your life, you are willing to gamble with, I say Go For It. But since these aniamls have no vice, except ours, I would say dont gamble with their lives. They can’t testify as to what happens to them. There was a cat hung in Rumford 2 years ago, we just rescued a cat that was shot b a gun, a kitten (black) thrown from a moving truck, in front of a school, when the kids were being let out for maximun “impct’ so, dont site some dumb study. I get to see what goes on each and every day. This is stupid! This shoudl be stopped. This shows carelessness and a complete disregard of what can and does happen to black cats, not in your study, but right here in Rhode island. Get into the trenches and then give us you’re opinioin based on personal experience. Not Pie in The Sky!!

  6. It is exactly those cats on the street that are at risk of being harmed or tortured–or simply dying of exposure or starvation. To adopt a cat from a shelter, you have to fill out a form and provide ID. Often there is a landlord check for renters. Someone who wants to torture a cat doesn’t want to do that. They’ll get a free kitten off Craigslist from a person who doesn’t think to ask for ID or more likely just kick the poor stray that shows up on their porch. If a cat gets adopted from a shelter, there is space for another stray cat to be saved. Shelters can’t keep warehousing, or killing, cats in their shelters to keep them “safe.” Dead or caged for months (or years) is not safe.

  7. Hey Susan: wh bother to go to Craigslist when you can go to Barrington and get them for FREE!! No rehoming charges there!! Let me ask you a question: do you work within the rescue groups or a shelter? I’ll wager the answer is no.
    If you did you would not be supporting this horrible event!!

    I have been in recue for 17 years and I am telling you this is a bad idea. Check with any of the other rescues, shelters, call Warwick, West warwick, Cumberland, Bristol and see what you get for an answer. I promise you, it will be the same as mine: Outrage!! Disgust!!

  8. For our friends in the rescue & shelter community. Barrington Partnership fir Animal Welfare wants to make it clear this is a Barrington ACO event – NOT a BPAW Enent. Fir the nearly 5 years that our volunteers handled adoptions for former ACO John Duffy every adopter was very carefully screened & follow up happened. Applications & fees were of course part of the process. Thank you to all of the RI & MA rescues & shelters who helped support us in setting up those systems. We know only what anyone else reading the paper does about today’s event & sincerely hope that good,loving homes will be found for these stray cats who so need a safe place to go! We have no doubt that the ACO & others who organized the event are well intentioned & just want good homes for the cats & we hope that’s the outcome.

  9. P.s. Don’t mind the typos in the prior message…combo of iPhone autofill & overuse of fingers responding to folks concerned about the event!

  10. Who said that there is no evidence? There are people in Rhode Island involved in Satanic Cults involving black cats. Most of them don’t get caught, but here are four people that got caught:

    Police have closed the book on a bizarre 1991 Satanic cult case – of a graveyard desecration, animal cruelty and conspiracy – that resulted in charges against four men.
    The end came Oct. 30 – the day before Halloween – when Michael H. Steele, 28, of Utton Avenue in Pawtucket, pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals. He was given two years unsupervised probation under a plea-bargain agreement.
    Two other men had already pleaded no contest in the case. The fourth man committed suicide four months after his arrest.
    The case began in early May 1991, when residents of the waterfront area had become increasingly alarmed by the bizarre behavior of people in and around the basement apartment at 198 Marlborough St.
    In separate complaints to police, the residents reported that several men and a woman had been chanting and making other strange noises outside the building and had carried snakes into the apartment from the railroad tracks behind the house.
    When Detectives Lawrence Campion and William Higgins went to the house, they were greeted by a gruesome sight.
    Just to the left of the front door, the charred head of a black cat, its mouth agape in terror, had been clipped to one of the mailbox hooks used to hold newspapers.
    “That’s when we knew we had the right house,” Campion, now East Greenwich’s police chief, recalled recently.
    They knocked on the door and were greeted by the woman renting the apartment, Linda VanWart, 26. The four men were inside.
    According to police reports, VanWart was reluctant to speak with police until she stepped outside. Then she told the officers that two of the men, Joseph Almeida and Joseph P. Criscione Jr., had brought animal bones and a dead cat to her apartment, had threatened to kill her and her two roommates if she did not let them in, and were practicing Satanic rituals against her will.
    VanWart’s boyfriend, Mark Botelho, and their roommate, Michael Steele, also said they had been threatened by Almeida and Criscione, whom Botelho knew from school.
    Based on the alleged threats, Almeida and Criscione were taken into custody. Criscione, 23, wearing a black sleeveless Batman T-shirt, had to be hospitalized for an alcohol overdose. Almeida, 24, the fingernails of his left hand filed to points and “666” and a cross burnt onto his left forearm, was taken to the police station without incident.
    With VanWart’s permission, police gathered up a number of objects from the apartment, including a snake carcass, two books – The Modern Witch’s Spellbook and The Secret Life of a Satanist – lots of bones, a silver chalice, lists of police- and fire-scanner codes, and several containers of soil.
    A call for help went out to Warwick police, where Detective Sgt. Edmund Pierce had built a reputation for specializing in crimes involving Satanic groups.
    “We didn’t know what we were looking at,” said Campion. Pierce did.
    PIERCE, WHO HAS since retired from Warwick and is now, coincidentally, a dispatcher for the East Greenwich department, looked at one container and said, “you’ve got grave dirt in there.”
    Almeida, surprised that police realized the dirt came from a grave, led police to the grave of Martin H. Diptmar and his wife, Charlotte Searing, in the East Greenwich Cemetery on First Avenue. Behind their gravestone, police found a five-inch-deep rectangular hole where the grass sod and the dirt beneath had been removed.
    “I was going to take the dirt and make a pouch with it,” Almeida said in a statement to police. “The pouch was for magic protection.”
    Almeida, who lived at 88 Ivy St. in Providence at the time, said some of the dirt had been taken to Criscione’s home at 638 Wickenden St. in Providence. When police searched Criscione’s home, they found a gravestone from a Broad Street cemetery, more bones, dirt or dust in small sacks, and literature about black magic and Satanism.
    Other witnesses gave police more insight into what was going on in the apartment on Marlborough Street.
    William Robinson Jr., then 30, of 279 School St. in North Kingstown, said he was with VanWart, Botelho, Steele and either Almeida or Criscione at VanWart’s apartment when the group “said they were going to have a meeting and you can be one of us.”
    “The next thing I know they have Satan worship books, black candles, pictures, they shut the lights off. Linda said if I want to be one of them I would have to make my finger bleed and they would have to drink the blood,” Robinson told police. “They went out and got spiders from the abandoned house across the street. They told me I would have to suck the blood, eat the spiders and have sex both ways, both with men and women. I said let me get the hell out of here. Linda said, ‘Never say that word in my (expletive) house.’ ”
    Robinson, in his statement, also told police that “While I was there, Mike put a snake in the microwave oven and turned it on and it shriveled all up.”
    After police started investigating Botelho and Steele for animal cruelty, the two men reported that they, along with Criscione and Almeida, had gone to the railroad tracks, set up an altar and performed a ritual sacrifice on a live cat.
    “Joe Criscione rang the bell three times . . . Joe Criscione was saying the (ritual) words and Joe Almeida was repeating the words after (him),” according to Botelho’s statement to police. After a reading for the ritual and another reading for Beelzebub, “Joe Criscione held up the cat and he was saying some weird languages and Joe Almeida held the cat’s head and Joe Criscione held the rest of the cat and Joe Criscione cut the cat’s head and he let the blood drain into the silver cup.”
    Botelho said the four men then drank some of the blood from the chalice.
    Botelho told police that Criscione brought the cat back to the apartment and “was goofing around with it. It sounds crazy but he was talking to it. He said he could talk to it through his mind. He cut the head off and put it on the mailbox.”
    It was that weekend that neighbors decided to call police.
    CRISCIONE WAS charged with breaking into VanWart’s apartment and grave desecration. After he was found dead in his home on Sept. 26, 1991, he received a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Ann Church, on Hawkins Street in Providence, and was buried in St. Francis Cemetery in Pawtucket.
    Botelho was given a two-year suspended sentence on May 29, 1991, for conspiring to kill an animal, but he was imprisoned for a year for violating probation from a breaking-and-entering case in Johnston.
    On Feb. 3, 1992, Joseph Almeida pleaded no contest to one count of grave desecration, one count of cruelty to animals and one count of conspiracy. He received a three-year suspended sentence on the desecration count and a two-year suspended sentence on each of the other two counts.
    Steele, who gave his address as 51 Villa Ave. in Cranston when he was arrested, was originally charged with grave desecration and animal cruelty in addition to the charge of conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals. All but the conspiracy charge were dismissed.
    Copyright Providence Journal/Evening Bulletin Nov 18, 1998