Maui Costco Bans Feeding of Nine Year Old Cat Colony

Target: Caton Frates, Senior VP & GM of Los Angeles Region, Costco Corporation,

In February of 2009 the Maui Costco property was overrun with cats. The cats were not put there; they were already living there, which is common all over Hawaii. A kind citizen talked to management and they agreed to allow a TNRM (Trap, neuter, return, manage) program. Seventy-seven cats were sterilized at NO expense to Costco. Today almost nine years later, only fifteen sterilized cats remain.
Unfortunately, current store management has decided that this successful program should end, and they have instituted a feeding ban. There is copious evidence that feeding bans do not work but instead result in more cats and more complaints. Years of work, time and money can be undone in a matter of months if the feeding ban is enforced. The solution to the problem lies in cooperating with the community, working together on the ongoing TNRM program. Numerous businesses and resorts on Maui support TNRM, which includes feeding and veterinarian care.

Sterilizing cats reduces their numbers, reduces their bad behaviors and therefore reduces risk. The unintended consequences of a feeding ban are random feeding by tourists, more garbage, and unchecked population growth. By forcing a feeding ban Costco seems determined to starve these cats.

Please allow these cats to be fed and managed on Costco property and allow any employees who want to help feed them do so without being fired which is presently Costco’s policy.

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12 Comments

  1. Cory Mitcham says:

    Costco: Please educate yourselves on the many, many successfully managed feral cat colonies that exist all over the world. Please catch up with the 21st century and do what is right and humane: Let the feeders (with no cost to you!) continue feeding the cats. The situation will likely be far worst for everyone involved if you don’t (colonies not managed by caregivers notoriously attract nefarious people). Plus, the cats are managing your rodent problem (perhaps unbeknownst to you).

  2. If costco thinks it is ok to starve and torture animals then I will not shop there anymore. Arent we supposed to be an ETHICAL society and want to help those in need!?! Besides, cats help keep rodent population down, without using poison! Get a heart COSTCO! Look at the facts! 9 years without problems! Do the right thing!

  3. ending TNRM will only worsen your problem, Costco.

  4. Christy Anderlik says:

    Why did Costco not contact The Maui Humane Society and support the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) programs that happen all over Maui? I dont think customers want to see starved and dying cats when they go to Costco. They have been there for 9 years.I am very upset that Costco doesnt work with the humane society before choosing cruelty!

  5. Nancy Pottish says:

    This is a ham handed move and I will not shop at Costco any more and will tell everyone I know to do the same.

  6. Kim Collier says:

    Maybe this information should be posted elsewhere so other shoppers can make an informed decision on where to shop–TripAdvisor and Facebook come to mind.

  7. Rachel Domingo says:

    Costco is a beloved entity on our island. I wonder why they would risk this position with Maui residents and visitors? Do they believe that they have so many customers that they can lose a “few”? I love me some Costco, but I can totally live without it; everything they have I can find elsewhere. If this colony is down to so few cats, why does it even merit Costco’s attention of any kind? What Costco should be doing is donating some food each month or doing something to become part of the solution. And the solution is not to threaten employees or to prevent others from being kind.

  8. Donya Izbicki says:

    Why in the world would Costco do such a stupid thing?
    Cat lovers will boycott!
    Our planet is struggling for peace and the caretakers who practice the proven method of TNRM are a part of that remedy. New cats will appear scrounging for food….
    People will feel sorry for them and leave rubbish food
    resulting in more and more cats & kittens!
    Costco should be supporting and praising the caretakers who manage the cat feeding area with attention to safety and cleanliness…..Shame on Costco…

  9. Leslie Farnel says:

    I have a list of 7,000 Costco customers I’m sharing this information with and it’s displayed on my Facebook page that gets thousands of hits a day. Let Costco customers make their own decisions about supporting a business with an archaic animal welfare position in the forward thinking world of animal rights in today’s communities. Please Costco educate yourselves.

  10. In addition to the impact this misguided action has on the cat population I am appalled that the manager has threatened his employees with losing their jobs if they participate in this legitimate community minded program. That is abusive. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he generates bad will in other areas of the management of the store.

  11. robin wallin says:

    Shame on Costco to refuse food and water to innocent cats.
    They were there before the Costco was built.
    How can they curtail the behavior of people/employees who only want to help the sentient beings continue their lives!!?

  12. COSTCO!!! ATTENTION SHOPPERS!!!!! This store wants to end the lives of animals living outside their parking lot….for no valid reason….SHOP ELSEWHERE…..GO TO ANIMAL FRIENDLY STORES LIKE TARGET, WHO LET ANIMALS INSIDE THEIR STORE!!!!

    To Costco Management…..GET WITH THE PROGRAM OR YOUR CUSTOMER DATA BASE IS GOING SOUTH……STARTING WITH MY FAMILY WHO SPENDS OVER 1K MONTHLY. Back off and get a real problem, like how are you going to compete with AMAZON when the community realizes the Costco Management does not support community efforts. You should be ashamed!!! A mass exodus is coming your way and you deserve all of it.

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