Update: A very favourable response was received from Catbox. Thank you Catbox! Please read their response below:
I can personally guarantee you that there are no more fur products in any of the Cat Box stores.
In the past year we have undergone many changes, one of which is that we have moved in to a big wharehouse. The idea behind this is that all stock gets ordered by head office and then the stock gets delivered to our wharehouse. Our stores then order their stock from head office.
Since we have done this we have not ordered or delivered any fur products to our stores. Thats why you wont find any fur products in any of the stores and the stores like Linden that still had these products were sitting with old stock that had been delivered directly to the store from suppliers months ago, and was supposed to be removed from the shelves. These products have now all been removed and Cat Box will make sure that NO fur product will ever be sold in its stores again.
With regards to Barbara’s uncalculated and insensitive remarks, I appologise on behalf of Cat Box. Please bear in mind that these utterances are NOT the view of Cat Box and its management and were spoken by one individual.
Dissiplinary steps will be taken against Barbara and she will also give a public apology to yourself and to all the members of Fur Free South Africa as well as to Cat Box clients, before the end of today.
You are welcome to go and inspect any store at any time to see for yourself that these products are not available.
As you mention in your letter , that if we adhere to not stocking these products you will be able to remove our name from the list.
Awaiting your reply
Dear Fur Free members and caring South Africans everywhere,
Please note that Fur Free SA has placed another retail outlet on the Wall of Shame on our website: the Catbox in Linden, Johannesburg.
I was in the shop this past Saturday to buy cat and dog food, and noticed a toy mouse made of real fur. When I told the manager, Mrs Barbara Lotter, that the mouse was made of real fur, she said “I know, I know,” and waved me away from her. “It is rabbit,” she said, “and rabbits are vermin.” When I tried to hand her our Fur Free flier, she kept saying “No, no,” waving me off her.
I then told her politely that, if the product has been imported from the East (as most of these products are), there is a good chance that the animals had been skinned alive. Her answer was: “So what? They do it to snakes too.” I then told her that we would have to blacklist the shop, and she made it clear that she didn’t care. I had several witnesses to this exchange.
This person was not only unwilling to remove the real-fur product from her shelves, but she was completely unwilling to listen to the true facts behind the cruel fur trade or even to accept our Fur Free flier. However every day, this shop is making a living from selling products to animal lovers, many of whom would be horrified to know that their pet cat is playing with a toy probably made from real rabbit or cat or dog fur.
So our plea to you, the animal lover reading this, is firstly to let Catbox head-office know (politely) how you feel about this. Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail address of the owner of Catbox Linden is email@example.com. Also tell everyone on your database about the products sold by the Catbox in Linden, and visit every other Catbox in the region (see list below), to see whether they are perhaps also selling similar products. If you find other Catbox outlets selling real fur, please give the owner/manager a copy of our flier (attached). Ask them politely to remove the real fur from their shelves, and to ask their suppliers not to supply them with real fur in future.
If they refuse, please inform us regarding which Catbox you visited, and we will add that outlet to our Wall of Shame immediately. Members of Fur Free have been requesting various branches of Catbox to remove real fur from their shops for well over a year now, so they have had ample opportunity to do so.
We will also supply our entire database with the information as we receive it from you. As you know, we have around 500 animal lovers on this database, and I know that each of your have your own databases, so hopefully we will be able to reach a very large number of animal lovers within a very short time. Next year we will also begin to hold legal, official awareness events (flier-distribution days and protests) at various Catbox outlets, to inform the customers of Catbox of the products sold at the outlets.
Once we have a complete list of Catbox outlets selling real fur, we will also be contacting the manufacturers of products sold at the Catbox, and informing them that Fur Free will unfortunately not be able to buy their products from Catbox outlets selling real fur.
Of course if we are informed by Catbox head-office that their outlets will no longer be supplying real-fur items in future, we would be happy to move the Catbox to our Wall of Fame.
Until then, however, we will speak loudly and clearly for the voiceless!
Chairperson, Fur Free (South Africa)
140 Maria Str. c/o Catherine
011 793 4263
39 Third Str. c/o 7th Ave
011 454 3738
Unit 7 Valleyview Centre
011 465 3684
Brackengardens Shop. Centre
Hennie Alberts Str.
011 900 4390
Gateway plaza, Old JHB Rd
012 661 4759
Calliandra Place, Calliandra Str
012 548 4586
Head Office & Warehouse
Tel: 011 793 1918
Fax: 011 792 3689