Published: Oct 18, 2010 3:25 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 18, 2010 12:25 PM EDT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Some Palm Beach County animal shelters aren't allowing for black cat adoptions until after Halloween - fearing for the cats' safety.

The Palm Beach Post reported Saturday that at least three shelters have halted adoptions of black cats before Oct. 31 because of fears that the cats will be used for sacrificial rituals. Or potential owners looking for a Halloween party decoration will return the cat days later.

Karen Buchan with the county's Animal Care and Control says this avoids having the cat in an "unsafe environment." The county also stops black cat adoptions on any Friday the 13th.

Buchan says black cats are already the least likely to get adopted in most shelters because of "bad luck" superstitions or owners who want a more colorful cat.