Black Cats And Dogs Tend To Be Least Adopted


Apparently, it is a problem experienced by shelters and rescue groups across the country — black cats and dogs always seem to be the last to be adopted. Tennessee-based animal rescue group A.A.R.F. (All About Rescue and Fixin’) held a special adoption event for black dogs and cats on Saturday, Sept. 12, to call attention to the issue and to find homes for some of these dark horses, er, animals.

So why are black animals so hard to place?There are many theories. Jennifer Farley, executive director of A.A.R.F., tells Paw Nation: “I have heard a variety of comments in regard to black or dark animals in general: ‘Spooky,’ ‘creepy,’ ‘scary,’ ‘I can’t see its eyes,’ or even ‘I don’t trust that dog.'”

“I read somewhere that humans are attracted to specific colors — they catch our eyes and we are drawn to them,” Farley explains. “I believe this is also true when it comes to animals. If you put a black cat with small, yellow eyes in the same crate as a bright calico with lots of colors, people will typically spend most time focusing on the calico.” Farley also hypothesizes that black animals are hard to see in their dark crates within poorly-lit shelters.

After first hearing about black dog syndrome, Farley realized she didn’t have any pure black pets herself and promptly adopted two. She tells Paw Nation, “I think that if we can raise awareness, maybe people like me will open their eyes and think first about the larger black dogs the next time they’re adopting a pet.”

According to Farley, the adoption event this past Saturday went fairly well: “We moved every black kitten we had.” But they were only able to find a home for one black dog, out of six, and no black adult cats. Farley tells Paw Nation, “It broke my heart. Although people looked at the black dogs, they still looked right past them. Next weekend, I think I will tie custom printed balloons to everyone’s collar explaining how black dogs die in shelters. Maybe that will get some attention, or we are going to have to get even more creative.”

Sounds like it’s time for some black magic.



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