Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Pet adoptions may happen quickly for many of our furry friends.  Regrettably, there are a number of homeless animals who are not adopted within a few days, or even a couple of weeks.  Some of them, in fact, may languish in their kennels for months.  Why is it they cannot get that loving family they deserve?  Are they just unlucky or is there some commonality between them that brands them less than desirable? 

“Less Adoptable” is the common thread all of them share and all it means is that these pets are harder to place.  We all know that pets come in varied sizes and shapes and each one has its own unique personality.  Unfortunately, according to Petfinder.com, senior pets, adult cats, pit bull-type dogs, special needs pets, and black pets take quite a bit longer for adoption because of their distinctiveness. 

A senior pet or adult cat can be the perfect pet in many homes.  They may be a little slower in some areas, but they definitely have a lot to offer, among which is experience and maturity.  With older pets, what you see is what you get.  Not only have they have reached their full-grown size, but their personality has already developed.  Despite some special considerations that an older pet might require, if you were willing to adopt one you might  find that they will not need the constant monitoring and reinforcement that puppies and kittens require, plus they are already most likely housetrained. 

Special needs animals may be missing an eye or limb, or they could be partially or fully deaf or blind.  They can also include those with health conditions, such as cats with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and Heartworm positive dogs.  Whatever the disability or condition, most will enjoy a full and active life, and be as delightful and affectionate as any other pet.  All they require is some extra help by a caring human.  This I say from personal experience, since I have had several ‘special needs’ animals.

Personally, I do not understand the vagaries of why one finds a black pet less appealing than another color.  The theory is that superstition and certain beliefs, even in this century, play an integral part in selection.  Additionally, the thought is that black pets are less photogenic than their counterparts are, thus resulting in them being unnoticed by possible adopters.  Lastly, according to research done by the University of California, black cats were perceived as being more antisocial than other colored cats.  Other than color, the truth is that these pets are no different from equivalents of a different color.

All of us involved with animal welfare would love to see every hard-to-place animal leave the shelter, and we want nothing more than for these homeless pets to find a loving permanence that they did not have before.  However, we also realize that adopting any animal should never be done impulsively or because a heartstring was suddenly tugged.  When bringing a new family member home, it is important to prepare yourself for it, and to honestly evaluate whether you and the animal will be a perfect fit.  So, if you are considering a pet that is a senior, or is disabled, or is a bigger breed, or has a health condition, please be sure that you are willing and able to give it the resources, commitment, and love necessary.  If you do happen to provide that nurturing forever home to an animal who is often unnoticed and disregarded day after day, you just might find yourself being its hero.

Next week is the countrywide “Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet” campaign, launched in 2009, by PetFinder.com, to bring awareness to these overlooked jewels.  The Tehama County Animal Care Center at 1830 Walnut St., Red Bluff, in conjunction with P.E.T.S., will be joining hundreds of other facilities around the U.S. that are offering Adoption Specials to find these often-maligned critters forever homes.  During the week of September 21 through, and including, September 26, any Black, Senior (over 4 years), Pit-Bull, Special Needs (has a disability or is Heartworm positive) dog can be adopted for $45.00 or less.  Any Black, Senior (over 4 years), Special Needs (has a disability or is FIV positive) cat can be adopted for $20.00.

As a final note, if we focus on the many positive traits and wonderful personalities that these often ignored, but amazing, animals have, just maybe their luck will change, and they will leave the shelter a bit quicker than they usually do. 


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