12 April 2015
By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Vice President
Did you know that black dogs and cats take 4 times longer to be adopted from a shelter than their lighter counterparts? That’s right, 4 TIMES LONGER.
It’s a sad, but true, phenomenon in the rescue world referred to as “Black (or Cat) Dog Syndrome.” Black dogs and cats are often passed over by potential adopters for a variety of vague reasons, like indistinct facial features and “generic” body types – issues compounded by poor lighting in many shelters – and size: large black dogs are even harder to adopt out.
Black dogs and cats are victims of their genetics and irrational prejudice stemming from negative portrayals in literature and ancient folklore (think black cats and witches or the black hounds of hell). There is not a shred of evidence that black dogs are more aggressive or untrustworthy than their lighter colored brethren. Aggression is a function of abuse and poor training – not a function of color. Period.
A black pet will give you every bit as much squirming, unconditional adoring love as a lightly-colored one. Plus, there’s this: black pets won’t show dirt as much, so you won’t have to wash them as often. With the money and time you’ll save on grooming, you could, say, treat your significant other to a romantic dinner and bottle of wine. Who knew adopting a black pet could be a boon to your marriage?
Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but how about this? Black is the color of preference for fashion icons and musicians – think Coco Chanel or Johnny Cash. It’s the color of free thinkers and poets.
Like Seamus, the cat of the week – he positively drips intelligence and attitude. He is one very cool cat.
Here’s an even more perplexing fact: a large majority of the black dogs at shelters who do not get adopted are Labrador retriever crosses, yet year after year, Labs, and in particular, black labs, top the list of the most popular breeds in the country. They are friendly, playful and promiscuous in their love of humans. They are goofy, good-tempered animals – an excellent choice for families with children.
So why do black lab mixed breeds endowed with the same admirable and lovable qualities have so much trouble finding forever homes?
It makes no sense. Take a tour of the Aiken County shelter, and you will often find any number of Lab crosses with bubbly, affectionate personalities just waiting for a family to love, entertain and protect.
Well, hell-ll-ooo, Bingley! If you looked up “earnest” in the dictionary, you’d see this photo of Bingley, our dog of the week. Seriously, look at that face. He’s a perfect family dog.
FOTAS and the Aiken County Animal Shelter have designated April as Back in Black Month. Adoption fees for black dogs have been reduced to $35 and black cats to $15. This fee covers spaying and neutering, all necessary vaccinations and microchipping.
Come on over to the Aiken County Animal Shelter and take home your next best friend. By the end of the day, you will be snuggled up on the couch watching The Voice with a happy black bundle of pure love.
Their lives are in our hands.
BY THE NUMBERS
407 dogs and cats received
229 dogs and cats adopted/transferred
153 dogs and cats euthanized
38% euthanasia rate ( lowest for any March to date!)
PETS OF THE WEEK
BINGLEY— Male — Retriever — 4 months old — 18 lbs — $35
SEAMUS — Male — Domestic Short Hair — — $15
SPECIAL FOR BLACK DOGS & CATS THRU 4/30/15 — Dogs $35, Cats $15