Monday, September 17, 2012

Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week

This week is celebrating Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week! What makes a pet less adoptable, you may ask? There are lots of factors that can make a wonderful pet seem "less adoptable" to potential pet parents. If the animal looks different (ie, missing an eye or leg), if they have a disability (deaf, blind), senior pets, pets with certain behavioral needs, disease status (such as being FIV+/FELV+), specific breeds (ie pit bulls), or even color can make a pet appear less adoptable. However, just because these pets may be different, does not mean that they do not offer the same amount of love. Let me tell you a story.

Last summer a human stopped at a Boy Scouts fundraising yard sale, hoping to find some treasures and support the kids at the same time. She noticed that a man had a big dog crate full of baby kittens, with a big "FREE" sign in front. This human was not a cat person, and lived in a small apartment with another human. But she went over and took a look. The crate was full of little black furballs, except for a single tabby furball, and from them she chose an all black kitten. This kitten, however, looked quite sad after being taken from her siblings, so the human went back and picked out another. A small, handsome, exceptional black and white kitten.

This human, unknowingly, had chosen two less adoptable pets. Both kittens were black, which sadly makes pets 50% less likely to be adopted than pets of other colors. Hard to believe, but it is true. A year later this human (who was not a cat person originally, if you remember) took in another cat, who is the ultimate "less adoptable" pet. He is a senior, FIV+, blind, different looking, and sick. He has an injury to one eye, making it look funny, and a disease in the other, making that one look funny too. This human turned out to be my mom, and I, of course, was the handsome black and white kitty. Myself, my sister Bruin, and my old man brother Odin make up a family of less adoptable pets. And mom loves us all.

Less adoptable does not mean less lovable. It simply means we are different. Pets like us wait an average of 4x longer for their forever home than do other pets. I was lucky, because my mom is one of those awesome people who loves those that others overlook. She picked me over my grey tabby littermate, after all. If you are looking for a new pet, please do not pass us over. We may be black, or older, or look or act a little different, but we are full of love. Please spread the word, and help "less adoptable" pets get adopted this week (and always).