Monday, November 21, 2011

"Black Friday Week" at the Louisiana SPCA

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Buford is among the black dogs up for adoption at the LA-SPCA.
  • Buford is among the black dogs up for adoption at the LA-SPCA.
Black dogs and black cats are the least likely to be adopted from animal shelters. It's a nationwide phenomenon, and groups like Black Pearl Dogs, Start Seeing Black Dogs and Black Cat Rescue have sprung up to help find homes for animals with black fur. The phenomenon, in fact, is widespread enough to have a name: Black Dog Syndrome.

Why is that? An article last month in USA Today spelled out some possible reasons:

There are no statistics, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence and many possible explanations, ranging from superstitions like the notion that black cats are bad luck, to a simple logistical problem: Black animals are hard to photograph well, and are therefore hard to advertise. To combat the problem, shelters have come up with a variety of creative measures, from reducing adoption fees to improving the quality of the photos.

"Overwhelmingly, we hear from the shelter and rescue groups that black dogs, especially the big black dogs, and black cats take longer to get adopted," said Kim Saunders, vice president of shelter outreach for Petfinder.com, the country's largest online pet adoption database.

The Louisiana SPCA is having that problem right now, so it's declared this week "Black Friday" for adoptable pets — all dogs and cats with black fur are only $25 to adopt. I went to the shelter yesterday and played with a bunch of them, like Buford (up top), a Great Dane-Lab mix. There were also hounds, pits and pit mixes and even a small black Cairn terrier. In the cat room, about one-third of the cages were filled with very friendly and affectionate black felines, from small kittens to calm adult cats.

The sale goes through Friday, and the shelter is closed Thanksgiving Day. Here's more information.

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