Petfinder.com launched its first Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet campaign in 2009 after recognizing that approximately 95 percent of shelters and rescue groups have a harder time finding homes for certain pets.
“Every day, families walk into shelters or visit Petfinder.com and, perhaps unconsciously, bypass some adoptable pets simply because of the way they look, their age, or because they have a condition such as blindness or deafness,” said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
Healing Hearts Animal Rescue from Nashville is joining Petfinder.com to celebrate Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week from September 17 – 25. The theme, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m ____, Adopt Me Because I Need You,” urges people to adopt those pets who suffer from discrimination. Reasons include breed prejudice, ageism and special needs.
Some of the special needs highlighted include senior pets, FIV+ cats, black cats, black dogs, large dogs, pit bulls, and pets with physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness or missing features such as an eye, ear, or limb. Most people want to adopt puppies and kittens but are not prepared for the time and attention it takes to housetrain a puppy or teach a kitten where to scratch appropriately. Senior pets tend to be calmer, require less training and less supervision than babies.
Black cats and black Labrador Retrievers in particular are often overlooked because there are simply too many of them. When a black cat sits in an adoption cage beside grey tabbies, calicos and Siamese mixes, the black cat looks plain in comparison and is rarely adopted.
Large dogs of any breed can be difficult to find homes for because they eat more and their vet bills are correspondingly higher. However, large dogs are often calmer and make better pets for families with children than small dogs, who frequently nip and are too fragile for a child’s handling.
Pit bulls are often viewed with the prejudice that they are are “always aggressive”. Sadly, even many people who love this breed and want to adopt are prevented from doing so by breed restrictions in their apartment and condominium complexes. Many pit bulls are euthanized in shelters and animal control facilities before they even have a chance at adoption. However, the pit bulls available on PetFinder.com are fostered with rescue groups that have spent months ensuring that their dogs are healthy, well-trained and ready for a safe forever home.
Animals with physical disabilities usually require most of their medical care in the beginning, to treat any injuries or illnesses. By the time they are ready for adoption, physically disabled pets have adjusted to their disabilities and just need a patient, loving home to care for them.
Olivia is the “Less Adoptable Pet” this year for Healing Hearts Animal Rescue. She is “less adoptable” because of her age, 4-5 years, and her coloring, which is tortoiseshell. While the black and gold “brindle” coloring is considered attractive in a dog, the same is unfortunately not true for cats. A tortoiseshell is a cross between a black cat and a calico, resulting in a cat that is always female and whose coat is a speckled blend of gold and black. Most torties are black with gold speckles but a few are gold with black speckles.
Torties can also be temperamental, but Olivia is not. She has been living as a stray for several years on Maple Street in Madison, TN. Olivia is very petite and slender. She loves to be petted and held. If you are interested in adopting this beautiful, sweet girl, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petfinder.com will also be featuring a gallery of “less adoptable” pets on its Web site during the weeklong event to highlight just how many pets need to be given a chance.