We have a special new dog, named Wink. She is a young, pit bull/boxer mix dog that had a damaged eye that made her look…well… not exactly cute. Even though she is friendly, out-going, and sweet, her adoption chances were pretty low. But we recently stepped in, pulled her from the shelter and gave her the eye surgery she needed. Now, we are devoted to telling her story and finding her a home.
We at Black Dog Animal Rescue pride ourselves on taking in dogs and cats of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and ages. While many shelters do a quick turnaround on certain pets, some often linger for months or even years. BDAR tries to do more to demonstrate the personality and characteristics of pets (which helps find them new homes faster), but even then some still remain with us for a long time. What makes a pet more “adoptable” than others? And what are some of the factors you should consciously look for when picking out a new pet?
- Age. Our puppies and kittens fly out the door when they become available for adoption. While that is great, it means that many older dogs and cats get overlooked. Did you consider that an older pet will possibly already be house or kennel-trained? That they sleep through the night and don’t need constant attention and supervision? And they won’t need the socialization that all young animals require? To that same end, puppies and kittens often get returned because they were more work than the adopters realized. Senior animals are very low maintenance in comparison.
- Breed. While this doesn’t affect our kitties, it is a BIG one for dogs. Visual identification of mixed breeds is notoriously inaccurate. Do you want to know a big secret? For most dogs, your guess is as good as ours as to what breed they are. Dogs like pit bull terriers (or even common ones like labs, Chihuahuas, or heelers) often get overlooked for “popular” breeds like Great Danes, Basset hounds or Shih tzus. Often, when mutts do get DNA tested, they are not even close to what their owners suspected.
- Color. The name of our rescue brings attention to this fact… Did you know that black animals are much less likely to get adopted than their more colorful counterparts? It may be due to them photographing poorly, being more common, or even subconscious superstition. But, does color really affect anything? What are you, a pet racist? We didn’t think so.
- Damage. There is often a perception that animals in shelters or rescues are somehow “damaged.” While we have dogs with physical defects/injuries (like Wink) it doesn’t detract at all from their capability to be a great companion. We have heard it so many times before… people will adopt a cat or dog and say, “I just don’t understand how this wonderful animal could have ended up in rescue!” Animals are just like people; they have their quirks. There are plenty of “pure-bred” dogs that come from a breeder and are raised in one home that have odd behaviors or need additional training. In addition, many people think that animals that come from a shelter are even more loyal and connected to their families due to their background.
So how do you pick the animal for you? Make a list of what you need as far as energy level, size, or temperament. Think about whether you have small children, other pets, or work a lot of hours away from home. Do you go hiking and backpacking, or are you a couch potato? Then read through the bios of the pets on our site and see if one seems to fit. Or, fill out an application and give us a call and we can help place you with the right cat or dog. You might be surprised that you end up with a petite, one-eyed, bully mix.
P.S. Wink has already been adopted but we have lots of other wonderful animals still looking for their new homes!