“We’re thankful for the opportunity to support the black pets at Austin Pets Alive! and encourage pet adoption throughout the country, “ says Wondercide Founder and CEO Stephanie Boone, "As we think about being home for the holidays this month, let’s also consider bringing home a pet to love.”
AUSTIN, Texas (PRWEB) November 11, 2022
It’s the start of a busy holiday season full of family gatherings, running around, and sales. So many sales! There are “Pre-Black Friday Pop Ups” and “Black Friday Sneak Peeks,” mailers, ads, and messages everywhere. And while everyone loves a good deal, Wondercide is focusing on an even bigger deal: pets who need a home, especially black dogs and cats.
The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science is just one organization that found black coat colors negatively influenced adoption rates for both cats and dogs, especially big dogs. Researchers said adoption rates were much lower in pure-black animals. Animal shelters often use the term “Black Dog Syndrome” or “Black Cat Syndrome” to describe this phenomenon when they experience it. But we know that black pets are beautiful and lovable!
Celebrate with us
During the month of November, Wondercide is showing the love and will highlight black pets across the US who are available for adoption, encouraging families to expand their pack during Black Pet November. Through a partnership with Austin Pets Alive!, Wondercide will also match adoption fees at that shelter when black pets are adopted, up to $10,000.
“We’re thankful for the opportunity to support the black pets at Austin Pets Alive! and encourage pet adoption throughout the country, “ says Wondercide Founder and CEO Stephanie Boone. “Austin Pets Alive! Isn’t just a local rescue. They support the rescue community nationally with innovative, lifesaving programs designed to save at-risk pets by partnering to ensure good outcomes. As we think about being home for the holidays this month, let’s also consider bringing home a pet to love.”
Stephanie Bilbro, Director of Lifesaving Operations at Austin Pets Alive! shares, “Black, white, purple, green - our goal is to get all pets in need into loving homes! We're honored to receive support from Wondercide during the month of November and are excited for this added incentive to get black pets into adoptive homes!”
Are you a proud pet parent of a black fur baby? Share your photos or video by tagging @Wondercide with #BlackPetsAreWonderful so we can celebrate together.
Myths and legends
It’s not really clear why adoption rates of black pets suffer in favor of pets with a lighter coat, and thankfully not all shelters experience what’s been dubbed “Black Dog Syndrome” and “Black Cat Syndrome.” But many do. Data from the Austin Animal Shelter website was analyzed by Towards Data Science, a Medium publication, and confirms that this unfortunately has happened in the rescue community.
It’s possible that there is an unconscious bias against dogs with a black coat due to their role in movies, mythology and folklore. Large black dogs are often portrayed as guardians of the underworld. In movies and television, black dogs are often shown to be aggressive security guards.
Black cats have a long history of being associated with witchcraft and superstitions about causing bad luck. Even though the hysteria around witches and associating black cats with demons has mostly disappeared, maybe some of that bias stuck around to subconsciously impact the draw of black cats to a potential adopter.
Or perhaps the black coat simply leads to a visibility problem. We wear black clothes to give a slimming effect, because the black tone hides some of the contour of our bodies. And the black color does the same thing to hide the features of a dog or cat. When rescues post pictures of their adoptable pets, the pictures of black pets can appear more plain, making it difficult for their personality to shine through in the photo. Even if there’s no negative bias based on coat color, it’s still possible for a black pet to have a difficult time standing out against their competition for adoption.
It’s getting better though for black dogs and cats. As author Iuliia Stanina writes after analyzing data from the Austin Animal Shelter website, “Current data analysis revealed that almost 45% of all black pets are being adopted thanks to promotions and people being educated that black dogs and black cats are as friendly, as loving, as cute, and as loyal as dogs and cats of any other color and that they should be adopted.”
How can you help?
Having this awareness is a great step. Black dogs and cats are just as sweet with as much personality as any other pet. The best way to help black pets have a home is to adopt one! We’ll be highlighting available pets for adoption throughout November because #BlackPetsAreWonderful.
If you are not able to adopt a black pet of your own, you can donate to local shelters and rescues. Boosting their finances can give a rescue more resources to help care for black dogs while they continue to wait for adoption. You can also volunteer your time to support the operations of a shelter or rescue. Many shelters offer volunteers the opportunity to walk or play with dogs to help bring them some joy. You can help give a black dog hope without taking on the financial responsibility of pet ownership.
Encourage friends and family to keep an eye out for black pets whenever they consider adopting a new pet. Share your thoughts about it on social media, or you can amplify local adoption events to help spread the word. Any pet of any color that gets adopted is a good thing. So if you have room in your heart and home to go get a new furry friend, we celebrate you! #BlackPetsAreWonderful!
As seen on Shark Tank, Wondercide is an Austin-based company that has protected almost 2 million families from pesky pests since 2009, and the ticker is still running! When used as directed, the company provides safe, plant-powered, proven-to-work solutions for those looking for alternatives to conventional pest control products and services. As a Green America Gold Certified business for high standards in social and environmental impact, the company is woman-founded and led, family-friendly, and driven by Fierce Love® to help you Protect Your Pack® – pets, family, kids, homes, indoors and outdoors, and everything in-between. Products are available at Wondercide.com, independent retailers, Amazon, and Chewy. Come be part of our pack at Wondercide.com, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
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About Austin Pets Alive!
Austin Pets Alive! is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Austin Pets Alive! is focused on saving the healthy and treatable pets at risk of euthanasia at city shelters. Our mission is to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals. For more information visit http://www.austinpetsalive.org