Black and dark-coloured shelter pets are always the last to be adopted but AWLQ are set to change the trend this Halloween.
‘Black-Dog Syndrome’ is a phenomenon familiar to animal shelter workers worldwide and it refers to the pattern of black dogs and cats often being the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanased.
AWLQ will be holding a Halloween adoption drive this Saturday and hope to buck this trend by dropping the adoption prices to $40 for cats and $50 for dogs.
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“At AWLQ we do not set time limits on our animals finding homes and we would never euthanase an animal based on its colour,” says AWLQ representative Zoe Hermans.
“Because our darker coloured pets wait much longer for homes than our lighter coloured ones, we end up with an over-representation of animals with dark fur in our shelters.”
Ms Hermans says there is no logical reason behind why lighter colour pets are more popular.
“It has to do with the fact that in our culture we place many negative connotations on ‘black’ coloured animals, such as black cats being bad luck and black dogs representing depression,” says Ms Hermans.
“Animals with dark fur can also be difficult to photograph well – especially cats – and this may also contribute to their lack of popularity. Their faces can look less expressive in photos and this does not help when it comes to promoting them online.”
AWLQ’s ‘Haunting Hounds and Freaky Felines’ promotion will be held this Saturday 31st October. Dogs and cats at all locations will have their adoption prices reduced, including both light and dark coloured animals, however AWLQ are hoping that adopters do not make their choice of companion based on colour.
“Allow an animal’s personality to shine through first and make your choice based on that, not the way it looks. The message is don’t judge a pet by its colour,” says Ms Hermans.