While many cultures consider black cats and dogs to be good luck, many Americans shun them. The myths that black cats cause bad luck or black dogs are scary and dangerous sit deep in people’s minds, and black pets are euthanized at much higher rates than cats and dogs with other colors.
The ones who are adopted generally have to wait longer for their homes than pets with other colors.
To make matters worse for these hidden gems, their color makes them more difficult to catch on photos, and to see in shelters. Photos for websites such as PetFinder are generally taken by shelter volunteers, and while it is easy to get a good picture of a white, yellow, or brown cat or dog, even professional photographers can have problems catching expressions on a black pet’s face.
Once potential adopters arrive to the shelter, darker-haired doggies gets lost in the shadows. Some shelters are training black dogs to sit in front of the kennels during visiting hours, so they’ll have a chance to be seen.
Whatever the mix of bias and bad luck might be, black dogs and cats make wonderful pets. If you’re thinking of adopting a new best friend, don’t forget to look for them!
If you have a black pet, you can help other black pets by proudly demonstrating there’s nothing wrong with them. Show your love and tell people about the problems black cats and dogs encounter. The “black dog syndrome” is generally unconscious, and once people are aware of it, they move past it.