They’re sleek…they’re sexy…and they’re all so mysterious. So, why are they so unwanted? Black cats and black dogs are the most overlooked pet in animal shelters thanks to something called the black pet syndrome.
In fact, one study shows they’re 2/3rds less likely to be adopted than white cats. The low adoption numbers often puts them high on euthanasia lists because they take so long to find a home. On February 22, Sexy Black hits Chicago and it shines the spotlight on great pets being overlooked everyday thanks to the Black Pet Syndrome.
Chicago Cat Rescue’s Sixth Annual Sexy Black celebrates black pets and their owners while shining the spotlight on the black pet syndrome. The organization has been using the event each year to talk about black pets and why more people should look beyond the color of a pet’s coat before choosing a life long companion.
“Age-old stereotypes may cause potential adoptive parents to carry a negative bias to black animals, even if they are not aware of it,” according to Allison Brock from Chicago Cat Rescue. “In shelters, where budgets are often tight, poor lighting can also make black animals look less enticing as their characteristics end up falling into the shadows. Similarly, in today's technology-laden society, many potential pet owners search online databases (such as petfinder) to find available animals in their area. With features that are hard to capture on camera, black animals are often overlooked online.”
Supporters will be dressed to the nines at Chicago Party Animals at 1133 West Fulton Market from 7 to 11 p.m. There will be music, great food (vegan and vegetarian options), great prizes and pet packages and so much more. If you’re going, you may submit a photo of your black cat by Saturday, February 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on the event page.
“There are many people, who are looking to adopt a cat or dog into their family, who still don't know about the challenges black animals face,” adds Brock. “Without even being aware of it, they may unintentionally breeze right by the darker colored pets when they visit a shelter or preview adoptable pets online, naturally gravitating towards photos of their more brightly colored compatriots.”
Brock adds that with the help of Sexy Black supporters, as well as other rescue groups and shelters in Chicago, hopefully more soon-to-be-adoptive parents of a cat or dog will interact with adoptable pets of all colors, settling on an animal based upon it's personality and match for their lifestyle and household…not just color. It would be great if the black pet syndrome was no longer a problem and Sexy Black could just be a special celebration of incredible sleek, sexy, cool black pets.
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