If you work in rescue, you often open up your news feed or email and see pictures of animals in need of rescue or a home. I receive no less than 20 emails a day with homeless animals in need of a place to go. Many of these animals are labeled “less adoptable” for some reason. I’m wondering, though, what makes these animals “less adoptable”?
We are often told that some animals are “less adoptable” based on something physical. For instance, we are often told that black dogs and pit bull dogs are more difficult to adopt out. Based on this, black pit bulls must be super difficult, one would think.
However, at the shelter where I work, our black pit bulls are adopted in no time. In fact, they are in our system for an average of 2 days before being adopted. I’m totally serious. Our black pit bulls fly out of the shelter.
I have spent a lot of time wondering why this is. What is so different about us? Well, we are in a rural area and people prefer larger dogs. We also have predominantly home owners and not renters, therefore we don’t have the size or breed concerns that some renters may have. But what I really think makes the difference is the way we see these dogs.
Last week, I brought in a black pit bull dog with a skin issue causing baldness into the shelter where I work. He was a 1 year old male and he had the most fantastic personality ever!!! He was such a sweetie, so eager to please, a big cuddle bug, great with other dogs and cats and just the nicest dog ever! I fell in love with him instantly. I was so excited that he came to my shelter and I would get to spend time with him every day. Well, that excitement was contagious. A family came in to look at dogs and I showed them around. When we got to him, I said “Look at this guy! Isn’t he the sweetest dog ever?”. I couldn’t conceal my excitement. It was so obvious that I was already in love with this dog. The family picked up on it right away and adopted him. He has since gone to a fantastic home. They have sent pictures and follow up emails and he is doing fantastic and is a great addition to their family.
Thinking back, as some may have seen this dog as “less adoptable”, they may have not have been as enthusiastic about having this dog in their system. If you’re not excited about the dog, how can you expect potential adopters to be excited? I don’t see animals as “less adoptable”. I see some animals as poorly marketed. After all, who would you rather adopt? A less adoptable dog that no one will want or THE GREATEST DOG EVER. Yep, that’s what I thought!