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Why Adopt A Black Pet

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In Celebration Of Black Cat Appreciation Day On August 17th, We Look At The Positive Reasons To Adopt Black Cats And Dogs!

There are many reasons to adopt a pet. They’re cute, loyal, lovable, and make great additions to your family. Adopting a pet is a very selfless act as you are potentially saving a pet’s life by giving them a place to call home and a family who loves them. However, many people overlook the importance of how they select their new cat or dog. Because every pet, regardless of appearances, deserves a good home. Sadly, many first time pet owners will choose a non black pet over a black pet based on several cultural misconceptions and superstitions. Below are some arguments as to why you should adopt a cat or dog with black fur.

Superstition

Many people associate black cats with Halloween believing they are companions of witches and even witches in disguise. This association dates back to the middle ages when the European church started accusing women of witchcraft. Black cats were targeted as they’re familiars and were therefore also persecuted. In the 14th century, during the time of the “Black Death,” cats were killed in massive amounts as they were blamed for spreading the disease. Ironically many historians believe this mass killing of cats only worsened the spread of the Black Death disease because rodents were mainly responsible for transmitting the disease. Fewer cats meant fewer natural predators to kill said rodents. This myth was further propagated in colonial American times as the pilgrims religious ideals deemed black cats as evil. This prejudice was so extreme that owning or even being seen with a black cat was grounds for punishment and suspicion of being a witch. Although America has significantly grown and changed since then, the negative disposition toward black cats remains. A 2002 study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science found that black cats were less likely to be adopted compared to other colored cats. Many animal shelters openly state that black cats take longer to adopt then other cats. This results in black cats being more commonly euthanized than other cats. 

Bad Luck

Black cats are also commonly believed to be a sign of bad luck or misfortune. Simply crossing paths with a black cat is notoriously considered unlucky. This mentality also stems from middle ages and their association to witches and witchcraft. Other theories suggest that black cats are seen as a sign of bad luck due to their association with death. Other black animals such as crows and ravens are commonly associated with death and considered bad omens. Unfortunately, black cats have also been roped into this category. While this colorful history is entertaining, it is far from the truth. Despite many myths and folklore, black cats are just as lucky or unlucky as other cats and they’re certainly not witches.

History Behind Black Pets

Throughout history many sailors and deckhands at sea would keep black cats as pets on their ships. These cats helped deal with rodents on the ship and were considered good luck and would ensure a safe voyage. Another historical example of cats can be found in the ancient Egyptians. They considered cats to be sacred and believed cats have a spiritual connection to the afterlife. The Irish also believe that black cats are a sign of good luck, especially when found on your front porch. Another great example can be found in the Japanese culture. The Japanese consider black cats to be a sign of prosperity. Despite these examples of historical admiration, many people today are still superstitious when it comes to black cats.  This negative disposition revolving around black cats leads to people avoiding them and less likely to adopt one. Realistically speaking, your destiny and/or luck shouldn’t be based on your pet’s fur color. But, it’s not too late to break this stereotype because there are thousands of black cats and dogs around the world waiting to be adopted by loving pet owners like you.

Big Black Dog Syndrome

Yes it is a real thing! Big Black Dog Syndrome or B.B.D.S. is defined as a phenomenon in which large dark-colored mixed breeds are passed over by adopters in favor of lighter-colored animals. It may sound silly to some people, but the stigma revolving around large dark colored dogs is very real. Many animal shelters are often overrun with these types of dogs for a variety of reasons; The biggest reason being fear. Large dark-colored dogs are typically portrayed as aggressive, violent, and scary. This is especially apparent in most forms of culture including movies, tv shows, books, and even cartoons. Think about it! Nearly every cartoon dog from Pluto (Disney) to Odie (Garfield) even Scooby-Doo are all portrayed as light-colored animals. Even iconic dog films such as Lassie, Old Yeller, and Homeward Bound all featured light-colored dogs. It may seem trivial, but this lack of dark-colored dogs in pop culture only adds to the negative persona attributed to black dogs. The dog breed is also a major factor contributing to this stigma against dark-colored dogs. To learn more about B.B.D.S. check out the articles at thesprucepets.com

Breeds Of Big Black Dogs

There are several breeds of dogs that fall under the common misconception of being hostile, aggressive, and unsafe. Breeds such as Pitbull’s, Rottweilers, American bullies, Doberman, and German shepherds are often considered “scary dogs.” This is due to their size, history of illegal dog fighting, and of course color. These breeds of dogs have formidable characteristics regarding their teeth, jaws, and neck muscles. These characteristics make them ideal guard or watch dogs. But, these characteristics don’t necessarily make them dangerous or aggressive. A dog’s personality is usually shaped by the owner or trainer. Sadly, many people continue to associate these breeds and other dark-colored dogs with fear and hostility. This leads many of them to be overlooked for adoption. I advise you or any potential pet adopter to not judge a book by it’s cover. Every dog, big or small, light or dark, deserves a good home and a loving family. 

Not Photogenic

Another common excuse for people to not adopt a black cat or dog revolves around photography. Many people claim that black pets are not as photogenic as pets with lighter colored fur. Supposedly, this is because pictures of black pets usually come out blurry, grainy, or out of focus. While taking good quality pictures of your pets is important, it shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Every pet is beautiful in their own way, regardless of how photogenic they may or may not be. If having a photogenic pet is important to you, try using different filters or a different lens on your camera or camera phone. You might be surprised how adorable or beautiful your black pet can be with the right lighting, setting, and camera filter.

Go Adopt A Black Pet!

There are far more reasons to adopt a black pet compared to reasons not to adopt a black pet. The superstitions revolving around black cats are exactly that; superstitions. Currently, there is no evidence that shows black pets are more unlucky than other colored pets. On the contrary, many cultures embrace black pets and consider them a sign of good fortune and luck. A pet’s fur color doesn’t dictate its personality or level of aggression. Most pets adopt these traits from their owners and upbringings. A loving and caring owner equals a loving and caring pet. Not every pet is picture perfect, but that doesn’t make them any less lovable. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and every pet, regardless of color, is beautiful in the eyes of a pet lover. Disregard the common superstitions and the petty stigmas that plague these beautiful creatures. Give them a chance. For more information regarding adoption, check out our previous article entitled Adopt A Dog Month

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