Stigma surrounding black animals affecting adoption
Savana Finlayson cannot imagine life without her black lab, Daisy. Waking up to Daisy’s morning kisses is just one of the many things she loves about her furry friend.
Their relationship began five months ago when the pup was born. Daisy was the runt of her litter and initially had a rough time getting adopted.
“Nobody really wanted her,” Finlayson said.
“There were five black puppies and two golden ones. It actually took several weeks to get the black ones to be sold, but the golden ones were gone as soon as they were eight weeks old.”
This isn’t an uncommon situation. In fact, the phenomenon is known as “black dog syndrome,” where those with black fur have a harder time finding their forever homes.
Black cats know this struggle all too well, perhaps even more than dogs, and there are several reasons why.
“People are superstitious,” Saskatoon SPCA spokesperson Jasmine Hanson said. “Believe it or not, that does seem to influence people’s choice to adopt.”
She said another reason is black animals are easy to overlook in kennels.
“Sometimes if they’re hiding in the shadows it’s hard to see them — they’re not as interesting looking as maybe a tortoiseshell or a tabby cat.”
She noted other shelters have recorded about a 40 per cent longer time on the adoption floor for black animals and, while that number varies, she thinks the stigma is slowly changing.
“There’s been a lot of discussion in the past few years about why black animals have a hard time of it in shelters,” Hanson said. “Hopefully that’s getting people to think about what they might look for in the next animal they adopt.”
For Finlayson, she admits there have been some odd questions about her best friend, Daisy.
“Somebody actually asked me, ‘Did you want a black dog?’ I said, it doesn’t matter to me. I love her.”
Their bond unbreakable, no matter the fur colour.
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