Statistics show that black dogs and cats are often the last to be adopted and in many shelters are euthanized more frequently. Kids can become black pet ambassadors. They can develop activities specifically for black pet adoption at school, church, the local shelter, kids’ sports’ teams, etc. Examples could include:
Wear T-shirts with black pets’ photos. Print T-shirts with photos of black dogs and cats using a local supplier or an online source. Include text such as WANTED: My Forever Home. Include your shelter’s name and/or logo.
Take pets to school or city events. Kids can take black dogs to city events such as farmers’ markets, art fairs, flea markets, etc. Or establish a Saturday adoption event at the local mall with black dogs and cats Find places with large crowds to bring awareness to the plight of black pets. Does your school sponsor fundraising events? If so, have black pets available for adoption.
Partner with your local school system to showcase these “less adoptable” pets. For example, arrange to present black dogs at football games’ halftime shows. The cheerleaders could walk them out on the football field as “our special guests.” The dogs could wear bandanas of the schools’ colors. Add mystery to this event by announcing ahead that special guests will be present at the game.
Conduct a school contest. For example, classes can sponsor different pets. Which class can help the most pets be adopted? Challenge the kids to think of innovative ways to promote black pet adoption.
Prepare YouTube videos of black pets for the shelter website and ask the local newspaper, veterinarians, pet stores, and other businesses to post these videos on their websites. Include text screens that explain the statistics in your area for black pets (they aren’t adopted as quickly; more are euthanized, etc) and a screen with the shelter name, website, and phone number.
Families and/or kids can “adopt” a black pet. Help socialize that pet. Make a T-shirt with his photo. Get to know the pet and help the shelter write an appealing story for him to post online with his adoption page.
Take fabulous photos of black pets. Kids who enjoy digital photography can volunteer for the ongoing task of taking photos that show the detail of their fur and faces. Often their photos look like a blob of black with two eyes. Ask professional photographers in your community to help with this. Or you can find tips online such as Photographing Your Black Dog. This article explains how to make changes to your camera’s settings and understand how lighting impacts the final photo. Just a few changes can make an enormous difference in your black pets’ photos.
These tips are written in loving memory and honor of our adorable Zia, a much loved black cat.