How Shelters Can Find Homes for Black Pets

Animal shelters and rescues can help black pets’ adoption chances by bringing awareness to your community of the plight of homeless black pets. Many animal lovers are probably not aware of the “black dog syndrome” or never thought about the superstitions concerning black cats. Organize black pet adoption events and activities in your community to help these wonderful pets find their forever homes using these ideas:

Slideshows or videos are very powerful tools to help potential owners see all adoptable pets. Still, photos can be alternated with text screens even if you don’t have a video camera. Text screens are useful to help tell the pet’s story (how he was rescued, history, etc) and can be used effectively when alternated with photographs of the pet.

Conduct a black pet writing contest. Partner with your local newspaper to request stories from black pet owners. Ask them to explain what their black pet means to them, their best memories of their beloved black pet, etc. Publish a new story every week for several weeks, along with photos of these pets.

Publish a calendar with black pets only.

Find animal-loving kids from schools, churches, recreation centers, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in your area to be ambassadors for your black pets. See How Kids Can Help Animal Shelters and Homeless Pets and Ways Shelters Can Involve Kids with Helping Homeless Pets.

Set up a black pet foster program. Ask owners of black pets to help with this.

Set up a special section on your website periodically to feature black pets. Include several photos and videos if possible, as well as each pet’s story. See Increase Adoptions by Improving Your Website Adoption Pages.

Find photography tips, fundraising ideas, adoption tips, and more on the website Start Seeing Black Dogs. This website offers free marketing and PR resources to encourage black pets’ adoption.

Provide extra training to black dogs. You can mention their new skills in their profile and make them more adoptable. Offer several free training sessions after the adoption.

Host a community-wide “adopt a black pet” weekend. Partner with other shelters and rescue groups and arrange to have adoptable black pets positioned in several locations around town., including parking lots of malls, big-box retailers or grocery stores, farmers’ markets, flea markets, etc. Advertising and promoting this event as a group would reduce the costs for all. Ask local newspapers and TV stations for publicity prior to the event, including stories about black pets being overlooked for adoption, the higher euthanasia rate, etc.

Host a “Black Goes with Everything” cocktail party with adoptable black cats and dogs as special guests. Use this as a fundraiser and adoption event. Ask everyone to wear black. The party could include a raffle or silent auction, a musical performance (a jazz trio, a pianist, etc), food donated by several restaurants in your area, etc. Try to host this event at a home with a lovely outdoor entertaining area, overlooking the water or a beautiful mountain view, etc. Put a colorful bandana around each pet’s neck.

Have an “all black” fashion show and fundraiser at a local retailer or restaurant. Have black pets present as special guests.

Ask your local paper to feature black pets in a story that explains how they are overlooked and face a high euthanasia rate. Include photos of black cats and dogs available at the shelter as well as statistics on black pets at the shelter if available. Ask a professional photographer or anyone who takes good photos to take fabulous photos of your black pets for this feature. Turn these photos into a slideshow for your website and the online edition of the newspaper.

Conduct adoption events with reduced adoption fees. Ask a sponsor to provide food, beds, etc., for any black pet adopted.

Also, see How Kids Can Increase Adoptions of Homeless Black Pets.

These tips are written in loving memory and honor of our adorable Zia, a much loved black cat.

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