Last Saturday, September 17th, Petfinder.com kicked off its third annual Adopt-A-Less Adoptable-Pet campaign in an effort to secure love for the seemingly unlovable. The campaign, which runs through September 25, began after they discovered approximately 95 percent of shelters and rescue groups include beasties that face difficulty in finding a home: seniors, big black dogs, black and/or adult cats and those with medical challenges.
In advance of the campaign, Petfinder polled its members that had adopted such pets from shelters and found that most of these unique animals went on to exceed all expectations. To their surprise, several members told stories about these so-called 'unadoptable' pets now working as therapy and service animals and occasionally, as police dogs. Turns out, all these animals needed was a second chance and a little bit of faith.
“Every day, families walk into shelters or visit Petfinder.com and, perhaps unconsciously, bypass some adoptable pets simply because of the way they look, their age, or because they have a condition such as blindness or deafness. These ‘less adoptable’ animals can end up in shelters for years – overlooked time after time. Of course we want to find homes for the cute puppies and kittens as well, but the goal of this campaign is to draw attention to ALL the amazing, adoptable pets out there -- including those who may be older or shy or have special needs.”
--Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com
They heard about Tank, a one-eyed Australian Shepherd/Bulldog mix from Georgia who was adopted and then went on to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. Tank is an active member of the Delta Society and also a READ dog, visiting elementary schools to help kids improve their reading skills while increasing their confidence.
Then there's Master, a German Shepherd who began his life as a hard-working breed dog in Germany. By the time Master was five, he was too thin and ill to be 'useful' so he was 'fired.' By some miracle, he ended up in Southwest Nebraska where he was adopted and rehabilitated. Master is now a therapy dog, working with kids and old folks, spreading love wherever he goes.
Finally, there's the Utah crime-fighting duo of Ezzy and Everett. Both were hyperactive until they were adopted by cops who trained them to be K9 officers. Now Ezzy (Chesapeake mix) and Everett (black Lab) work hard for a living and they couldn't be happier.
So spread the word, and if you go shopping for a best friend this week, you should look twice at that imperfect older dog or black cat. They may have more to give than you expect and might just be exactly the one to save you.
BlogHer Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Section Editor, LIFE; Proprietor, ClizBiz
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