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Are Black Pets Less Likely to be Adopted?

Are Black Pets Less Likely to be Adopted?

There are numerous myths about black cats and dogs: Black cats are bad luck. Black dogs are omens of death.

Such rumors are rooted in folklore and ancient mythology, but there’s one story you’ve likely heard about black cats and dogs that’s true: They’re the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized.

In addition to the stigmas of bad luck and witchcraft, black animals also face a tough time being adopted because their dark coats often lead to poor photos. Being less photogenic means they’re more likely to be overlooked by potential adopters.

The adoption challenges that black pets face are so pervasive there’s even a name for the phenomenon: black dog syndrome.

Despite its name, black dog syndrome doesn’t just affect canines.

A 2012 study found that dark-colored cats are also more likely to be stereotyped as aloof.

Researchers at the University of California asked a group of cat lovers to rate black, multicolored and orange cats on personality traits such as friendliness, laziness and stubbornness.

The findings revealed that black cats were seen as more antisocial than cats with other fur colors. Overall, orange cats were perceived as the friendliest.

Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, conducted a similar study with dogs in 2011.

He presented participants with photos of three Labrador retrievers of different colors: black, brown and yellow.

People consistently rated the black dog as being less attractive, less friendly and less likely to make a good pet. The black Lab was also deemed to be the most aggressive of the dogs.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the adoption rates of black cats and dogs aren’t tracked nationally, but the organization assures potential adopters that they make great — and stylish — pets.

After all, black goes with everything.

article by Laura Moss

 

Related on MNN

 

Read more: Adoptable pets, Cats, Dogs, Pets

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Kara, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally – all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

145 comments

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12:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

I love my black fur babies!!!

12:26PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

I love my black fur babies!!!

8:17AM PDT on Jul 28, 2014

It's so sad that people pick out their pets by appearance and color. None of that matters.

7:44AM PDT on Jul 28, 2014

3 of our 6 cats are black and they are all loved. Our dog was black, also.

I think black animals have more to offer because of their fur color. One of our black cats is Persian, and the other 2 have silky, shiny black fur. They seem to love being loved on more, and want to be around us more than the other 3 cats!!

9:32AM PDT on Jun 1, 2014

Thanks for sharing

4:12AM PDT on May 29, 2014

I have a black cat who is very sweet! In the mornings when I'm the only one up she comes and sleeps on the desk beside me and lays her head on my hand on the mouse. We had a black dog years ago when our boys were little, who would not leave the yard if they were outside.

People can be so dumb sometimes!

6:29PM PDT on May 26, 2014

it hurts me to my heart this is so;our animals just appear and not a black one in 25 yrs

10:58AM PDT on May 26, 2014

so sad

8:16AM PDT on May 23, 2014

my staffie splodge is black and white so she must be ying and yang . good and bad

3:46AM PDT on May 23, 2014

I have had many a black cat-have 2 now- and they have all been awesome family members. Years ago I had a gorgeous calico with blue eyes and my idiot neighbor lady was afraid of her-said the cat tried to put a hex on her. Humans can be so utterly stupid. My cat was poisoned by her though I couldn't prove it. She won't ever hurt another cat-I told her I knew what she did and that for killing my familiar I put a hex on her. I told her if she didn't treat black cats or any cats with kindness, her hair would fall out as would her teeth. Oddly enough-she decided all cats were just wonderful creatures right after she had a tooth fall out. Imagine that. Ok, I admit is I can be evil but only for good causes. ;P

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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