How much is that black kitty in the window? Unfortunately, kitty may be off the market if he is awaiting adoption at one of the many animal shelters that refuses to adopt out any black cats during the month of October or celebration period of Halloween.

The shelters cite fear of animal abuse and satanic ritual sacrifice. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently, these shelters believe that people wait all year, for one day, to wreck havoc on the feline species. Animal shelters located in communities that have never been touched by an incident of animal sacrifice or targeted (black) cat abuse will refuse to adopt out the cats in the name of protection. These attempts at protection are misguided. Every day an animal spends in a shelter increases their risk of exposure to disease and infection, while their chance of adoption decreases.

Black cats have the odds stacked against them from the beginning. The same superstitions that have created these asinine “adoption policies” are the same ones that are preventing the cats from being adopted in the first place. For many, black cats evoke images of the occult, evil, and bad luck.

In 2002, The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science published a study by the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine that examined the factors that determine the adoption of an animal, including the color of the animal’s coat. The nine month study established that potential adopters considered a black cat less desirable and therefore increased the cat’s risk of euthanasia. The study revealed that black cats were half as likely to be adopted as tabby cats and two-thirds less likely than white cats to be adopted. In total, only 660 (20%), of the 3,301 cats who were offered for adoption were given a chance at a loving home. Sadly, the remaining 2,641 cats were euthanized.

Remember, you are in the position to influence how animals are viewed by the public. Isn’t it time to dispel the myths and fears of black cats instead of feeding the fires of ignorance?

Will black cats in your shelter be celebrating Halloween with their new family or will they be forced to remain at the shelter until the calendar says it’s safe to release them?

Consider This:

  • Any cat can be spray painted black.
  • Abuse doesn’t have a holiday and doesn’t go on holiday.
  • You are the source of education… work to eradicate the ignorance, not propagate it.


Further Listening & Reading:

Audio Books, Podcasts, and Video You Can Learn From

Check out the FREE Black Dog Syndrome podcast available at Animal Voices from Heather Rosenwald of Start Seeing Black and Tamara Delaney of Contrary to the Ordinary: The Black Pearls of the Dog World.

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