When I learned that Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week is going on now, I knew I had to put together a blog post to share this week-long awareness holiday with all of you. In September 2018 I adopted a senior lab with epilepsy who had been in the shelter for over 13 months. He was definitely considered “less adoptable.” But bringing Burt home was the best decision I could have made!
I’m excited to share some of my reasons for considering the “black sheep” of the animal shelter. Hopefully, this will inspire someone to bring home a pet who really needs a loving home.
Who Are The Less Adoptable Pets?
Petfinder.com launched its first Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet campaign in 2009 after recognizing that approximately 95% of shelters and rescue groups have a harder time finding homes for certain pets.
“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,” said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
It’s completely understandable that a lot of people gravitate towards the puppies or the fluffy little dogs. But a lot of times the “less-adoptable” dogs would be a better fit for their lifestyle.
Less Adoptable Dogs Might Be Better for Your Lifestyle
Puppies are a LOT of work and fluffy dogs need lots of grooming. If you rescue an older dog they might already have some basic training, know how to walk on a leash and be less interested in chewing on things they shouldn’t. And dogs with short hair won’t need expensive haircuts or as much time-consuming brushing.
It’s not just age and cuteness that effects how long a dog waits to be adopted. Some of the qualities that make a dog less adoptable are: if they require meds, breeds with a bad reputation, behavioral issues, dark fur, and if they’re really big.
Looking at that list, Burt checks off almost all of the boxes! Let us set the example of how amazing it is to look outside of what’s considered “adoptable.”
Who Wouldn’t Want a Beautiful Chocolate Lab?
When I walk Burt at the park now and share his story people always ask, “Who wouldn’t want a beautiful chocolate lab?” That’s a good question! But Burt is not only a senior with epilepsy, but he’s also really high energy and mouthy. When I brought him home we spent the first 6 weeks training him to sit and lay down. He was just too excited to be around me and my other dog, Lucy, to do that for a while.
Burt wasn’t the right fit for every family. But I knew when I met him (bouncing off the walls of the meet-and-greet room at his shelter) that he needed exercise, structure, routine and lots of love. I gave him all of that and one year later he’s absolutely perfect (in my eyes)!
When is Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week?
According to PetFinder, Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week takes place the 3rd week of September each year. They have a lot of resources on their website to help pet lovers and rescues make the most of this awareness holiday.
You can help raise awareness for the awesomeness of less adoptable pets by sharing this post on social media, sharing a pet who’s looking for a home, or even reaching out to your local shelters and seeing if they need volunteer help. Every bit helps!
Enjoy this post? Check out these that I’ve bookmarked for you:
Burt, a Love Story
Deciding to Adopt a Senior Dog
How Acupuncture Benefits Your Senior Dog
Podcast Episode 26: Liz Rubinstein of GingerLead
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All photos: Victoria Miller Photography