While many kind-hearted people visit their local animal shelters and rescue groups to adopt a homeless pet, animal welfare organizations are still faced with the difficult task of finding homes for so-called “less adoptable” dogs and cats. What’s a less adoptable pet? Usually it’s an animal with some sort of physical characteristic that makes it less appealing to potential adopters.
Some common characteristics include black coat color, blindness, deafness, cats with FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), certain dog breeds like pit bulls, and age. A survey of shelters conducted by Petfinder found that less adoptable pets remain homeless around 4 times longer than an average pet. Many wait for 2 years or longer to find their forever families.
What types of shelter pets have the hardest time finding a home? According to the survey, senior pets have the most difficulty getting adopted, followed by pit bull-type dogs, pets with special needs (such as a physical disability), and adult cats in general.
Many shelters and rescue groups will waive adoption fees for certain types of less adoptable pets. They also frequently offer ongoing support for adopters of special needs pets, like education and training. While not all adopters are able to take in pets with chronic health conditions, anyone can adopt a normal, healthy pet (like an adult black cat) that’s often passed over by other adopters.
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