August 13, 2009
Homeless pets are looking for one thing: love. They do not care if it is from someone young, old, short or tall. All they need is to be loved and they will love unconditionally in return. However, all too often, potential adopters are looking for much more than just a loyal companion. They arrive at shelters or rescue groups in search of pets of a particular age, size, breed or color, leaving many other homeless animals with little hope of finding a forever home.
That is where Petfinder.com comes in.
Today, Wednesday, August 12, marks the first-ever Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day, which Petfinder.com designated to heighten awareness about this issue, which few people outside of the animal welfare industry even know exist. While it is common knowledge that all homeless animals are in need, not everyone realizes that some pets historically and inherently have more difficulty getting adopted than others.
Last month CooperKatz assisted in surveying Petfinder.com’s network of members, which has grown to more than 12,600 shelters and rescue groups across North America. We found that a staggering 96 percent currently have adoptable pets for which they are having particular difficulty finding homes. Forty three percent said that they have had some pets listed on Petfinder.com for one to two years, and another 20 percent have had pets listed for longer than two years – some noted they have had homeless pets for up to five, even seven years.
Old age / senior was the No. 1 reason a pet has difficulty getting adopted (33 percent agreed). In fact, when asked to give any reason why some adoptable pets are overlooked, 77 percent of respondents noted that it is a factor. Other reasons include: pets with medical problems, breed prejudice, shyness and pets that prefer a home without other pets.
Most people do not even realize they are too particular when they begin searching for their family pet. But all too often, they do not even explore beyond a preferred breed or age. When a potential adopter enters a shelter without an open mind, they are bound to overlook animals that, despite not being a purebred or kitten or puppy, might be a better fit.
Sharon Peters at USA Today is a pet parent who understands why it is important to consider homeless pets of all kinds. She spoke with the co-founder of Petfinder.com, Betsy Saul, about Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day, and how a “less-adoptable” pet changed her life. You can read her story here.