Many of you have adopted pets in your lives. Have any of you adopted what is generally considered to be a “less adoptable” pet? If you have, what has that experience been like? If you have not, what has stopped you?
According to Petfinder, a less adoptable pet fits into one of the broad categories of animals that generally wait longer to find their families, and have worse luck at being adopted at all. These include senior animals, large black dogs of any breed, pit bulls or pit bull mixes, and special needs animals (including blind, deaf, or limited mobility pets).
Our Little Zee is “less adoptable” not only under one criteria, but under three different ones – she is eight years old, which makes her officially a “senior,” she is a pit bull type dog, and she needs a little bit of help getting around (up and down stairs especially), due to her neuro condition. But being the happy, optimistic, bumbly little charmer that she is, she has no idea that she is “less adoptable” in so many ways. She is perfectly happy in her own skin, and thinks that she is just perfect. That’s the Little Zee way.
And to be honest, we consider Little Zee to be our most adoptable foster dog yet. She is an absolute delight in the house, and needs very little care. She is quiet and snuggly, adores people, is so gentle on a leash, and is happy just to be with us, quickly curling up for a nap on the floor, wherever we are. She does not beg, does not chew or scratch, does not steal slippers, toys, or food, does not mind being handled, picked up, bumped into, or having her tail pulled. She has no anxious inclinations, and does not need to be babied with stuffed kongs or other activities when we leave. She does her outdoor business as soon as she steps outside, and does not have accidents in our house. She loves to go for walks, but is content with just a few 10 minute strolls a day if that’s all we can offer. She sleeps like a rock all through the night, and could easily keep sleeping well past the alarm clock, even if she has been snuggled in for 12+ hours. She is so happy and silly that everybody falls in love with her. She is small in size and goofy in personality, so she intimidates almost nobody. We could go on. So answer this—what about this description makes Zee so unadoptable?
In case you hadn’t heard, this week is officially “Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week” at Petfinder. All this week, Petfinder is featuring animals who fit the aforementioned criteria prominently on their website, in order to encourage potential adopters to think twice about these lovely animals who just don’t have as good of a shot otherwise. We are thrilled that Petfinder has chosen to do this, and have already scrolled through some of the dogs in the gallery and picked out a few dozen that we ourselves would love to adopt.
But we do think that calling these animals “less adoptable” may not be the best term of art, since it has a slightly negative connotation. Next year, what if Petfinder hosted “Adopt a Diamond-in-the-Rough Week” instead?