Black animals are less often taken from shelters: truth or myth?
Black animals are less often taken from shelters: truth or myth?

If a black cat crosses the road, don't expect good luck. White puppies are nicer and more expensive than black ones. In the shelters, they believe that it is these beliefs that make people ignore black pets, which is why they wait longer to be taken into new families, if they wait at all. In the United States, the results of a study on this issue have recently been published - and these results have surprised even experts.

Black cat

In Western culture, black has been associated with something evil, bad or sad for several centuries. Perhaps this is why people subconsciously take black pets less often? The term “black dog effect” has even appeared in shelters. “This effect is real,” says Mira Horowitz, founder of the Lucky Dog shelter. “Recently we had 5 puppies, all very fluffy, two white and three black. The whites were dismantled in the blink of an eye, while the blacks waited several weeks."

Black Dog

In shelters, where animals are euthanized if they are not taken for a long time, they also claim that it is black animals that most often stay so long that they have to give a fatal injection. “People sometimes think black dogs are more dangerous,” says Hawk Hancock, executive director of the animal rights community. “But this is very, very unfair. In fact, humans are more likely to be bitten by a white Chihuahua than by a large black dog."

In her study of Mira, Horowitz decided not to limit herself to just the dry data of which animals are taken from shelters and which are not, but to study other factors. So, for example, she found out that if a person spends some time with animals before taking them home, then the factor of the pet's appearance does not play such a big role. Those who want to take the dog pay more attention to the appearance, but even they can change their minds. And those who came for a cat even more so put the factor of appearance as one of the last items on their list. The choice is much more influenced by how the cat behaves, how it purrs, whether it fawns, how it looks in the eyes, whether it plays and shows friendliness in general.

Prejudice against black animals

At the same time, in modern society, people often do not have the opportunity to spend time in a shelter. People choose their pet from the photo on the website and come to the shelter for the chosen animal. And here the appearance plays a big role - black animals are more difficult to photograph, in photographs of black animals it is rarely possible to convey emotions.

Black pets

Another unexpected factor was genetics. Among animals, the gene for black color is dominant - just as among humans, the gene for brown eyes is dominant (about 80% of people around the world have brown eyes). That is, there are simply more black animals than any other colors. That is, if 3 black and one white puppy appeared at the shelter at the same time, and on the first day they took one black and one white - then according to statistics, it turns out that less blacks are taken, but is this true?

Is there a problem with black cats and if so why?

In a 2012 study that looked at the reasons why people choose this or that animal, one of the interesting results was that people tend to choose an animal that stands out from others. Imagine that you have 10 black puppies and one ginger - which one will you choose? The exact same principle works for cats.More black cats are born, and against their background any cat with a three-color color will be picked up many times faster.

Black pets

In the shelters of eastern Europe, as well as in some shelters in the west, there is also a belief that on the eve of Halloween, black animals can be taken away for some selfish and completely unseemly motives. Therefore, you can often find that throughout October, shelters refuse to give their black puppies, and especially black kittens and even adult cats. Does this affect the final statistics? - Undoubtedly. But in this case, we are not talking about choosing a family that came for a pet, this is a decision of the shelter itself.

Black cats

“Alas, there is no clear and clear one answer why there is such a prejudice in society about black animals - and whether it corresponds to the truth, there is no. There are too many factors. Are black animals really taken less often, or are black animals just more? Or, if we talk about dogs, it all comes down to the fact that black dogs are usually larger and more difficult to care for? " - says Julie Morris, vice president of the Society for the Protection of Animals.

One way or another, for a really long time, black cats were considered to be the devil's fiends - however, only in some cultures. In others, on the contrary, black cats are considered animals that bring good luck. You can learn more about this from our article. "Black cats in different cultures".

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