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Black Cat Syndrome

This is probably something you’ve never heard of but it refers to the phenomenon that many shelters experience when it comes to adopting out black cats and black dogs. Sadly, they are often the last to find forever homes.

Why Black Cats and Black Dogs Are Often Left Behind

My cat, Pearl

Photo: Pam Johnson-Bennett

There are probably many reasons why these animals are the last to be adopted. Many who work in shelters believe it has to do with the fact that it’s harder for people to read the expressions on the faces of the black cats and dogs. Additionally for cats, they carry the baggage of ridiculous superstition and being referred to as bad luck. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression about not letting a black cat cross your path. All you have to do is take a quick glance at Halloween decorations to see the abundance of scary black cats represented there. Hollywood has also contributed to black cat and black dog syndrome by usually casting the black cat as a villain and the black dog as the ferocious four-footed devil in disguise. It’s certainly an uphill battle for these beautiful creatures.

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