Bellyrubs make the world go 'round, though it's usually better if you have a cat or dog around for them. Otherwise it's just kinda creepy.
Wednesday, Aug. 12 is PetFinder.com's Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day, giving a nod to older or disabled animals, FIV+ cats and big black dogs, who tend to have lower adoption rates than other animals.
[L]ast month, PR and marketing expert Heather Rosenwald launched Start Seeing Black Dogs, which offers free marketing and PR services to help shelters and rescue groups put their available black dogs in the best possible light to potential adopters.
"It's not that people are rejecting black shelter dogs out of hand," said Rosenwald, who owns two adopted big black dogs of her own. "It's that they just don't realize the problem exists. Whenever I do some kind of public education, like appearing on a radio show, and talk about black dogs, there's an immediate increase in the adoption of those dogs from the local shelters and rescue groups."
Meanwhile, cats with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), the kitty version of HIV, can still live long lives after diagnosis. More than 10 percent of cats worldwide have the disease, which can be controlled for long periods of time with medication.
And according to PetFinder.com, here are some advantages those "less adoptable" pets:
-- Older pets are mellower. You don't have to worry about your lamp getting knocked over!
-- Physically challenged pets are often unaffected by their handicap, but you still look like a hero!
-- With "bad reputation" breeds, you get the chance to prove people wrong with your great dog!
-- Dark-furred pets make it easy to accessorize. Black goes with everything!
-- Pets with behavioral issues allow you to form a tight bond as you overcome obstacles together!
-- Big dogs are easier to find when it's time to go to the vet!
Check out some local shelters and go give some highly coveted belly rubs already.
Washington Animal Rescue League
The shelter is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Psst … All cat adoption fees are waived through September as part of WARL's Summer of Free Love program.
Washington Humane Society
The group is offering half-off on adoption fees for animals from its New York Avenue N.E. and Georgia Avenue N.W. shelters, as well as animals in foster care.
Animal Welfare League of Arlington
The shelter is open noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday; adoption fees are $120 for dogs and $100 for cats. But first! Don't miss their page of strange local animal stories, like the man who discovered a clear plastic hamster ball rolling down the street -- with two hamsters inside it.
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Unfortch, the Alexandria shelter is closed Wednesdays (didn't they get the memo about what today is?!), but the other six days per week, the adoption fee for a dog or cat is $50. In the meantime, entertain yourself with some adoption stories so sweet your teeth will actually hurt.
Prince George's County SPCA/Humane Society
The shelter is holding an adoption event this Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Petco in Columbia, Md. (6181 Old Dobbin Lane) from noon to 2 p.m. Learn more about their animals at the shelter's blog.
Montgomery County Humane Society
The shelter is transitioning from a kennel environment to a foster-care program; as a special incentive, adoption fees are being waived for animals adopted from foster care. Find out more here.
Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County
The shelter is holding an adoption event Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Adoption fees generally cover spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and sometimes microchipping.