Black cats are NOT bad luck, unless you take into consideration the fact that they are last to get adopted and the most likely to be euthanized. Black dogs are handed the same fate.
While many black dogs and cats are adopted every year, they almost always have the longest wait – stuck living in a small cage with no one to love them. It’s just not fair.
Luckily, one photographer is striving to change that.
Meet Emma O’Brien, an award-winning portrait photographer on a mission to help more black dogs and cats find their furever home.
“So, because I’m a fan of championing the underdog (and cat), these images are my PR stunt to show that black dogs and cats are far from boring… because, like a publicity-hungry Kardashian, I’ll do anything to get shelter pets the attention they deserve.”
Every animal you see portrayed below has been adopted in a loving home.
O’Brien also comes up with clever captions for her photos, I especially love Merlin’s:
“Lost his eye whilst on a secret mission for MI5. Keeps requesting a monetary allowance for a diamond encrusted patch. Keeps being denied. Has put in an order with Cartier and is going to expense it.”
After conducting some research, O’Brien found four key reasons why black dogs and cats are among the least likely to get adopted.
- They don’t photograph as well – although, her beautiful portraits disprove that.
- Black dogs tend to look more intimidating and aggressive – which is so far from the truth.
- There’s a superstition (or a “stupid-stition” according to O’Brien) about black cats being unlucky
- They are plain or boring (once again, so not true!)
While conducting research, O’Brien discovered some tips for shelters looking to adopt out their black dogs and cats- she recommends placing them with dogs and cats who are wearing alternative colored outfits.
“Apparently, if there’s one black dog amongst a run full of brown dogs, he’s most likely to be selected. Make them stand out. Apparently, humans are a bit partial to clever marketing and fancy packaging,” she writes.
She adds that the dog and cat moms who adopted the beauties featured here took them home based on their “super personalities.”
“The exception to this rule (there’s always one) is DOGG. He was picked up at the side of the road, called ‘Dog’ because he was only going to be a foster but then he changed his name to D O GG and refused to leave.”
Sadly, many shelters euthanize black dogs and cats prematurely, knowing that their chances of finding a home are slim. This is incredibly heartbreaking to stomach because they aren’t even given a fair chance.
8. Maya The Mexican
“Changing perceptions amongst potential adopters as well as using clever ‘marketing’ tools to make them stand out seems to be the key.”
“Insisted on a head shot only because he’s still trying to get bikini ready”
O’Brien also stresses the importance of educating people about sterilizing pets to prevent the birth of unwanted cats and dogs.
“Many of the stars I snapped were accidental arrivals (don’t tell Truffle) and whilst they are unbelievably loved, another critter will have not been so lucky. It’s a numbers game, one that must be reduced by getting cats and dogs ‘fixed’ before more accidental babies arrive.”
It’s equally important to encourage dog and cat owners to adopt, don’t shop! There are some misconceptions about shelter animals, such as they take time to settle in, they may be difficult, or may require special training or a behaviorist.
In reality, the risks of taking home a shelter dog are the same as taking home any puppy from the pet store or a breeder. Most shelter dogs and cats make excellent pets.
“All shelter pet parents will tell you that the love you get in return is 110% worth it.”
“All the shelter pet parents I talk to who have bought a dog or cat previously tell me that they will never, ever buy a dog again because their rescued friend has changed their life for the better.”
“Full-time retiree. Part-time therapist. Will always share her couch, but may fall asleep whilst you talk.”
“Has a fetish for sitting on velvet chairs. His tongue isn’t the only thing he lets hang out.”