This September through October, Maui Humane Society is all about shining the spotlight on Maui’s ‘Less-Adoptable’ shelter pets- pets who, through no fault of their own, tend to spend more time at the shelter waiting for their forever homes.

This Fall, give a shelter pet something to be thankful for- adopt a ‘Less-Adoptable’ pet and Maui Humane Society will take 25% off your pet’s adoption fee. 

While many of our shelter pets are able to immediately grab the attention of potential adopters with their striking features and sociable behavior, other truly wonderful pets tend to be overlooked. ‘Less-Adoptable’ pets include black animals, senior pets, common breeds, mixed breeds, pets with medical problems and pets with behavioral issues.

According to a PetFinder survey, the following ‘less-adoptable’ pets wait nearly four times longer for their forever homes than the average adoptable pet. Please spread the word about 'less-adoptable' pets and help them get that second chance that they EQUALLY deserve!

Black Animals

"People are looking for a face to fall in love with and if that dog doesn't stand out in a crowd, they just get overlooked," says Sherri Skidmore, the owner and founder of the Utah-based Black Dog Rescue Project. "If you put a black dog and a lighter dog next to each other, people will be drawn to the lighter one."

Superstition about the bad luck of having a black cat or the way black dogs are portrayed as villainous or dangerous in movies also contributes to the problem.The same goes for pets with darker coats, such as brindle-coated dogs and tortoiseshell coated cats- and ever abundant orange tabbies.

Senior Pets
Older pets that have lived their whole lives with their owner or family are relinquished to shelters for any number of reasons – ill health, incontinence or another condition of old age, or perhaps the pet's owner has passed away and the family doesn't want to care for the dog or cat left behind.

Adoptive parents tend to shy away from older pets because they're ‘not as cute as’ puppies or kittens. They may not seem as perky, or eager to please as younger animals and they may develop serious, expensive health problems. Tragically, many older pets live out the remainder of their lives in shelters, or are euthanized to make room for more adoptable animals. This is no way for a once cherished pet to live, or to die.

If you're thinking about adopting a shelter pet, an older dog or cat just might be exactly what you're looking for, so we encourage you to keep an open mind! lists their Top 10 Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog, including the fact that seniors tend to settle in quickly, 

have fewer accidents, and usually don't require round-the-clock supervision like many younger dogs do. And of course all that goes double for older kitties!

Common and Misunderstood Breeds
Here on Maui, bully mixed breed dogs account for an estimated 70 percent of dogs who wind up in the shelter. Pit bulls have a bad reputation, thanks in large part to careless breeding, dog fighting, and years of wholesale abuse and neglect of these dogs. Fortunately, there are animal welfare organizations dedicated to pit bull advocacy who are doing wonderful work in educating people about the breed, and helping pit bulls reach their potential as therapy and law enforcement dogs, agility competitors, and family pets.

Pets with Medical Problems
Some pets arrive at the shelter with pre-existing conditions- often potential adopters are intimidated at the idea of caring for a blind or deaf dog, or won’t consider adopting an FIV+ cat. On the other side of things, welcoming a special needs pet into your home can be rewarding for a number of reasons- humans aren’t all perfect, and neither are all pets- but we all deserve to be loved and valued!

Pets with Behavioral Issues
Maybe the cat cowering in the corner is just intimidated or shy, and not unfriendly. Maybe the dog that was surrendered because of barking and chewing just wasn’t getting the attention and socialization that every dog deserves. Some pets find it hard to put their best paw forward when it comes to making a first impression with potential adopters. When matched with the right home, these shy, anxious or fearful pets could transform into that perfect special someone for you.

Large Pets

The number of available and adequate homes for large pets is limited, especially here on Maui where most landlords impose strict size restrictions on pets allowed on property. Unfortunately even an extremely well-socialized, well-mannered large dog can spend months and months waiting for a forever home.

More Resources:

Are Black Pets Less Likely to Be Adopted?

50 Less Adoptable Animals on PetFinder

Why You Should Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet

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