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Celebrate Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week 2012!

September 18, 2012

Four years ago when I was thinking about adopting CG, there was another cat in the running, too.


His name was Hokus Pokus, and he was a black cerebellar hypoplasia cat who lived a few hours away in Indiana.

While I ultimately adopted CG, I never forgot about Hokus. I would check his Petfinder profile now and again to see if he had found his forever family. He never did.

I literally watched the cat grow up on Petfinder as the shelter eventually swapped out his kitten photo for a more adult-looking one. My heart broke for him as I thought about all of the wonderful times CG and I have shared – but Hokus never had anyone or any experiences like that.

Hokus is just one example of thousands and thousands of pets across the U.S. who are deemed “less adoptable.” While some animals may be older, deaf, blind or differently-abled, Hokus had multiple factors stacked against him. He was not only a special needs black cat, but he was not longer a kitten.

Pets in many ways are just like you and me. No one is truly alike, who we are extends past outward appearances, and we all have a need for love.

The trouble is, all to often a pet’s outward appearance is all that a potential adopter may see. Consequently, no matter how special and wonderful a pet may be, that outward appearance and the associations with it, may prevent him from landing a forever home.

And sometimes, very special times, those very reasons could be why a pet is adopted.

The other day I checked Hokus’s profile again and nearly cried. This time for joy. I’m ecstatic to announce that he has finally been adopted after nearly four years.

So here’s to the week that we all agree to look past outward appearances. Odds are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already taken that step by adopting a cerebellar hypoplasia cat. So thank you for making a huge difference in a less-adoptable pet’s life. But hopefully you won’t stop just there.

If your CH cat(s) is anything like mine, odds are you can’t help but tell everyone you meet how wonderful these cats are. And it’s that attitude of wanting to be a spokesperson for not only these cats, but ones that may often be overlooked, that can help less-adoptables this week and every week.

By sharing your enthusiasm about CH cats and other needy pets, friends, neighbors and coworkers will see that different and special needs pets aren’t animals they should pity or fear. Rather, they’ll see the many positives that come from adopting one of these pets, and perhaps they will even consider adopting one in the future.

Plus, the more people become familiar with pit bulls, one-eyed cats, three-legged dogs and yes, even wobbly cats, the less they’ll fear them and view them as different.

Petfinder asked its shelters and rescue groups which types of pets they have the hardest time finding homes for. They responded:

If you’re interested in adopting a less-adoptable pet, visit your local shelter.

You can also find special needs pets (which include less-adoptables) in your area by searching on Petfinder. First type in your zip code and select your pet preference in the Search for a Pet sidebar. Click “Search,” and when the next page loads, you’ll have the option to view “Special Needs” pets in your area.

Looking for a CH cat? You can find a list of adoptable CH cats here.

Even if you can’t adopt one of these special creatures now, consider fostering them. You can find more information about fostering here.

Other than your CH cat(s) have you, or anyone you know, adopted a less-adoptable pet? Please share in the comments!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lauren Torggler permalink
    September 22, 2012 3:28 pm

    It may also be worthwhile to call the local shelters if you cannot find a CH or other “less adoptable” pet on Petfinder in your area too. Before we adopted Mimosa from a shelter in Norfolk, VA, we did extensive research on the cats they had up for adoption both in the shelter and in foster care and no where did it indicate that any of the cats had CH. Even when we went into the shelter and saw Mimosa (then called Divinity), it wasn’t until we requested for them to take her out of her cage that they even mentioned she had some kind of “issue.” One woman told us she had CH but the shelter staff later refused to acknowledge it on the adoption forms they had us sign. According to them she had no “disability” even though it was clear she had major balance issues. (When we met her she had one foot in her water bowl, another in her food and kept toppling into her litter box…they wouldn’t even let her out of the cage for fear she would get stuck somewhere) Only after we adopted her did we receive a small sticker that was in the corner of her cage that said “I was born a bit off balance…” I’m not sure if some shelters try to avoid “advertising” the special needs of some kittens for fear that they are less adoptable, but if we had not specifically asked about Mimosa, we would have never known she had CH, which was part of the reason I knew I had to adopt her on the spot!

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