POINT PLEASANT —There are quite a few animals at the Mason County Animal Shelter who are waiting for some good luck this Friday the 13th, including a black cat named Bob.
Black cats, and black dogs for that matter, seem to be the last ones adopted and therefore often the first ones who are euthanized according to many animal welfare groups across the county. There’s a simple but unfair theory behind this statistic which attributes this to animals with black fur not photographing well on adoption websites and/or not standing out to potential adopters when compared to the varied palette of colors other dogs and cats come in. This seems particularly unfair to black animals because their plain color doesn’t represent their often big, and loving, character.
Betty Neville, manager of the Mason County Animal Shelter agrees, saying in her experience black animals get overlooked. She said she doesn’t understand why when these animals are just as loving as any other pet.
Take Bob the cat for instance. Bob is a jet black tomcat who is about a year old and has spent the last few weeks at the Mason County Animal Shelter. Bob is what Neville describes as “the love bug” and just wants to be made over and given a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Bob pats at the cage’s lock when Neville goes to let him out for a bit, partly because he wants to play and partly because he’s a smart cookie and seems to be trying to figure out how to escape. Bob is basically a lap cat stuck in a cage and at this point, his time at the shelter is coming to a close - he, along with any other animal, can only be held there a few weeks before being euthanized, or, for the lucky ones, shipped to another animal rescue which is a no-kill facility.
Bob’s status is what shelter workers call “urgent” as are the statuses of his fellow feline inmates. Alongside Bob are six other cats who are desperate for a home at this point in their stay at the shelter. There is Oreo, a female cat around a year old who is a black and white mix with a unique marking on her nose which resembles the WV emblem of West Virginia University - she is hopeful a WVU fan (or any fan) will see her unique marking and loving nature as a reason for adoption. Then here’s Callie, a beautiful, laid back, long-haired calico who is a year old and was brought in with her sister Halley - Halley has since been adopted, leaving Callie alone and hopeful her new home is on its way. Stripes, a tabby one-year old female loves to play and literally talk to you about her day. Stripes sits next to Mittens, another female who is barely past being a kitten who shares the “love bug” gene and craves a lap to curl up in. Next to Mittens is the life of the party, Whitey, a young female who is white and tan and acts more like a dog than a cat by wanting to play and be a people pleaser. Then there’s Blue Eyes, a Siamese and loving mother who just gave birth to four kittens.
In addition to Bob the black cat, there are two black dogs currently at the shelter who also seem to be looked over due to their color because their personalities are extremely adoptable. The clock is ticking on Rodney and Derek, two black Labrador mixes who are both nearing the end of their time allotted at the shelter. Derek is about a year old and still a puppy with a lot of kisses and non-stop happy energy to give to an owner. Derek lives for playtime and someone to bestow his loyalty on.
As for Rodney, he is a shy, easy-going, well-mannered two-year old who loves going for walks. Neville said Rodney is perfect for someone who loves to walk because he is so easy going and listens to commands. Rodney is well adjusted and ready to trust the right person for his forever home, if it comes to him.
The Mason County Animal Shelter is open for adoptions from 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. The cost to adopt a cat is $20 and the cost to adopt a dog is $25. Pets of all sizes, shapes and colors are available for adoption and can be viewed on Petfinder.com. Call 304-675-6458 for more information.
Neville said working with out-of-state rescue organizations has helped save the lives of some animals at the shelter but the shelter still depends on adoptions from the community to spare the lives of those who can’t save, or speak, for themselves.
As for the black dogs and cats of this world, animal rescue workers hope potential adopters look at the content of an animal’s character, not the color of its fur.