Today kicks off Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week. established this annual event in 2009. The purpose of this week is to recognize, and hopefully find homes for, those pets who are seen as “less adoptable”.
Rusty, our longest ever resident, has been in his new home for a few weeks. If you look at the list of what makes a pet “less adoptable” he really didn’t fit the profile. He wasn’t a senior or disabled or a breed that some think of us dangerous. He wasn’t huge, he didn’t have mange or look like he’d had a hard life. He was a little high energy and needed room to play and a family to love him. And yet he stayed, and stayed, and stayed. We had a celebration when Rusty went home but we never want a dog to stay longer than a few weeks because a shelter is not a home.

What makes a dog “less adoptable”?

Dogs that are considered by society as “less adoptable” are just as loving, sweet, and kind as all of the other pets. However, they aren’t blessed with the natural poster child adoptability as the other dogs in the shelter. Here are some examples of pets who are considered “less adoptable” and would love to make this week the week they find them forever homes.


Sometimes it can be as simple as being shy and not being as engaged as other dogs. We see this in a litter of puppies where five fly out of the shelter within days and then the last one lingers for weeks into months. Kennedy is our current shy dog. He is as sweet as can be but if you expect you are going to see a puppy coming flying into the visitation room and begin licking your face, wagging his tail, and jumping around then you’ll be let down because Kennedy doesn’t typically do those things at first. But if you are patient, talk quietly, stroke his fur, and just let him himself it won’t take long at all to see a dog who is actually quite adoptable.

Black Dogs

Yes, it’s a thing. There are several theories behind the phenomenon that is Black Dog Syndrome. states that Black Dog Syndrome could be due to the following factors; the size of the dog, dimly lit kennels, unclear facial features, difficulty in getting clear website photos, and negative portrayals of black pets in books and media. No matter what theory you subscribe to, research supports that black dogs have a more difficult time getting adopted. Open your eyes and your hearts to see if Rebel might be the dog for you.

Senior Pets

We have such great success with senior dogs here at NEW PAWSibilities and we can’t figure out why senior pets are considered less adoptable. Senior pets may not be able to give you the same number of years that other pets can, but they can give you some of the best years of your life. Senior pets are usually already house trained and have an attainable level of energy. If you are someone who likes to do the following things; take a nap, go for a leisurely walk, sleep-in, cuddle, hang-out, or watch a movie, then a senior pet is right for you. Senior pets are usually six or older. We’re jumping the gun with Pony Boy because he’s only five. But he’s our oldest dog right now. Come in and take Pony Boy home today!

Other “less adoptable” dogs might be breeds such as Pit Bulls or other “bully breeds” who might be harder to place because of landlords or insurance issues. Blind, deaf, missing legs and health problems such as Diabetes or seizures can also make a dog less adoptable. discovered that less adoptable pets spend an average of 48 weeks on where other pets spend about 12.5 weeks. This week is less about the beautiful puppy that will undoubtedly get a home and more about the underdogs in the shelters and rescues throughout the U.S.

At NEW PAWSibilities we believe every dog is waiting for the perfect family and that it will happen. Dogs are rescued from a high-kill shelter and placed into lifelong, loving homes. Our team of staff and volunteers work towards eliminating the stigma of “un-adoptability.” Easy-to-place dogs, those needing rehabilitation, and older dogs are all welcome at the facility. The goal is to find an adopter whose lifestyle and family configuration are a perfect match for one of these amazing shelter dogs. No healthy dog is ever euthanized.

Celebrate Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week by coming in to meet, and hopefully adopt, one of our perfect pooches.