There's nothing wrong with dogs and cats in shelters, and they make fabulous pets. That's the message of The Shelter Pet Project, the public awareness project launched last fall by The Humane Society of the United States, the Ad Council, and Maddie's Fund, in partnership with the entire animal welfare community.
This national advertising campaign is aimed at attacking the stigma associated with animals in shelters and urging would-be pet parents to make shelters the first stop when adding a pet to the family.
But even when we succeed in getting potential adopters into animal shelters, some animals are still overlooked, often because they are senior or shy, special needs, or simply the "wrong" color or breed.
This week, Petfinder.com is spotlighting some of these pets who are the hardest to find homes for by hosting Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable Pet Week, teaming up with animal shelters and rescues and concerned bloggers all across the country and the world.
You can join in this effort by promoting a "less adoptable" pet from your area on your Facebook page, other social networking sites, your blog or website, or simply by urging friends and family to give these animals a second chance when looking to adopt. Petfinder has made it easy for you -- you can browse a gallery of shelter-nominated less-adoptable pets or use Petfinder's search tool. You might also ask adoption groups near you which pets in their care are especially in need of homes at the moment.
Each of us can be a voice for shelter pets -- and this week and beyond, let's speak up in an especially loud voice for the seniors and the less-than-perfect animals. They may give us back more love than any other dog or cat we could find anywhere else.
This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.
Follow Wayne Pacelle on Twitter: www.twitter.com/humanesociety