From out of the shadows, it’s the Back in Black adoption promotion

Everyone knows black is never out of style. Unfortunately, that doesn't always apply to pets awaiting their forever homes in a shelter. Best Friends Animal Society saw a targeted group of animals in need and offered a solution: a promotion for these oft overlooked animals with a catchy name, Back in Black. Best Friends engaged our No More Homeless Pets Network partners to be a part of the program that focused on ways to help get black pets into the spotlight in order to be adopted into loving families. With 90 participating partners, there were a lot of cheers as dogs and cats trotted out of shelter (or foster) doors and into their new lives.

Here are just some of our favorite forever home stories thanks to Back in Black.

Hurricane survivor dog

Barb Warthen has a special love for black dogs. Among her rescue dogs, there is the quintessential big black shaggy shepherd who would make any Disney movie director proud. Barb enjoys getting alerts from Best Friends, but she admittedly doesn't have time to read every mass email she receives. But there was something about one email that piqued her interest: a black pet promotion - now that was right up her alley.

She wasn't looking to add a fourth dog to her pack. She really just wanted to "look." As the song goes, though, "Just one look, that's all it took!" Her heart fell instantly in love with the dog in a Best Friends video, a Hurricane Katrina survivor named Eagle. Eagle had had a pretty rough go of it: From requiring an emergency response rescue, to enduring heartworm treatment, to overcoming Lyme disease, this dog had been through so much but came out tail wagging on the other side. He was ready for his forever home, and, luckily, his perfect forever home happened to be waiting for him, too.

As Barb succinctly put it, "I just decided to look at your black dogs. I was not planning to add a fourth dog to my home, but Eagle called out to me, first through the photo and write-up, then especially through the video with Lupe. I really do wish people weren't so afraid or whatever of black dogs. I've had several, and other than being hard to find if they get loose on a dark, moonless night, I see absolutely no downsides to living with a black dog."

Beautiful all-black cat

Luna by all accounts is a terrific companion animal - friendly, warm and ready to snuggle. Her outstanding personality was being eclipsed in the adoption arena by the jazzy colors of some of the other cats who had been rescued by King Street Cats (KSC). While Persians and orange tabbies were finding themselves in the "highly desirable" category, little Luna continued to wait.Luna the all-black cat for adoption

Luna, right, finds her new home highly desirable!

But as Melissa Murphy, volunteer at KSC, related, Luna's luck all changed in an instant. Using the marketing tools supplied by the Back in Black adoption promotion, KSC had flyers on hand during their local mobile adoption at a local pet food store. They also had the catnip of the animal world in their midst - kittens - to draw in a crowd, and sure enough, they caught the attention of a woman who was looking to adopt, but just not right then. They shared the Back in Black flyer with her and she told them she loved black cats. Fortunately, they had their King Street Cats kitty profile book available and were able to show her Luna's photo and Petfinder profile. With the promise of the 50-percent-off adoption promotion, the woman was persuaded to visit KSC's main facility to "just take a look." Once the woman was there, she fell in love with Luna. The feeling was mutual and now the lucky Luna is happily curled up in her basket in her new home. Aww!

Two black Labrador retrievers

The future wasn't looking all that terrific for Sammy and MJ, two female black Labs who found themselves at a high-kill shelter through no fault of their own. Things could have really taken a turn for the worst if No More Homeless Pets Network partner and champion of the underdog Fortunate Pooches and Labs Rescue, Inc. had not saved the day. They had already committed to taking a dozen other puppies from the facility, but there was something about the Labs' little faces that the rescuers just couldn't deny. Even though they were still very young dogs, they had outgrown the cute puppy stage and Fortunate Pooches and Labs Rescue knew their chances of adoption were slim.Two all-black Labrador retriever dogs, Sammy and MJ

Nevertheless, off the pups went! Skinny and in need of some TLC, the girls got plenty of what they needed - attention, love and proper care. During the weeks that followed their rescue, Sammy and MJ went to adoption events and did their darnedest to snag a forever family. Well, MJ did; Sammy could have stepped up her game, but she was still a bit shy. They did generate some interest, but there wasn't a love connection, not yet. Then they got the call.

Mary Jane wanted to meet them - both of them, on a Sunday. Arrangements were made for the visit, and when the girls saw Mary Jane, it was love at first sight. After about a half an hour together, the potential adopter seemed to have made up her mind.

Brenda Seglem, volunteer extraordinaire from Fortunate Pooches and Labs Rescue, recollects the scene: "MJ was more outgoing and the forever action gal that she ever was, while Sammy was scared to walk on a leash at first and just wanted to cuddle. Imagine our surprise when Mary Jane answered when asked which one she wanted to take home: "Well both for sure - how can I break this mismatched pair up?" "Two great dogs went home that day, and as Brenda comments, "I hugged Mary Jane right then and there. When we took these dogs in, we had two litters of puppies that were also pulled, but we still had room, so we just couldn't say no to them. Now they're in their own home with toys and lots of love!"

These are just a smattering of the happily-ever-afters that have been brought to the rescue community thanks to the Back in Black promotion! With over 900 black cats and dogs from our No More Homeless Pets Network partners and from the Sanctuary finding their homes during Back in Black, we rejoice in the wonderful new lives all these animals will be starting.

One more word on black adoptions: Don't let the Halloween season stand between adoptables and their forever homes. Check out the blog from Francis Battista, "Myth Busters: Adopting Black Cats at Halloween" and find out the real deal!

Save a life, adopt!

Adopt your next companion animal -- either from the many wonderful pets at Best Friends Animal Society (we adopt out across the United States and Canada) or from one of our No More Homeless Pets Network partners near you.

About the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network program

Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network is a free program for 501(c)(3) rescue groups and shelters that are working towards a time of No More Homeless Pets. Program members are offered special opportunities, including fundraising and adoption events, grants, workshops, webinars, resources, and volunteer recruitment through our database of animal lovers. To learn more and apply, click here.

Images courtesy of Barb Warthen, King Street Cats and Fortunate Pooches and Labs Rescue, Inc.