This time of year can be difficult for black cats and dogs. From Halloween decorations, the media, and even children's books we're hounded with images that are meant to instill fear in us when we see them. Unfortunately, the fear that surrounds these animals lies almost entirely in mythical folklore and superstition, which influences our real-life views. No need to fear, we're debunking some myths about these misunderstood creatures. Chances are, the only spell you'll fall under is one of unconditional love and cuddly cuteness.

Myth: Black cats and dogs are evil and bring bad luck.
Fact: While it's difficult to forget the folklore and superstitions of days of old, black cats and dogs are no more bearers of bad luck than any other animal. (Except maybe a hungry grizzly bear.) They aren't evil either. Black cats are seen as good luck charms in the UK, and in Japan, they are believed to help single women find husbands. In Scotland, black dogs are considered lucky and helpful in business ventures; they are also seen as protectors and guides for travelers.

Myth: Black cats and black dogs are more aggressive and less friendly than their light-colored counterparts.
Fact: Coat color does not determine character; however, breeding and home environment can. While everyone is different, it is important to spend time with any animal you intend to adopt in order to get a good idea of their temperament and personality.

Myth: You should never adopt a black dog or cat.
Fact: You should definitely adopt them! Black cats and dogs tend to take 2-5 days longer to be adopted than lighter-coated pets. Shelters equate this not only to superstitions but to the idea that they're seen as less-photogenic - their facial features and expressions are more difficult to photograph, and poorly lit shelters mean they can get overlooked. Shelters are trying to combat these statistics by training dogs to sit at the front of their kennels during visiting hours, and brightly colored bandannas and collars are worn to make them stand out.  Remember to never judge a pet by its coat color - black cats and dogs need a loving, safe home just like any other pet.