Black Dogs

Our friend Laura has just begun doing amazing volunteer work with the local animal shelter, Strays and Others. She is spending a great deal of time with the too many cats and kittens who are staying in a shelter home, waiting to be adopted into their forever homes (and discovering which of these wonderful felines will find their own ideal home at Laura’s condo).

All the recent cat action sends my brain, even more than usual, to dogs (a natural place for my thoughts). I was fascinated to learn that among adoptable rescue dogs, black colored dogs are passed over in disproportionate numbers for lighter colored dogs. Black dogs, particularly black Labradors and Labrador mixes, are euthanized at much higher numbers than others as they prove un-adoptable. There doesn’t seem to be a rational explanation (especially if you’ve ever known a Black Lab, Doberman, Black Standard Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, etc.)…the best guess for this oddness is that on websites and flyers posted at local coffee houses, black dogs just don’t photograph well. They turn into blobs in tiny thumbnail photos, and since there are far too many animals to scan past on any adoption website, people just scroll past the ones that don’t jump out. Isn’t that bizarre?

The website Black Pearl Dogs (Black Dog Syndrome) documents the plight of black dogs, and encourages us all to consider rescuing any animal that can be a part of our loving families. “Shelters and rescues have different policies in regards to euthanasia:  no kill to high kill.  Some black dogs will die of natural causes within the system because they will wait a lifetime to be noticed.  Many won’t even get a week.”

I grew up with the world’s greatest dog, Ebony, a Doberman/Labrador mix who was rescued from a shelter (kids had beaten her with a baseball bat). She was my everything, entirely jet black with just a tiny white patch on her neck (and as she got older, her muzzle whitened up). It is entirely beyond my comprehension that anyone would pass by Ebony or any other stunning black dog.

Thinking of adopting a dog, cat, horse, rabbit, hamster, snake, any domesticated animal? Visit a shelter, rescue a loving animal. Research the topic into the ground BEFORE you get a pet from a pet store–puppy mills are abhorrent operations and MUST be driven out of business–the pet stores are what keeps them operating.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bob pederson on March 8, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    black dogs rule.


  2. […] Welfare Society, Leave a Comment It wasn’t too long ago that I blogged about Black Dogs and how difficult they are to place for adoption from shelters. Without 100% clarity, theories tend […]


  3. Good information. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book-marked it for later!


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