Monday, December 22, 2008

Black Dog Syndrome

Wikipedia definition: “the low adoption and high euthanasia rate of black dogs in shelters. Black dogs are often the last to be adopted from shelters.”

Unfortunately it is all too true.

I was talking to some people at the dogpark on Sunday and I was telling them about the low rate of adoptions for black dogs. They were astounded and shocked. I kind of thought that everyone knew about that, and I was surprised that they didn't. So, I thought it would be a good blog topic.

To put it simply they are always the last to go. Always. Case in point our own dogs- Shasta, Matador, Bonney, and Nova. We've not had one application on Shasta or Matador and they've been with us for a long while now. Why you ask?

Well, they are black. It is hard to appreciate an all black dog. They look generic and boring to most people. It is hard to see facial expression, and typically a black dog also has dark eyes....People pick puppies and dogs mostly by look- sad, but true. And unless you can see past the color and general look of the dog to the inner personality you just might be missing out on a great dog.

In our rescue it is not the end of the world if the black dogs kick around a little longer than the others. We don't euthanise unless it is a severe health, or temperament issue. But in other rescues and shelters around the country it literally is the end of the world for those black dogs.