Black Shelter Dogs Need Your Support

By Jessica Bush

Black Shelter Dogs Need Your Support

Did you know that black dogs are often overlooked in shelters? This phenomenon is so common that it even has a name: Black Dog Syndrome. It happens for a variety of reasons, including the perception that black dogs don’t photograph well for online profiles. Many rescue organizations in the United States have even founded clubs or groups to help educate their communities about common misconceptions, such as the notion that black dogs are more aggressive.

As a way to encourage adoptions, the Black Dog Club of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa offers T-shirts and coffee mugs with the slogan: “I like my coffee like I like my dog: black and sweet.” In the simplest terms, Stacey Norwood of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society of Birmingham, Ala., says, "As an adopter, you have the power to make a real difference in the life of a black shelter dog -- a dog often slighted by other adopters in favor of a more colorful companion." So the next time you see that friend of yours with the black rescue mutt, congratulate them on making a wise choice.

Jessica Bush is a pet blogger and pet enthusiast located in Birmingham, Ala.



Posted on February 15, 2012

Suzanne says: I don't know how that ridiculous rumor got started, but I can honestly say that Maija, my big (approx. 80 pounds) black husky/shepherd mix I adopted 12 years ago, is the best dog I have ever owned. She needed lots of extra love and attention since I was her third owner (she had a lot of bad habits). She has kept me sane through the last 11 years (divorce, liver cancer/failure due to hepatitis c, a liver transplant and now metastatic liver cancer to my lungs). She has always been here to cheer me up and helps me enjoy each day. None of my other dogs were ever as in tune with me as my girl Maija. If I could I would adopt another black dog in a heartbeat.

Posted on February 9, 2012

Jim says: We have a black cat..Abe that adopted us after flooding in our area. We adopted a black lab mix..Zeke from the local shelter. They are our best buddies. Our pals from A to Z are both black and are a joy for our home and family..adopt a shelter pet...they are the best!

Posted on October 23, 2011

amacdonald@loewshotels.com says: Hi Anne, This is a fascinating article. Dale Terry

Posted on October 3, 2011

Kathi says: We have two black dogs who are the best in the world. The mom was adopted from someone giving away the pups and her son who is the most lovable guy around. Loves kids, licks them like they are lollipops I always say. Wouldn't trade them for the world

Posted on August 15, 2011

Riverdogs says: I have a black Lab/Jack Russell Terrier mix. Sounds odd but he's amazing. Looks like a mini-Lab, acts like a terrier and swims like an otter. He's the 4th in a line of rescued black dogs in this family.

Posted on June 26, 2011

Becci says: I am also surprised to hear this. I have a sweet black cat now. He is my second black cat as an adult, and growing up we had three black cats and a black lab. I've always liked their pretty shiny black coats and would not give any credence to the notion that the color of the fur effects personality .. that's rubbish! I would also speculate that the prevalence of black dogs in shelters is really due to the commonality of black labs/dobermans/shepherds that are so often mixed together. Black is also the most common color for feral cats. If you seen a whole wild cat group they are generally slightly smaller than your average domestic and tend to be all black.

Posted on June 23, 2011

Shirley says: I got a black dog from my neighbor who didnt care about him. All I saw was a sad puppy, sick with worms, fleas etc... He came to me dumb as a bag of rocks because he was tought absolutly nothing and left in the back yard with 3 other dogs that picked on him. Low dog on the totum pole he was. Well, I saw no color all I saw was a sweet little boy that didnt disurve the life he had gotten delt. He was only about 4 months old. So I brought him home with me and interduced him to my german shepherd Angela who I have had for almost 13 years. Yes an old gal. My new little boy gave Angela some much needed spunk. She can still chase him (cant catch him but that is okay). I have had the boy for 9 months now and is no longer as dumb as a bag of rocks. He is wonderful.... His name is Henry.

Posted on March 20, 2011

Milt says: Buster John is a black - or nearly black - designer dog type. He looks a lot like Lon Chaney, Jr. so we call him Woofman. Perhaps he should be called The Shadow since he has "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." He can lie on the couch or in my recliner and become invisible. TRUE - well almost!  

Posted on March 18, 2011

Judy says: I am the owner of three beautiful dogs. Barry is a nine year old black lab/chow mix and thinks he's a baby. He has let my eleven year old walk him on a leash since he has been able to walk. Lady is a nine year old cocker/border collie mix that couldn't be any sweeter. she thinks all childern are her babies. Mia is an Australian Sheperd that is a black merle. All my dogs are either strays that found their way to me or a dog I adopted from the pound. There really is no such thing as a bad dog or a mean dog just horrible, cruel owners. I also have seven dumped cats and a couple of unwanted and unloved equines. No animals should be looked over because of thier color.

Posted on March 16, 2011

Donna says: I am a photographer and it doesn't matter what color the animals is. It really depends on lighting and the back ground you use. :D

Posted on March 16, 2011

Donna says: I have two black dogs. Daisy-may and Magic. They are so sweet and a great big part of our family. We adopted them 9 years ago from a shelter and we love them dearly. It doesn't matter what color they are, everyone animals just wants to be loved and respected. My prayers go out to all of these wonderful and amazing animals. God's blessings to all the humans that take care of our precious gift from God. God's peace :D

Posted on March 14, 2011

Libby says: I have the pleasure of being "Mom" to 5 rescue dogs, 4 of which are black. My friends often laugh and say that if there is a black dog that needs rescueing or fostering I'll be the one to help, cause "It's a BLACK one!!!" My oldest black doggie is a 14/1/2 year old lab mix, she came from the E list at the local pound and has been the best girl ever for the 13 1/2 years she's been with me.

Posted on March 8, 2011

Miriam says: I love black dogs and black cats. I love their color, but it has nothing to do with personality. I have had 4 black labs and 4 black cats, the next new friend I rescue will be black too! If they let me have a choice that is!

Posted on February 25, 2011

Becca says: Its funny but I had never heard that black animals were harder to adopt out. I have in the past few years adopted 2 black kitty's and just a few weeks ago adopted a black lab mix from a rescue in NC. All 3 of my pets are black and they are all the best part my family.

Posted on February 1, 2011

Linda says: I adopted a wonderful black "mutt" from a rescue. During a fllow-up call the woman who managed the rescue said that she was so happy that we had chosen him because black dogs are so difficult to adopt out. I was amazed, as cute and sweet as he was he had been at the rescue for two years. He had to be put down due to cancer, his last few years were wonderful and I will forever miss him.

Posted on January 21, 2011

Lois says: I have a 7 month old black GSD and she is wonderful. she is hard to photo, but who cares!!! We love her and she already showing signs of protection.

Posted on January 12, 2011

Suzanne says: I got my big black dog from a shelter. He was 7 years old and has turned out to be the best dog I ever had. He was named Angus, which I changed to Sweet Angus to match his personality!

Posted on January 14, 2011

Jen says: I have a large Black Lab mix. He is the best dog ever! Extremely gentle with children of all sizes and wants nothing more than to have his belly rubbed. The color of a dog has nothing to do with their personality.

Posted on January 8, 2011

Cat says: I found a wonderful and loving black cocker spaniel named Sadie at the local pound in Charlotte, NC. She came to my home as a companion to my older blond cocker and of course to help me thru the eventual passing of my beloved friend. I call her a "love dog" as she has yet to meet a person she won't love on or take a scratch from. One of the best decisions ever. I love her dearly.

Posted on January 3, 2011

Trudy says: I had a black cat for 16 yrs until this summer when he crossed the bridge. He was the most laid back, friendly, independent, loving cat. Made a great house mate.  I am starting to look for another black cat.  By the way, he love Halloween and would lurk on the porch and stare at trick or treaters.

Posted on February 15, 2012

dee lamay says: I just adopted a BLACK puppy from a rescue organization and I am the lucky one !!

Posted on February 15, 2012

Linda says: Ruby is the best black shelter dog ever!!!

Posted on February 26, 2012

Adrienne says: We rescued 2 black dogs, Oliver and Olivia from a pet sanctuary close by because they were brother and sister and we would never separate them!  They are fantastic dogs!  People need to overlook color and go by temperament.  You are truly missing out if you don't!!  Besides, I think black is elegant and beautiful  :)

Posted on February 27, 2012

mary says: I have 3 black cats and my friend has a sweet funny black doberman. all are loved

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