Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is Black Dog Syndrome Real?

Coal, Raven, Licorice, Pepper, Ebony, Shadow, and Velvet are all common names for black dogs.  As a mom to a black lab mix and an admirer of all black dogs, I was amazed when I heard of Black Dog Syndrome.  While it is not a major problem here in New England, it is a very real problem in Southern high-kill shelters.  Sadly, in those shelters, black dogs are the last considered for adoption and the first to be euthanized.  When asked why people over look these beautiful dogs, the most common response is that they are too plain or they look aggressive. 



Working at a shelter, my feeling is that they are overlooked because they are so black and sometimes the lighting in the shelter is not perfect, therefore making it difficult to actually see the dog.  We've tried different ways to help make them stand out, such as light colored bedding or accessorising them with bandanas.  But, still when the shelter is overloaded with resident dogs, the lighter colored dogs or the multi-colored dogs still seem to be the first adopted.  So, even here in Maine and other New England states, these dogs need the opportunity to show visiting families their unique personalities and how fun and loving they can be.



I stand behind the phrase, Black is Beautiful and will always have a special place in my heart for all the black dogs out there struggling to compete with the more "fashionable" pups of the world.

All the dogs pictured here, and many other black dogs, are currently available at the Animal Refuge League, (207) 854-9771.