There is no real difference between a black dog and any other color dog, but people tend to believe certain myths about black dogs, and they end up being overlooked more often than not.
There are many ways shelters can encourage the adoption of black dogs. Even something simple like taking their pictures outdoors, but not in direct sunlight, can go a long way. A black animal can also be photographed wearing a colorful bandanna or playing in an area where there are bright colors (rather than in a dingy grey concrete cell) to set off the dog's features.
Many shelters offer black dogs at lower prices, hoping to attract budget-conscious adopters. Black dogs are also often given super-hero names to encourage people to notice their positive attributes.
Shelter workers who are especially attuned to the plight of black dogs will make a special effort to have some of the black dogs out of their cages when prospective adopters are around. A black dog sitting in the back of his cage is not going to attract anyone's attention. However, a black dog out playing in the yard can be a star.
If you're in the market for a new dog, make a special effort to get to know the black dogs at your local shelter. Ask the shelter workers to bring the dogs out of their cages so you can get a good sense of their personalities before you reject them based only on the color of their fur.
If you are not in a position to adopt a black dog for your own family, consider becoming an advocate for black dogs at your local shelter. Make posters to advertise their availability, post pictures on bulletin boards at the vet's offices near you, and promote black dog adoption at community events or in your work, school, or church newsletter. Visit Start Seeing Black Dogs for more tips on how to promote the adoption of black dogs.
This is how Tamara Delaney of Black Pearl Dogs started out. She got so attached to Jake, a black Labrador Retriever who had been in her local shelter for three years, she ended up adopting him herself. Then, she started her website to encourage others to do the same. She has since been featured on MSNBC and CNN, as well as in BARK magazine, Dogs Today, and People.
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