I posted last Friday about Black Dog Syndrome: the lower adoption rate shelters see for black dogs than for lightered-colored ones. Here (reprinted from Black Pearl Dogs) is a list of 10 ways you can help.
1) Spay and neuter your pets. Urge those around you to do the same.
2) If you can adopt, please consider adopting a black dog who is waiting just for you. *”Many beautiful black dogs are overlooked—and, sadly, euthanized in disproportionate numbers”.
3) Sponsor a black dog or open your heart and home to foster care for a black dog (if you can’t adopt), in a rescue or shelter so they can open their doors to another black dog on death row without worry of finances.
4) If you can’t sponsor or foster, make posters for a black dog you find in a shelter or rescue to **advertise** their need of a home on community bulletin boards, vet offices, pet stores, your work office board, the company newsletter, the school paper. Gain permission from the sponsoring rescue or shelter first. Include the Blackpearldogs webpage address as part of the advertisement so interested people can understand more fully the plight this waiting BlackPearl faces. See one womans brilliant work
5) Go past your apprehensions and stretch yourself: walk a black-dog-in-waiting in a park and advertise to all that s/he needs a home. They will appreciate that you left your comfort zone so they could (hopefully) enter into one.
6) Volunteer to take them to obedience classes to attain skills that will make them more adoptable to the average family or teach them an endearing human greeting (like sit and shake).
7) Share this webpage address to let all dog lovers know how wonderful and in need a black dog is in today’s’ canine adoption community. We at Contrary to Ordinary are not a rescue facility. We know there are many cogs to make the wheel turn and we are fullfilling our niche of being an educational platform to get the word out so those gifted with other talents (ie foster care, transportation, fund raising, placement and adoption matching) can fulfill their niches to help the waiting black dogs out there.
10) For those with savvy or flair: coordinate a “Tux and Tails” event for your local shelters or rescues. Gather up all the black coated critters waiting to find their forever heart and “do the bubbles” to make all fresh and clean. Add a tux (red or white) bow tie or a snappy collar (Bison Designs has brillant ones) and provide these waiting pearlies the opportunity to “run way” their stuff and become available for folks to appreciate them out of a dimly lit kennel run. You could even go as elaborate as every hour have a “walk” set to music with cards read that share what they already know: sit, down, off, fetch. I am guessing some of the pearlies would even do a demonstration of what they have to offer. Have a table set up to take applications or to donate financially to support these waiting pearls.
**The image that you make….i.e. the picture that you take….. may be the key to his or her being adopted by the right person. Black dogs are in desperate need of great photos in shelter listings. Practice using tips from “Photographing a Black Dog” to get your technique down before applying to help all the shelter animals have a better photographic chance to meet their future forever person.