Animal House: Black Dog Syndrome

Feb 16, 2016

Black dog syndrome means black animals have a tougher time getting adopted at the shelter.
Credit Maja Dumat / Flickr via Creative Commons

A troubling problem among animal rescue groups is challenging them to overcome a particular prejudice that can have deadly consequences for animals up for adoption. Learn more in our regular series, Animal House.

Bert, available from Wish Bone Canine Rescue, is the Animal House Pet of the Week.
Credit Valerie Wellin / Wish Bone Canine Rescue

* Lighter colored animals get adopted more quickly than black animals.

*Black animals spend more time at the shelter, and therefore are more likely to be euthanized.  

*Black animal's features are harder to discern when they are in a dark kennel at the shelter.

*Photographers have to light black animals carefully to bring out their cute facial features.

*Many rescue groups have special adoption events just for black animals.

*Superstition can play a role in black animals not getting adopted.

*The bottom line is:  the color of the animal has no bearing on its personality and all pets deserve a loving forever home.