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Thursday, May 5, 2016

At the Shelter

Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Second-hand animals make first-class pets." -- The Barking Army

Black-dog syndrome/black-dog bias

Black-dog syndrome or black-dog bias is a veterinarian and animal shelter phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals. Black-dog bias is also known as "big black-dog syndrome." Shelters often use the term BBD, or big black dog, to describe the type of larger, dark-colored mixed breed typically passed over by adopters.


The phenomenon may be due to a number of factors, including fear stigma against certain breed types, and the fact that large, black dogs are often portrayed as aggressive in film and on television.

Some people believe that during the pet-adoption process some potential owners associate the color black with evil or misfortune (similar to the common superstition surrounding black cats), and this bias transfers over to their choice of dog. Additionally, many shelters feature photo profiles of their dogs on the shelter website. Because black dogs do not photograph well, lighter-colored dogs have an advantage with potential adopters browsing the site. A study done by the Los Angeles Animal Services challenges some of these claims, saying that a full 28 percent of adopted dogs are black. However, the bias theory simply asserts that predominantly dark animals take longer to be adopted than their lighter counterparts, and that large dogs take longer to adopt than small ones.

However, appearance in general does play a role in potential adopters' selection of shelter dogs. In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters of both puppies (29 percent) and adult dogs (26 percent). (Source: Wikipedia)

Friends, this also applies to black cats and kittens. We do not adopt out black cats or kittens during the month of Halloween because some people have evil intentions. We are very protective of our animals and only want to see them go to loving homes where they will be cared for properly. "Black Dog Syndrome" is prevalent in shelters across the nation. I personally believe it is due to superstition in some instances, but more likely there are more black pets than other colors. Also, lighter pets show up better and catch people's eye, as stated above.

Today, we are featuring some very sweet black dogs who will make wonderful additions to any family. 'Butch' is one of the cutest little dogs at the shelter. He is a Boston/pug/Chihuahua mix who is a little over a year old. Butch is a cheerful dog and loves everyone. He will be a perfect household pet.

'Aesop' is a 10-week-old male black lab-mix puppy. He is a very loving dog and will be a fine child's pet or family pet.

Daisy Mae and Rosie
'Daisy Mae' is a 2-year-old black lab/pittie mix who is already housebroken, as is her 5-month-old puppy, 'Rosie'. Both are gentle, sweet pets.

'Hunter' is a 12-week-old male black lab pup who never meets a stranger. He is outgoing, friendly and loving. Everyone knows labs make wonderful family dogs and Hunter is no exception.

See many of our pets on dyerhumane.org or petfinder.com and type 38024 zip to see our shelter. Check out a selection of shelter cats and kittens at The Pet Stop any day of the week. If you want to add a fur kid to your household, it is best to visit the shelter often because we receive over 20 new pets a day. Please do not put off adopting. The shelter stays at capacity and time is of the essence. Unfortunately, until people become responsible pet owners and spay or neuter the pets they now own, our numbers won't change.

We still need dog blankets, small throw rugs, and sleeping bags for our dogs and puppies to lie on, instead of concrete floors. If you would like to make a positive difference in a shelter pet's life, please donate.

Please volunteer or foster. The following information is for people who are first-time readers or if you are seriously considering becoming involved in helping local homeless shelter pets. Our volunteers socialize pets, walk dogs, play with puppies and kittens, give pets a bath and brush them to make them more adoptable, hand out treats and toys, and any other way you want to help on your own schedule. Our fosters keep a pet for a two-week period or longer. Many times we have babies who need extra care such as bottle-feeding until eating well on their own. If a pet is going to rescue, they require a two-week quarantine period. You save the foster pet's life and the one who takes its place. Call or stop by the shelter office for details.

If you can't foster or volunteer, please donate. Besides dog blankets, we need bath towels and no-tears pet shampoo. We need sweaters for our small dogs and puppies year around, good-quality dog and puppy food, cat and kitten food, plus formula for both and pet bottles. The pets appreciate treats and toys, also. Please no small toys because the dogs will choke. Also no bead eyes/noses, scarves, beanie babies, etc. Medium- and large-size stuffed animals/toys are needed. The babies love to cuddle with a soft, stuffed animal. Since we had a mild winter, fleas are very bad this year and we need Adams' Flea Mist for dogs/puppies and cats/kittens. We also need collars, leashes, paper towels, bleach, office supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. We ask visitors to use hand sanitizer before and after they touch pets. We make every effort to keep our pets disease free. As soon as pets arrive at the shelter they are given their first round of shots if they are old enough.

We all see the TV ads asking you to give to national animal organizations. Much of these donations go toward their administrative costs. The ads are heart wrenching and show pitiful pets in need. We have many pets like this in Dyer County that we help. It is heartbreaking to see the shape many pets are in when they arrive at our shelter. We prosecute animal abuse. Know that your donations to our shelter are very important and stay in Dyer County. Our board and president do not receive a dime. We are volunteers. Also, the shelter does not receive any help from national organizations such as ASPCA, PETA, or HSUS. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and have been helping local homeless pets for over 30 years. Specify who your donation is to with complete address where notification or acknowledgment should be sent and your complete address. We will do the rest. Categories are: The Beagley Fund (heartworm treatment for shelter pets only), General Fund, Champ Lewis Fund (monetary pet adoption assistance), Save a Life Makeover (professionally clip and groom to make a pet more adoptable), Honorariums and Memorials. Please mail your tax-deductible check to the Dyersburg/Dyer County Humane Society, P.O. Box 223, Dyersburg, TN 38025-0223. Thank you for helping the animals.

Shelter hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. The shelter is closed to the public on Sunday. We are located at 1120 E. Court St. and phone number is 285-4889.