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The Freshpet Blog


06/11

Break Black Dog Syndrome for Winnie

By: Karina Delaine

Did you know that black dogs spend more time in shelters and rescues than their lighter-haired counterparts? They are also euthanized at much higher rates. This is often referred to as the “Black Dog Syndrome. ” We’ve always known about this issue, but it recently struck close to home when we got an update on Winnie, a dog up for adoption at Loli’s Place Rescue.

 

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Winnie is a mostly black Pit Bull/American Bulldog mix. She’s an absolute love bug and we can attest to that. We met Winnie last year; when we ran into the Rescue coordinator recently and found out she was still in a foster home, we were shocked. Her sweet demeanor had us stumped as to why she was still up for adoption.

 

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Here are just some of the things that play a part in “Black Dog Syndrome”:

  • Unclear facial expressions
  • Black dogs are harder to see in dark kennels and shelters when potential pet parents visit
  • Black animal superstitions around witchcraft and bad luck
  • Depictions of black dogs as aggressive or dangerous in entertainment and literature
  • The term “Black Dog” is used in the medical community to describe those with depression

 

Shelters and rescues are very aware of the stigma against black dogs and try their best to showcase their black pups often. Many will reduce adoption fees, or celebrate days like Black Friday each year or National Black Dog Day with special events to help them get adopted. Another tactic is renaming the dog periodically to garner more interest. For example, Winnie’s Rescue, Loli’s Place, recently renamed her “Princess Leia” hoping to spark some new interest in her. We also know rescues and shelters that have dedicated their time to rescuing mostly black dogs, we’ve listed a few below, but you will be sure to find many black dogs at your local shelters and rescues.

 

If you’re considering adopting a dog, please don’t overlook the beautiful black dogs looking for a home. They can be as loving, gentle and loyal as any other dog you are considering. So take the time to shake any previous misconceptions and open your heart to a black dog. You may just find your new best friend.

 

We ask that you share this article with friends and family so that they can learn more about Black Dog Syndrome, and so we can help Winnie aka “Princess Leia” find a home soon! If you’re interested in adopting Winnie, visit her Pet Finder profile or email Loli’s Place Rescue at lolisplace@gmail.com.

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