Think Outside the Crate ™


Does it take a long time to find new homes for the black dogs in your care? Do their adoption prospects seem bleak compared to other dogs? Is there an assumption that black dogs will be adopted last or that “people just don’t want black dogs?”


Those involved with rescue groups and shelters generally agree that black dogs are often the last to be adopted and consequently they are euthanized in shelters in much larger numbers. People may consider them too “plain”, think they are menacing, or simply don’t notice them because their dark color makes them disappear in their kennels.


Based on this it would seem that the public is not very interested in adopting black shelter dogs. But what if we could do something about it? What if we could reshape the public image of black dogs? What if instead of  possibly being seen as plain, invisible or menacing, black dogs started being seen as unique, loving, smart and loyal? What if they were sought out for adoption rather than constantly overlooked?


The more we invest in the idea that black dogs are less desirable, too “plain” and unwanted by the public, the more we create an environment of lowered expectations. If we assume it will be a real struggle to find homes for our black dogs chances are that this is exactly what will happen. What if we spent less time thinking about how difficult it will be to get our black dogs adopted and used that energy to promote them instead?


If you work with an animal rescue group or shelter, we challenge you to ask yourself these “what if?” questions. We welcome you to think more creatively about what you can do to increase black dog adoptions. We invite you “think outside the crate” ™ by exploring the suggestions on our website and trying them for yourself.