Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 10:10 AM ( 201 views ) - Posted by AdministratorBlack dogs are not adopted as often as other dogs? MSNBC recently featured an online article that said just that. If you are involved in animal welfare this is not news to you. What IS news is that large media outlets like MSNBC and The Associated Press as well as publications like BARK Magazine and Chicago's Daily Herald are featuring articles on the subject.
"Black Dog Syndrome" is what those involved in animal welfare have dubbed the lower rate of black dogs adoptions when compared to other dogs. The public is generally unaware that black dogs are often the last to be adopted and are euthanised in much larger numbers because 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.
This news coverage should have rescue volunteers and shelter employees pumping their fists in the air and jumping for joy. With the increased media attention, this is the perfect time to leverage this free PR to increase your black dog adoptions. Consider adding some quotes from black dog related article to your adoption day display board. Have a few printed versions of the articles on hand to give to potential adopters. Add some quotes to the “kennel cards” on crates and kennels of your black dogs. Talk about black dogs on your website’s homepage and add links to articles. Include some information on Black Dog Syndrome at the bottom of a dog’s Petfinder profile – after you’ve highlighted specifically what makes them a wonderful dog, of course!
I’ve spoken to and received e-mail from dozens of black dog owners. Some were naturally attracted to black dogs and only learned later about the steep odds darker colored dogs face in shelters. For others, adopting a black dog was the last thing on their mind – that is until an enthusiastic rescue volunteer or shelter worker brought a wonderful black dog forward and sang their praises.
So does the public really not want black dogs? According to the owners who have contacted me, not so. They just needed someone who believed in the black dog to point them out, introduce them, and PROMOTE them. Maybe the question is really as rescue volunteers, could we be doing a better job of promoting the gorgeous black dogs in our care?
Many owners describe how life without their black dog is hard to imagine. They mention how chilling it is to think that their black dog who gives them so much joy might not have lived to be in their life. How they almost overlooked them because they were a “plain black dog.” We have an amazing opportunity to increase black dog adoptions and raise public awareness if we just get a little creative. Try it – the response may surprise you.
To read the full MSNBC article, go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23472518/