Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 09:09 PM ( 18 views ) - Posted by Administrator
Each year, 5 million companion animals are euthanised in U.S. animal shelters. At startseeingblackdogs.com we believe that people possess the ingenuity and determination to decrease animal shelter deaths. Every day, committed groups of individuals find solutions to challenging problems in their communities. Finding an alternative to shelter deaths is no different.
Our nation is undeniably full of animal lovers. So why would we accept that we can do no better when it comes to finding a solution to animal shelter deaths? Why would we accept that 5 million annual shelter deaths are an inevitable fact of life?
Surely our desire to protect the companion animals we love so much would compel us to seek new and innovative ways to increase adoptions. Or have we as the public come to accept that we are powerless in the face of this problem?
At startseeingblackdogs.com, we believe that people have the ability to find solutions to reduce shelter killing. What the public may not realize is that there are shelters in operation right now which have successfully reduced their euthanasia rates. By using methods outlined in the No Kill Equation, a number of open admission shelters have found life saving alternatives to euthanising many of the animals in their care.
Isn’t Everyone in Favor of No Kill? Many people may be surprised to know that not everyone involved in animal welfare agrees that shelter deaths can be decreased. A quick search of the web reveals that many people actively argue that reducing shelter deaths is not achievable, or not achievable by the methods outlined by “No Kill” advocates.
We disagree. We believe that reducing shelter deaths is possible and support this effort. It occurs to us that even if an individual is skeptical that “no kill” is possible, why would anyone actively oppose any method that might reduce shelter deaths? More importantly, isn’t it more productive for no kill detractors to offer their own solutions to the shelter death problem rather than simply focusing on discrediting those proposing new ideas?
Most people would agree that 5 million annual companion animal deaths in our nation’s shelters is a tragic thing. The question is are we willing to accept the status quo, or are we open minded and determined enough to seek life saving solutions?
Not all methods for reducing euthanasia rates will be successful, but one fact is for certain: if we do nothing, 5 million companion animals will continue to die every year in our nation’s shelters. We believe this is an unacceptable outcome and one that we have the power, ingenuity and desire to change.
Our Mission at startseeingblackdogs.com:
• To help animal rescue groups and shelters increase the number of black dog adoptions by offering free marketing and PR resources.
• To continually offer new, creative, inspirational and fun ideas for promoting black dogs.
• To educate the public about Black Dog Syndrome and encourage them to choose adoption over purchasing from commercial breeding sources.
Our best to you and your dog(s),
Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 10:46 PM ( 35 views ) - Posted by Administrator
Unless you've been on a media blackout (tempting, I must admit) for the last few weeks, you've probably heard the story of Ratchet, a black mixed breed puppy that was rescued from a pile of rubble by Minnesota Army Specialist Gwen Beberg. After forming an emotional attachment to Ratchet, Beberg took steps to have the dog transported to the United States to live permanently. A petition with 50,000 signatures and the help of Baghdad Pups (part of ASPCA International) greased the wheels for Ratchet to come to the U.S. He landed on Amereican soil today and is on his way to Minnesota soon.
Talk radio airwaves have been buzzing with the Ratchet story. One thing is for certain - there is a desire on the part of some service members to bring animals they’ve adopted in combat zones back to loving homes in the U.S. Although ASPCA International has arranged to transport 63 animals befriended by service members, Ratchet may have caused the biggest media stir to date. This little black dog has held his own in the news with the likes of Obama and McCain – but why?
Baghdad Pups program manager Terri Crisp has one explanation. According to Crisp although active-duty soldiers aren't allowed to adopt animals in the Middle East, hundreds of soldiers there befriend animals to help themselves cope with deployment.
I can think of another reason that Ratchet’s story caught the attention of dog lovers the world over. A vulnerable puppy in a pile of rubble is pretty defenseless. In a compassionate moment, someone stepped in to notice his life, considered it valuable and perhaps even saved it. In return, Ratchet provided her with love, peace and joy just by being the dog that he is. It's a story many of us can relate to. We wanted it to have a happy ending. Thankfully, it has.
The next time you go looking for a dog, we hope that you seek out your own “Ratchet.” We invite you to seek out the overlooked, maybe plain, frequently darker colored dogs who are vulnerable and need us to adopt them too. Their lives may actually depend on it. They will likely not be in a pile of rubble. All the same, they are just as invisible as Racthet was - unless you go looking for them.
Best wishes Ratchet and Gwen,
Monday, October 20, 2008, 08:35 PM ( 28 views ) - Posted by Administrator
If you work with a rescue group or shelter, 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, that they are too “plain” 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 euthanised 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 our wonderful black 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 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.
If you are considering a new pet for your family, take a second look at the often overlooked, wonderful black dogs (or cats!) at your local rescue group or shelter. That beautiful black dog you may accidently walk right by may be the most wonderful pet you've ever had. I know my two black beauties are.
Our best to you and your dog(s),
Friday, October 17, 2008, 09:05 PM ( 29 views ) - Posted by Administrator
At startseeingblackdogs.com we have a soft spot in our hearts for some of the least adopted of all shelter dogs - Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Not only can dark colored Rottweilers and black Pit Bulls be overlooked for the usual reasons that black shelter dogs are passed over, they also suffer from the social stigma attached to their breeds.
That's why we love the award winning Minnesota rescue group A Rotta Love Plus. Run entirely by volunteers, this foster based rescue has no shelter – instead, rescued dogs live with foster families until they are adopted. Rotta Love Plus also does a phenomenal job educating the public on responsible ownership and the truth about these majestic breeds.
CIRQUE DES CHIENS FUNDRAISER FOR A ROTTA LOVE PLUS
If you live in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area, join us TOMORROW NIGHT for a unique fundraiser in the spirit of cirque du soleil. Join fellow dog-lovers for an evening of cirque-style performance, live music, beer, and wine - all in support of A Rotta Love Plus, Minnesota’s award-winning animal rescue!
When: Saturday October 18th, Doors 7:00 pm, Show 8:00 pm
Where: 1190 James Ave., St. Paul, MN
Music by: Wolves and Ravens; Jim O'Neill and Friends
Wallace the Pit Bull, 2007 National Disc Dog Champion; Stan the 3D Man; Aerial Performers Elizabeth Skwoit and Kiera Mieko.
See you there. I’ll be the one kissing the pit bulls and bidding on all the silent auction items.
Sunday, September 28, 2008, 10:58 AM ( 43 views ) - Posted by Administrator
Our friends at Georgia Animal Rescue and Defence Inc. (GARD) do an amazing job for black dogs, including a fantastic video that got our eyes wellin' up. Created by GARD volunteer and webmaster extraordinaire Laura Parrish Lightle, this wonderful video is an educational and moving look at the plight of black mixed-breed shelter dogs. Laura graciously offered to let us post it here.
To see the video, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dyxo1Y-lkg
Wondering if I let a typo slip by? It’s been known to happen, but in this case. GARD purposely spells “defence” with a “c”. If you’ve never heard about GARD, we think you’ll love this wonderful organizations mission: “Georgia Animal Rescue and Defence, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 / 509(a)2 licensed animal shelter located in Pembroke, GA and serves Bryan County and outlying areas.
GARD was founded by, and is now directed by Joy Bohannon, JoAnne Bohannon and Philip Rutherford. Having recently relocated here from Vermont, where low-cost spay/neuter clinics have been in existence for years and euthanasia is no longer a necessity in animal population control, we became aware of the outstanding need in this area by the over abundance of feral and homeless domestic animals.
We initiated efforts to feed, vet, and place numerous animals in our immediate locale. Our endeavors have expanded in response to the overwhelming needs of the homeless and neglected, and have necessitated our relocating to a property suited to the establishment of a no-kill shelter which will eventually host a low-cost spay/neuter clinic.”
HUGE high-fives to GARD for seeing an un-met need in Georgia and for the wonderful work they are doing.