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Posts Tagged ‘shelter issues’

A lucky puppy finds her home:

Tucker hams it up with Felicity

Tucker hams it up with his adopted mom Felicity

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Iam’s Home 4 The Holidays is among the world’s most successful pet adoption programs and includes nearly 3,000 worldwide partner animal organizations that are dedicated to helping place orphaned dogs and cats into happy, loving, forever homes. The Home 4 the Holidays drive has helped more than 1,047,000 Dogs, 962,000 cats and 66,000 other animals, such as rabbits, reptiles, birds and more, find homes over the past nine years. This year, the goal is to place 1 million orphaned animals from October 1, 2008 to January 5, 2009. If you can’t adopt please visit http://www.iamshome4theholidays.com to find other ways to help.

Did you know?

  • There are 8 million homeless pets looking for a home in our country?
  • As many as 4 million orphaned dogs and cats will be euthanized this year due to shelter overcrowding and lack of awareness about these homeless pets
  • More than a quarter of all dogs in animal shelters are purebreds

If you were thinking of getting a pet, please adopt.

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Black is Beautiful

The website blared the horrid truth at me: “The general public is not aware of how doomed black dogs are when they are brought to a pound.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I knew older dogs, sick dogs, and dogs with special needs were hard to find homes for, but black dogs? It’s true though, and apparently the phenomenon extends to black cats as well. A story done by Melissa Dahl, the health writer for MSNBC cites a quote by Madeline Bernstein, the president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles. Ms. Bernstein says, “They’re the hardest to adopt out, they’re in the shelters the longest and therefore they’re the most likely to be euthanized if nothing happens.”

Apparently there are a number of reasons why black dog syndrome as it’s called exists. Superstitions exist that are harmful. The Sherlock Holmes classic, Hound of the Baskervilles features a black dog as a creepy omen of death. Not unlike the Harry Potter black dog, Grim, that that stalks Harry. “Black dog” has also been a term used to describe depression.

There are other reasons this doggie discrimination exists, though. For one, black dogs can be a bit difficult to photograph. Poorly lit kennels help them to hide in the shadows, becoming invisible to visitors. People sometimes think big black dogs are scary because the group includes breeds such as Rottweilers and Dobermans. It can be hard to read a black dogs expression, too, because the eyebrows and face all blend in so well. A little white on the muzzle can make a black dog look old even when it isn’t.

There are things volunteers and shelter workers can do to make black dogs (and cats) stand out at the shelter. One shelter I read about puts colorful ribbons on the girls and big bow ties on the boys. Decking them out in other ways helps, too. Eye catching toys or blankets in their kennels and not kenneling two black dogs right next to each other are ways to draw attention to a shelter’s black animals. In one case, a shelter staff allowed a dog to hang out with them and this allowed her to be seen in action, so to speak, and she was adopted eventually. Teaching the dog a neat trick that can be highlighted on the place-card outside the kennel is another tactic I read. Also, those of us who volunteer at shelters should remember to take the black dogs outside for their photos, so a very expressive one can be taken.

There are things we in the public can do, as well, to help end this doggie double standard. If you are going to get a dog, adopt. If you are going to adopt, consider a black dog or cat. They are just as loving and in need of good, forever homes. Their color won’t clash with your outfit, either! If you cannot adopt, consider fostering a dog or volunteering at a shelter. Many shelters need volunteers to come in and walk the dogs, for example. Even just donating some supplies would help.

And for goodness sakes, spay or neuter your critters!

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