Did you know that black dogs struggle to find homes more than lighter coloured dogs? It’s a trend that we’ve certainly noticed here – but sadly it’s not an issue that’s isolated to our rescue. We have so many sweet black babies here, all with differing personalities, histories and temperaments – but one tragic thing in common – they are all harder to rehome.
People often don’t believe us when we explain that we struggle to find homes for our black dogs. So many buy black dogs from breeders. And yet in rescue, they’re overlooked and unwanted.
Why do black dogs struggle to find a home?
We know that sadly many humans are choosy when it comes to how their furry friends look. As we mentioned in our post on breeds (click here to read), the huge number of dogs languishing in pounds or stuck in rescue is contributed to by a mistaken and misguided insistence on buying a dog that is of a certain breed. Many people assume that when they buy a breed, they get a specific type of dog with a set personality and set attributes. Some do it for the fashion – they want to be seen with a French Bulldog, a Daschund or a Bichon Frise – not a mongrel. So where does colour come in? We can only assume that it’s a subconscious thing…for some reason, lighter coloured dogs always get picked first.
Whenever we raise this issue we’re met with disbelief. ‘But I love black dogs!’ people cry. Unfortunately, this theme is witnessed by many different organisations all over the world – many of whom have actively conducted research showing the large number of black pets who get left behind. We currently have 16 black dogs here, many of whom have been overlooked for no apparent reason. We always take the dogs who need us the most – the ones who are overlooked – and have just agreed to take one more scared black dog from the pound. But how many more can we take knowing they won’t be considered, and will end up being left behind?
So many theories – so what’s the answer?
Campaigners have come up with several theories to explain the widespread rejection of black dogs in rescue. Some believe the colour isn’t ‘distinctive’ enough – so people pass them by easily. Others claim they don’t look as attractive in photos – as taking pictures of black dogs is more difficult because of their colour.
Whatever the reason – and assuming some of those above are a reflection of the truth – the answer lies in compassion and consideration. As a society, we must change our perception of dogs and the role they play in our lives – and similarly our responsibility and role in helping them.
We can end this sad stigma – but we need your help
We believe the answer is simple, but it requires reflection and honesty from people who decide to welcome a furry friend into their lives. We hope that if you have already made the decision to rescue, you’ll already be at least partially on board with the importance of considering dogs who are already in need of a loving home instead of bringing more dogs into the world. If it isn’t ethical to buy from a breeder when so many die in rescue, is it ethical to pass by a dog in rescue because of their creed or colour? Deep down, everyone knows the answer. We urge you to act on this and be open-minded and compassionate when you come into rescue. It’s not about a certain look or breed. All of these dogs deserve love – and they are all capable of giving love.
It’s important to say that this issue isn’t just isolated to dogs – it affects all animals, including cats. Please, please consider a black dog or cat when rescuing. You’re already saving a life – but this one small consideration could make a huge difference to the life of a black dog or cat.
To read more on this subject and view the statistics please head over to thepawpost.co.uk, where our friend and journalist Rachel has written a post on the issue of black pets in rescue. If you are looking for a dog, please get in touch with us to come and meet some of our lovely dogs waiting for their forever home.