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Naturally, one might be skeptical of the veracity of these statements, but think how many all black or all white dogs do you see when you go out to the dog park? While there are no hard numbers on how many black dogs sit languishing in rescue centers and shelters, certainly there are some that are euthanized due to lack of space, and others, still waiting for the chance to be adopted, die of natural causes.
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All the while, shelter workers are lamenting the persistence of this discriminatory fall-out. There are also no easy answers as to why black dogs are bypassed in favor of dogs of other colors, but the ideas range from long-held negative superstitions to a more innocent, but no less harmful, belief that black dogs are just not as pretty. Likewise, there are no solid numbers on how many white dogs are terminated each year because of breed industry standards that require their deaths.
Why must they die? People believe, some breeders say erroneously, that white dogs will be deaf, that they are hyperactive, or that they are plainly daft.
For those who have a deep affection for all dogs, regardless of color or breed , these facts and perceptions are unnerving. In searching for an answer to why these practices exist — and indeed, persist — the common observation is that people are simply uninformed about the plight of these animals.
One such person is Tamara Delaney, who in fell in love with a black Labrador Retriever named Jake that had been waiting for three years to be adopted from the Gemini All Breed Rescue Center in Minnesota.
Black dogs, white dogs. Does color matter?
From that day on, Delaney was committed to the cause. A website devoted to black dogs followed, and Delaney threw herself into educating the public about black dogs, encouraging the abolishment of myths and superstitions that painted black dogs as frightful or aggressive, and teaching shelter and rescue workers more effective ways of bringing attention to their black dogs.
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Weiss believes it could be because there are simply more black dogs in the general animal population, and shelter workers are used to seeing more black dogs around. And while studies suggest that adopters do not perceive black cats and dogs as more threatening or hostile, it is true that people will often choose an animal that stands out from the rest.
For that reason, Barnette of L. Animal Services makes sure not to clump similar-looking animals together.