Don't Judge A Pet By Its Color

By: Brenna Slavens
By: Brenna Slavens

While reading a Wed site recently, Brenna was shocked to find out about the descrimination some animals face and hopes raise awareness about it.

I love to search for random subjects while on search engines.  I was looking up dog breeds, recently, and decided to search for the world's largest dog breed. 

Of course, as I'm sure most of you have experienced, one subject leads to you another and then to another.  I stumbled upon a Web site,, that is about a syndrome many people feel called " Big Black Dog Syndrome."

I was shocked and upset to read what this syndrome was!  I felt so bad for the poor black-colored animals at the shelters and pounds that are discriminated against all because of the color of their fur.  I've met many black-colored animals throughout my life, and I never remember one being mean or scary!  My family adopted a black lab from the pound in Jackson County (Ohio), a few years ago.  Wolfe is one large guy!  But, he is full of love and affection! Basically, he's a big baby!  I think that's why I was so upset to read about BBS on the Web site.

According to, there are a few reasons why people tend to stray away from black animals.  For example, the use of black- colored animals in folklore, the association of depression with the color black,  darker colored animals are more aggressive or they overheat more easily than lighter animals.

One poignant example on this site was the excerpt for Sheba who was at the Mason County (West Virginia) Animal Shelter and I would like to share it with you...

"Sheba is a blue-eyed beauty. The combination of blue eyes set into the black lab face is really striking. Unfortunately, no one ever really admired her beauty before. This gorgeous young female black lab mix spent most of her two years of life chained in a yard without even a dog house to shelter her from the elements. She was removed from the home by animal control and brought to the Mason County Animal Shelter in Point Pleasant, WV. When she came in, she was extremely thin, but she is improving every day.

Unfortunately, Sheba's days are numbered. This small shelter, with a capacity of about 24 dogs, has more than a hundred, and the county has given them until November 1st to bring the numbers down to that official capacity - one way or another. If dogs are not moved out into forever homes or rescues before that date, they will be gassed.

Poor Sheba will probably be one of the first to die. She has several strikes against her. 1. She's a black lab. Nobody seems to want black labs in WV. 2. She's a big girl. Big dogs are hard to place, and with so many of them at the shelter........"

It breaks my heart to think of all the poor animals that have love to give and are looking for their "forever home," and who would probably make a wonderful addition to someones life that are looked over because of their color.  Just like the old saying " You can't judge a book by it's cover," you really can't judge a pet on the color of their fur.  Me being "Miss Animal Lover," herself, if I could I would save every animal that's homeless... but sigh, I can't.  But I do want to encourage people to adopt from a local shelter or pound, give these pound pups and cats a chance.  Some of the best animals I've had have been from the pound.

I'm hoping to bring awareness about "Big, Black Dog Syndrome," and even if I change one person's opinion then I think I've been successful.




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