All of our dogs are rescue dogs - meaning we saved them from abusive homes - and two of them are black dogs, one being part Labrador. Since we have had this dog in particular, we have become aware of how popular Labradors are in this country.
But as I learned from reading an article in The Elk City Daily News ("Black dog syndrome: getting past the stigma") black dogs are all too often both the last to be adopted and the first to be put to death in shelters across he country - many times just to make space for other dogs.
As the article had to say:
"There are no statistics available on how many black dogs are euthanized, but we know that more black dogs are euthanized than dogs with other colors. The weekly kill list always has black dogs on it.
"The black dog is the underdog of all rescue dogs. Maybe they don't photograph as well as lighter colored dogs . . . Maybe it is because many of the larger breeds that tend to end up in shelters and rescues are predominately black.Whatever the reason, placing a black dog in a local shelter is usually a death sentence."
In this part of OKlahoma, Western Animal Resources is helping to give out vouchers to aid those who already own black dogs in being spayed or neutered. This will help cut prevent a future generation of dogs who may be slated to be killed.
That's a good start, and I hope that other shelters follow suit.
But the whole idea that black dogs might be the first to be killed is a little overwhelming, especially as I look over at our dogs. Gentle, goofy, playful and and protective . . . they are true representatives of both Labs and other large - and small - black dogs I have met in my life.
Next time you need a dog, don't just overlook that black dog looking up at you from its prison cage. If you want loyalty and love you can't go wrong.
Quote of the Day
Door: What a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. - Ogden Nash