Black DogI’ve heard this phrase before and it suprises me. Seems when people go to shelters and rescues to adopt a dog they tend to ignore the black dogs and this is so prevalent that they even named it – ‘Black Dog Syndrome’.

It’s called the “black dog syndrome”: the phenomenon that black dogs are typically the last to be adopted and, as a result, the first to be put down. They are being passed over for lighter colored canines. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. It’s happening across the country and right here in Charlotte.

We spent some time at the Humane Society of Charlotte, where they even display a flier entitled, “Ten Reasons to Adopt a ‘Black Dog.'”  Amongst folks looking for the perfect pet was Steve Butler. He’s like so many people who look for pets.

“I love that little chow there, he said, pointing to a light brown puppy who’s been let into a pen to get to his potential owner. Butler spent the last three weeks looking for a pet at the Humane Society of Charlotte and hasn’t considered a single black dog.

“Most of the black dogs is just too vicious,” Steve says, echoing a common wives’ tale. In fact according to some advocates, misconceptions about black animals are partly to blame.

But Kristi Perman of the Humane Society offers this explanation as well.

They blend in to the kennel environment, Perman said. You can’t see their eyes real well, their dark eyes with their dark hair.

If you can’t see them as well, perhaps you might not notice a connection with the animal. As we walked along the kennels, Perman pointed out something they do to combat this, such as alternating light and dark dogs in the long row of kennels, hoping black dogs will stand out a little more. The staff also often encourages potential pet owners to consider a black dog.

“The personality is just the same as a light colored dog, they like to work for you just like a light colored dog and they are just as affectionate as a light colored dog,” Perman said. (

And trust me, this is a wide phenomena! Personally I have always loved dark colored pups, they always seem to have such rich fur and are so beautiful.

So if you’re planning to add a new dog to your family, pay a little more attention to the black dogs. They all need love and homes so desperately, give them a fair chance!!

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