Shelters fight Black Dog Syndrome

It is a fact — black dogs have a harder time getting adopted than lighter-colored dogs. Shelter and rescue group workers call it BDS — Black Dog Syndrome.

The average pet remains on a website or with a shelter group for about 12.5 weeks, according to but older dogs and black pets — including cats — can take four times as long to find a new home. did some research into BDS and found that books, movies and TV shows usually portray black dogs in a bad light. They are often the devious pet or the dog that barks incessantly or the dog on the “Beware of Dog” sign.

Black cats get the same rap — they are the witch’s cat, not to mention the bad luck that follows if they cross your path.

There are ways to combat this — primarily education. Visitors to shelters are told about the syndrome and encouraged to look past it.

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