Did you know dogs with black or dark-colored fur are less likely to be adopted? It’s called Black Dog Syndrome, according to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And it means that dogs with black or dark fur tend to stay at the shelter for longer periods of time than dogs with light-colored fur. To help more dark-coated dogs get adopted, members of the Scottish Women’s Institutes, an educational organization for women, are knitting colorful sweaters for the dogs to wear. They hope the brightly colored dog sweaters will make the dogs more attractive to potential adopters.
“Some of Scotland’s top craftswomen are making multi-colored dog coats in aid of homeless pets desperately seeking loving new homes — to boost their appeal and help them become rehomed more quickly,” SWI national chairwoman Christine Hutton said. One of the reasons darker-coated dogs might struggle to find homes is that it’s difficult to see their features and facial expressions in photographs, which means their personalities might not shine through to potential adopters. Also, if the darker-colored dogs have any light-colored hairs, they may appear older than they are because the lighter fur stands out more against the black fur. Superstitions about black colored dogs can influence adopters as well.
“This syndrome really does affect the adoption of animals in our care and, through no fault of their own, black dogs are almost always the last to find new homes,” Scottish SPCA Superintendent Sharon Comrie said. “It’s a really creative idea to knit colored jackets to show these dogs off to their best advantage.” We think they’re onto something here. Who can resist a dog in a cute sweater?
By: Stephanie Brown