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As well as being the start of Halloween month, October 1 is also National Black Dog Day. Like their feline brethren, black dogs are the least likely to be adopted out of shelters due to a combination of people believing that black animals are unlucky and unfriendly, and their supposedly unphotogenic nature. Known as Black Dog Syndrome, the bias is likely to be an unconscious one for many people, as even those who wouldn’t say they believed or cared about any of those things are more likely to choose light-colored dogs over black ones.
.#rescuers know there's a (superstitious) prejudice against adopting black dogs & cats. Ur missing out on some of the greatest family members of ur life. This was my Wiley, the most loving, wisest old soul I ever knew. Black dogs & cats rule! #NationalBlackDogDay #tailsofjoy pic.twitter.com/z6c3uUrvz6— Elayne Boosler (@ElayneBoosler) October 1, 2019
Founded in 2011, National Black Dog Day is an attempt to overcome this ridiculous stigma and help some very good doggos find the homes they deserve.
Meet Chip (444019)! This sweetie has been in and out of our care since July 2018. He LOVES humans. He would like a cuddle buddy who will give him lots of attention each day. He is house trained, silly and playful, and Chip would be happiest as your only pet. #NationalBlackDogDay pic.twitter.com/jZkCHOQ9oJ— San Diego Humane Society (@sdhumane) October 1, 2019
Did you know that black dogs can take longer to find their Forever Homes? Also, in puppy litters of varying colours, lighter coloured puppies are often booked for adoption first! #NationalBlackDogDay 🐾 pic.twitter.com/21m7XOmaAc— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) October 1, 2019
Did you know black dogs are less likely to be adopted for no other reason than the color of their fur? Odd, when considering these dogs make just as good companions. #NationalBlackDogDayhttps://t.co/l5kAmFm1Jr pic.twitter.com/dKmI6XQqpN— NationalDayCalendar (@NationalDayCal) October 1, 2019
People shared pictures of their adorable black dogs to encourage show people what they’re missing.
Including the Greensboro Grasshoppers, who shared a picture of one of their mascot dogs, Lou Lou Gehrig. The mascot dogs help return bats and balls during games.
Some doggos even had their own Twitter accounts.
Happy #NationalBlackDogDay 🙂 As you can clearly see my friend, Maggie, & I are black dogs. We feel blest that we are so loved. However, darker shades of dogs r often overlooked & less likely to be adopted 4 no other reason than their coloring. Today is a day to honor blk dogs. pic.twitter.com/VKmBdyM8F5— Dagger II ~ DogVinci (@yayatomdagger3) October 1, 2019
And after seeing all of these lovely boys and girls, how could you not be convinced? Black dogs forever.
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org