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SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship. Ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Contact mhcrowdes@aol.com

When Tamara Delaney of Woodville, Wis., volunteered to find a home for a black Labrador Retriever named Jake last year, she had no idea what she was up against. Jake, cared for by a rescue group, had already waited nearly three years for a new home. And he would wait eight more months as Delaney tried to find someone to take in the big Lab.

It didnít matter much that Jake was a sociable dog and in perfect health. Jakeís problem wasnít his temperamentóit was the color of his coat. Jake bore the stigma of the "BBD," an acronym used to refer to big black dogs, who are frequently passed over for flashier, prettier dogs and wind up, like Jake, waiting for years to be adopted.

"Nobody wants a black-coated dog," rescue workers told Delaney as she tried without success to find a home for Jake. And when Delaney turned to the Internet, she found that shelters across the country were overflowing with black-coated canines.

"Please donít overlook our black dogs," rescue groups pleaded on their home pages above pictures of Rottweilers, Chows and Labs sporting bright bandanas. One shelterís website just came right out with the grim truth: "The general public is not aware of how doomed black dogs are when they are brought to a pound, society or shelter."

Most black dogs have to rely on shelter staff and volunteers to steer potential adoptors their way. And indeed, many shelters take extra steps to make black dogs more adoptable, according to Kate Pullen, director of animal sheltering issues at the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C. Teaching the dogs tricks, putting placards on kennels highlighting the dogís personality ("I may just be a black dog, but I know how to balance a biscuit on my nose"), making sure multiple black dogs arenít kenneled next to one other ó anything to catch the eye and imagination of potential adoptors.

A person desiring to add a dog into their heart and life doesn't have to look far beyond their own backyard to find shelters clamoring for loving quality adopters to pay attention to their dark colored dogs. These "ordinary" black faces get lost in the sea of faces of every hopeful dog relinquished or placed within a shelters or rescue's kennel run, crate or exercise yard.

This unfortunate phenomena has a name: Black Dog Syndrome.

It is our desire to step out, among the many others who have already done so, and help these innately and outwardly beautiful black dogs avoid the price that they will pay because of this sad reality. Shelters and rescues have different policies in regards to euthanasia: no kill to high kill. Some black dogs will die of natural causes within the system because they will wait a lifetime to be noticed. Many won't even get a week.

As you read on, please consider becoming a part of the loving miracle of a forever home for a black dog, a beautiful gem of the heart, through rescue and adoption. We are grateful you are taking the time to visit and are not blinded by the business of life to the voice or inner nudging you feel when you meet a rescue animal.

Black dogs are commonly the last, if at all, to be adopted. Destined for death in many shelters they are passed up for whatever the reason:

1) Harmful Superstitions: Black dogs in folklore

2) Negative Labels: Transcending the black dog: living with depression

3) Fear: What makes a dog aggressive or dangerous. Is it their color?

4) Just too ordinary: I don't think so! Once you go black you never go back !

5) Overheat more quickly in outdoor sport competitions: Black dogs over heat faster than lighter colored dogs especially in our increasingly warm winters but forewarned is forearmed.

Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Black Dog

Reason Number Ten: We cannot clash with your furniture or clothing (and some of you actually worry about that).

Reason Number Nine: We cannot clash with any collar you might choose either! Ditto for the bandanas. Accessorize us!

Reason Number Eight: Ease of vacuuming! You can quickly spot the areas of most urgent need.

Reason Number Seven: We hide dirt well.

Reason Number Six: We make an excellent "backdrop" for a second lighter colored dog (if you choose to have one).

Reason Number Five: Availability!!! We are available right now at every shelter or rescue across the land, in every age bracket with no long waiting lists or difficult search.

Reason Number Four: No annoying queries of "exactly what kind of dog is that anyhow?" People are content with "black dog" and don't ask further questions.

Reason Number Three: EXCELLENT night walk protection. The "bad guy" won't see you 'til its too late!

Reason Number Two: In your heart you know this is only the fair and decent thing to do. :o)

Reason Number One: WE NEED YOU!

Please consider adopting one of our black beauties.
    WE ARE COMMITTED TO:
  • rescuing and rehoming as many unwanted black dogs as we can.
  • educating the community about responsible dog companionship.
  • working with local pounds to help achieve, develop and implement "minimum destruction" policies and procedures.
  • establishing and developing networks of communication for people involved in rescue and rehoming these black beauties.
  • the adoption fee is minimal for years of canine companionship.