Sunday, April 7, 2013

2 Black Dogs Too Long at the Shelter: Adoptable Dogs

Awhile back I wrote about dogs who spend most or all of their lives in a shelter.  I wondered out loud:  how long is too long.

I caught some flack from some who thought I was promoting euthanasia.  I also received some very thoughtful messages from folks who also had conflicting thoughts and emotions about the quality of life provided in a kennel run at a "no-kill" shelter.  That resulted in a second blog post.

At the time, I ended up just feeling glad that the dog that caused me to confront the issue, Hailey, found a home.

My friend, Kim, has forced me to confront the issue again.  I'm still conflicted and find no good answers within myself.  Pro-euthanasia?  NO.  However, dogs deserve better than to live in a kennel for years.

Kim is a professional photographer with her own business, Creative Photography by Kim Hansen.  She is also a passionate advocate for animals and donates her services to Dogwood Animal Shelter in Osage Beach, Missouri.

Her goal is to show people the beauty in these dogs and cats that she sees, to capture their spirit in a photograph that will get them noticed.  As Kim says:
With so many of them, it takes patience, kindness, understanding, and the ability to connect and gain their trust in order to capture an image that I feel is worthy of using as their 'life line' on a site [Petfinder] for all of the world to see.
That may sound a little dramatic and over the top, but really, aren't these animals worth it?  worth my time, effort, compassin, dedication and ability to do something so important and so life changing?  My answer is YES!  A million times YES!

Here are two dogs whose photographs were taken by Kim over a year ago.  Though I don't know how much longer than a year A-Rod has been there, I do know that Carley has been there for five years.  Almost all of her life.

Carley is listed on Petfinder (by the shelter) as an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) and Labrador Retriever mixed breed dog.  She looks like a Rottweiler mix to me.

She is 5 years old and has spent her whole life at the shelter.

Carley came to Dogwood Animal Shelter as a puppy and has been there ever since.  Her brother was adopted, but she is still waiting.

Primarily black with some tan, Carley weighs 65 pounds and has been spayed.  She just completed the shelter's 6 week obedience class.  Carley is a smart girl.  She learns fast and is very eager to please. 

Adoption fees have been reduced to 1/2 price for Carley.

A-Rod is a Labrador Retriever mixed breed dog.  He's shy so it make take a moment to get acquainted, but shelter staff report A-Rod is a sweet boy.  Primarily black in color, about 4 years old and already neutered.  This playful boy needs a place to call home.  Adoption fees have been reduced to 1/2 price for A-Rod.

Please share Carley and A-Rod via social media.  Use whatever networking means you have at your disposal and let's try and get them real homes.

Those of you reading closely, may have noticed:
  • same "no kill" shelter as Hailey, the dog who'd spent all 8 years of her life in the shelter
  • all black dogs
  • same shelter where we found our birthday boy, Jeffie (and our puppy, Rosie, too)
Dogwood Animal Shelter is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in Osage Beach, Missouri.   They've been in operation for over 30 years and survive on donations and proceeds from their Dogwood Thrift Shop.  Services include:  low-cost spay/neuter clinic, obedience classes, and more. They can be reached via email and their telephone number is 573-348-4411.


  1. Thank you for posting this. Black dogs are always the last to get adopted and when they're older, their chances are that much slimmer. Beamer was the last of his litter to be adopted because he's all black.

    I hope Carly and A-Rod find a home soon!

    1. Thanks, Kat. When I first heard about Black Dog Syndrome years ago, I just didn't "get" it. Personally, I love black dogs. Our boy, Spanky, was the last of his litter to be adopted, too... he was the black one of the litter, just like Beamer.

  2. I think it's sad that Black dogs are so often overlooked when someone is looking for a dog. I've had 3, one as a child and 2 in my adult years. I wouldn't trade any of them.

    I hope Carly and A-Rod find a home soon!!

  3. Woof! Woof! Beautiful dogs. Hopefully the photography of Kim helps them to find their forever home soon. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  4. Oh this is so sad. How I wish we could take a second dog right now. I hope they find homes ASAP. Thank you for posting to give them an extra "lifeline".

  5. I cry when I read this, I can't help it, it just breaks my heart. Have you shared their photos on your facebook page?

  6. Shared and plused one! Black is beautiful. Kim Hansen's photos are pretty.

  7. They're gorgeous! Boosted the signal :D

  8. Beautiful dogs. I do think that fostering does help. The more socialization the dogs have the better they appear at adoption events, etc.

    I know everyone talks about the black dog problem, but around here there are so many black dogs that I never think about it. Katy is a tri-colored sheltie and her color never mattered to us, although the Sable and Blue Merle shelties are generally more recognized when we tell people that they are both Shelties.

  9. Both are so beautiful. I can't believe they have been in the shelter for so long. I will definitely pass the word. Good luck Carley and A-Rod! ♥ ♥ ♥

  10. I adopted my 3rd dog this winter, and she is black. I don't know what the big deal is with black dogs but I hope it changes! I wonder also sometimes if the larger ones have that same problem? Also, what leaves the last one in a litter behind? I haven't quite figured that out either, maybe just because they're last? A couple of times when I've gotten pups over the years, I have found that those have been the sweetest ever!

  11. So sad. They are both such beautiful dogs. I'll share!


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