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Don’t judge a pet by its color: Oklahoma Girl Scout brings awareness to ‘black dog syndrome’

OKLAHOMA CITY – One local Gold Award Girl Scout is working to bring awareness to black dog syndrome -a term adoption centers use to describe why black dogs and cats are less likely to be adopter than a lighter colored animal- by hosting an adoption event Saturday.

In a survey, Petfinder member shelter and rescue groups reported that most pets are listed for 12.5 weeks on Petfinder, whereas, less-adoptable pets (such as black, senior, and special needs pets) spend almost four times as long on Petfinder.

Whether it be superstitious reasons or they look “boring,” less photogenic, or scarier than their lighter counterparts, black dog syndrome is noticed by shelters around the country.

“Being able to provide this adoption [and awareness] day to my community is something that I’ve been working on for a really long time,” said Shelby Dye, Gold Award Girl Scout of Troop 177. “My dog, who fits the criteria of [black dog syndrome], is my reason for choosing this project. I love my dog and she has a good home, with a good family. These adoption centers do a wonderful job of caring for their animals, but it’s not a real home. Giving these animals a family of their own is an opportunity they should all have.”

Dye is hoping to raise more awareness of this stereotype by working with Pets and People in Yukon and Friends of the Mustang Animal Shelter.

While this is an adoption day, there is no pressure to adopt an animal. It is a day full of awareness and a chance for the animals to get out and interact with the public.

The event is being held Saturday, February 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Church of the Servant Courtyard in Oklahoma City.

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