For those involved with dog rescue organizations and shelters, Black Dog Syndrome is a very real phenomenon. Rescues and shelters around the country know that black dogs are the last to be adopted and among the first to be euthanized. According to the National Council on Pet Population, approximately 3-4 million dogs are euthanized each year. Dog rescue statistics provide hard data for a problem that rescue volunteers already understand. Any dog that enters a shelter is faced with an uphill battle and more often than not, a grim future.15% of dogs are fortunate to be reunited with their owners.Nearly 60% of dogs that enter shelters are euthanized.
Only 25% of dogs entering a shelter are lucky enough to be adopted. There are no statistics available on how many black dogs are euthanized, but we know that more black dogs are euthanized than dogs with other coat colors.
The black dog is the underdog of all rescue dogs. Maybe they don’t photograph as well as lighter colored dogs. Maybe it is because Hollywood teaches us that black always represents the bad guy. Maybe it is because many of the larger breeds that tend to end up in shelters and rescues are predominately black. Whatever the reason, placing a black dog in a local shelter is usually a death sentence.