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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Doggie discrimination? It’s a phenomenon some animal shelters face. It turns out, some people overlook dogs because of the color of their fur.

“The black, brown, big dog syndrome is a nationwide issue with animal shelters, ’cause these are dogs that are normally overlooked because of their color and their size,” Onslow County Animal Services Director Alan Davis said.

In Onslow County, the problem is so bad, Animal Services has cut its adoption fee for black and brown dogs by nearly $100.

It’s not like that in New Hanover County. Shelter supervisor Nancy Ryan says black and brown dogs are not usually the first to go, but that doesn’t mean they’re left homeless.

“We adopt them out, maybe not as quickly as the small breeds and the puppies, but we do adopt them,” Ryan said.

Some animal rescue groups say there may be another reason why black dogs often get overlooked. With many people looking for pets online, black dogs are at a disadvantage.

“Their features aren’t as prominent,” said Sheryl Sblendorio with Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. “You can’t appreciate their eyes, shape of their ears, line of their body. I just think they almost black out.”

While there are no hard statistics that this syndrome exists, experts say there is plenty of anecdotal evidence.

In the meantime, many black and brown dogs are living in the shadows of their lighter-colored counterparts.

Onslow County has reduced its adoption fee on brown, black and large dogs to $50 through the end of the month. Davis says so far, this had been quite successful.

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10 Comments on "Doggie discrimination: Black, brown, big dogs harder to adopt out"

2015 years 8 months ago

Who ever thought of this story needs a change of profession. Really can’t believe this.

Grand Ole Party
2015 years 8 months ago

So why did you not only bother to click on the story but also took time to post on it? If you find it unworthy of your attention, keep on scrolling. Bit 2 complicated for you?

2015 years 8 months ago

Really? Out of all the news stories going on, you feel the need to report on this? It’s called personal preference, what a joke

2015 years 8 months ago

Did you get this story from KBLUE? Sounds like something he would say!! You guys keep racism alive!! shame on you again!!

2015 years 8 months ago

Racism is discrimination, but not all discrimination is racism. Think about it. Or use a dictionary.

2015 years 8 months ago

Gee, maybe I shouldn’t have used that phrase. Might open up a whole new artificial controversy.

Nice post. :-)

Just sayin'
2015 years 8 months ago

What a strange bunch of comments!

Why not do a story about dogs? It’s really a normal dog-interest story (People are interested in dogs). That doesn’t mean other news is going unreported. Look around, we’re buried in news sources. Choose to read stories that interest you–that’s what normal people do.

What’s not to be believed? Do you think the people quoted are lying? Is this a conspiracy to deceive us about dog adoptions? That’s such a bizarre comment.

And choosing smaller, lighter colored dogs over larger, darker colored dogs isn’t “racism” and the article never said or implied that it is. Obviously, The article reports a preference that may be a problem for those adopting out dogs.

Seriously, these comments are odd and thoughtless. Perhaps readers should take a minute to think about whether their idea is true or supportable before shooting off a comment that adds nothing but confusion to the subject.

Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

With the LOCAL media’s inability to find, local, stories to cover, and filling up their newscasts and websites with NATIONAL stories, I find it refreshing that WWAY is making the effort to replace one of those, (copied) national, stories with an, original, local, story.

At least WWAY is attempting to put the “local” back into, “Live, Local, Interactive”!!!!

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

Commenters, Please do not trivialize this issue by dismissing it as not a real problem. This is a very real problem that has nothing to do with human racism. These dogs need help!

2015 years 8 months ago

This is a true cause where Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson can really do some good! Activate the ACLDU, NAACD and resolve this blasphemous method of doggie racism!


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