Black Dog Pickles

Black Dog Pickles. Are you aware that the least adopted,  most killed dogs are black shelter dogs?

Click this link to see the Today Show Video for the Black Dog Story.

To overcome this phenomenon Green Pets America has created an Awareness and Advocacy program. The program is Black Dog Pickles. Black Dog Pickles is our National Advocacy Program for ending Black Dog Syndrome.

The fear of black dogs is classified as a syndrome. Fear of black dogs is a phenomenon throughout the world. Because of this bias and fear black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals.

Animal shelters work to overcome this syndrome from pet adopters but black dogs still remain the most abandoned and most euthanized dogs in animal shelters.

As Executive Director and founder of a dog rescue nonprofit, Green Pets America Charities, I have spent the last 12 years involved with rescuing dogs from shelters. Everything from walking in and pulling them out of kill shelters, to taking them to vets. To bringing them to our rescue group. We then vet them and place them in foster care. We work diligently to adopt them into loving safe homes. I’ve spent many a weekend at Pet Smart with two dozen dogs trying to get them adopted.

Through all this, one thing became apparent to me. Black Dogs are the least adopted of all the dogs we rescue. They are the least adopted in the shelters we go into as well. We always have a higher than usual selection of black dogs, versus light colored or mixed color dogs. We found that black dogs languish not only longer in shelters, but rescue groups as well. Where we can adopt other colors out on average in three months, some black dogs take up to a year…. Some, even more.

So we did some research and found that our experience was not unusual, it was sadly normal. There is a phenomenon and its name is Black Dog Syndrome (BDS). Black Dog Syndrome is known by shelters and rescue groups throughout America. Numerous respected national organizations have long recognized BDS as an issue that adversely affects the adoption rates of black pets.

So, what exactly is this syndrome? Black Dog Syndrome is a sometimes conscious, but most times unconscious mental, and emotional bias in humans against black dogs.

Well, there are many reasons, including superstitious fear of black dogs, “old wives’ tales” about black dogs, Black dogs depicted in movies and literature as evil or devilish. A scary, growling black dog can be seen in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Harry Potter series and The Omen.


In a survey, Pet finder the respected national organization where we post our dogs available for adoption, animal shelter and rescue groups reported that most pets are listed for about 3 months, whereas, black dogs and senior or special needs dogs average 12 months on the Pet finder adoption site.


The only real fact, not ignorance, superstition or media, and folklore bias are that black dogs do not photograph well on animal shelter websites. This is easily overcome however by simply photographing black dogs in front of blue screens or blue paper, as we do at GPA. At Green Pets America Charities,  we believe that the color of a dogs coat has nothing to do with the dogs’ temperament or personality. Ask any owner of a black dog. Just ask me: we have three black rescue dogs. Our black dogs are as loving, playful, smart and a joy to be with each day as our other two, non-black dogs.


So what are some positive things that you can you do to end Black Dog Syndrome?

You can go to an animal shelter and adopt a black shelter dog.

You can share this article with your friends and family, encouraging them to consider adopting a black dog the next time they get a dog.

You can educate people that it’s not the color of the dog, but the size of her or his heart that is important. And you can now buy Black Dog Pickles to bring awareness to the cause.

And you can now buy Black Dog Pickles to bring awareness to the cause.

black dog pickles

We hand make Black Dog Pickles in small batches and sell them at Farmers Markets and Animal Welfare Fund Raising Events. We are looking for corporate sponsors to help us produce these in larger batches and distribute then regionally and nationally. If you want to help spread the word and end the killing of half a million black shelter dogs each year please contact us at Steve@GreenPetsAmerica. We are a501c3 nonprofit, founded in 2007 and recognized by the state Senate of Georgia for Humanitarian efforts for families and animals of Georgia.

All profits go to Green Pets America Charities 501c3 non-profit, for black dog syndrome education and rescue.

green pets america


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What Is The Black Dog Syndrome?

Did you know that black dogs are the most killed dogs in America?

black dog friday image

Animal Shelters know it and animal rescue groups know it but the general public is unaware of this tragic fact. Black dog syndrome is a phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of lighter-colored animals. Animal shelters often use the term BBD, or big black dog, to describe the type of larger dark-colored mixed-breed said to be typically passed over by adopters.

The Black Dog Phenomenon may be due to a number of factors. Research has identified geographic location, fear against certain breed types, and the fact that large, black dogs are often portrayed as aggressive in film and on television as possible correlates. Initial research at one location identified a longer period experienced by black dogs before adoption.

Some people believe that during the pet adoption process some potential owners associate the color black with evil or misfortune (similar to the common superstition surrounding black cats, and this bias transfers over to their choice of dog. Additionally, many shelters feature photo profiles of their dogs on the shelter website. Because black dogs do not photograph well, lighter-colored dogs have an advantage with potential adopters browsing the site.

In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters’ selection of a dog of both puppies and adult dogs.

The issue has been gaining media attention since the mid-2000s. Tamara Delaney, an early activist against black dog syndrome, developed a website called Black Pearl Dogs in 2004 specifically to address the issue, both by educating the public about its existing, as well as showcasing individual dogs available for adoption.

As an animal rescuer myself, founding and running a no kill rescue, I have seen this bias often. Black dogs are harder to adopt at our rescue and in the shelters we go into they are harder for them to adopt as well. I was curious about this and did some research.

We have found that in a 1998 study of 1,468 relinquished dogs offered for adoption at a local humane society found having a primarily black coat color was a variable associated with euthanasia, while gold, gray, and white coats colors were significant predictors of successful adoption.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science of dog and cat adoption in California animal shelters found pure black coat colors to be negative factors in adoption rates for both dogs and cats.

A 2010 PhD thesis analyzing multiple factors found a measurable variance contributing to dogs with primarily black coats being euthanized rather than adopted

A 2013 study published in the journal Anthrozoos displayed photographs of dogs colored either yellow or black, and with floppy ears or pointy ears. It found that “participants rated the yellow dog significantly higher than the black dog on the personality dimensions of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability.[ It also found differences significant difference in ratings based on ear size, indicating “that people attribute different personality characteristics to dogs based solely on physical characteristics of the dog.

Additionally a study presented at the 2013 International Society for Anthrozoology conference that showed participant’s pictures of cats and dogs of varying colors found white cats were considered the friendliest, orange cats second friendliest, and black cats were considered least friendly. Among dogs, yellow dogs were considered friendliest, brown dogs second friendliest, and black dogs least friendly. Darker pets were similarly judged less adoptable and black dogs were considered the most aggressive.

This bias needs to end. Black dogs are as loving and friendly and protecting as any other dog. In our present time we have to accept science and facts and not be ruled by old wives tales or superstitions. Black dogs can and soon will become America’s favorite dogs if we have a say in it.

At BLACKdogFRIDAY we intend to be the passionate and reasoned voice for Black Dogs. To start the education process we have created a national campaign to save black shelter dogs. We are partnering with Green Pets America Charities, the no kill animal welfare organization we founded in 2004 to raise awareness and help shelters and rescue groups get these beautiful dogs adopted.

To that end we have launched a nationally campaign named BLACK dog FRIDAY. The purpose being that every Friday at every shelter across America Black Dog Adoptions will be promoted. We want to educate the public and accurately portray black dogs as the loving dogs they are. Additionally we want people to recognize them as good protectors as well. To that end we created the tagline…”Adopt a Black Dog – bring love and protection into your home”

You can help Black dog Friday become a regular Friday Adoption event in your community. Please call your shelter. Give them this flyer. Tell your friends. Tell the news in your area. They can also download this flyer for free at our website at

Additionally you can help adopt black dogs by posting this flyer on your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other sites. And if you are able please make a tax-deductible donation at Green Pets America no kill. IRS NON PROFIT EIN #77-0681947

“Adopt a black dog – bring love into your home”


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