Manatee Animal Services discounts less-adopted black animals

kirby@bradenton.comJuly 17, 2014 

Harvey, a Labrador retriever and German shepherd mix, is 2 years old and has been at the shelter since July 9. He is available for adoption at the animal shelter at the discounted rate.Photo from Manatee County Animal Services website.

MANATEE -- Manatee County Animal Services is offering a discount on black-colored animals, since they spend more time waiting to be adopted than their lighter-colored counterparts, according to a press release.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, said people tend to associate black cats with witches and bad luck, so they favor other colors.

Though it's less well-known than superstitions about black cats, the name for the aversion to black dogs in shelters is black dog syndrome. According to Pet Finder, an online database of pets in need of homes, the aversion is caused by the generic appearance of black pets, including unclear facial features, dimly lit kennels and negative portrayals of black pets in movies and books.

"They get a bad reputation through no fault of their own," Weiskopf said.

The adoption fee for dogs with any black in their coloring is $35 compared with the normal $80. The adoption fee for cats with any black is $15, compared with the normal $40, Thursday through Saturday. The required license tag is still $15.

There's no specific reason for the timing of the deal, according to Weiskopf, they just always have more pets with black in their fur than pets without black.

"Right now I'd say 75 percent of our available dogs and cats have black in their coloring," he said.

All adopted pets receive a health check and vaccinations -- including rabies -- are spayed or neutered and microchipped.

The special is available at Animal Services in Palmetto, 305 25th St. W., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Preview available animals by visiting mymanatee.org/pets.

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