One of the country’s most-famed animal rescue centres has revealed the dog breed most overlooked in its kennels – and it might be down to something as simple as the colour of its coat.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has released data showing black Greyhounds are the unluckiest canines in their centres, being consistently ignored and passed over by potential owners.
And centre manager Robert Young says it might be down to our love of Instagram and the like.
Speaking to stylist.co.uk, he explains: “People love putting pictures of their pets on social media and it’s no secret that black animals can be tricky to photograph. It can be hard to distinguish their features on camera – and it does take a bit of practice to get the perfect snap.
“This has led to a misconception that black animals aren’t as ‘pretty’ or ‘cute’ as others. But we know from experience that our black dogs and cats are just as loving, adorable and cuddly as their white, brindle and brown friends.”
While famously maligned breeds such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers are often overlooked at the rescue centre (bull breeds make up a massive 38% of the kennels thanks to undeserved reputations), once there, Greyhounds with black coats are the ones who tend wait the longest to be adopted.
It’s possibly down to what’s previously been termed ‘black dog syndrome’ – something cats are also thought to be affected by.
Where the average dog takes 35 days to be rehomed, the average black Greyhound waits 40 days, and they make up the majority of the long-stay residents too – the lovely Kevin for instance (pictured below) has now been at Battersea longer than any of his canine pals, currently marking his 130th day.
Young adds that their coat colour might mean their website profiles just don’t stand out: “We always have so many black Greyhounds at Battersea and sadly, it’s not unusual to see them go on to become long-stays – simply because they struggle to catch the eye of potential owners.
“Luck is also against them because black dogs are more difficult to photograph, which means it can also be easy for them to blend into the background on our website
“It’s such a shame, because Greyhounds are loving, gentle-natured dogs and can make excellent pets for families and first-time owners.”
The majority of the Greyhounds in Battersea are former racing dogs that arrive via specialist rescue centres and need a chilled home in which to put their weary paws up.
In order to highlight the problem, Battersea has shone a spotlight on five of their black Greyhounds currently looking for loving homes.
If you’re interested in any of the dogs below or in homing another rescue dog, please contact Battersea Dogs & Cats Home via the website or call 0843 509 4444.
Seven-year-old Nellie marked her 100th day recently, and is looking for a family to call her own. Nellie had to retire from the racecourse when she broke her toe, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. Like Kevin, she’s a real cuddlebug who loves people, but she will need a big garden to zoom around in when the mood takes her.
See her here
The longest-stay dog at Battersea’s London centre has been at the home for over four months. He’s sadly become known at the centre as ‘Forgettable Kevin’ because he’s always being overlooked. But once you get to know him, four-year-old Kevin is one of Battersea’s most memorable dogs. Every morning he greets his friends in an enthusiastic way and gives them a big Greyhound hug. He loves cuddles and affection.
See him here
Four-year-old Sam – or View The Fire as he was known in his racing days – is full of get up and go and is looking for an active home where he can run around to his heart’s content. He’s an inquisitive boy with a bit of a chase drive, so he’s looking for owners who have some experience with Sighthounds. While he loves to race around sometimes, Sam also values his forty winks and is a firm believer in the importance of an afternoon nap.
See him here
Serena and Eddie
Smiley Serena and enthusiastic Eddie are looking for a home together, with owners who have some understanding of ex-racing Greyhounds and their needs. The duo have been at Battersea Old Windsor for almost two months now and they’ve become firm favourites with everyone at the centre. Eddie is a funny, affectionate boy who enjoys the company of both people and dogs. He loves food more than anything, except perhaps his best friend Serena. She’s a bouncy, affectionate girl who loves jumping up to give kisses. Serena loves to lean on people for a fuss and cuddle.
See them here
Images: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home