Ajax is one of the several black dogs that are on sale through the month of October. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
Ajax is one of the several black dogs that are on sale through the month of October. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – Statistical, black dogs are the least likely color of dogs to be adopted. Black dogs are so commonly overlooked that there is a term for it – “black dog syndrome.” Black dog syndrome is a phenomenon in which black dogs are passed over in favor of other, lighter colored animals.

Van Wert County Humane Society Director Cacey Long said black dog syndrome is prevalent in the local shelter. To combat the phenomenon, the Humane Society is running a sale on black dogs through the month of October. All black dogs are $50 off for the entire month.

“The first day of October is National Black Dog Day, and October is Pitbull Awareness Month,” said Long. “Because a lot of our black dogs are pit bull-like dogs, I thought it would be good to run it through the month to see if that might get some of them homes.”

Long said that she has noticed that black dogs spend more time in the shelter than other colors of dogs. She also said that older dogs and pitbull-type dogs are two other types of dogs that are least likely to get adopted.

“A lot of times our pitbull-like dogs have three strikes before they come in,” said Long. “Anything that is full grown, anything that is black, and anything looks like a pit – it takes so long to re-home them. They instantly have three strikes.”

Around 10 dogs at the shelter qualify for the sale. While most of them are pitbulls, there are other types of dogs that fall into the sale. Shadow is a black Labrador mix who has been at the shelter for quite awhile. Shadow has a dislike for males, likely due to a bad past with a male owner. However, Long said she is a sweet dog who just needs to be given a chance.

Long also said that each of the black dogs available have a variety of personalities. Long said if someone is looking for a relaxed dog, there is one available. If someone is looking for a dog that loves to go on walks and has more energy, they can find one with that personality as well.

Adoption fees for dogs are $150 regularly. The black dogs in the month of October are $100 which includes deworming ($9 value), 30 day flea treatment ($15.80 value), heart worm tested ($26.25 value), intake exam ($75 value), Distemper/Parvo/Lepto vaccines ($18 value), Bordetella vaccine ($38 value) and the dog will be spayed or neutered ($128 value). In all, those who adopt a dog for $150 (or in the case of black dogs in October, $100) are getting $310.05 worth of treatment at a much cheaper rate.

Long reiterated that the Van Wert County Humane Shelter is currently full for both dogs and cats, and they are not accepting animals. If a citizen has a complaint about a stray animal, they are asked to call the Van Wert County Sheriff Department, as the Dog Warden is a Sheriff Deputy and does not work out of the shelter.