‘Black Dog Syndrome' Unfortunate Reality


The dreaded Black Dog Syndrome list. It sounds like something we would make up. But, sadly, it's not. It's reality in the shelter world.

This phenomenon is not just at Payson Humane Society, but in homeless animal shelters all over the globe. There are several reasons why these black pups face doggie discrimination and are often the last to be chosen for adoption, if at all.

Some people believe it may be based on a subconscious belief that black animals can bring bad luck or are generally just meaner. Both are untrue. We've all heard about the black cat crossing our path or British folklore tells us of a creepy, black dog that haunts cemeteries and is an "omen" of death. Even Harry Potter was stalked by a big, black dog named Grim.

Dogs are what you make them. For example, Rico, a black Border Collie in Germany, knows over 200 words and counting. I once owned a black hound mix who knew to put her toys away when finished playing with them.

Unfortunately, the fate of an animal is sealed when born with black fur.

At Payson Humane Society we have witnessed first-hand on many occasions, beautiful-natured black dogs that, for some reason, just seem to be overlooked at the shelter.

So, this week we are featuring our Beautiful Black Dogs. All have lived with us for a long time, and two even grew up with us from small puppies. We know them and love them and we want you to know and love them, too. You can help by just spreading the word that black dogs are beautiful and smart, or just come by to visit them.

If you'd like to learn more about these black dogs or any of our other wonderful, homeless pets you can come and see them at 812 S. McLane Road or look them up on the Internet at www.PaysonHumaneSociety.com or www.PetFinders.com. If you have room to foster one of these black beauties, please call (928) 474-5590.


Shorty has been with us since February without any real "lookers," and we are becoming very worried about him. We feel he has become a victim of "Black Dog Syndrome." He is a handsome, 2-year-old black Shepherd mix with no real reason, other than coat color, why he hasn't found his furever home. Shorty is an active dog who requires both mental and physical exercise. He is a wonderful walker on leash and minds well. He is very loving when he has an outlet for his energy. Shorty lived in a quiet, adult home where he was allowed to sleep indoors. He's fine with kids, but like most dogs he will chase after squirrels, cats and deer. He also rides politely in the car. He may have great potential as an agility dog because he agile and alert. He will do well with a family who can take him with them wherever they go, or leave him in the house when they are gone. His yard will need to be safe, secure and large enough for him to play in. Please come in to meet him soon. He is very depressed.

Also a victim of "Black Dog Syndrome" is our sweet, little Nickolai. Just under a year old, this young dog has dreams of curling up next to someone other than the chain link fence which separates him from the next homeless dog at our shelter. Originally adopted from Payson Humane Society when he was 10 weeks old, he was picked up as a stray and brought back to the shelter. Since his family did not reclaim him, Nickolai is back up for adoption. What a fun-loving, happy guy Nickolai is. He loves people of all ages, gets along well with other dogs and loves to play. Being a Border Collie mix with instant, fast-foot action, we know he would benefit from agility training to help him become the next new agility star. Just think... you could be the next new owner of a SUPER STAR!!


Our next longtime black dog is Angel. She is about a year old now, medium-sized, spayed and awaiting your arrival with enthusiasm.he was donated over to the shelter because her owners didn't have time for her so she now spends her life as a victim of "Black Dog Syndrome." Angel is a fun-loving, outgoing and very sweet dog.he is still at the age to have lots of energy, and we feel Angel would be best matched with an active individual or family. Her new owners should be willing to give her the training and exercise needed to help her mature into a wonderful companion.he gets along well with the other dogs at the shelter and loves to be with them in the play yard, but deserves an everyday family to share her goofy personality with. As with all our dog adoptions, we will provide this young lady with one free basic obedience class to help you both.lease come in to let her know you are thinking of her. A treat would also help!


Jessie is a one-year-old Catahoula/Dutch Shepherd mix. She was found on the side of the road with seven nursing puppies. Unfortunately, her milk had dried up and she was starving for food. As it turned out, it was her lucky day. kind person rescued her and brought her to the shelter. As Jessie's pups left her behind for new homes, she is now alone and becoming a depressed shelter dog.lthough she is a dark brindle color, we feel she belongs on the "Black Dog Syndrome" list. Jessie counts the minutes for someone to come see her and not her puppies. She is very outgoing, energetic, smart and we know she'd make you proud. Please come and meet her but don't forget to bring a cookie treat for her. She deserves it!


Picked up near William Tell Circle and brought in with only his blue collar, this charming 1- to 2-year-old Lab mix is quite the guy! Although he pulls a little on the leash, he learns SUPER fast and has great potential. His medium-length, fluffy black coat is the reason he made our "Black Dog Syndrome" list. He will require regular brushing to prevent mats and irritation. Vader is still young enough to learn many tricks and commands, but needs you to help him do that. He has only been with us a short time, but has already started to show the signs of depression brought on by daily kennel life. Please consider coming in to meet him to give him that ray of hope.


The next photo shoot for the 2009 Pet Calendar is Saturday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Off Leash Dog Park in Rumsey Park on North McLane Road. Bring your pet, get their picture taken, and complete the registration form to pick your dates (calendar dates are sold on a first-come, first-served basis). The cost for submitting a photo is $20, and calendars are $10.

Already have a good photo of your pet for our calendar? Bring a high-resolution photo to the event, pick your date and fill out a registration form. Forms are also available at the shelter.

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