VIDEO: Black animals wait longer to be adopted

Friday, October 7, 2011 | 5:16 p.m. CDT; updated 11:41 a.m. CDT, Saturday, October 8, 2011

COLUMBIA — No one wanted Todd.

The black Labrador retriever lived at the Central Missouri Humane Society for eight months, waiting to be adopted.

"He would just bounce in his cage, and no one would even stop to look at him because no one wanted to take that crazy dog home," said Allison Brown, shelter relations coordinator.

Todd quickly became a staff favorite. Finally, a family came in who wanted a dog to go running with them and "absolutely fell in love."

While the average stay for an animal at the Central Missouri Humane Society is between two weeks and a month, animals that are black, elderly or disabled stay much longer, Brown said.

Of the "less adoptable" pets the shelter receives, about 40 percent are black animals.

There are no proven reason for people's hesitancy to adopt black animals, but Michelle Casey, an animal care counselor, said she thinks that when it comes to cats, it might be related to superstition.

And with the dogs, she said, it might be because the fur color doesn't catch the eye, and the potential adopters are looking for something less standard.

But whatever the reason, Casey said she would argue the thoughts are misguided.

"It's a shame, because the black dogs are just as sweet as the colorful ones," she said.

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