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Posted on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 6 a.m.

Black dogs and cats to be celebrated on this week's Pet Photo Friday

By Lorrie Shaw


Lorrie Shaw | Contributor

The plight that some black pets suffer is something that can be hard to comprehend.

Imagine a dog that has a sweet disposition, is in good health and has no problems — getting passed over for adoption. Sadly, it does happen, at shelters all over the country.

Big Black Dogs, or BBD, as shelter staff call them, are behind the growing trend. It's a sad and unfair stigma attached to dogs who were born as large-breed canines with dark fur.

Superstition, bias and inaccurate facts stigmatize these pets, and for some, they pay dearly. For many, it's a life lived in a shelter, waiting for a stable home and family to call their own; and for a percentage, they become part of an even more dire statistic: they are euthanized.

The fact is, shelters across the country find it challenging to place large breed, black dogs — as well as black cats.

Some humans find it difficult to "read" the dark faces of these animals: Their black coats can make it difficult for their facial expressions to shine through. Because of that, they often do not photograph well, either — ask anyone who has tried to snap a photo of a sweet face that seems to get swallowed up by darkness.

We're putting out the call to readers to help showcase black pets in the area — and perhaps even dispel the myths that surround black, large-breed dogs and black cats.

We know that there are aficionados of these perfectly worthy creatures out there. To highlight how great they are, you're invited to share your photos and stories of your special pets with us.

So for this week and next, our focus and theme of Pet Photo Friday is "Big Black Dogs and Black Cats."

Participating is easy!

Simply email a photo of your furry friend to, at any time of the week, and be sure to give a little anecdote about what's best about them. Your photos will be included as part of a very special edition of our ongoing Pet Photo Friday feature.

We'll put the series' photos into a slideshow and publish them here on the Pets section.

Be sure to include the name of the animal(s), as well as their age and city or township of residence in your email. Photos should be 1200 pixels wide and in .jpg format.

Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for You can follow her daily pet adventures on Twitter and subscribe to's email newsletters.