Art for Animals' Sake Home

A.R.T. (Animals R Terrific) Workshops: “Building Compassion” Art Classes

Copyright David Walega

Participants of the “Building Compassion” Art Class & Lunch, Sunday, October 20th at Mind Unwind Gallery & Studio, Seattle

Students learned fine art painting skills and the emotional lives of animals. Special guests Millie, Pearl and Gertie, three local rescued chickens, inspired our young artists. This free workshop was made possible with a grant from the Pollination Project.

Learn more about our art education classess...


Least adopted, most euthanized

‘Black Dog Syndrome’ and Adoption

It is a common experience amongst shelter workers to bear witness to the adoption of brightly patterned animals well before their black shelter mates. Both black cats and dogs are less than half as likely to be adopted than colorful ones. Speculation is that these animals do not photograph well on adoption materials or are intrinsically linked to superstition.

Copyright David Walega

Online adoptions have not helped the situation with amateur photographers and small screen images. Its been proven that potential adopters like to see the character and expression in the animals face and are drawn to certain animals by their colorful markings. “Overwhelmingly, we hear from the shelter and rescue groups that black dogs, especially the big black dogs, and black cats take longer to get adopted," said Kim Saunders, vice president of shelter outreach for Petfinder.com, the country's largest online pet adoption database.” With dark animals, it is much harder to discern their facial expressions and make an emotional connection with potential adopters.

To help increase adoption rates, some shelters are working hard to correctly photograph these animals. Others have taken to giving them distinct personalities through costumes, dynamic back stories, and taking the opportunity to place them strategically in more visible locations in the kennel for adopters to see them.

Black Dog Syndrome

This situation is often referred to as Black Dog Syndrome. However, some lucky black dogs seem to escape this syndrome, with breed trumping their dark coloration. Poodles, especially, are favored. A study was conducted by PhD psychologist Lucinda Woodward et al, and published in ‘Society and Animals’ in early 2012. In summary, they found that breed had a significant effect on participant’s perception of the dogs, but color did not. “As a matter of fact, in a study looking at breed versus color effect, black labs were rated as significantly more friendly, less dominant and more submissive dogs of dogs of seven other breeds, with only the Golden retriever rated more highly.” Black Poodles are amongst the highest adoption rates, finding homes much more frequently.

Sadly other breeds that do not fit so easily into these categories and are more than twice as likely to be euthanized in the shelter system. “Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., blames part of it on typecasting. "If you think of any movie with a mean, devil dog, it's always a black dog, and if you see a witch in a movie, they always have a black cat."”
Many organizations have created unique ways to highlight these animals. Websites such as blackpearldogs and startseeingblackdogs have draw attention to Black Dog Syndrome work tirelessly to bring awareness to future adopters.

resources:
Petfinder.com
www.blackpearldogs.com

www.startseeingblackdogs.com

Find out what every shelter knows

While black cats may not be bad luck, in shelters they are just unlucky

Rescue organizations are coming up with creative ways to raise awareness about the adoption of black animals, whose adoption rates are far lower than animals with bright markings. Some shelters hold special adoption events for black cats and dogs, with incentives like lower adoption fees and two-for-one adoption days. They also make sure the animals are taken out of their cages to meet potential owners as a way of encouraging adoption.

Copyright david Walega

Volunteer photographers are taking on the challenge of illuminating the animal’s best attributes. Often during the intake process the animal is photographed. This is often the most stressful time for a rescued animal, therefore fear and discomfort tend to permeate these photos.

‘Second Chance Photos’ is dedicated to having professional photographers photography the animals in local shelters to improve the chance of adoption: “Second Chance Photos (SCP) believes every homeless pet should be represented with a positive, professional photograph, offering a glimpse into their unique personality in hopes to make a connection with potential adopters. ”Launched by photographer Seth Casteel of Little Friends Photo in Los Angeles, ‘One Picture Saves Campaign’ is a free, nationwide, nonprofit program.

'One Good Photo' project here...

 


Art for Animals' Sake is an Associated Program of Shunpike.
Shunpike

About Shunpike: Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that fuels innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds.
Learn more at www.shunpike.org

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'A Day in the Life' Photography Project

In 2012, a special photography exhibit focused on the relationship homeless have with their animals.

A Day in the Life Portfolio

AFAS worked with street youth and their allies to capture through photography the bond with their animals culminating in an exhibition of color photographs.

In 2014, workshops will use digital equipment to teach technical skills to youth while encouraging creative expression though art.

More detalls and background on the project here...


'One Good Photo' Project

We are enlisting photographers to help photograph shelter animals to give them the best chance at adoption.
More details here...


"Among the Animals"

by Christie Lagally

"While animal advocacy comes in many forms ranging from direct rescue, sheltering, protesting or working toward legislation, using art to help people connect with animals opens up another avenue to share the reasons we must protect animals. "

Read the full article here...


'GiveBIG' May 20th!

Thanks to everyone who has donated during the GiveBIG Campaign in the past.

Your yearly donation will be partially matched by Seattle Foundation Sponsors, making a larger impact, improving the lives of animals through our Art Education Programs.

Donate here on May 20th...


Past Archives & Articles

Copyright Kristin Bauer
Original Content & Interviews:

Visit our archives for exclusive interviews with celebrity suppprters such as True Blood's Kristin Bauer, original articles and art reviews.

Read here...


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