More Animal Shelters Remove Breed Labels: Is Software Catching Up?
Guest post written by Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Center in Austin, TX. In 2008, Dr. Amy Marder wrote, “Instead of depending on inaccurate breed labels, we want people to choose their future companions based on accurate personality profiles.” To this end, she introduced the idea of using “American Shelter Dog” in place of a […]
Myth Busted: Pit Bulls Don’t Bite Differently
In recent years, things have been looking up for the dogs we call “pit bulls” and their families. Breed specific legislation is on the way out. Shelters that discriminate against dogs based on appearance are the exception. The old wives tales that fueled canine discrimination have been debunked and dismissed.
Removing Breed Labels: Easier Than You Think
This is a guest post from Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at Austin Animal Center. At the time of this post, she was with Fairfax County Animal Shelter in VA. About a month ago, Fairfax County Animal Shelter removed all breed labels from our adoption kennels. There was much discussion and debate prior to us […]
Breed Identification, Labels, and Perceptions Revisited
The following is an updated version of a blog posted in 2013. In 2015, we’re still being asked: What role should breed – breed identification and breed labeling – play in today’s animal shelters? Thanks to years of research we all know about the inaccuracy of breed labeling based on visual inspection, so perhaps the question should be: Why […]
Once This Shelter Dropped Breed Labels, Its Dogs Got Really Happy Because More of Them Found Homes
Last year, we had the privilege of working with the staff at Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Michigan. In addition to sending staff members to our internships, CAHS also welcomed AFF to visit their shelter and provide more hands-on training.
Unique and Uniform: The #1 Myth that Fuels Canine Discrimination
Whenever breed restrictions or bans are proposed, those arguing for discriminatory policies rely on this false idea: that “pit bull” dogs are uniquely different from all other dogs and that they are uniform in their behavior. In other words, they mistakenly believe that “pit bull” dogs are specially and consistently different from all other dogs, but are all similar to […]
“Too Many Pit Bulls”: A Case of Psychic Numbing
We have too many pit bulls. All we have are pit bulls. We have a pit bull problem. Nobody wants to adopt our pit bulls. Across the country, in interviews with the local news, these sound bites are repeated over and over. Usually intended to be a call for help, a positive plug for the […]
For the Dogs It’s All Pain, No Gain
Recently we wrote a blog about “pit bull” dog websites and the damage that well-intentioned advocates cause when they post outdated information about the dogs. A prime example of this is the perpetuation of the old myth that “pit bull” dogs have a higher tolerance for pain than other dogs. One advocacy website writes, “Sometimes […]
Progressive Animal Sheltering: Dogs are Individuals First
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. – Khalil Gibran As today’s animal sheltering professionals increasingly focus on providing dogs with quality care and getting to know them as individuals – through standardized evaluations, volunteer notes and foster programs, play groups, enrichment, and more – it’s time to […]
Moving Animal Sheltering Forward: Individuality Takes the Lead
Shelters are in the business of sending pets home. If our goal is to provide shelter dogs with the best care during their stays, save more lives, and make better matches for adopters, we have to focus on their individual pet qualities first and foremost. That’s why we were discouraged to read the latest blog […]