National Black Dog Day might be over, but our love for black dogs still goes strong.

Black dogs do not fare well in shelters; they are often the last to be adopted and most likely to be euthanized. Even though black dogs are just as loving and playful, shelter staff can have a hard time photographing them—and a good photograph is crucial to creating interest for a potential adopter.

So, we teamed up with talented photographer Shaina Fishman to spread awareness about the issue and help combat the problem. Sarah Brasky (@thedogmatchmaker), Executive Director of Foster Dogs, helped recruit fourteen black rescue dogs to participate in our photo shoot.

“While I can’t take great photos of every black dog in a shelter I can bring awareness to the problem and with this series show that black dogs are stunningly beautiful” says Fishman.

Brasky’s own dog Ozzie was photographed for the series. She says, “It’s hard to believe, but it’s a real problem. I’ve seen firsthand the pattern of black dogs being picked last, even young puppies like Ozzie who was eight weeks when he came into the shelter.”

According to the ASPCA, 20% of the 3.3 millions dogs in shelters nationwide are euthanized every year. Through increased foster and adoption rates, these numbers can fall drastically. “A stigma can follow adoptable animals who are black, as they often wait longer to find their forever homes,” says The Bark in an article about the plight of black dogs in shelter. “Many shelters take extra steps to make black dogs more adoptable, according to Kate Pullen, director of animal sheltering issues at the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C.. Teaching the dogs tricks, putting placards on kennels highlighting the dog’s personality… anything to catch the eye and imagination of potential adopters.”

Meet the Dogs: 

Zoey, Fifty Cent (& his litter!), Charlie, Kirby, Sofi, Ozzie, Mia, Beau, Ulysses

Zoey, Fifty Cent (& his litter!), Charlie, Kirby, Sofi, Ozzie, Mia, Beau, Ulysses

These dogs are all unique and utterly beloved by their forever families, though all were once homeless – some not so long ago! Kirby the Shepherd mix is a foster sister to homeless dogs, once a foster dog herself. Beau the Cocker Spaniel mix is a Fospice friend, rescued from a hoarder in Korea. Mia‘s foster placement started out rocky, though her family fell in love despite initial obstacles and decided to adopt – she’s doing great now. Sofi the Pomeranian was adopted as a senior, looking better and better in her forever home. Zoey the Havanese was adopted by a young woman named Megan who has become one of our most active volunteers on our Steering Committee.

The gorgeous litter of puppies was from a rescue mission by Muddy Paws Rescue; they saved mama Penny, a Coonhound mix, and her litter of newborn puppies. Volunteer Maria brought the whole family home and raised the puppies until they were old enough to be adopted at 8 weeks. After this photo’s debut, the five remaining puppies in the litter were quickly adopted to loving homes.

Overlooked Black Dogs has gone viral!

BuzzFeed – @DogsofShelters – @HoundandLife – Bored Panda – Animal Wellness Magazine – This Dog’s Life

Want a portrait of these black beauties on your wall?

They make a stunning gift, and are perfect for any home who appreciates great photos and dog rescue! $10 from each purchase supports Foster Dogs Inc. CLICK HERE to purchase; starting at $20.

There are so many dogs in need of a loving home and waiting to be adopted. Start your search for at your local shelter or keep a look out on our social media!

Note: An earlier version of this blog post was published on our website in August 2017.