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Black Dogs Face a Hard Choice at Shelter
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“I’ve had to turn away many black dogs because I can’t fill the place up with them,” says Jill Wimmer, shelter manager at PAWS Atlanta, that city’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. “And every one I turned away had a great temperament.” Wimmer knows that she can likely adopt out three dogs in the time it takes to find a home for one BBD.

Delaney’s advocacy for Mickie eventually paid off when Shonna Crompton of Ada, Minn., went online in April and came across Mickie’s forlorn face—stamped URGENT—on Wold’s Gemini Rescue site. “I couldn’t just let him die,” says Crompton.

In May, Delaney, Chase and Wold arranged for a network of volunteers to transport Mickie nearly 500 miles from Rising Sun, Ind., to Madison, Wisc. Crompton’s husband Shane drove Mickie another 400 miles to his new home in northern Minnesota. “His hip bones were protruding and his belly was sunken,” recalls Crompton of her first meeting with Mickie. “But he just sprawled out on the grass like it was the best feeling on the planet.”

Right now, Delaney is feeling pretty good herself, and hopes that her website, which is filled with black-dog facts, convinces more people to give a BBD a chance. She works for all the black dogs waiting in shelters and foster homes, and for the ones who never got a chance to know what it was like to play and be loved, she says. “I mostly just hope it helps people become aware of how overlooked and underadopted these dogs are,” says Delaney. “I had one person tell me, ‘Thank you for being an advocate for the black dog, because nobody else is.’”
 

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 35: Mar/Apr 2006
Deb Hipp is a Kansas City, Mo.-area journalist and animal advocate.

Photograph by Diane Diederich

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