Finding a forever home can be difficult for any shelter dog, but some have it even harder than others simply due to the color of their coats. According to the SPCA, darker dogs tend to be adopted less frequently than those with lighter fur. This may be because it’s harder to see their expressions, especially in photographs. Displeased that its perfectly adoptable dogs were being neglected because of their coloring, the Scottish SPCA has come up with an ingenious idea: to dress them up in colorful and cozy sweaters.
Created in collaboration with numerous Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) groups, the cute garments help dogs suffering from “black dog syndrome” in multiple ways. In addition to drawing attention to the otherwise overlooked pups, the swaddling effect of the sweaters helps anxious dogs to relax. This gives the dogs confidence and allows them to be on their best behavior for potential adopters. Moreover—and most obviously—the comfy coats keep the dogs snuggly warm in their kennels.
“Knitted jackets are ideal because they will be soft on the skin, have an element of give and stretch, and can be created in any, or many, colors of wool,” Sharon Comrie, the superintendent of the Scottish SPCA, explained to The Dodo.”With the SWI knitters’ support, we will be able to build up a collection of special jackets for our dark dogs to wear with pride.”
So far, the Scottish SPCA has clothed a handful of dogs with the SWI’s comfy creations. The goal, however, is to dress any and all dogs who need that extra boost to finally find the loving homes they deserve. “As well as making the dogs stand out,” Comrie explains, “we anticipate that bright-colored jackets will provide a conversation point, but more importantly, help us rehome all of our dogs, regardless of the color of their coat, quickly and effectively.”
If you’re interested in adopting an adorable, dark-colored dog, you can easily find your local SPCA here.