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Photographer Fred Levy dedicates breathtaking photos to homeless black dogs

Fred Levy dedicated this series of photos to black dogs in shelters.
Fred Levy dedicated this series of photos to black dogs in shelters.
Fred Levy

Fred Levy is a photographer with a mission. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals. But instead of doing it behind closed doors, he brought them into the light through photographs he publishes.

Fred Levy dedicated this photo series to the millions of black dogs that die in animal shelters.
Fred Levy

Levy's photos capture the spirit and personality behind the homeless pets that live in city corners. And for just a moment, the dogs can not only feel special but also become ambassadors for others like them.

Any seasoned animal rescuer is well aware of the "curse" of the black dog. Potential adopters pass by black dogs at an alarming rate for multiple reasons:

  1. Superstitions that black pets are bad luck
  2. The myth that black dogs are agressive
  3. The "ordinary" color
  4. Black dogs blend into shadows at animal shelters

Not only do Fred Levy's photos conquer these misconceptions, but he captures the fun, playful side of some lovable black pooches. He makes you want to reach out an hug each one.

Is black ordinary?

Have you ever tried to tell the owner of a black dog that their pet was 'ordinary?' If so, you probably didn't get away without an earful.

So is black truly ordinary? Let's investigate.

Black is the color of midnight darkness and mystery. It is the color of a moonless night when starstruck lover's run into each other's arms. It is the color of mystery and fascination. It is also one of the few original colors of the wild dog and wolf.

An author for the website TheBark.com had this to say about one woman's experience first experience with a black dog.

When Tamara Delaney of Woodville, Wis., volunteered to find a home for a black Labrador Retriever named Jake last year, she had no idea what she was up against. Jake, cared for by a rescue group, had already waited nearly three years for a new home. And he would wait eight more months as Delaney tried to find someone to take in the big Lab.

It didn’t matter much that Jake was a sociable dog and in perfect health. Jake’s problem wasn’t his temperament—it was the color of his coat. Jake bore the stigma of the “BBD,” an acronym used to refer to big black dogs, who are frequently passed over for flashier, prettier dogs and wind up, like Jake, waiting for years to be adopted.

“Nobody wants a black-coated dog,” rescue workers told Delaney as she tried without success to find a home for Jake. And when Delaney turned to the Internet, she found that shelters across the country were overflowing with black-coated mutts.

This of course, is no isolated incident. Black dogs (closely followed by brown dogs, although not as much research has gone into that study), are always high on the euthanasia list.

Fortunately, Delaney took her experience and grew it into a cause.

Delaney launched www.blackpearldogs.com and named her new site “Contrary to Ordinary: The Black Pearls of the Dog World.”

The world can use more people like Fred Levy and Tamara Delaney who aren't afraid to stand for something. And the inspiration they leave behind is nothing short of infectious.