An open-intake animal shelter in Williamson County, Texas, has eliminated breed labels for the homeless dogs who are in their care. The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter made the announcement on February 7, explaining that all of their dogs are “originals,” and that they shouldn’t be defined by a label.
In a release, the shelter explained their thoughts on the policy change:
WCRAS has removed the use of breed labels at their shelter. How a dog is labeled or their physical appearance is not an indication of their personality, their past or future behavior, or their suitability for a particular adoption placement.
In fact, the Animal Farm Foundation cites a study that reports the breed labels assigned to shelter dogs by the studied staff members were wrong at least 75% of the time. WCRAS prides itself on being an open and honest shelter. Giving misinformation by misidentifying breeds does not fall in line with their standards of honesty.
Adopters are encouraged to be open-minded, to see the dogs for who they are, rather than what they “should be” because of the label which is tied to them. Cheryl Schneider, Williamson County animal services director, explained, “When you remove breed labels, you open the door to possibility. You have a chance to fall in love without being inhibited by breed. Instead, fall in love by listening to your heart.”
The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter isn’t the first animal shelter to do away with breed defining labels. Not long ago, the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center in Virginia, opted to eliminate breed labels and refer to their dogs as “All American Shelter Dogs” instead. The idea is to focus on a dog’s individual personality, rather than the perception of what they may or may not be because of a label.
The Williamson County Shelter is currently having an adoption promotion to help all of their “originals” find their way into loving homes. The shelter explained:
February 10 to 12, 2017, WCRAS will offer FREE adoptions on all adult dogs and cats. Kittens and puppies are $75 to adopt. Don’t want to wait until the weekend? Adoptions for adult dogs and cats are only $14 from now through February 14.
(All photos via Pixabay free images)