Texas Animal Shelter Eliminates Breed Labels

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.

Find the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter website here. Find the animal shelter’s Facebook page here.

(All photos via Pixabay free images)

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

1 comment

  1. JERRY EDELMAN says:

    I wish the shelter in Miami-Dade County, MDAS, would learn this valuable lesson as well. Maybe they wouldn’t kill so many because of the breed identification, or their assumed behavior.

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