This Shelter Is No Longer Adopting Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas Or Other Breeds – Just “All American Shelter Dogs”

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

Walk through the aisles of this Virginia animal shelter and you won’t see any pit bulls or Chihuahuas or hounds.

What you’ll see instead is kennel after kennel of All American Shelter Dogs.

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

For a little while now, there’s been a movement away from labeling shelter dogs by breed.

Breed labeling at shelters is notoriously inaccurate — by and large, shelter dogs aren’t genetic tested, so the labels are mere guesses based on what the dog looks like, and are wrong as often as not.

On top of that, a study last year put out by by Arizona State University found that identifying a dog as a pit bull leads to that dog staying at the shelter three times longer than dogs who look the same but are called Labs or border collies instead.

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

Lindsey Huffman, director of the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center, has also been moving away from breed labeling at the shelter.

Facebook posts about adoptable dogs don’t mention breed, and when potential adopters call or email to ask about dogs, shelter staff tries to focus on things like the dog’s personality.

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

This past weekend, Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center went a step further and stopped listing breed on its kennel cards — the sign at the front of a dog’s kennel, that lists his or her name, age and other salient information.

Instead, this is what the kennel cards now look like:

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

The idea is that that  breed labels — inaccurate as they might be — can end up falsely leading someone to think a dog is a good, or bad, match for their family.

Getting rid of those labels will make folks focus on the qualities that will actually matter — like the animal’s energy level, and personality, not to mention how absolutely adorable they are.

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

I just think All American Shelter Dog is just a great way to label all the dogs that find themselves in shelters,” Huffman says. Let’s face it, how often do we actually get the breed correct anyway?”

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

Huffman says that some dogs got adopted over this first weekend, with the new kennel cards. There are still a lot of dogs needing homes, including some who’ve been at the shelter for months now.

She feels hopeful that these All American Shelter Dogs will soon be snatched up.

It really is time to start treating each one as an individual and stop placing them in categories that are going to just limit their chances of being adopted,” says Huffman. 

“If nothing else I think visitors will walk out of the shelter looking at each of them differently, which is the direction I was going with this.”

Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
Photo credit: Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center

 

Arin Greenwood

Arin Greenwood is an animal writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Previously, she was animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, pit bull advocate, and devoted fan of cats and dogs who run for public office. Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013. Hello From Dog Island!, Arin's third book, will be published by Soho Teen in 2018. Know a shelter with a great, innovative program? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at aringreenwood@gmail.com!

74 comments

  1. kjs says:

    I think the shelter is doing a good thing, Although, the author could have made the title a bit more understood so people didnt get as heated. 🙂

  2. Betty-Jo Fancher says:

    Adopting from a shelter is a grand idea. You have the opportunity to see the dog who is NOT a puppy. He or she is usually a bit older. You have an idea of what breeds it might have mixed in. It’s harder to determine when you look at a young pup. The personality is more obvious. A shelter dog might be upset about having been abandoned, abused, or neglected. He might be nervous about all the other dogs around. Be sure you consider these things when you assess his behavior. I have seen dogs who are so grateful to come to their new home. They really understand that they have been rescued. It’s truly a much different relationship than that which is formed with a puppy you have raised. Not saying anything less about the puppy you have raised – just noting a difference. Please consider looking in your local shelters.

  3. Larkin Vonalt says:

    If you can’t identify a dog to type (terrier, hound, sporting, etc) then you have no business drawing a paycheck for working at a shelter. Educate yourselves. Friends of ours adopted a purebred Plott Hound puppy from a shelter that insisted it was Mastiff/Lab mix. Do you realize how different a Plott is from either of those breeds? At the vet’s the other day a woman asked me if my Champion American Foxhound was a “greyhound mix.” We need people who know dogs to work in dog shelters.

    That said, I think bundling them all together as “All American Shelter Dog” is a terrible idea, particularly as it will hamper purebred dog rescues from finding dogs in shelters that need careful placement.

  4. Leslie says:

    Every time i read the comments from any article these days but specifically involving animals i always find myself at a loss for words. It’s clear that several people who commented didn’t fully read the article. People are too quick to judge and throw in their 2 cents without even knowing what they are talking about.

    They aren’t saying they will no longer be taking in those type of dogs, but rather they will be labeling all of their dogs as Americans. To those that comment that the dogs may not originate from America you are clearly missing the point here. Anyone who comes to this county and gets a citizenship is considered American. The purpose of using that title is to take people’s minds off the breed of the dog and focus on the personality of the dog.

    Yes there are dogs out there of ANY breed who can become violent. Saying that almost all pitbulls are vicious baby killers is no different than racial profiling saying a specific color of skin is more likely to commit crimes. The thing to remember here is if you have small children and you choose to have a dog then you need to responsible enough to not leave the dog and child unattended together regardless of how well behaved you feel the dog is. Even with all the studies that have been done on various breed types we will never have a definitive guide into the mind of a dog to know what causes them to do certain things. There have been stories of good, sweet, loyal dogs who out of nowhere did something they had never done before. Does that mean we should not have dogs as pets? No, it means if you have a dog don’t leave your baby on the floor while you go heat up a bottle it’s just plain common sense.

    As to knowing what the breed of the dog is for health issues,…unless you go to a breeder and specifically see the parents who have papers attesting to their breed we never truly know with 100% certainty what the breed of dog is. Yes it would be ideal to know if there are any specific predispositions for that particular dog but that shouldn’t stop anyone from adopting. These animals are just looking for someone to take a chance on them.

    1. Ella says:

      NationalPitBullVictimAwareness.org.

      Bragging about dead children killed by pit bulls that the pit bull lobby said to call birds is criminal. Children matter more than dogs.

      Dogs that kill children are pit bulls almost every time.

      Only monsters promote child killing pit bulls.

      1. Leslie says:

        Ella, comments like yours are not only detrimental to the adoption of deserving dogs but it’s downright stupid. ANY dog can kill depending on how it is trained/raised. Why should animals have to suffer a type of racism just because there are bad pit bulls out there? It’s because of people like you who turn to fear mongering instead of dealing with each dog on an individual level. ALL dogs should be monitored closely around children period. To say that dogs that kill children are pit bulls almost every time is ignorant. I have heard just as many stories about dogs who aren’t pit bulls causing damage to a child v.s. pitbulls. People love German Sheppards and I have heard 2 separate stories one killing another family pet and another severely injuring a child. In both cases there had never been any inclination of a potential of violence from either of those dogs yet in both cases something set them off. If you ask me the true “monsters” in this world are people like you who promote fear and hate of any living creature because of your ignorance.

      2. Chelsey says:

        Just an fyi any dog is capable of killing a child!!!!!!! There is a German Shepherd in our neighborhood that chased a kid on his bike bit his leg and drug him off the bike!!!!! I have a pit my sister has a staffordshire terrier I’ve known people that raise them and I don’t know of one of them that have intentionally ever hurt ANYONE better yet kill someone the most they’ve done is lick everyone too death in the face and tried jumping up on people!!!! My pit is around my 10 month old and my 4 year old not once has he snapped or hurt either one of them!!! People need to train their animals properly and make sure their kids don’t just run up to random animals or they don’t get in their faces!!! At that point it is the parents fault for not paying attention!!!!!!!!!! These dogs should not get a bad wrap because of irresponsible owners!!!!

      3. Nate McComb says:

        And the ignorance of people like yourself cause the fear in others to the needless act of putting down dog breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier.

  5. Anita says:

    The main drawback to not labeling a breed is if there are cities that have a law that bans certain breeds. For instance if someone lives in a city that has a “pit bull ban” and the person adopts a dog not knowing that the dog is a pit bull, those people may have law enforcement take their dog away from them and the dog possibly euthanized after adopting it. I prefer honesty in labeling a dog if possible. Yes, mixed breeds are guesses by the shelter, but if a dog is definitely a purebred, and lets face it, some dogs you can definitely tell are purebreds, then I have no problem labeling the dog as such. If a dog is mixed breed, then the sign on the kennel can always state “It is our best guess that this dog has some “stated breed” in it. If no breed can be singled out then “All American” is fine.

    1. LoveAllDogs says:

      Those cities are filled with ignorance if they ban a dog because of breed. They follow the same pattern and rule strictly by looks. This is the ignorance we are trying to do away with.

    2. Barbara says:

      Even though they are not labeling the dog as a PitBull or Chihuahua doesn’t mean that the person adopting the dog can’t see for themselves that it’s a pit or chi. So to me if you live in an area where pits are banned then don’t get a dog that looks like one. It’s not that hard. So what this shelter is doing is a great thing.

      1. Ella says:

        If it looks like a pit, it is s pit. Courts rule anyone can identify a pit bull.

        1. Lisa Blanck says:

          No. They don’t. But DBO likes to promote lies and spread disinformation.

        2. Leslie says:

          If it looks like a fear mongering moron it is a a fear mongering moron.

    3. k says:

      BREED SPECIFIC LAW IS DISCRIMINATION AND PEOE NEED TO STOP ACCEPTING THE GOVERNMENT TELLING US WHAT WE CAN AND CANT HAVE. ITS BULLSHIT. PEOPLE NEED TO START STANDING UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS AND STOP LETTING STUPIDITY LEAD THIS COUNTRY!!!

    4. Lisa says:

      There should be lo bans and no labels.

  6. rose hilary Whiteley says:

    Unfortunately I don’t live in the states otherwise I would adopt but I have seen some ridiculous comments on here about the nationality of the dog who cares its a four legged friend and it’s a great a idea if it gets the dog adopted easier people have such a misconception of pit bulls it isn’t the breed but the owners .And then to go on about the specific breed when you go to a shelter it’s for a dog and the one you fall in love with in my case be everyone of them all I can say breed doesn’t matter not to me I currently have two Labradors and a spaniel and at the end of this will be bringing my new baby dog de Bordeaux home I can’t wait.But the shelter in the post brilliant idea and I hope it keeps that way hopefully it might kick off here in England.And to the lady who commented regarding grammar what a sad life you lead trolling through the internet shame on you

    1. Melisa says:

      While I agree my main concern is that there are places that will discriminate against certain breeds. If someone adopts a dog and their Landlord says No, what happens? Will the dog be killed because of it? I’ve seen so many so called Owner Surrenders because the Landlord said they couldn’t have the breed they got (supposedly). I think it’s a great concept, until all the discrimination of certain breeds stops it could hurt some dogs also. That was just my worry and what went through my mind.

  7. Frank S Humphreys says:

    We got our dog Wizard from this shelter, just signed all the papers. They have all breeds there and they shelter all breeds, I challenge anybody to go there and see the wonderful job that is being done with all of the animals. The folks that work there are GREAT and I recommend everyone go get their adopted animals there. These women and men are very special to do what they do, GOD BLESS YOU ALL at Shenandoah Valley Animal Service Center.

  8. Mikifinn says:

    Wonderful idea. Someone wanted to know the breed she is adopting. I guess she can’t see what kind of dog she likes.

  9. Carla says:

    This makes sense, considering how many times identifying by sight is wrong. My dog is known as “Baltimore Brown Dog” – nobody really knows what kind of mix she is but they are all over Baltimore!

  10. Bambi says:

    For those thinking they are no longer adopting out pit bulls or chis, that is not what they are saying. They are not LABELING them, that’s all.

  11. Tammy says:

    Well I agree… They are ALL AMERICAN… They were born here. I think it’s a great idea… People go to a shelter looking for a specific breed and then may be disappointed when it turns out what the dog was “labeled” with is not what they got. Many years ago I adopted a great dog as a puppy… Told me she was a “terrier” mix and wouldn’t get much bigger than a rat terrier…. She grew into a 70lb dog that resembled a yellow lab. And was the best dog ever. Many years later after she passed away…. Again I find myself at the shelter… This time looking for a dog that will be big… I see mastiff puppies… Allegedly… They tell me she is going to be huge after all look at those paws! Well she’s full grown and maybe 60lbs… And is actually a German Shepard/pitbull mix. So go to the shelter looking for a great dog… Not a specific breed.

  12. Cathy Markwith says:

    After being in animal rescue for many years, working with our local County Pound, I always hated that so many dogs were given a “Pitbull Mix” label when there was no way to know. When that happened, those dogs’ chances of being adopted dropped significantly, and of course, so many rescue groups, unless an actual Pit rescue, didn’t always want to pull the dogs either. I love this idea and have shared it on my FB page as well as an animal-related page that I have. Fingers crossed that all shelters/pounds will get on board with this GREAT IDEA!

  13. Michelle says:

    I agree with not labeling breeds in shelters unless they know one hundred percent what breed it is. But calling them all American dogs I can’t agree with. What’s next. “all Canadian dogs” nationalizing a dog doesn’t do or mean anything. Many of the breeds in mixed breeds don’t even originally come from America.

    1. Jean says:

      Michelle…seriously? That’s what you took away from this?

      1. Cathy Markwith says:

        Oh geez, really? That’s what you got from this? Obviously, you have never been involved with animal rescue or even been to a shelter or a County pound.

      2. Ann says:

        Reading comprehension skills are lacking! ?

    2. Vanessa says:

      You’re an idiot

    3. Julie says:

      Michelle are you serious? I think this is a great idea and shelters across the nation should do just this. Way to go Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center! You rock!

    4. Lorri says:

      Most of the people in America don’t originally come from America either………………….. Unless you are suggesting ALL shelter dogs were born in other countries before immigrating to the States? No? didn’t think so lol

  14. MP says:

    I think all dogs and cats should be spayed/neutered on their first visit to the vet. All this irresponsible breeding of pets people don’t want should be stopped. It’s cruel for unwanted pets just to be dumped and left. They have feelings too, and get attached to their owners as children get attached to their parents!
    Stop the waste of our God given creatures.

    1. Candy says:

      Pediatric spay neuter has been scientifically proven to cause problems for the animal down the road.

  15. Nancy says:

    What a great idea!! Love it!! With any luck this will catch on all over and many more babies will find homes!!

  16. Linda Link says:

    Thank you Lindsey Huffman and staff. I absolutely love this. Most dogs in shelters are mixed (which makes for a wonderful pet) and are so precious and loving. You guys will be rewarded one day when you stand before God and He says “well done my good and faithful servant”.

  17. Peggy says:

    I’d still rather know what breed im getting…..

    1. Cathy Markwith says:

      Peggy, you still aren’t going to know for sure when you adopt from a shelter/pound. The staff makes a guess as to the breed, but there is no way of knowing for sure, unless a dog has been surrendered by owners that positively know the breed(s) or have AKA papers. Most dogs come in as strays and the owner never comes to claim, but also, puppies are dumped without knowing parents’ breed, and dogs are seized by the county because of an abusive/neglect situation. So, if you go into a shelter to adopt a dog, and the kennel sign has a dog labeled as a “Pit” or “Pit Mix”, when it actually is a “Shepherd/Hound Mix” for example, more than likely you and many other potential adopters or rescuers will overlook this animal simply because someone at the shelter “guessed” that it might be a “Pit”. You could have missed out on a great opportunity to have a sweet, devoted, and loving new family member (rescue dogs make the BEST pets), AND the dog missed an opportunity for a chance at a much better life – all because of labeling? Think about it………………………

    2. Wendy says:

      Seems like you’re completely missing the point. Without a DNA test, shelter staff is just making their best guess as to breeding and mislabeling leads to misconceptions. Dogs are individuals just as we are. Their breed no more defines who they are as our creed defines who we are.

    3. Peggy Modjesky says:

      Then you’ll have to buy from a show breeder and receive a copy of the pedigree and the litter registration. Or if it’s that important to you, have a DNA test done. You live with the personality of the animal, not the appearance.

    4. Jane Williamson says:

      They’re usually guessing at shelters by the physical characteristics of the animals. You can do that yourself. Most of these dogs at not intentially bred, so no one really knows what they are. You should adopt by temperament not breed.

    5. Lorri says:

      If you really want to know exactly what breed you are getting then go to a reputable breeder for the kind of dog you want (and expect to pay 10 times more than any shelter will charge you). If you want to rescue an adorable life companion then go to the shelter and pick the one your fall in love with! Most shelter dogs are a mix of maybe 4/5 other breeds, perhaps even more! It’s all watered down over the generations, and what might “look like a pit” quite probably has absolutely NO pure pit bull in there at all! Or pay to get your rescue genetically tested ( this IS a thing and can cost loads). If what the dog looks like, and that it is a “pure breed” is more important to you than what the dog can give you in love and happiness………Then go for it 🙂

  18. Marie Hanson says:

    A wonderful new direction! Good on you! I have 8 dogs – all rescues

  19. Vanessa says:

    High percentage*

  20. Vanessa says:

    Kim,
    So incase they have an illness? Every single breed has a predisposition. In fact, not only that, it’s purebreds that have the high preventable of possible diseases. Dogs in the shelter are almost always mixes which makes them have lesser of a chance to have inherited the genetic makeup/DNA of a “specific” disease/illness.

  21. SHERRI LYMAN says:

    I SAY SHAME ON YOU. I REALLY HOPE THE PERSON RUNNING THIS SHELTER GETS FIRED. I ADOPTED A PIT BULL FROM A SHELTER 7 YEARS AGO AND SHE IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. SHE IS GOID WITH CHILDREN, SHE LOVES EVERYONE AND SLEEPS WITH MY HUSBAND AND I EVERY NIGHT. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! YOU PLACE ADULT ISSUES YOU CANNOT HANDLE ON INNOCENT ANIMALES. GROW UP. ANIMALS ARE A GREAT LOVE.

    1. Sara says:

      Um, did you even read the article? The whole point of not labelling the breed is so that pitbull type dogs have a better chance of getting adopted because of the unfortunate stigma around the breed.

    2. Cathy Markwith says:

      Obviously, you didn’t understand the article. This shelter isn’t labeling any dogs as any particular breed, but ALL dogs will be labeled “ALL American Shelter Dog”. The article isn’t saying they aren’t adopting out Pits, Chihuahuas, etc., on the contrary, they still have all kinds of dogs including Pits, but just will not be labeling them that way. I have been in rescue for many years, working with other rescue groups and animal shelters, AND we all love the Pitbull breed – they have been given a bad rap by mostly our wonderful media. By not labeling dogs, they are actually helping the dogs find homes and/or rescues to give them a chance at a better life BECAUSE they aren’t labeling them. So many people won’t give a dog a chance if it is called a “Pit Mix”, and that goes for many other breed of dogs too. READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND.

    3. Carla says:

      Did you even read the article?????

    4. TIM says:

      Sherri Lyman, I agree with everything you say about our precious Pities, but you are missing the WHOLE point. They are NOT taking away from Pit Bulls here. They are giving them a better chance at adoption. This is helping save lives, so Pit Bull and Pit-Like dogs don’t get left in a shelter to rot or get euthanized.

    5. ronnie bolen says:

      another person that just reads the header not the article before you comment (or vote for hillart which im sure you will) read the WHOLE article please!

  22. Sharon Hazelbaker says:

    Seriously so now we’re picking and choosing who deserves help . We are there voices. I have 2 chihuahuas there very loving dogs shame on you .

    1. Sara says:

      I repeat what I said to Sherri: did you even read the article? The whole point of not labelling the breed is so that pitbull type dogs have a better chance of getting adopted because of the unfortunate stigma around the breed. I agree the title of the article is misleading but apparently that’s as far as you got…

    2. Jeanne says:

      Sharon the writer chose a terrible title. If you had spent more time reading you would have found out that they are no longer putting LABELS on dogs.

    3. ronnie bolen says:

      your not as bright as the dogs you own or can’t read as good either read the WHOLE article not just the header fool

  23. Lynn Marie Gentry-Lott says:

    I agree that every dog, no matter what breed, deserves a second chance!! Just like you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, every dog that unfortunately ends up in a shelter, should not be judged by what breed the dog is, especially if the shelter employees assume that the dog in question is a certain breed, their chances of being adopted may be lessened. Every dog is different. You don’t know what really happened with the dog, you only go on the information that the person who brings a family pet in to surrender it to the shelter. There are a lot of very cruel and heartless people out there that do horrible things to dogs. People who go out and buy a cute little puppy, only later, do they decide that they don’t want the responsibility of taking care of a dog. So, they get rid of the poor dog by dumping it off at a shelter!! Each individual dog deserves a little bit more of love and compassion. They’re all scared because their family didn’t want them. They need extra time to adjust to being in a cage or kennel. They are not mean,they are just scared. All that they want is to be loved and cared for. Before you go out and buy a puppy, please go to your local animal shelter and adopt an adult dog that desperately needs a forever home and lots of love! Every dog deserves a second chance!!! Thank you.☺

  24. Tammy Ward says:

    Wait what I don’t get this other dogs are recognized as American too,that’s like saying you like white bread and not wheat because it’s not American that is labeling and also profiling,would it be okay for God to do this with narrow minded people because they aren’t open minded:( I don’t think so SMH what a joke you all are and so sad,you overlook the diamond looking for the gold

    1. Emily says:

      Did you read the article Tammy? I think you missed the point or I don’t understand your comment

    2. Me says:

      Speaking of over looking… You over looked the whole article in your rush to comment.

  25. Shirley says:

    Not sure giving them away free is such a good idea! People tend tovslue something they paid for….I do hope they are doing thorough checks on people.

    1. Anita says:

      Agree with you Shirley. I was a little worried when I saw all “FREE” signs on the kennels.

  26. Boo says:

    LOVE, LOVE this trend. So often (like 87% of the time) dogs are mislabeled anyway.

  27. Rachel says:

    I adopted a dog from a shelter at 9 weeks old. I wanted a Doberman mix. She looked part Dobe, but God only knows what else. I adopted her and she was so sick the 1st 2 weeks she almost died. She had Giardia, Worms and was spade before I picked her up at the shelter. After 1 month I could see she had many behavioral issues. Food aggressive, hated men in baseball caps and sunglasses, hated driving by cops… etc. Not good with other dogs. Turned out she had to fight her other 7 sibblings for food as a puppy which explained her food aggressive and not like being around other dogs unless they submit to her. The mother Dobe was starved, therefore the puppies were starving. I of course kept her and went to training classes. I then had a DNA test to find out what she was….it only cost $75.00 and they can identify the breed on the mother and fathers side for 3 generations back. Mother side 100% pure Doberman, Fathers side 50% Shepard, 25% Golden Retriever and 25% Kuvaz….. Much explains her Protective Guard Dog instincts. She looks Dobe however she is quite unique on her body build. Knowing what your dog is DOES help with Training and Breed Specific Health issues. I recommend anyone who adopts a mutt to do a DNA test. They are quite accurate and inexpensive now. By the way, my part Dobe girl is going on 14 now and I love her so much and would NEVER question why I kept her. GOOD training and BEHAVIORAL training was a definite, but it has paid off by me having a great dog, pet, and friend for the past 14 years and hopefully more.

  28. Helen says:

    I think this is an awesome idea

  29. Kim says:

    Love this idea! But will the new parents have access to ‘breed’ in case of breed specific illnesses???

    1. LisaMarie says:

      The Bree’s is anybody’s guess. So if they can see enough of what they think is a certain breed in a dog they can watch for breed specific health issues. Usually mixed dogs are much healthier anyway! At least in my experience 🙂

    2. stephanie nosworthy says:

      Since the shelter folk really don’t know the exact breed, there’s no point in worrying about breed specific illnesses…

    3. Lindsey Huffman says:

      Unfortunately dogs don’t come into shelter’s with AKC papers attached to their collars, as the article states we are all taking our best guess when identifying what breeds go into making them. Without DNA testing every dog that walks through our door we can never know what traits they are carrying that would even help determine medical issues.

    4. Susann says:

      If they pay for their own genetics test sure. There is no way for ANYONE to be sure about a dog with unknown history just from looking. Shelter staff wont know any more than you or i can guess. Thats why they are removing the breed, it was just guesses in the first place.

    5. Jan Goad says:

      Since shelters usually have to guess at the breeds, and mostly get them wrong, DNA testing is the best bet anyway and the cost is less and less every year. Order one on line, submit a cheek swab and get an answer for somewhere in the neighborhood of $50.

    6. Michelle says:

      Sadly. Without testing they really don’t know what’s in a dog when it comes to the shelter., just because it looks a certain way you can’t guarantee that’s what it is. My advice is, go online. You personally can order genetic testing kits for dogs and even cats I believe for around thirty dollars. It only takes a few weeks to get back to you usually. 🙂

    7. Debbie says:

      the new parent could have a DNA test done if they are concerned about breed specifics…It is to expensive for shelters to do for every dog that passes through their doors…

  30. Alma Leon says:

    I am a dog lover, I love them all for their precious gift of unconditional love they have to offer for their loyalty to humans. Haven’t said that I love all dogs not for what breed they are, all dogs deserve to be given a second chance to find a loving and forever home.
    Please I ask you to give a second chance to all dogs in need no matter what breed they are. Be an advocate and show your compassion to all four legged friends.

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