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Dog’s life for black beauties

Jacko, one of the retired black greyhounds looking for a new home from Oak Tree Kennels in Marshland St James.
Jacko, one of the retired black greyhounds looking for a new home from Oak Tree Kennels in Marshland St James.

Open, unashamed, colour prejudice is alive and well in Fenland – and we’re not talking about racism.

The Retired Greyhound Trust says when people choose pets, they are unreasonably biased against black animals, as its rescue centre in Marshland St James is well aware.

Oak Tree Kennels is currently looking for new homes for 12 dogs – double its usual capacity of six – and nine of them are black.

Owner Barbara Townsend said people always choose white, fawn or brindle greyhounds over their “black beauty” counterparts – with some black dogs being left in the kennels for up to two years before finding a new home.

“For some reason, black dogs, particularly male black dogs, are less popular, and the lighter coloured animals are snapped up much more quickly,” she said. “It’s so sad as underneath their dark fur, black dogs are just the same as any other.”

Barbara is now appealing for people to consider adopting a black greyhound to help with the crisis.

She said: “Our kennels are at bursting point, so until we can re-home some of our black beauties, we can’t help any more animals.”

The Retired Greyhound Trust says there are many reasons, myths and theories why black dogs are less popular.

Some say they are less distinctive, with one black greyhound looking exactly like another black greyhound, while mixed-colour dogs have more of a unique identity.

Black dogs in folklore have been associated with death, and some people think a black dog is bad luck, but Barbara said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are currently five black males and four females looking for new homes at Oak Tree Kennels, aged between two and 10-years-old.

Details of the animals can be found at: www.wisbech.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk For more information and to arrange a visit, contact 01945 430311 or email: oaktreekennels@vodafoneemail.co.uk

Barbara closed the kennels in 2013 due to ill-health, but re-opened in 2014 when the end of greyhound racing at Coventry Stadium sparked a rise in dogs needing new homes.

Last year the kennels became the biggest single breed rehoming centre in the UK after rehoming more than 4,000 retired greyhounds.

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