PHOENIX — A no-kill Arizona rescue shelter has decided to remove breed labels from all of their adoptable dogs, following a telling study. The Arizona Animal Welfare League, was influenced by the results of an Arizona State University study that revealed the premature judgements people make based on breed labels alone. The study titled, “What’s in a Name? Effect of Breed Perceptions & Labelling on Attractiveness & Length of Stay for Pit-Bull-Type Dogs,” was conducted by researcher Lisa Gunter and her colleagues.
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Michael Morefield of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, says that the study showed that when a dog was labelled as something other than a ‘Pit Bull,’ it was adopted in “one-third the time.” Morefield and his team are now launching a pilot program to see if the removal of breed labels will reduce breed discrimination and see more Pit Bulls being adopted. Instead of listing their breed, the shelter will now give a more detailed outline of the dogs personality and history, which is what truly makes up the dog.
Another shelter in Orange County has already tested the removal of breed labels at their shelter to great success. In 2014, the Orange County Animal Services, removed all labels and saw a 64 percent increase in the Pit Bull adoption rate over the next year. Pit Bull euthanasia also dropped by 12 percent that same year and other breeds considered “dangerous” like the Doberman saw a 12 percent increase in adoption. The Arizona Animal Welfare League hopes that their initiative to remove breed labels will also see a great increase in adoptions over the course of the program. To learn more about the Arizona State University study follow this link.