Dogs Find Homes Faster When Shelters Don't Include Dog's Breed on Adoption Profile, Study Finds

The study collected data from a New York animal shelter with three locations

Dog Pound Puppy
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A new study has found that dogs get adopted faster when the shelters do not disclose what breed (or breeds) the dogs are.

The study, published last month in PLOS One, collected data from a New York-based animal shelter, Bideawee, that has three locations across the state. Beginning in 2017, the shelter phased out their breed labels.

"The data analysis showed that median length of stay at Bideawee decreased significantly after breed labels were removed compared to when breed labels were in place," the study reads.

It notes that approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted from animal shelters in the U.S. each year, though more than double that amount — 3.3. million — enter shelters annually.

Close-Up Of Dog In Cage

"This means that for every dog leaving the shelter system, two dogs are entering. Of those 3.3 million dogs, approximately 20% will be euthanized and 20% will be reclaimed by their owner," the study says.

The report continues, 'The remaining 60%, comprising of around 2 million dogs, are available for adoption. For this reason, it is essential to evaluate and identify actions that shelters nationwide can take that increase the percentage of dogs acquired at shelters."

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Overall, the median length of stay for Bidawee dogs was 11 days shorter once the breed labels were removed, which suggests that removing breed labels from shelters could help all rescue dogs get adopted faster.

Towards the beginning of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Julie Castle, the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, told PEOPLE that quarantine is a perfect time to foster or adopt a pet from a shelter.

"It’s not only safe to keep pets in the home, but also beneficial, as they can serve as a source of comfort during a crisis," Castle said in March. "The companionship of pets has been shown to reduce stress and lower anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing."

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