Arizona dog shelter to remove breed labels on adoptable pets

Mar 28, 2016, 5:00 AM | Updated: 10:39 am
Photo: Corbin Carson...
Photo: Corbin Carson

Don’t judge a pooch by the color of its fur. A Valley shelter is removing breed labels from adoptable dogs, following a study at Arizona State University.

“Breeds are an aspect of a dog but they don’t make up everything about that dog,” said Michael Morefield of the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

The study, “What’s in a Name? Effect of Breed Perceptions & Labeling on Attractiveness, Adoptions & Length of Stay for Pit-Bull-Type Dogs,” by Lisa Gunter and colleagues, showed that breed labels led to premature judgments made by potential adopters of shelter dogs.

Morefield said the research focused on how animals are labeled and their length of stay at the shelters.

To determine how breed labels influenced adopters, researchers compared dogs that looked identical and labeled them differently.

“Dogs that were labeled as pit-bulls [for example] were staying at the shelter longer,” Morefield said, “while the dog that looked just like them was labeled as a Border Collie or a Saint Bernard was getting adopted in almost one-third the time.”

Now, the Arizona Animal Welfare League is removing breed labels as part of a pilot program in hopes it will help some dogs get adopted more quickly.

The no-kill shelter is replacing the breed names with more personalized information, such as “their personality, their temperament, the life they have led so far before you meet them in the shelter,” Morefield said. “Those life experiences really make up who that dog is, more than who their parents were five years ago or what their color markings make you think they are as a breed.

“That’s really what makes up the pet you want to take home.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook photo | Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigating death after man was run over by train

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating an accident after a man was run over by a train and died on Monday.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Scottsdale businessman found guilty on federal tax evasion charges

A Scottsdale businessman was found guilty on three counts of federal tax evasion on Friday, and his sentencing is set for Dec. 5.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo / Arizona Department of Transportation)...

State Route 88 improvement along 11-mile gravel section begins this week

ADOT and the Tonto National Forest's project will improve SR 88's resilience during rainfall, limiting the repairs needed after flooding.
1 day ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
1 day ago
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix, Arizona, April 15, 2021...
Associated Press

Valid signature numbers debated in Arizona voucher challenge

Supporters of an expansion of Arizona’s private school voucher system said public school advocates failed to file enough signatures to temporarily block the law.
1 day ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs com...
Associated Press

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema defends bipartisanship at McConnell Center

Members of Congress face "intense pressure" to play to the extreme elements of their own party, Kyrsten Sinema argued in a speech.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Arizona dog shelter to remove breed labels on adoptable pets