Black Dogs Project: Striking Photo Series Battles Misconceptions

You may have heard before that black pets often wait longer in shelters because of misconceptions that they’re more aggressive than their lighter-colored pals. In some cases, the issue has been tied to the difficulty in photographing them well so that they’re not passed over when potential adopters view them online. Last week, NBC’s Jill Rappaport reported on the difficulties shelters face in placing black dogs.

Now, Massachusetts-based photographer Fred Levy is doing his part to help black dogs. He’s going all-in with the black color to showcase their beauty.

When he heard about the Black Dog Syndrome theory, Levy decided to start the Black Dogs Project, a series featuring black dogs photographed against a black background.

Black Dogs Project

Scottish Terrier, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Nessie, Scottish Terrier
Newfoundland, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Sam, Newfoundland
Lexi, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Black Labs Rosie and Suzie, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Rosie and Suzie, Labs
Denver, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Denver, Lab
Crickett, Black Dogs Project by Fred Levy
Crickett, Spaniel mix

He’s been recruiting area dog owners with black dogs to use as his subjects, and hopes to make a book with his work.

The results are striking — and are already making a difference.

On Friday, Levy shared on Facebook that although he had an onslaught of email inquiries after his work went viral ("My fingers are about to fall off from responding to all the emails"), he was “SO happy” to get an email from someone who said they’d been thinking about getting a dog for six months. After seeing his work, they went out and adopted a black dog.

“One more dog has a happy home," he wrote, tagging his status update #adopt.

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