January 18, 2022 – Chatham County Animal Services (CCAS) is hosting a free adoption event, Give the legs a chance, through January 31, 2022. During this event, adoption fees are waived for dark-colored and heartworm-carrying pets during this time.

These pets are at a disadvantage as they are often overlooked by potential adopters at the Chatham County Adoption Center and around the world and are disproportionately euthanized at shelters across the country. CCAS regularly augments this population with low-cost or no-cost adoption events, highlighting individual animals on social media and bringing these adoptable animals out into the community to reduce stigma.

Heartworm is a treatable disease and dogs with heartworm who are adopted by CCAS walk away with a voucher for low cost treatment. Dogs with heartworm often have a smaller pool of adopters to choose from, and CCAS hopes the low-cost treatment vouchers will help reduce the barriers to adopting these dogs.

The reason why dark-colored animals are more rarely adopted has been thought about and studied by the animal shelter community for many years, and there is no single answer. It is more difficult to discern facial expression from a distance with darker animals, and they blend more easily into the shadows inside their enclosures. Each of these scenarios contributes to potential adopters passively overlooking dark animals through no fault of their own. However, there are also some active the prejudices and stigmas that oppose the adoption of black animals. Studies have shown that people believe black animals seem more threatening or aggressive, are ominous or bad luck, or are somehow associated with the occult. The data is clear, there is no difference in aggressiveness or behavior related to animal color, and there are no statistics to support that dark animals are used for occult purposes.

the Give the legs a chance the adoption event began on Friday, January 14. Currently, the public can only access the adoption center by appointment; call 912-652-6575 to schedule an adoption appointment. The Adoption Center is open 6 days a week from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed on Wednesdays and public holidays.