Animal Shelter, band team up for promotion

SANTA FE (KRQE) – We’ve all heard the superstition involving black cats, but apparently black dogs carry a stigma, too. They’re difficult to adopt out, so the Santa Fe Animal Shelter has come up with a creative way to change that: a song and music video.

“Black-furred animals are traditionally among the least likely to be adopted in shelters. It just takes a long time,” said Ben Swan, spokesperson for the animal shelter.

Shelter staff came up with the unusual approach to promote their longer-term tenants. They easily got local band Anthony Leon and the Chain on Board for the Back in Black promotion.

“It’s kind of cool to be able to be a part of saying no to that idea,” Anthony Leon said. Leon said the band wrote the catchy tune in just two hours.

Black animals stay 20 to 30 percent longer than their lighter-furred counterparts in the Santa Fe Animal Shelter before they’re adopted. The phenomenon has been dubbed Black Dog Syndrome, and shelter staff guess poorly lit kennels and adoption photos could be partially to blame. Whatever the reason, staff say the longer these animals stay in the shelter, the harder it becomes to adopt them out.

“It’s just difficult to keep them engaged, making sure they don’t get stressed out about being in the shelter environment,’ Swan said.

“It’s a fun song and it’s for a good reason, a good cause and I do hope it spreads out and people hear about the dogs and cats who need love and the musicians who need love, right,” Leon said.

Shelter staff and Leon said they hope the song is a hit with people who might otherwise overlook these dogs and cats.

The shelter is running specials on black dogs and cats throughout the month of May. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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