Photographer Focuses on “Black Dog Bias” to Help Shelter Dogs Find Forever Homes

The background minimizes the dog’s blackness, so its beauty can shine through.
Photo Fred Levy, via

Earlier this week, we posted about photographer Jessica Trinh, who creates art portraits of shelter dogs, and here’s another story of a photographer trying to help potential adopters see the beauty in animals that they might otherwise overlook. Anecdotal evidence suggests that black dogs have a smaller chance of getting adopted from shelters, perhaps because black dogs seem more menacing.

Fred Levy, a 44-year-old photographer from Maynard, Massachusetts, has launched the “Black Dogs Project,” in which he shows the dogs against a black background. The results, as you can see here, are stunning.

Click here for the full story.

Click here to see many more wonderful photos.

Photo by Fred Levy, via

9 thoughts on “Photographer Focuses on “Black Dog Bias” to Help Shelter Dogs Find Forever Homes”

  1. We adopted 94 percent black Jasmine via Petfinder and could not be more delighted! She came to us in Maine all the way from Mississippi. Black is beautiful!

  2. We adopted a black lab from Lab Rescue. He was a stray in Richmond, VA and thought to be 4 years old. However, when examined by our vet, he’s likely 1-2 years old. He was trained by someone and is a delightful dog. Well mannered, loving and full of fun.


  4. We had adopted a black lab mix from the SPCA 12 years ago and he was the most beautiful and precious dog I have ever known. We just lost him to cancer 3 weeks ago and my heart is broken. We also adopted a black cocker spaniel mix a little over a year ago. Black dog are my favorite.

  5. Thank you Fred Levy for caring SO much and Launching the Black Dogs Project! The photos are stunning, and so SMART of you to shoot black on black, to really make their little faces pop out. And thanks for reminding me about Black dog (and cat!) discrimination. All the more reason for ALL of us to do our part, and NOT LEAVE the pure black coated animals to languish behind !! I will be sure next go round to adopt black pets. Hey–everybody out there…remember the tender story of the Horse, “Black Beauty”? Black IS Beautiful!

  6. We adopted a black lab rescue dog a year ago and he is the best dog we have ever had. I wish you much success with this project.

  7. Thirteen years ago our son brought two little puppies home for his Dad’s birthday.
    One was from an Animal Shelter and the other one was from a pet shop. They both were timid and frightened. They were black lab mixes and were wonderful and loving pets for thirteen years. Both passed away this spring within two months of each other – affectionate and sweet to the end. They were the best!

  8. So nice to see black dogs seen as beautiful. My vet commented recently on how it was so nice to see a black cat come in (my Zippy) and how too many people overlook how beautiful animals of that color are. I have heard that shelters have a more difficult time placing black animals because they look intimidating. Good project, Orvis : – )

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