Shelter stops labeling dogs by their breed -, GA News Weather & Sports

Shelter stops labeling dogs by their breed

(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

There's a big change at an animal shelter that's no longer labeling dogs by their breed. Recent research shows that dogs labeled as pit bulls stayed in shelters longer.

To get as many dogs adopted as possible, Lifeline Animal Project removed those labels so that hopefully you won't judge the dog by the breed when you go to the shelter.

It's always a full house at the shelter in DeKalb County. Over the past month, the shelter -- in addition to another one in Fulton County -- has taken a new approach to match more pets with people.

"What we're going to do is take people through and let them walk through, and let them find the dog or cat that matches their personality," says Kerry Moyers-Horton, who is the shelter's director.

A number of the dogs we saw Friday have features that many associate with pit bulls -- muscular build with a large head. A recent study found that labeling them as pit bulls, or pit bull mixes, may triple their time in the shelter, compared to other dogs.

"These have been two of the mildest mannered dogs we've ever come across, and they fit into our household quite well," says Katie Lafond, who adopted her second pit bull mix.

Lafond says she's all for dropping labels.

"You don't totally know what's in any of them, and assuming that one breed or another is going to have a different personality, I think, is too much of a gross generalization."

Animal shelters from Florida to Arizona have already stopped putting breed labels on dogs, so is it working?

In metro Atlanta, they tell us it's too early to tell if it has helped increase adoptions.

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