Removing Breed Labels: Easier Than You Think

Guest post written by Kristen Auerbach, Interim Director of Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia.

About a month ago, Fairfax County Animal Shelter removed all breed labels from our adoption kennels. There was much discussion and debate prior to us making this decision. Would the public be confused? Angry? Would community members protest?

We were committed to being honest with potential adopters. If the dog they were interested in might be visually identified as a breed that faces restriction, we would make them aware that breed specific laws or housing rules could affect them.

But was that enough? Would taking breed labels off our kennels prove too disruptive to serve our purpose?

To our surprise, no one even asked why the kennel cards weren’t labeled with breeds.
We also learned that no matter what the kennel card says, potential adopters, volunteers and staff will make guesses. And they’re usually going…

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