AFF funds animal shelters to end negative impacts of breed labeling
Each qualifying animal shelter will receive $1000 as the organization aims to prevent breed labeling, thus reducing negative socio-economic effects and helping adopters find the ideal pet match.
Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) is donating $1000 to animal shelters that no longer arbitrarily breed label their dogs through its Removing Breed Labels grant program. Typically, these labels are inaccurate and can increase a dog's stay at shelters as well as unintentionally have a negative socioeconomic effect on local communities.
This grant program aligns with the core of AFF’s ethos—striving to end the negative socio-economic impact that companion animal welfare may have on the dog-human relationship.
“Despite scientific evidence proving visual breed identification is inaccurate in dogs, shelters are still applying breed labels to the dogs in their care, labels which are nothing more than guesses,” said Stacey Coleman, executive director of AFF, in an organizational release.
“Many third parties then rely on these breed labels—from the adopter’s veterinarian to the landlord and the insurance broker drawing up homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. This can result in negative repercussions for their adopters on multiple levels—including insurance denial,” she added.
The grant is eligible to animal shelters that have recently decided to remove breed labels from their kennel cards, software databases, and social media posts. Another criterion is that the grantee's staff must discontinue using breed labels or breed stereotyping when discussing individual dogs with the public and instead, focus on each dog's unique personality, traits, and sociability.
“These breed labels come with stereotypes [that] influence how people think a dog is going to behave. This can lead to mismatched adoptions. It’s always best to focus on a dog’s observable personality and needs, rather than blanketed stereotypes when making adoption matches,” said Bernice Clifford, director of behavior and training at AFF, in the release.
To ensure a smooth transition and raise awareness of the issues surrounding breed labeling, AFF will additionally offer grantees access to free virtual training that educates shelter staff about breaking the breed label habit. Plus, high-quality shelter signage explaining to adopters the reason dogs are not labeled by breed will also be available at no cost.
To apply for the Removing Breed Labels grant or learn more, go here.
Animal Farm Foundation’s grant aims to end the negative consequences of animal shelter breed labeling. News release. August 24, 2021; Animal Farm Foundation. Accessed August 26, 2021. [email]