The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Paul Krassner's Stereophonic Hoax, 1960
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Black Dog Syndrome
Black Dog Syndrome is defined as "the propensity of dark-coated animals to be passed over for adoption [at animal shelters] in favor of their lighter counterparts."

Reasons why the syndrome may exist: the age-old association of light with good and dark with evil; "Black dogs often don't photograph well. Facial features disappear, and animals can appear less expressive"; "black dogs sometimes fade away into the kennel shadows".

And apparently black cats face the same problem as black dogs.

However, there's debate over whether this syndrome is real. Many shelter and rescue leaders insist it's real, but skeptics note that the statistics don't seem to back up this perception. The general manager of the LA Animal Services Department notes: "In the last 12 months... 27% of the 30,046 dogs taken in by his department were predominantly or all black. Of those that were adopted, 28% were predominantly or all black." Link: LA Times.
Categories: Animals
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2008
Comments (10)
That isn't a hoax, it's an urban legend.
Posted by Carl Fink  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  07:57 AM
Animal racism, hmm?
Maybe we need affirmative action for black and brown dogs.

My family doesn't seem to have this prejudice. My brother has two dark-grey cats, my other brother has two black dogs, and right now I have three dark-colored cats and one light-colored cat. Oh, yeah, and my sister-in-law has a black-and-brown dog and a grey-striped cat.

This reminds me though, of a funny opinion piece that was on NPR a while back. The speaker was talking about her frustrating struggle to find animals of color in storybooks to read to her young (African-American) child. Everywhere she looked, there were white cats (Hello Kitty!), white bunnies, white mice, and so on. About the only black storybook animal she came up with was "Walter, the Farting Dog."
Posted by Big Gary  in  Muleshoe, Texas  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  11:18 AM
I caught an acute case of Black Dog Syndrome from Robert Plant once. Made me take off my shirt and sing/yell unintelligibly while humping the air rhythmically well into my middle age.
Posted by fuzzfoot  in  potland, or  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  12:32 PM
I don't know if this is true but when I went to get a cat at an SPCA, I got a black and white one. My brother had a black and white dog from a different SPCA. I guess we were taught that black and white can get along.
Posted by RainOubliette  in  Pennsylvania  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  01:27 PM
The only animal my mom has ever gotten from a shelter was black. Nearly all black...the dog had some greyish/white mottled looking spots on his feet and the ends of his ears.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  06:09 PM
S'true that black animals are hard to photograph indoors. Never see them on commercials or ads either because of same, I suspect.
Posted by Sharon  in  Pennsylvania  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  09:19 PM
I know it's true in some places, but it's probably a regional thing. One place I lived was a very rural, long-settled, stuck-in-a-rut sort of place, and in the local animal shelter they had a real hard time getting black cats adopted (though not so much a problem with black dogs). I expect that in more diverse places that have actually embraced the 20th Century (much less the 21st), things might be different.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  09:34 PM
I've adopted two animals from shelters over the years, one dog and one cat... both were completely black.

What does this say about me?

smirk
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Mon Dec 08, 2008  at  10:29 PM
About 70% of the dogs in the dog park I go to are predominantly black in colour. many were brought home from shelters. Anomaly? Who knows.
Posted by janus  on  Wed Dec 10, 2008  at  09:20 PM
I know that my mom has an irrational fear of black dogs and black cats. It has nothing to do with superstition, she doesn't know why she's afraid of them either.
Posted by J  on  Wed Dec 31, 2008  at  02:52 AM
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