Charity to help find your ‘pawfect’ pal

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People are being urged to adopt dogs because of their characteristics, not their looks. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

People are being urged to adopt dogs because of their characteristics, not their looks. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

A Merseyside canine charity is in the middle of an experiment which has owners ‘blind date’ a dog that is in search of a new home, without seeing what they look like.

Finding Furever Homes (FFH) set up the campaign, #pawfectpals, to try to match up potential owners with dogs in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

The charity, set up in 2013, aims to find homes for rescue dogs in need, organises fundraising to support rescue costs and also raise awareness of the growing problem of unwanted dogs in the UK.

Andrea Newton, Chair & Trustee of Finding Furever Homes, told JMU Journalism: “This campaign was designed to emphasise that people shouldn’t choose a dog based on looks alone and should take into account temperament, lifestyle, exercise and their needs.”

Between February 7th and 20th, the charity will replace the photos of dogs on its website and Twitter feeds with black silhouettes, and will focus on the characteristics and traits that best describe the dog, rather than the looks.

Andrea added: “Too often fabulous dogs are overlooked in favour of ‘cute’ ones when actually the family are not capable of taking care of the breed.

“For example, a Dalmatian we have in at the moment was living in a flat with two young kids, which, if you look at the traits of the breed, shows that that type of dog isn’t suitable for that environment.”

This is not FFH’s first attempt to stop people choosing a dog because of its looks. The charity have also identified that black dogs often get overlooked for adoption in favour of their lighter-coated peers.

Andrea told JMU Journalism that it is too soon to say how successful the campaign has been as the home check process is lengthy and will take some time to get figures.

About Hannah Hodgson, JMU Journalism