Richmond SPCA takes on new approach to give dogs a fair shake

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you plan to adopt a dog from the Richmond SPCA, you may notice something is missing on the dog’s description card: A possible breed.

3207F9E4D63640AEBC6B7ECFB9FA70ECThe SPCA has adopted a new policy to leave off the dog’s possible breed for a few reasons, including the lack of accuracy.

“Because in reality, the information we’ve always provided has been mostly guesses,” SPCA spokeswoman Tabitha Treloar told 8News Reporter Jonathan Costen. “t’s just guess work, and it’s not reliable.”

Trealoar added that dogs, just like humans, are individuals a should be judged by their temperament and not their breed.

“We do believe it’s patently unfair to judge and to judge an entire class of anything based on these broad ranging labels,” Treloar added. “Dogs, just like people, are individuals and they each deserve the chance to prove themselves on an individual basis.”

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However, some Richmond dog trainers believe the name of the breed(s) should be revealed if it is known. Trainers have stated there are several breeds that have certain tendencies, such as retrievers like to retrieve things, and Australian Shepherds like to herd.

The SPCA realizes there are insurance companies and apartment complexes that want to know a customer’s dog’s breed before offering any services. So, the SPCA does sell DNA kits to dog owners to determine their dog’s breed.

But for the SPCA, the bottom line is personality, not breed.

“We want to help you focus on if you’re looking for a running buddy versus a sofa companion, we can help you find the dog that is the right size and temperament whatever lifestyle you have in mind to join you in,” said Treloar.

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