City of L.A. discusses removing dog breed labels from shelters and adoption forms

The city of Los Angeles Board of Animal Services met Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of removing dog breed labels from city shelters and adoption forms.

Some commissioners believe that removing the breed labels would help more dogs get adopted, as the public would have to as past the breed, and get to know the dog.

Other commissioners are in favor of changing the labels to describe a dog's size, or personality.

Commissioner Layne Dicker said that city shelters are already misleading the public by having breed labels because breeds are often wrong when they are judged visually.

"I can imagine the outrage from the public if there were a white faced dog with brown teeth who was limping with rumors, and the kennel card said 1-year-old, that's open deception of the public, we are currently deceiving the public at all shelters that breed label in light of scientific fact.

Michelle Sathe, who works at Best Friends animal shelter, said the shelter has been trying out a pilot program where they don't use dog breed labels.

"Honestly we've had the test pilot here for about 6 weeks with the mixed breed labels for the small and large dogs and the reaction has been neutral, we haven't had people coming for it or against," she said. "People are just accepting of it so I think it's a positive for the dog's at LA city shelters."

Criticisms of the idea include allegations that removing the labels would be deceiving the public, and open the city up to liability issues.

Viewers on Twitter said knowing a dog's breed is extremely important, especially when it comes to allergies or health issues, and that it could even affect homeowners and renters insurance.

No decision or vote was made by the Board Tuesday night.

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