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Black is beautiful

Black Friday.  What comes to mind: Bargains? Crowds?  Mayhem?  All of the above?  My guess is Black Friday doesn't conjure up thoughts like “soft” and “cuddly” but, Gwinnett County is changing that.

“Black animals are hard to adopt,” said Chip Moore, Manager of the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Unit.  “I don’t know why, they just are.”

EARLGRAYNow, I can see some people raising an eyebrow at a black cat.  This is due to the felines association with witches that swept across Europe in the middle-ages.  Some tails, I mean tales, die hard.   But problems with a black dog?  That could give my Greyhound and Miniature-Pinscher a complex.

Anyway, as the Gwinnett Animal  Welfare and Enforcement Center filled with blacks cats and dogs, something had to be done.  The center came up with Black Friday.  The program, which began last August, works like this.  Every Friday a black cat or dog can be adopted for just $30.00.  For that fee you get the animal already spayed or neutered, its first round of vaccinations, and a microchip for identification purposes.  To sweeten the deal even more, the animals don’t have to be all black.  Partially black works just fine and should help those people still dealing with that witch thing.

According to Moore, since the program got underway the number of adoptions for blacks cats and dogs has “increased substantially.” He said on average 2 to 3 pets are adopted out every Friday.  That allows the shelter to accommodate more animals, which increases the odds an animal with be adopted, rather than euthanized.

The Gwinnett center recently extended help beyond its borders.  The horrific tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, left the City of Moore Animal Shelter overflowing with displaced animals.  Many pet owners, having lost everything, could no longer care for their animals.  The Moore shelter rented a warehouse to kennel all the animals that needed a home.  To help out, Gwinnett Animal Welfare accepted food and supply donations through the month of May.  All donations were immediately sent to the Moore shelter.

“These people lost everything,” Moore said.  “Sometimes the only thing that holds people together in tough times is the bond they share with their pet.”

If you think a cat or dog is in your future, Moore has some words of advice.  “Come to the shelter first (rather than a pet store), and bring all the family members so everyone can interact with the pet before taking it home to make sure it’s a good fit.”  

You may also want to go on Black Friday.  After all, that’s when the best deals can be had.

Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is located at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville (770-339-3200,

Earl Gray is a freelance writer.  Send comments and suggestions to