how removing labels is saving lives.

Looking for information on the DesignerShare Fundraising collaboration for Anti-Cruelty Society? Scroll on down to the “Style” section! But then come back here and read this post! It’s a good one 😉

As someone who’s grown up around dogs my entire life, it’s second nature to identify and label them based on their breed. It’s innate that we categorize things, it’s a main reason our ancestors survived. But sometimes that categorization can hinder us and harm others. In my little rescue world, categorizing is dangerous to both the dogs and potential adopters. It’s why many rescue organizations are stepping away from breed labeling and identifying by personality traits instead.

The Anti-Cruelty Society is no longer labeling dogs by breed at their shelter. It’s a major change that they’re betting will pay off big time for dogs looking for homes. The idea behind the label-free life is that people will get to know the dog instead of judging it by its breed.

Dogs come into the shelter system a few ways, strays, transports, or owner surrenders. In two of these three scenarios, it’s often up to the staff to guess the dogs’ breed. Since DNA testing is too expensive for a shelter to do, it’s primarily based on a dog’s phenotype, meaning how it looks. Unfortunately, it’s hard to guess what a dog’s breed is based on appearance alone. In fact, one study published findings that dogs are mislabeled about 33-75% of the time.

Beyond mislabeling, there are some breeds that have a bad rap and face a longer stay in the shelter and a higher euthanasia rate. In one study, similar looking dogs were given different breed labels. The dogs with “Pit Bull mix” labeled stayed in the shelter three times longer than those given “boxer” or “lab” mix. In another study, people were shown two photos of the same dog and the ones labeled “pit bull” were perceived less approachable and less friendly than dogs labeled another breed…even though they were the same dog.

By removing breed labels and giving the public information about energy level, size and other behavior notes, it allows potential adopters to get to know the dog instead of making assumptions about the breed. Not surprisingly, it’s lead to great success and higher adoption rates of shelters that are removing these labels. Orange County Animal Services in Florida removed breed descriptions in 2014 and in that year, they had a record three-month high of animal adoptions.

While we can’t say correlation proves causation, removing breed information on a dog’s card is a low-cost option that can substantially boost a shelter’s adoption rate. I’m fully behind Anti-Cruelty Society’s new approach and I can’t wait to see the impact of this initiative in the coming months and years.

What are your thoughts on removing breeds? How did you know your dog was right for you? Let me know in the comments below!


Meet Lady, a mixed breed pup who is dark as night but so incredibly bright and warm. She’s happily in her forever home for the holiday season. Congrats Lady! If you’re looking for a pup similar to Lady, check out this handsome man Charlie.


Now, I know we just talked about removing labels, but sometimes labels, like the designer kind, can be fun in life.

I’ve teamed up with DesignerShare to raise money for the Anti-Cruelty Society this holiday season! DesignerShare is a Chicago company that allows you to rent high end items for a week at a time. It’s perfect for all the upcoming holiday parities and NYE festivities. You can also sign up to loan your pieces out to others! It’s a great way to save and earn money all while looking pretty damn good.

**Use code: RescueInStyle and a portion of your rental cost to the Anti-Cruelty Society! **

I’m wearing this absolutely stunning L.A.M.B coat and it can be yours for a week! It’s very warm and perfect for that weekend out and about. I also wore this Spencer Vladimir top, these Row pants and of course this Moschino belt (yes please). I usually never wear purses in my photos but I loved this red Gucci purse with the jacket. Don’t forget the shoes! Rent all the above!



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