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16 February 2017, 12:50
Colourful jackets are being knitted for black dogs who are overlooked for adoption because of the colour of their fur.
The Scottish SPCA said so-called ''black dog syndrome'' makes it harder to rehome dark-coloured dogs which are seen as less appealing than lighter-coloured canines.
It is thought black dogs may be more difficult to rehome because they do not photograph well and may also appear more threatening because their teeth stand out more in photos.
However, an army of knitters from the Scottish Women's Institutes (SWI) is now creating colourful woollen jackets for dark dogs to transform their look.
SWI national chairman Christine Hutton said: ''We are encouraging our members to pick up their knitting needles and help a homeless hound.
''Some of Scotland's top craftswomen are making multi-coloured dog coats in aid of homeless pets desperately seeking loving new homes - to boost their appeal and help them become rehomed more quickly.
''It's sad to think of black dogs being less appealing simply because of the colour of their coat, but we hope that our knitters will be able to kit them out in coats of many colours and improve the chances of them being rehomed more quickly.''
The knitting effort is part of the celebrations to mark 100 years of the SWI.
The first knitted dog jackets were created by Edith Smith and Winnie Anderson, members of SWI groups in the Aberdeenshire Federation, and were donated to the Scottish SPCA rescue and rehoming centre at Drumoak near Banchory.
Scottish SPCA superintendent Sharon Comrie said: ''This syndrome really does affect the adoption of animals in our care and, through no fault of their own, black dogs are almost always the last to find new homes.
''It's a really creative idea to knit coloured jackets to show these dogs off to their best advantage.
''Every knitted jacket that we receive will be put to good use at our rehoming centres across Scotland and, with the SWI knitters' support, we will be able to build up a collection of special jackets for our dark dogs to wear with pride.''