Shelters aren’t quite sure why, but for some reason, black dogs and cats statistically have a harder time getting adopted than those with lighter fur. In fact, this trend has become so apparent that there’s actually a name for it now: Black Dog Syndrome. In reality, black dogs and cats are just as adoptable as their white, brown, and tan furry counterparts, but the senseless stereotype that black pets are somehow inferior remains. (One shelter even claimed people were returning black cats because they didn’t “look good in selfies!“)

Recently, Animal Control officers in Houston, Texas found a black dog roaming the streets and brought him to the Harris County Animal Shelter. One look at the face of this sweet 10-year-old boy, who they’re calling “Rockwell,” reveals that he’s had a rough life. He has marks all over his head, plus he tested positive for heartworm. Rockwell deserves a loving home where he can spend the rest of his days without a care in the world, but shelter staff fear that no one will want him due to his fur color, his age, and his health.

To help dogs like Rockwell, you can still make a difference for Rockwell and other animals in need by donating to Pup It Forward Animal Network, a group of volunteers working to save overlooked pets. Together, we can end the stigma against black dogs and cats and help EVERY shelter animal find a forever home!

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