PANAMA CITY-- An idea is taking off on social media. Owners can tie a yellow ribbon around pets' leashes warning others to keep their distance.
But it's not only dangerous dogs who benefit from the Yellow Dog Project.
Sam the bulldog might growl when he first meets you.
"He is very timid around people," Bay County Humane Society Marketing Coordinator Rose Clemo said.
But get him outside or around other animals, and Sam lights up.
BCHS employees say he's the perfect candidate for the Yellow Dog Project.
"If he has on a yellow leash or a yellow collar it's just being respectful to that dog saying, 'Please don't come near the dog. He's nervous.'" Clemo said. "He maybe doesn't do well with other people, and it's to protect him."
It's important to know the difference between aggressive and nervous dogs. Sam isn't dangerous, it just takes him a while to warm up to people.
"Aggressive dogs are, yes, somewhat of a danger to us, but I think nervous dogs are the types that can be worked with," Clemo said.
Some critics of the project say dogs who are uncomfortable with people o children should not be allowed around them in public.
But some dogs like Sam have no bite history.
"There's no such thing as a bad breed. It's on the owner," Adam Hilty, a volunteer who works regularly at BCHS and owns two dogs, said.
"It's really important to socialize your dog and get it comfortable with people," Clemo said.
The Yellow Dog Project allows dogs to feel respected and comfortable and helps strangers keep a safe distance.
Clemo hopes Sam's future family will be open to this idea.
"Our hope is that he gets adopted to the right family that really takes into consideration his needs," she said.
NewsChannel 7 reached out to the Yellow Dog Project and will keep you updated on its plans to expand in the United States.
And remember, Sam and the other animals at the BCHS are all available for adoption. For more information, you can visit the organization's www.adoptme.org.