While October is American Humane’s “Adopt-a-Dog Month®” the need for pet adoption is every day. Each year, 5 million pets are taken into animal shelters, and a staggering 3-4 million of those are euthanized as they wait for someone to take them into their hearts and homes.
Whether you are thinking of adding another dog to your home, or if you know of someone who is in the process, be a champion and rescue an animal from one of the 5,000 animal shelters in the U.S. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “If just one of every five Americans wanting to add a cat or dog to their family in the next year adopted from a shelter or rescue, not one single healthy, treatable cat or dog would lose his or her life in a shelter!”
What Can An Adopted Dog Bring To Your Life?
A dog can make a sizeable difference in your life. Each and every day you will be met at the door with unconditional love. Who couldn't use a best friend like that? And, when the chips are down, they can be incredibly supportive. They seem to know just how to be there for you when you’re sick or feeling blue. As an exercise buddy, you’ll get out of the house into the sunshine, which can help many with depression. And for those with larger challenges, dogs can be trained to provide animal-assisted therapy.
Where Do You Start?
Local shelters are a great place to start to find dogs of all sizes, breeds and personality types. The thing they all have in common is the need for a loving home. There are also breed-specific rescue organizations that are looking for rescue parents. Search online, talk to your local shelter or a local veterinarian office – all good places to find your furry companion with so much love to add to your life. And remember that senior dogs are great pets too!
Other Ways to Celebrate
- If you haven’t already, spay or neuter your dog to prevent growing shelter population with unwanted or unexpected puppies. Dogs who have been spayed or neutered have been found to lead longer, healthier lives and have fewer behavioral issues than those who have not been “fixed.”
- Use identification systems to help prevent your dog from getting lost and unable to be reconnected with you. Put an ID tag on his collar and/or a microchip under his skin so he can’t become one of the presumed homeless dogs taken to a shelter. Only 15-20% of dogs who get into a shelter ever get reunited with their owners.
- Support your local shelter and rescue groups by donating your time, money or needed supplies like leashes, food, beds and toys. Help with their fund raising and awareness drives, and solicit the involvement of your friends and family. Small efforts by many can make all the difference.
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