Looking for a new dog to add to the family? Perfect! There has never been a better time than October, as two of the biggest animal welfare associations in the U.S. bring attention to millions of dogs waiting for their forever homes in shelters. The American Humane Society (AHS) calls October Adopt-A-Dog Month and the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) calls it Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month.
A local shelter is the perfect place to find a dog who’s waiting for a loving home. Shelter staff members may be able to recommend a dog that would be perfect for a potential family’s lifestyle. Shelters offer a variety of purebreds, mixed breeds, and different sizes, making it easy to find what a family wants in a pet. During October, shelters may decrease adoption prices or even make adoptions free on a certain day or weekend to bring awareness to the increasing number of dogs in shelters. If a particular breed is preferred that can’t be found in a shelter, a family can easily find rescue groups in their area by doing a bit of research. Sadly, the AHA estimates that 3.7 million animals are euthanized in animal shelters every year, so any dog that is offered a second chance doesn’t have to end up as a statistic.
But just because people can’t add another dog to their home doesn’t mean that they can’t help the cause and show that they support responsible adoption instead of other means. By spaying or neutering animals that already live in a home, it prevents the possibility of unexpected puppies. Pets who have been fixed not only live longer, healthier lives but also have fewer behavioral problems. In addition, pet identification is crucial in case a pet gets lost, since there is only a 15-20% chance that they will be found if the pet doesn’t have the proper tags. Identification can include either a tag or a microchip, although it is never a bad idea to have both in case the chip can’t be found.
With so many dogs waiting for homes in shelters, no matter how much someone wants to help, the circumstances might not always be right. So get creative! On social media platforms, people can tweet, retweet or post that October is Adopt-A-Pet Month and share it with others. People may also call their local shelter or rescue group and ask if there are any donations needed or if they have a wish list. If they need flyers handed out, they would certainly appreciate an extra pair of hands. The flyers may detail special events that the shelter is holding at their location for the month of October. People with photography skills can offer their talents and take photos of the adoptable pets waiting for homes to be posted on the shelter’s website. People interested in volunteer work with animals might be inclined to sign up to be a foster parent for dogs while they find their forever homes if they are able.
As the mission of Adopt-A-Dog-Month continues to be recognized nationwide, please spread the word to others about supporting animals in shelters who are patiently waiting for loving homes.
Interested in supporting a shelter in your area? The NAPPS Presents 4 Pets Program is a collection drive conducted by NAPPS members. Ask your NAPPS pet sitter how you can get involved in the P4P Program.
P4P is a nationwide campaign which supports NAPPS' mission:
The only National non-profit professional pet sitting association dedicated to setting the industry standard and championing the welfare of animals.