For many of us, dogs make our world complete. In fact, according to the 2013-2014 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there are approximately 56.7 million dog-owning households in the United States.
Canines are our companions, they’re our family members, and they’re our best friends. We bring dogs into our homes, we walk them, play with them, and for many, we work with them too! Dogs help solve crimes, save people, and at the end of a long day – they’re always there for us with a big, wet “doggy kiss” to say it’s all going to be okay!
But unfortunately, millions of pets who deserve a second chance at life are euthanized in shelters each year, many, simply because no one adopted them. That’s why October is American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Dog Month® and now is the time to show your love for dogs by helping to promote this very important endeavor!
What can you do to help dogs during Adopt-A-Dog Month?
- Take our Adopt-A-Dog Month Pledge, and promise dogs all across the country that you will make adoption from a shelter or rescue your first choice when looking for your next canine companion.
- Check out your local shelter and inquire about volunteer opportunities as well as donation and supply needs to help homeless pets in your community.
- Be sure that if you already have a dog, he/she is wearing proper identification just in case he/she becomes lost. Consider microchipping your pet. You may also wish to check out the Lost Petz app, an “Amber Alert” for pets.
- Spay/neuter your pet. Not only will this help reduce the number of pets taken into shelters each year, but it will also help to keep your pet happy and healthy!
- Tell your friends and family that October is Adopt-A-Dog Month and maybe someone who has been thinking of adding a new pet to their home will save a life today!
This month is a perfect time to consider adopting a new dog. However, it shouldn’t be something that is taken lightly. So if you, or someone you know, is thinking about bringing an adopted dog into the family, here are some things to consider:
- Like children, dogs are completely dependent on their owners for all their needs—food, water, medical attention, exercise, shelter and, most important, companionship. But unlike children, dogs will never learn to pour themselves a drink, fix breakfast or clean up after themselves. Opening your home to a dog can be highly rewarding, as long as you understand and accept the daily responsibilities and routines that come with owning a dog.
- The qualities and personality you want in a dog are more important than size and appearance. For example, an older shepherd mix might do better than an energetic terrier in an apartment. Very often the pet that has the characteristics you’re looking for will come in an unexpected package.
For more information about adopting a dog, to obtain educational lesson plans for kids, or to simply promote Adopt-A-Dog Month, visit the campaign’s website at: http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/special-initiatives/adopt-a-dog-month/.