National Puppy Day has arrived, which means that people across the nation and around the world will be showering their puppy with love or looking at cute photos of puppies online. However, there is much more to National Puppy Day than this.
CNN reports that National Puppy Day was created by Colleen Paige, who also created National Cat Day and National Dog Day. Colleen, a pet lifestyle expert, encourages individuals to adopt a puppy for the day or alternatively donate to your local shelter. According to the National Puppy Day website, the goal of the day (which has become a global event after trending on Twitter for the previous four years) is about saving puppies and educating the world.
“National Puppy Day is a special day to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it’s a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills.”
Puppy mills, or “backyard breeders,” are operated by people who see a puppy as a money-making opportunity. They purposely encourage their dog to get pregnant so that they can sell the puppy, but once the puppy is born, they do not care for it. Often, the animal will be mistreated and kept in tiny cages with other puppies, as well as denied health checks and vaccinations. Often, these puppies are taken away from their mother too soon, which results in poorly behaved dogs which, in turn, leads the new owner to be abandon the young dog or take it to a shelter. In the U.S alone, there are approximately 8,000 to 10,000 puppy mills, which include many pet stores.
Today is the 10th National Puppy Day, and each year it gains more traction around the world as people take to social media to post photos of their own puppy or one that they have adopted for the day. It is easy to get involved with National Puppy Day, as they have created a 50-item list with ways to celebrate, with things that can be done by owners and non-owners alike.
For dog owners, these include throwing a puppy party, buying your puppy a new toy, having a T-shirt made with your puppy’s face on it, and giving them a brush. For non-owners, ways to celebrate include adopting a puppy, donating food, money and toys to your local shelter, volunteering at a shelter and assisting a neighbour by walking their dog.
Colleen Paige encourages everybody to organize or participate in front of community pet stores that sell puppies, as well as to write to their local Congressman to ask that they support the ban of puppy mills in their state.
Guinnevere Shuster, the Humane Society of Utah’s photographer and social media coordinator, sees the day as a great opportunity to raise awareness that there are shelters and rescues packed with puppies who are looking for a new home, reported CNN.
“Even if you’re looking for a younger dog, the chances are you can find one that needs a home at a shelter or rescue.”
At the Humane Society of Utah (a no-kill shelter), they can hold up to 300 dogs, and about 50 or 60 are adopted each day. Last year, the shelter managed to place over 5,000 dogs. However, Shuster also warns that a puppy is a lot of work, and they are not suitable for those who are unable to offer them time or attention.
“It’s no different than having a small child or an infant.”
As expected, National Puppy Day has begun trending online, and people from all around the globe have taken to social media to share photos of their own puppy or just to join in celebrating man’s best friend. While there is plenty to celebrate and it is likely to make many smile, there is also an important message behind the day. You can follow all the latest and submit your own photos through #NationalPuppyDay.
[Image via Shutterstock]