October is Adopt a Dog Month and there’s never been a better time to find a forever home for a shelter dog than now. Founded by the American Humane Association, Adopt a Dog Month began in 1981 and has been recognized annually ever since. The observance is promoted by other animal-welfare groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). October is a time to recognize the many benefits that come from adopting dogs and adding them as members to your home. In many shelters nationwide, dogs who aren’t adopted are ultimately euthanized. Adopt a Dog Month helps rescue dogs who have plenty of love and loyalty to give and saves lives.
American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert released a statement discussing Adopt a Dog Month and the advantages of bringing a shelter animal into the home.
“If you haven’t yet experienced that remarkable power of the human-animal bond, American Humane encourages you to consider adopting a dog and finding out just how life-changing it can be. With so many dogs in shelters all across our country available for adoption — and many of them never finding a safe, loving, forever home — adopting a dog will make you a hero, too.”
The benefits for dog adoption are great. The Humane Society has listed 10 reasons why you should adopt a pet and the first is because you will save a life. Not only are there emotional health benefits to pet ownership, but adopting a shelter or rescue dog helps combat puppy mills. Puppy mills are commercial institutions that breed and sell dogs. This often leads to overpopulation and can result in serious distress to the animal. Many puppy mills result in dogs that aren’t properly socialized, live in a caged setting, and fail to receive the proper stimulation needed to become healthy pets. This October, adopt a dog from your local rescue mission or shelter and help fight puppy mills. If you are a current dog owner and have no plans to adopt a dog in October, consider making a pledge against puppy mills instead.
ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign Senior Director Cori Menkin released a statement regarding the ASPCA’s position on adoption versus buying a dog from a puppy mill or pet store.
“The ASPCA’s research confirms that adoption really is the best option when it comes to adding a new dog to your home. Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and we continue to urge those who are looking for a new companion to adopt a dog from a shelter so that the puppy mill industry becomes unsustainable.”
There are other ways to celebrate Adopt a Dog Month that are helpful for those who are current pet owners. If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered, have that service performed this month. Spaying and neutering your dog helps control overpopulation and reduces strays. Additionally, spaying and neutering your dog provide health benefits and can increase your pet’s longevity. Make sure your dog is properly registered, his or her license is up-to-date, and your pet has current identification tags. You might consider having your dog microchipped as well.
One of the best ways to celebrate Adopt a Dog Month is to support your local animal shelter or rescue group. Get in touch with your local shelter if you haven’t already and find out what you can do to help. You might feel led to volunteer your time, help the shelter with supplies or make a donation. Every bit counts and your efforts will be well appreciated and rewarded.
Are you going to adopt a dog this October?
[Featured Image by Rita Kochmarjova/Shutterstock]