American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, hosts its annual Adopt-a-Dog Month each October.
This year, American Humane is continuing its national initiative to bring awareness to a vital issue: The need to provide safe, loving homes for the thousands of older pets who often face the highest risk in animal shelters.
Each year, an estimated 670,000 dogs are euthanized in the nation’s shelters.
Many potential pet adopters overlook older animals — but there are so many reasons why dogs over the age of 6 or 7 make ideal furry family members and friends:
- They tend to be less rambunctious than younger dogs.
- They’re often already house-trained.
- They’re a great fit for people with busy lifestyles.
- They’re so grateful for a second chance.
- They love you unconditionally.
“It’s heartbreaking to think about all the senior animals who had been cherished pets before they suddenly found themselves confused and alone in shelter kennels,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “Far too often this happens to many older dogs through no fault of their own —after their human owners encounter financial troubles, illness, or other life upheavals.”
There are a variety of ways to celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month:
Adopt from a shelter or rescue group
When you’re ready to open your heart and home to a new best friend, adopt from your local animal shelter or rescue group. Talk with shelter staff to find the perfect dog for you and your lifestyle, and remember that older dogs make excellent pets too.
Spay or neuter your dog
Have your dog spayed or neutered, thus preventing the possibility of unexpected, and potentially unwanted, puppies. Spayed and neutered animals have been shown to lead longer, healthier lives and have fewer of certain behavioral problems than animals who have not been spayed or neutered.
ID your pet
By putting identification on your dog, either in the form of a tag, a microchip or both, you will reduce the possibility that your pet will become one of the presumably “homeless” dogs that end up at your local shelter. Only 15-20 percent of dogs who enter a shelter are reunited with their owners. Make sure your dog is one of the fortunate few by outfitting him with proper identification!
Support your local shelter
Show the pets at your local shelter or rescue group that you care by donating time, money or supplies like pet food, leashes, beds and toys. Call the shelter to see what supplies or services are needed most. Even the smallest effort can make a difference.
Find out more at www.americanhumane.org today.