October isn't just a month for falling leaves and pumpkin spice lattes. It’s also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month—a time when dog parents and other close advocates in the pet sector can come together to make a real difference in the lives of shelter dogs.
In the United States, an estimated 6.3 million animals enter shelters each year. However, according to numbers from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), only 2 million dogs who are brought to shelters are actually adopted. In addition, up to 390,000 shelter dogs are euthanized because of overcrowding and a lack of resources to take care of them.
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month exists to decrease this disparity and ensure that more dogs go to loving homes. Here are PrideBites’ recommendations for further contributing to this noble cause, either directly or indirectly:
1) Adopt a Dog
At its core, Adopt a Shelter Dog month is about promoting the “adopt, don’t shop” mindset. If you’ve always wanted to adopt a puppy or an adult dog, this month’s a great time to do so. These dogs will be grateful to finally go to a “fur-ever” home and are sure to fill your life with boundless loyalty and affection in return.
Before bringing your new fur baby home, start celebrating their arrival with a gift basket filled with all their essentials. Some items you can consider adding are martingale collars, leashes, a harness, chew toys, bedding, dog food, and dog bowls. This is sure to start your new life together on an exciting note.
Truly the best way to celebrate this month is by doing exactly what it calls for. Whether you're looking for an exercise buddy or a snuggle partner, there's a shelter dog out there waiting just for you.
2) Open Your Home to Foster Pets
If adopting a dog permanently isn't an option for you right now, consider becoming a foster pet parent instead. Fostering is like giving a homeless dog a vacation from shelter life. It will provide them with a taste of family living while freeing up space in the shelter for other animals in need.
Fostering is a noble way to make a difference in a dog’s life while you experience the rewards of pet ownership without a long-term commitment. Shelter dogs, shelter staff, and future dog parents will all be thankful for your role in preparing a dog to go to its permanent home.
3) Volunteer at Animal Shelters
Shelters rely heavily on the dedication of volunteers. As one yourself, you can become a part of an animal shelter's life-saving mission. Here, you can spend your time walking dogs or helping with administrative tasks. Your presence and care can bring a touch of brightness to a shelter dog’s day as well as relieve shelter staff who already have so much on their plates.
4) Donate to Animal Rescue Organizations and Local Shelters
If you have limited time on your hands and can’t foster or volunteer, the next best thing you can do is to provide financial or material support to shelters and rescue organizations that continue to do lifesaving work.
Consider donating to organizations providing food and medical care to abandoned puppies and dogs. In case you didn’t know, many shelters have wish lists of specific items they need, which means that you can contribute in-kind donations as well.
Your generosity directly enhances the quality of life of countless animals in need. So, even if you can’t donate your time or home, your financial support will go a long way this Adopt a Shelter Dog month.
5) Organize a Drive or a Fundraiser for the Cause
Do you have a knack for organizing events or rallying together members of your local community? If so, put your skills to good use by planning a donation drive or a fundraiser for shelter animals.
Some examples of fundraising activities that would be perfect for Adopt a Shelter Dog month are pet-friendly bake sales and charity runs or dog walks. In addition, you can celebrate both Halloween and Adopt a Shelter Dog month by having a spooky pet-themed party and donating the proceeds to a shelter organization. These events will not only help animal shelters gather much-needed resources for their operations, but also create awareness about the importance of pet adoption.
6) Raise Awareness About Pet Adoption
Last but not least, simply spreading the word about pet adoption is a simple, yet powerful way to celebrate this month. Why not utilize your social media accounts to share stories of shelter dogs in need of homes? You can use special hashtags like #AdoptAShelterDogMonth to reach a wider audience.
Education is key, so take the opportunity to debunk myths and misconceptions about shelter dogs. If more people understand the joys and benefits of adopting a dog, the better the chances of more shelter dogs living happy lives.
Now that Adopt a Shelter Dog Month has rolled around, you have the perfect opportunity to improve the livelihood of more than one shelter animal. Whether you’re inspired to adopt or simply support the cause through spreading awareness, every action counts. Let’s make this Adopt a Shelter Dog Month a paw-sitively wonderful one!