Rescue Initiative

Home / Rescue / Adopt-A-Dog Month®
Rescue Initiative

Adopt-A-Dog Month®

What Can An Adopted Dog Bring To Your Life?

There are a million good reasons to consider adopting a dog during American Humane’s yearly “Adopt-a-Dog Month®” in October – in fact, it’s a lot more than that. Each year, an estimated 3-4 million animals waiting in shelters for someone to give them a safe, loving home never find a hero to adopt them and, tragically, are euthanized.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, be a hero and consider adopting a rescue animal or a dog from your local shelter. You’ll be saving a life and greatly improving yours. Dogs are amazing, supportive, and heroic companions who can make a huge difference in your world as a best friend, an exercise buddy, someone who can be trained to provide animal-assisted therapy and help those with challenges they may face, or simply be a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work.

Your local shelter is the perfect place to find dogs of every type, size, age and personality — all waiting for a loving home. Or if you prefer a particular breed that isn’t currently available at a shelter, go online to find a legitimate breed-specific rescue group in need of adopters like you. In fact, why not help build momentum and spread the word by adding your name to our pledge to make your next pet a rescue or shelter animal and “like” us on Facebook and Twitter.


American Humane established Adopt-A-Dog Month® in October 1981 as an annual event to encourage people to save lives and enhance their own lives by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group. Thirty-two years later, that message is as strong, true and important as ever, as millions of dogs in shelters await adoption every year.

“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,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “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.”

How to Celebrate

  • 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.