WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, October 2, 2017 — Each October, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the nation’s leading first responder for animals in need, encourages animal lovers to consider adopting a dog from a local shelter or rescue group in honor of its yearly “Adopt-a-Dog Month®.” 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.”
This need is gaining attention across the country. Numerous stories are appearing on the news, and a wonderful book, “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts,” by TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey and photographer Lori Fusaro highlights how much senior dogs have to offer. My Old Dog shares happy adoption success stories and celebrates the grand times that can be had with shelter dogs past the age of puppyhood.
“Senior dogs who get adopted from shelters just might be the most grateful dogs on the planet,” said Coffey. “And don’t let their age fool you! It’s amazing to see how much these dogs still have to offer and teach us.”
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.
Here 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.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. To learn more visit us at www.americanhumane.org today.