October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month: 5 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog

Posted on October 09 2018

October is officially recognized as Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month and the ASPCA - the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - is urging animal lovers and advocates across the country to honor the occasion by helping to raise awareness for homeless animals. 

The goal of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is to bring attention to the plight of homeless animals in every community, and the unfortunate face that only 20 to 30 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescue groups. Thus, leaving the rest of the population belonging to breeders or pet stores. Another discouraging fact is that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, meaning that they come from mass production, overcrowded, commercial dog breeding facilities. 

Dogs in puppy mills are forced to produce multiple litters of puppies, and are often found living in the most deplorable conditions. Puppy mill breeding dogs live their entire lives in small, filthy wire cages, with no human companionship, interaction, comfort, exercise, Veterinary care, and worse, no food and/or water. Sadly, when the dogs can no longer produce puppies, they are discarded - meaning, they are either killed, sold, or abandoned.  

According to Gail Buchwald, the senior Vice President of the ASPCA Adoption Center, "there are 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide, who would make a fantastic addition to anybody's family. All they need is a second chance." Buchwald says that during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the ASPCA encourages everyone to visit their local animal shelter and adopt one of those amazing animals, or help to spread the word to potential pet owners to make pet adoption their first option. 

There are many ways to become involved this October to help make the puppy mill industry unsustainable. You can do a variety of things to raise awareness, ranging from sending a simple tweet, to participating in community events, to making the commitment to adopt. Below are more ways that you can help get involved, and make a difference during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month:

  • Adopt, Don't Shop. Visit your local shelter or rescue organization and give one sweet dog a forever, loving home. People who purchase a puppy from a pet store, breeder, or website, run the risk of taking home an unhealthy puppy in addition to supporting the cruel puppy mill industry. Remember, in puppy mills, profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.
  • Go Social. Spread the word of adoption to all of your family, friends, and followers in real life, and online! Join the ASPCA in a live streaming event on October 30 from 7-8pm, where Veterinarians and Behaviorists will be conversing and answering your pet questions. In addition, send a tweet on Twitter, post a Facebook status, share a photo on Instagram, record a YouTube video, and pin on Pinterest throughout this entire month. Every mention truly makes a difference.
  • Get Active for Animals. Volunteering at your local shelter is a great way to make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs. Volunteers can take dogs for walks, socialize them, make the rounds during meal times, or simply offer them a loving, friendly face. Rescue organizations are always in need of supplies, so gather up gently used blankets, towels and toys from friends and family to donate. Be sure to check first to see what the rescue groups and shelters need the most.
  • Take the Pledge. Take the "No Pet Store Puppies" pledge to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to buy anything at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies.

Are you still not convinced that adoption is the best option? Aside from fighting against puppy mills, here are 5 more reasons why you should consider adopting a shelter dog! 

1. You Will Save a Life

A shelter pet is more than just a one in a million type of furry friend. Sadly, they are more like one in 2.7 million. That is the number of perfectly adoptable animals that are euthanized each year in our country. Who wouldn't want to see that number decrease? By adopting, you save the life of an animal that just wants a chance at life. They want a chance to love, a chance to live, and a chance to be your new best friend. 

2. You Will Open a Space for Another Animal

When adopting from a shelter, not only do you save that animal's life, but you also create a space for another animal who may desperately need it. Overcrowding is the biggest problem for shelters across the United States, and by opening your heart to adoption, you are opening a space for a deserving animal to be kept safe. 

3. You Will Gain a Plethora of Physical, Mental, and Emotional Benefits

Studies have shown that having a pet - especially a dog - can do wonders for your life. This is especially true when you adopt! When you adopt a shelter dog, your self-esteem gains a little boost, as you can feel proud that you saved an animal in need, your physical activity increases, and your level of happiness increases. Caring for a pet enables you to know and experience companionship, unconditional love, and can provide you with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

4. You Are Being Environmentally Conscious and Responsible

Do you recycle? Are you concerned with taking care of the environment? Well, did you know that adopting a shelter dog is also environmentally conscious! Everyone knows that recycled things can be made into any type of material. By adopting a "recycled" shelter dog, you get the best product ever created: happiness.

5. You Will Get a Great Animal

Who will also provide you with a life filled with gratitude! It's important to remember that just because an animal is in a shelter, does NOT mean that they are unhappy or unhealthy. In fact, most shelter pets - including fosters and rescues - are full of happy, healthy animals just waiting for their 2-legged best friend. Know that an animal has most likely been placed at a shelter because of their human, NOT because they did anything wrong.

NOTE: The above pictures are all available, adoptable dogs from Angels of Fur - K9 Rescue in Rome, NY.

Here at Mountainside Medical Equipment, we take pride in serving our wide variety of customers, including our furry friends! Please visit our Veterinary Care page to see all of the latest products for your four legged friend! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call 1-888-687-4334 to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives!