National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The month of April is chock full of furry events to celebrate.  National Pet Day, National Pet Parents Day, and National Hairball Awareness Day are just a few.  But the great month of April saved a biggie for the last of the national monthly events...National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is April 30.

The obvious way to celebrate this great day is to adopt an animal.  But not everyone is ready to take on a new pet.  That’s ok!  You can still honor animals living in shelters and the volunteers who work tirelessly to give them a good life while they await adoption.  

Why should you honor a shelter pet?

  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that there are 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 millions cats in shelters at any given time in the United States. That’s a lot of pets without homes.

  • The people who work in shelters are usually volunteers, which means they do not get paid for the time they give, and more importantly for the love and affection they shower over each and every animal.

  • Animals cannot talk!  We can be their voice in speaking out about their care while they await their forever homes.

How can I honor a shelter pet?

  • Adopt.  Out of curiosity, I plugged the breed of my dog, Golden Retriver (any gender, any age) into, and found that there are 1,215 adoptable Golden Retrievers in my city.  

  • Foster.  So, you’re not ready to take on a pet for his lifetime, but you can provide a warm and loving home until he finds his permanent home.

  • Volunteer your time.  Offer to walk shelter dogs once a week, or spend some time playing with and giving love to the cats.  When you consider the sheer number of dogs and cats awaiting their forever homes, the extra set of hands you can provide a shelter is priceless.

  • Donate.  Have a senior dog who doesn’t play with her toys anymore?  Drop off her gently used toys (just wash them first) to the nearest shelter.  No doubt those toys will get a little more action there!  Food/water bowls and household items such as paper towels and newspapers are also greatly appreciated.  See Seven Surprising Ways to Donate to Your Local Shelter for a more complete list.

  • Share your skills.  Are you a great photographer?  Enjoy videotaping animal antics?  A really great photo of an adorable kitten on Petfinder’s profile may be all a family needs to commit to adopting.

  • Host a fundraising event.  This doesn’t have to be on a grand scale.  Just have a cookout and ask guests to bring a bag of dog treats or a cat toy.  Throw all the donations into a pretty basket and present it to your local shelter on Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.  You will make the shelter volunteers’ day!

Decided to adopt? Here are the next steps:

  • Read our blogs, Are You a Pawsome Pet Parent and Love Your Pet Day to get some tips on how to care for your new addition.

  • Check out Introducing a Second Dog (if you already have a dog and are adopting a new dog) for some tips on how to make the transition a smooth one.

  • Prepare your home for a new dog and pass your pet adoption screening with these tips.

  • Enroll your new four-legged family member in a pet insurance plan to ensure you're protected against unexpected vet bills!

Happy National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

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