Adopt Your New Best Friend | Editorial
I first let a shelter dog enter my heart 12 years ago, and I’ve never looked back.
Being involved in animal rescue, whether as a volunteer, transporter or dog owner, has been extremely rewarding. Successfully matching a puppy in need with the perfect family is the ultimate badge of matchmaking honor.
I live with four rescue dogs whose zest for life brings happiness to mine every day. They are hilarious and loving, messy and expensive, and my life without them would be many shades darker. Although I admit that I provided them with a very good living situation, I generally feel like the lucky one – until one of them throws up on a nice carpet or eats the cookies I just pulled out of the room. oven. But really, I often wonder what I did to deserve the undying love of these pure creatures.
October is Shelter Dog Adoption Month, sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Humane Society. There are millions of homeless dogs, of all shapes, sizes and levels of cuddle needs, waiting to find loving homes.
About 6.3 million pets enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide each year: 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Each year, around 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized and around 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted (almost evenly split between dogs and cats). About 810,000 animals that enter stray shelters are returned to their owners.
According to national statistics, the majority of dogs are still purchased from breeders. And these animals often end up in shelters. The most common reasons people relocate their dogs are: problematic behaviors, larger than expected growth, and overpriced health issues.
Thanks to dedicated volunteers, animal advocates and donors, the San Juan are home to two exceptional no-kill shelters, both of which have dogs (and cats!). Visit https://www.apsfh.com/ (where you can see gems such as Mimi, a five month old Texas Retriever mix) and https://www.orcaspets.org/ (check out Buppy, a young mix of rottweilers).
If you’re not ready to commit to a life of big brown eyes gazing at you with unconditional love, there are other ways you can help homeless pets. You can make a financial donation to a local or national organization or donate your time.
On Orcas, the shelter needs dog walkers and people to spend time with the animals and clean up the facility. Volunteers should be vaccinated and able to wear a properly fitted mask inside the building. Orcas APS is also looking for new members for its board of directors.
And you might consider promoting. Although I’m warning you, it takes a special, strong person to care for an animal until it finds a permanent home. Two of my pack were failed foster families.
ASPCA features 31 Days of Rescue Dogs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All you need to do is post one photo per day of your favorite rescue dog for 31 days on your favorite social media channel using the hashtag # 31DaysOfRescueDogs.
This October, consider welcoming a fluffy bundle of joy into your home. It’s a serious commitment that comes with enough friendship and affection to lighten even the heaviest loads. Here’s to save one dog at a time.