The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking animal lovers to celebrate national Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month in October by adopting a dog at their local animal shelter.
While the ASPCA strives to raise awareness of the plight of shelter animals year-round, in October it will place special emphasis on urging potential pet owners to consider choosing from the millions of adoptable companion animals in shelters across the country.
"Approximately 5 out of 10 dogs in animal shelters throughout the United States are euthanized simply because there is no one to adopt them," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "By celebrating October as Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, we hope to help save the lives of dogs that deserve a second chance to have a permanent, loving home."
Veterinarians can educate potential pet owners about how animal shelters are oftentimes staffed with trained counselors experienced in matching families and individuals with suitable companion animals. Most shelters screen incoming animals for major health and temperament problems.
Also, veterinarians could point out that many shelters offer additional free services, such as training materials, vaccinations, and initial health examinations. Dogs at animal shelters are often adolescents house-trained and past the teething that comes with puppies.
"When you look at the entire range of services that are usually covered by pet adoption programs, the cost is quite reasonable," said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center & Mobile Clinic Outreach Program.
Visit www.aspca.org to read about additional plans for Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month.