August 26 is National Dog Day: Here's How to Help Dogs Today and Every Day
National Dog Day is Saturday, August 26, and with dogs in shelters currently being killed at a higher rate than years past, it’s an ideal time to talk about how people can help save the lives of homeless canines across the country.
Every day in the United States more than 450 dogs are killed in shelters simply because they don’t have homes. That’s about 20 dogs every hour at shelters across the country.
“Dogs bring joy and unconditional love to our lives, but the great paradox right now is that we are literally killing our best friends,” said Julie Castle, CEO, Best Friends Animal Society. “We are on a trajectory to take the country no-kill and save the lives of homeless pets in every community and every shelter but in order to do that we need everyone who loves pets to get on board and help their local shelter right now.”
According to data from Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025, dogs entering shelters increased in 2022 by approximately 100,000.
At the same time, dog adoptions have stalled at just under one million nationwide and industry data shows that dogs acquired from breeders and pet stores have been steadily increasing over the past few years.
Below are a few ways you can help homeless dogs and shelters in your community. Because with every life saved, we are one step closer to ending the unnecessary killing of animals in shelters and becoming a no-kill country.
Adopting: For those looking to add a new four-legged companion to their home, choosing the adoption option is one of the simplest ways to help achieve no-kill. Whether you’re looking for a child-friendly companion, or a small, low-energy apartment pal, shelters across the country are filled with the best dogs for every lifestyle.
Fostering: Not ready to adopt? Fostering is a great option that provides an animal with the space and time to decompress, while acclimating to life in a home. It is also essential to no-kill since it provides animals a temporary home until they can be adopted. Many organizations offer also offer foster-to-adopt programs where individuals can see if a pet is right for their home before adopting.
Transporting: Driving animals from areas where there are too many pets looking for homes to areas where pets are in demand is crucial to saving more lives. By driving a transport of adoptable animals, people can play a vital role in achieving no-kill.
Volunteering: Shelter staff across the country are spread thin. Walking dogs, cleaning kennels, and doing laundry are all essential tasks to keep shelters running smoothly. When staff delegate tasks to volunteers, it allows them to dedicate more time to facilitating adoptions, managing intakes, and advocating for their resident animals.
Donating: If a lack of time prohibits volunteering, donating provides resources to help shelters save more lives. And donations don’t have to be monetary. Shelters are always in need of supplies like food, blankets, towels, cat litter, and even old newspapers. Reach out to your local shelter to find out what they need.
Sharing: Shelters and rescue groups often post about dogs in need at their organization. By sharing these posts on social media channels, more awareness is created and can help dogs find foster or adoptive homes. It’s a quick, free, and easy way to make a positive difference.
To learn more about how to get involved and Best Friends goal of no-kill 2025, visit bestfriends.org.