Animal shelters are overrun with many great adoptable dogs (and cats). This isn’t new information, but October is month that puts this issue in the spotlight. It’s Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. Let’s take a look at the history of the month, and some great local shelters where you can find your new best friend!
According to National Today, the “Women’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Pennsylvania” was formed in 1869. This is considered to be the first animal shelter in the United States.
The founder of this first animal shelter is Caroline Earl White. She and a group of 30 female animal rights activists came together to advocate for humane treatment of horses on city streets. After seeing some success with horses, the women would turn their focus to smaller domestic animals.
The women opened a shelter where lost dogs could be brought and reclaimed by owners or rehomed. From there, the women would start an educational program about humane treatment of animals. By 1909, they had raised enough money to open a place for owners to bring their dogs and other small animals for medical attention.
These women and their commitment to animal rights left a lasting legacy. In fact, their original shelter is still in operation today. It’s now the “Women’s Animal Center” in Bensalem, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia).
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month
It wouldn’t be until 1981 that Adopt A Shelter Dog Month would be established by the American Humane Association. This grew as a result of the large number of dogs and puppies being brought to shelters each year.
Through the years, more and more organizations and advocates have helped raise awareness around the need for animal adoptions at shelters. Shelters have worked to streamline the adoption process with the help of foster programs and also coverage of basic vet needs.
Adopting From An Animal Shelter
There are many great animals at your local animal shelter. And when you choose to adopt from a shelter, you are helping save that animal’s life, and making room for other animals in need. This can also help cut back on commercial breeding facilities.
Every shelter can vary in their adoption processes, but adoption fees are much lower than buying from a breeder. Even if you aren’t in a place to adopt, most shelters have foster opportunities which can help open up a spot for other animals. It’s also great to help the animals adapt to a safe, loving home and prepare them for adoption.
Benefits Of Adopting A Dog
On top of saving a dog’s life, there are so many additional benefits of adopting! Dogs are great companions can encourage you to become more active and more social! They are also the best stress relievers. Even after a long hard day, they will be so happy to see you and stress goes out the window!
There are other scientific benefits– like helping us lower our blood pressure and heart rate, and maybe even protect us from heart disease.
Want To Celebrate Adopt A Shelter Dog Month?
Check out the local shelters we’ve listed below and take a tour to meet some of the amazing dogs available for adoption!
And if you can’t adopt right now, fostering is an option, or even making a donation to your local shelter!