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FOREVER HOMES: As Adopt-A-Dog Month comes to an end, many dogs still need a home

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month.
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OKLAHOMA CITY—Each year, an estimated 3-4 million animals are waiting in shelters for someone to give them a safe, loving home. Many, however, are never adopted and, tragically, are euthanized. And, with the recent spate of hurricanes and other weather anomalies leaving many dogs lost, abandoned and homeless, it’s easy to expect that number to grow well into the new year.

Established by the American Humane Society in 1981, October has traditionally been designated as Adopt-A-Dog Month, an annual event designed to encourage people to “save lives and enhance their own lives by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group,” but it’s become part of bigger conversation recently, one that will outlast any 31 days on the calendar and well into the lifetime of both pet and parent.

“By giving a dog a home they wouldn't have otherwise, you are saving their life as well as greatly improving your own,” Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA and Training and Behavioral Expert at Camp Bow Wow, said. “There's a reason that they say a dog is man's best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring for another life (for those of you without children).  Generally speaking, they make you happy.”

Ultimately, by recognizing the importance of Adopt-A-Dog Month, it “encourages adoption and reinforces the value of dogs in our lives, as well as our duties to protect them.” The numbers are pretty clear, however: only 29 percent of dogs are actually adopted from shelters; the rest are left to live in the rescue centers or are euthanized. The bottom line is adopting a dog—be it for Adopt-A-Dog Month or otherwise—saves their life, giving them a home they wouldn't have otherwise.

Additionally during this time, pet-owners are also asked to be responsible by spaying or neutering their dog to keep the pet population down, ID their pet through a tag, a microchip or both, all the while supporting their local shelter or rescue group by donating time, money or supplies like pet food, leashes, beds and toys.

And even if animal-lovers are not ready or unable to welcome a dog into their home, it’s recommended that people can still lend a hand by donating time, money or supplies to local and national animal welfare organizations, such as the ASPCA or AHA.

“With October being National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, millions of dogs have the opportunity to find their fur-ever homes and those pet parents are enhancing their own lives by adopting,” Danielle Levy, of 5WPR, added. “Whichever route you decide to take this month, know you are making an impact.” 

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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