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Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

By Colleen Williams
published: April 30, 2018 - updated: April 4, 2023 • 2 min. read
healthy paws adopt a shelter pet day

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is observed each year on April 30th to raise awareness for pups and cats in need of a home to call their own. In honor of the day, we’re giving a special salute to pets across the country who need an “extra paw up” to get a forever home with why you should adopt, not shop.

Save a Life!

Between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats combined enter the US animal shelter system every year, and about 3 million of these companion animals are adopted out of the shelter system annually. And while some of the animals were euthanized for conditions beyond our control, about 2.4 million of those euthanized were adoption ready. Adopting from a shelter means that you are directly saving a life, or your adoption from a no-kill rescue organization frees up space for another animal to move in, thus saving their life. Additionally, your adoption fee helps provide medicine and food to other animals, so you’re helping them as well!


Rescue a Purebred

Most animal advocates and people who simply are researching puppies know that supporting irresponsible breeders or puppy mills propagates that industry further, which eventually fills shelters, contributes to animal abuse, hoarding, and neglect. According to the Humane Society, nearly a quarter of the dog population in shelters are pure breeds rather than mixed breeds. Some of these dogs are rescued from inhumane breeding facilities or puppy mills, whereas others have been surrendered by their families. It is a myth that you cannot find the breed that you are searching for if a purebred is your thing. Call your local rescue shelters to ask about the frequency they see the breed you are interested in. Many shelters also have Facebook pages which you can follow to get updates on new arrivals.

adopt a shelter dog day

Who Rescued Who?

Animal adoption, especially in a rescue situation, is life-changing. Not only are you bringing a furry friend into your family, you’re also forging a bond, carving out space in your life for another being, and finding inspiration and motivation for the future. It’s no joke that pets make us happier and healthier, especially when it comes to depression or even cardiovascular health. You may not even be considering adoption, however if you find yourself lonely, down, or want to change your lifestyle, have you considered a BFF (best furry friend)?

I’m Ready! What Next?

Start by visiting sites such as The Shelter Pet ProjectPetfinderAdopt a Pet and All Paws to search for pets in your area. Then get prepared! Adding a pup (or kitty!) to your life means companionship and love, but it also means stuff. You’re gonna need a lot of it – crates, bedding, toys, treats, healthy food, and more. Map out how your new pet will fit into your life and get responsible about their health – sign up for pet insurance and look into booking a dogwalker for your workdays (or a sitter for your vacations).

If you need more reasons or even some sources, check out these 20 statistics about shelter dogs, and find out more about our beneficial bonds with animals from the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI).

This post is brought to you in partnership with Rover. Founded in 2011 with headquarters based in Seattle, WA, Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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