October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

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American Humane Association designates October as Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month to bring awareness to the overwhelming number of dogs in the U.S. in need of loving, forever homes.

Did you know there are nearly 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. who do live in loving homes? Approximately 39 percent of U.S. households include at least one dog. Most people have just one dog; 28 percent of households have two dogs; and 12 percent have three or more dogs. The number of male vs. female dogs in households is about even.

Twenty-one percent of dogs in U.S. households were adopted from a shelter or rescue.

National estimates indicate that between approximately 5 and 7 million dogs and cats enter the nation’s shelter systems each year, and about 3 to 4 million are euthanized due to overcrowding and lack of adoptable families. Owner surrenders and strays picked up by animal control are about even in terms of how the animal ended up at a shelter.

A whopping 25 percent of dogs who end up in shelters or rescue organizations are purebred; and nearly 20 percent of the dogs surrendered to shelters were originally adopted from a shelter in the first place.

American Humane Association suggests visiting your local shelter to find the right dog for you. Or, if you want a specific breed, look for a breed-specific rescue group in your area.

Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue saves a life, but it can also improve your life! Be it for companionship, an exercise buddy, teaching your children responsibility and responsible pet ownership, or having a dog to train for agility or service. Not only that but pet ownership has been known to lower blood pressure and people who walk their dogs regularly tend to stay fit. Finally, adopting a dog from a shelter is economically affordable, and your money goes to a great cause.

So, get on-board. Adopt a shelter dog in October and help lower the statistics.

K.S. Mueller is a travel executive living in Massachusetts who writes essays about dogs, cats and other topics in her spare time. Check out her web sites: ksmueller.comk2k9.com; and fibroworks.com. Follow K.S.Mueller on Facebook and Twitter.

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