October brings changing leaves, cooler temperatures, and decreased daylight. October also brings to my house a touch hof "hibernation syndrome" as both dogs and humans nap more often!
This month is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the time in which animal welfare organizations promote the many wonderful dogs in need of new families. Adopting a shelter or rescue dog not only may save one more canine life, but also brings great satisfaction to the one adding the furry friend to the household. Numerous breed rescues and animal shelters across the country have been inundated the past few years with dog relinquishments as the downturn of the economy affects households across the nation. Yet, despite the numbers of pets let at shelter doors or turned into rescue organizations as abandoned, unwanted, neglected or simply "I can no longer afford to keep my pet" animals, the staff and volunteers with these animal welfare groups continue to persevere, hosting special adoption events and fundraisers in order to continue helping pets in need.
If you've ever considered adopting a dog, this is a great time to do so! Check out http://www.petfinder.com/ or visit your local shelter or rescue organization. Not all animals turned into these groups have behavioral problems; some simply are the result of a family's misfortune, such as a job loss or mortgage foreclosure. A great many furry friends are waiting for the right person or family to discover them and give them the loving, forever home they deserve.
If you cannot adopt a dog right now, there are other things you can do during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Volunteer with your local shelter or rescue group: walk dogs, help with fundraising events, or help transport a dog for a rescue group. Maybe you can be a foster parent, keeping a pet for a short amount of time while its waiting for its forever family. Perhaps you can donate products the group needs, such as pet food, cat litter or cleaning supplies. Or, maybe you can donate some funds for an animal's medical expenses. Whatever you can do will certainly be appreciated by the staff and volunteers!
I have had the good fortune to adopt my animals from various groups and to assist organizations as a volunteer. My current two dogs both came from animal shelters, and the dog before them was adopted from a shelter in 1989. What joy all three of these creatures have given me! What a blessing to my life and what a deep sense of satisfaction in keeping these beautiful dogs in my home, knowing they may have been disposed of for various reasons. My dogs have been an integral part of my life, and I am so thankful shelters and rescues are out there helping animals in need!
May each of us do something this month to help dogs during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!