Header image via National Rescue Dog Day
National Rescue Dog Day happens annually on 20th May in the U.S. This fantastic day was founded by Lisa Wiehebrink of Tails That Teach to bring awareness to the countless number of amazing dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted, to promote humane education for young children, and to encourage people to spay/neuter their canine companions. Rescue dogs often go through traumatic events, extreme obstacles and a lot of misunderstanding. However, rescue dogs can make the perfect family pet, be trained to become service animals to the disabled, or provide companionship for the elderly. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanised (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Many of these will be healthy animals that could have happily been rehomed, but that there just wasn't enough space for at the shelters. However, the choice to adopt a dog is massively on the increase, with 23% of dog owners in the U.S saying they adopted their pet from a shelter! We want to celebrate this day by highlighting some of our favourite rescue pups over on Instagram to show you just how amazing a rescue dog can be.
Billie is a disabled English Bulldog with spina bifida in Long Island, New York. Billie is 1 year old and loves running around the yard with her brothers and sisters! We love her fabulous outfits and her zest for life, Billie doesn't let anything hold her back!
Harold is a shih tzu mix who was adopted in 2019 and lives in Los Angeles. Harold had a rough start in life. He was severely obese when he was rescued and couldn't get himself up from laying down. Since his rescue, he has lost almost 10 pounds and is a happy, healthy, energetic pup. It's easy to see why his new owners fell in love with him!
Lanier is a rescued mini schnauzer with bags of character! He was found as a stray roaming around Lake Lanier in the summer of 2019. He was incredibly skinny and his teeth were so bad he had to have them all removed! He has grown so much confidence in his new home and couldn't be happier.
If you are looking for ways to help support rescue dogs, National Rescue Dog Day's website recommends the following:
Adopt: If there is room in your life for a dog, consider adopting and giving one a forever home instead of purchasing from a breeder etc.
Foster: Many dogs in shelters benefit massively from socialisation, or would just thrive better away from the shelter environment. Others may be in need of some medical care or rehabilitation in a home setting before an adoption can take place.
Help a shelter: Shelters always need support. As well as financial donations, shelters often have a list of items they are in need of such as blankets, toys, treats, and leads.
Volunteer: Help out at your local shelter. Tasks could include taking dogs for walks, grooming, or just giving them some affection!
Spay/Neuter your dogs: Overpopulation is the number one reason shelters exist so the best way to keep shelters empty is to spay and neuter your pet.