Hello there, dog lovers! While the world celebrates the month with pumpkin-flavored things, apple-picking sessions, and haunted houses, let’s use the month to unleash our inner hero this October with the advent of “Adopt a Shelter Dog Month”! The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recognizes October as a month dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging people to adopt a shelter dog.

With brutal winters around the corner, we look forward to cuddling with something soft and warm. What’s better than a soft, furry friend that you’ve given a second chance by bringing them home from a dog shelter? Let’s get those tails wagging and delve into the article to learn about how you can participate in Shelter Dog Month.

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month – What is it?

Advent of October every year marks the month-long celebration of ‘Adopt a Shelter Dog Month”. It’s that time of the year that ASPCA and the American Humane Society have chosen to raise awareness about hopeful dogs present in several dog shelters across the community that are waiting to become a part of forever homes.

The month-long event has been in practice since 1981 when the American Humane Society started a campaign to raise awareness about the presence and working of rescue and shelters for dogs. It has been working to encourage people to adopt from these shelters instead of purchasing them from the breeders.

It’s not just limited to adoption. It is more about promoting the humane treatment of animals and calling for support for the local shelters and rescue centers. By participating in Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, you can effectively make a difference in the lives of the dogs in need. You don’t necessarily need to adopt a pup. Whether you donate, volunteer, or educate others, there’s a role for everyone. Read on to participate in Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and make a significant difference.

5 Ways to Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month 

There are numerous ways you can significantly contribute to this ‘Adopt a Shelter Dog’ month. From raising awareness to volunteering to get yourself a dog from one of the shelter homes, every little effort of yours would count in making the lives of these little furballs so much better!

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1. Use social media to promote the idea of adopting shelter dogs. 

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting the idea of adopting shelter dogs. By sharing posts about the benefits of adoption, success stories of adopted dogs, and the current needs of local shelters, you can reach a wide audience and inspire others to consider adoption. Use popular hashtags like #AdoptDontShop and #ShelterDog to increase the visibility of your posts. Remember, every post can make a difference and potentially lead to a shelter dog finding a loving home.

2. Make more and more pet lovers aware of Adopt a Shelter Dog month.

Apart from social media, there are several other ways like holding events to promote shelter dogs and educate pet parents and other prospective adopters about this.

If you are planning on organizing one, follow these steps to ensure it is a success:

  • Start by selecting the appropriate venue and time for the event.
  • Create a unique and memorable theme for the event.
  • Find volunteers who would help with the various working aspects of the event before, during, and after it takes place.
  • Paying for the event’s expenses can be easier if you raise money through funding.
  • Use different sources of advertising like social media and other public platforms to make more and more people aware of the occasion/event.

3. Spay or neuter your pup.

One of the most effective ways of reducing the number of dogs that end up in shelter homes is to spay or neuter your dog. Apart from controlling the pet population, these procedures also improve your pet’s health and longevity. Spayed or neutered pets are less likely to roam and look for a mate which reduces the chances of them getting lost or being involved in an accident. As per studies, these pets live longer, on average, than other dogs or cats.

4. Encourage the use of dog microchipping.

Microchipping your dog is a simple yet effective way to ensure its safety. It involves implanting a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, under your dog’s skin.

This chip carries a unique identification number. If your dog gets lost and is found, this number can be scanned by a vet or animal shelter, allowing them to access your contact details and return your dog to you. It can significantly reduce the chances of your dog ending up in a shelter.

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5. Donate whatever you can to the rescue group or fundraiser that benefits rescue dogs and shelter homes.

Making donations to the rescue groups, shelters, or fundraisers that benefit them is yet another way to contribute to Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. It is one of the ways you can contribute even if you are not in a condition to commit to adopting a pet. You can donate money, pet supplies, food, supplements, preventives, bedding, or whatever you can for the dogs in the shelter homes or rescue organizations.


What is the difference between a shelter and a rescue organization?

Broadly speaking, dog shelters are typically run and funded by the government, while rescue organizations depend primarily on donations for their functioning. This is why, while the shelters manage to get employees for the services, a majority of employees of the rescue organizations are volunteers.

How can I find a shelter dog to adopt?

Rescue organizations and animal shelters can be found in several localities around you. Most are listed on the internet these days. You can start by visiting the local animal shelters or organizations around your area. Apart from this, you can also check out some of the various online platforms that help connect potential adopters with shelters and organizations.

What does the adoption process look like?

Depending on the animal shelter or the rescue organization you are adopting a dog from, the process and formalities required for adoption might vary. The basic steps include filling out an application, meeting dogs and picking one, and at times, a home visit. At all times, there will be a shelter staff to guide you through the entire process, and to provide necessary information.

How long does it take to process a pet adoption application?

Mostly, adopting a dog from the shelter doesn’t take more than an hour or two. The entire process is quite easy and is generally not time-consuming. The shelters tend to allow you to take a new pet home the same day you make the visit, as long as there is no complication as such.

Are shelter dogs healthy?

The dogs that you adopt from the shelter homes are just as healthy as any other dog. These shelter homes make sure that the dogs are well vaccinated at regular intervals, receive appropriate medical care, and are neutered or spayed by the time they are adopted. However, just like any other dog, these are also susceptible to health issues. Thus, you must ask the shelter staff about the health history and required medical needs, if any, of the dog.

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Is it possible to adopt a specific breed from a shelter?

Most dogs in the shelters are mixed breeds, which can make it a bit difficult and time-consuming for you to find a particular breed. However, it’s not like they never have any specific breed available for adoption. While you can be patient and wait to find the breed on your mind in a shelter, you can also adopt mixed-breed dogs, which are just as loving and loyal as the purebred ones.

What is the cost incurred if I wish to adopt a shelter dog?

Depending on the type of pet you choose and the organization you pick the pet from, the fees can range from free to several hundred dollars. The fees incurred are generally equal to the cost covered for the medical care of the animal, its food, microchipping, spaying/neutering, and transportation. Some shelters might ask for a certain amount of additional donations.  However, despite these costs, adopting a shelter dog is more economical when compared to purchasing one from the breeder.

Can I support the shelter dogs if I cannot adopt one?

Definitely. Even if you cannot adopt a dog, there are several ways you can support shelter dogs. You can volunteer your time at some shelter, donate supplies or money, foster a dog temporarily, or work to raise awareness about the importance of adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue home.

If you are thinking of committing to a dog by adopting one from the local shelters, make sure you have everything you need to take proper care of your pup when you take it home.

The infographic below will give you a fair idea of what you need. Let’s make this world a better place for them, one paw at a time.

Adopting a New Dog Checklist

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