October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is stepping up to make sure that animal lovers all over the country will help to spread the word. It is, after all, up to animal lovers to inform those that are unaware of the harms in shopping at pet stores or purchasing a puppy from a website, which supports the horrid puppy mill industry.
Sadly, only 20 to 30 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescue groups, which is a shame since so many animals are left homeless and longing for a forever home.
“There are 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide who would make a fantastic addition to anybody's family, all they need is a second chance," said Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center. "During Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, the ASPCA encourages everyone to visit their local shelter, adopt one of these amazing animals or help us spread the word to potential pet owners to make pet adoption their first option."
Studies have shown that overall adopting a pet from a shelter is far more beneficial than purchasing a pet from a pet store or online. Typically, animals in pet stores and those that are sold online come from puppy mills and experience horrid living conditions, which result in poor health and socialization. It’s devastating that these animals are coming from puppy mills, and the only way we can put a stop to puppy mills is by not supporting them.
"Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and we continue to urge those who are looking for a new companion to adopt a dog from a shelter so that the puppy mill industry becomes unsustainable,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign.
All animal lovers should spread the word this October, whether it’s sending a Tweet, posting a status or an article on Facebook, sharing a YouTube video, Instagram photo, or pinning an article on Pinterest. This is the only way we can inform people about the horrors that are associated with pet stores and purchasing a puppy online from a breeder.
Encourage others to take the pledge to join the other 100,000 people who have taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge, and promise that they will not purchase puppies, supplies, food, toys, or anything from a pet store or websites that sell puppies. Additionally, volunteering at a local animal shelter is another great way to get involved or simply donating supplies to shelters. Shelters are always in need of blankets, towels, and toys.
Inform your friends and family that there will be a live Ustream event on October 30 from 7-8pm, where veterinarians and behaviorists will be answering pet questions, and there will even be a Halloween contest with prizes to be awarded.
For more information on ASPCA’s “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, please visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.
To learn more about October’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month and view adoptable animals, please visit http://www.aspca.org/Home/Adoption/adopt-a-shelter-dog-month.aspx.
As always, adopt and don’t shop!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons -- Martina Vakoničová