How to Get Involved in Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

October is the American Humane Society’s Adopt-A-Dog Month

According to the American Human Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year (3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats). And even though about 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted annually, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, while the rest await a forever home.

That’s just part of why it’s so important that a shelter is your first stop if you’re looking for a dog. With so many pets just waiting for a home, there’s a match waiting to happen.

What is Adopt-A-Dog Month?

The ASPCA sponsors Adopt-a-Dog month in October to promote dog adoptions from local shelters. There’s also a handy search tool so you can find pooches in your area. Then, go visit the shelter and adopt a dog!

  • If you work at a shelter, promote Adopt-a-Dog month. Make posters, banners, and alert other businesses in your area about any special events you’re having. Don’t forget to mention Adopt-A-Dog Month on your website.
  • If you have a dog, get them spayed or neutered. Unexpected puppies usually end up in shelters. Plus, spaying and neutering have also been shown to help animals lead longer, healthier lives and have fewer behavioral problems than animals that haven’t been fixed.
  • If your dog gets loose, chances are he’ll end up at a shelter. Outfit him with ID tags, a microchip, or both in the event that he gets lost. This will make it easy for a shelter to identify your dog and get them quickly and safely returned to you. About 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners each year, and proper identification will make there’s a happy ending.
  • Support your local shelter by donating time, money, or supplies such as dog food, toys, beds, and leashes. Every shelter is different, so get in touch with yours to see what they need most. And get your friends involved—they may have pet-friendly items lying around than can be donated to shelters in need.
  • Organize a fundraiser. What better way to celebrate your love of dogs than to host a fundraiser in their honor. You have a whole month to host your own event—it can be a bake sale, a yard sale, or a street fair. Be creative when it comes to fundraising, there are no limits!
  • Spread the word on social media. Post it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media you can think of using. Share adoptable dog profiles from your local shelter, or articles just like this one on how your friends can make a difference. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #AdoptAShelterDogMonth.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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