National Rescue Dog Day in the United States Date in the current year: May 20, 2024

National Rescue Dog Day in the United States National Rescue Dog Day in the United States is observed annually on May 20. It was founded to raise awareness of a huge number of amazing dogs who are waiting at shelters to be adopted by a loving family.

According to estimates, there are about 3,900 independently-run animal shelters for stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals operating throughout the United States. While a lot of shelters have a no-kill policy, some would euthanize animals that are not adopted quickly enough, so adopting a dog often means not just giving it a better live, but ensuring that the dog gets to live at all.

Most shelters help prevent pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering rescue animals, as well as actively promote adoption. Some even study animal’s behavior and offer training classes for animals with behavioral problems to make them more adoptable to the general public and prevent euthanizing.

Contrary to a popular misconception, not all dogs in shelters are mutts. A huge number of mixed breeds and even purebred dogs get abandoned or surrendered because their owners have underestimated what it means to take care of a dog, discovered they’re allergic to dogs, etc. Some dog shelters and rescue groups are breed-specific and run by people who have specialist knowledge about a particular breed and can give great advice on taking care of it.

Before adopting animals out, responsible shelters make sure that the potential adopter is able to provide the adopted pet with a safe and secure forever home and take care of all its needs, which include proper diet, veterinary care (including vaccinations and preventative treatments), necessary training, etc.

Taking care of a rescue dog isn’t always easy, especially if it’s been abused by the previous owner or lived in the streets for long, but it is so rewarding! Most rescue dog owners admit that adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group is one of the best decisions they’ve made in their lives because their pets are a constant source of joy and unconditional love.

The founder of National Rescue Dog Day is Liza Wiehenbrick, children’s book author and executive director of Tails That Teach, an organization that helps young children build empathy through bonding with animals and inspires them to be kind to pets and people around them. She was inspired to create a holiday dedicated to rescue dogs by her beloved pet Cooper, whom she adopted from an L. A. shelter in 2009 after he had been found living in a vacant lot.

The main goal of National Rescue Dog Day is to raise awareness of thousands of dogs who live in shelters and deserve to find new families that will love them unconditionally. The best way to celebrate the holiday is to get involved in the lives of rescue dogs any way you can, be it volunteering at or donating to your local shelter, adopting or at least fostering a rescue dog from a shelter, or sharing your story alongside a cute photo of your pet and the hashtag #NationalRescueDogDay on social media if you already have a rescue dog in your life.

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National Rescue Dog Day in the United States, holidays in the United States, rescue dogs, dog shelters, Liza Wiehenbrick