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It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and We Want to See YOUR Shelter Dogs!

Share your pictures so your stories can help educate others on the plight of relinquished dogs.

 |  Oct 9th 2013  |   39 Contributions


There are lots of reasons to dig the month of October: It signals the beginning of the holiday season, the weather really begins changing, and the month is host to my favorite holiday -- Halloween.

But there's another reason to love October. A reason that you're probably familiar with. October is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so if you've been considering adding a dog to your family, now is the time. 

And here's why shelter dogs in particular need your help.

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I feel like the numbers are telling us that most dogs are given up simply because people do not take the commitment seriously enough. Photo: Homeless dog behind bars in an animal shelter by Shutterstock

According to Petfinder, the top 10 reasons people relinquish dogs are:

  1. Moving (7 percent)
  2. Landlord not allowing pet (6 percent)
  3. Too many animals in household (4 percent)
  4. Cost of pet maintenance (5 percent)
  5. Owner having personal problems (4 percent)
  6. Inadequate facilities (4 percent)
  7. No homes available for litter mates (3 percent)
  8. Having no time for pet (4 percent)
  9. Pet illness(es) (4 percent)
  10. Biting (3 percent)

The characteristics of these dogs are as follows:

  • The majority of the surrendered dogs (47.7 percent) were between five months and three years old.
  • Many dogs (37.1 percent) had been owned from seven months to one year.
  • Approximately half of the pets (42.8 percent of dogs) surrendered were not neutered. Many of the pets relinquished (33 percent of dogs) had not been to a veterinarian.
  • Animals acquired from friends were relinquished in higher numbers (31.4 percent of dogs) than from any other source.
  • Close to equal numbers of male and female dogs were surrendered.
  • Most dogs (96 percent) had not received any obedience training.

To sum up, people got these dogs, had them for less than a year, didn't go to the vet, didn't pursue any kind of training, then had to move and were all like, "Well, I guess it's time for the dog to go." It seems really absurd.

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This Buddy who was part of an adoption event we did with Muttville at Dogster HQ.

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This is why I think the most important aspect of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is not about people rushing out to rescue every single dog from every single shelter (although that would be kind of cool), it's about taking a moment to educate folks on the importance of carefully considering the decision to adopt a dog in the first place.

I also think it's important for folks to talk about the rewards of adopting a shelter dog, because there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the practice.

So I encourage you to take this post as an opportunity to talk about your shelter dogs! If you're on Instagram, use #DogsterShelterDog to get your pup in this slideshow. If you're not on Instagram, you can comment below with a photo. And stories -- we want to hear lots of stories!

Top photo by Nathan Rupert

Read more about rescue and adoption on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

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