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Adopt a Dog Month 2024: When Is It & How to Celebrate

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

a couple adopting a dog from a shelter

Adopt a Dog Month 2024: When Is It & How to Celebrate

Millions of dogs end up in shelters each year in the United States. These dogs can be lost, strays, or seized from terrible situations. The goal of each animal shelter is to pair a dog with a suitable owner or family. While this is a continuous and ongoing effort, every year, special attention is paid to this goal during Adopt a Dog Month. Adopt a Dog Month is recognized by numerous organizations that specialize in dealing with shelter dogs, and it is a big deal in the animal welfare community.

So, when is Adopt a Dog Month? How can you celebrate Adopt a Dog Month? Adopt a Dog Month, also known as Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, is celebrated annually in the month of October. Keep reading as we explain further.


When Is Adopt a Dog Month in 2024?

Every October, animal welfare groups, local shelters, and rescues come together to promote the adoption of dogs from the shelter. Shelter dogs have a lot to offer, and they are often overlooked by people who are enticed by adorable puppies. Adopt a Dog Month will be celebrated every October for the foreseeable future on an annual basis.

woman adopting a dog from shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

What Is Adopt a Dog Month?

Adopt a Dog Month is a time when multiple animal welfare organizations get together to encourage people to adopt a dog from the shelter. Sometimes, the month is also called Adopt a Shelter Dog Month or Adopt a Dog from the Shelter Month. The month is recognized and supported by organizations such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the Humane Society. The month is also observed by local municipal animal shelters.

During October, some shelters will waive their adoption fees in a bid to get people in the door and adopt dogs. October also has features on the local news highlighting the state of the local shelters and profiles on adoptable dogs. Everyone works together to try and reduce the number of dogs in shelters by getting healthy dogs adopted to willing families.

How to Celebrate Adopt a Dog Month

The best way to celebrate Adopt a Dog Month is to adopt a dog from your local shelter. Getting as many dogs as possible out of the shelters and into good homes is the goal of Adopt a Dog Month. However, not everyone can adopt a dog, especially not once per year. So, what else can you do to celebrate?

You can always volunteer to help your local shelter or rescue groups. Many shelters take volunteers to foster dogs. Fostering dogs helps give them a cozy place to live while they wait to get adopted instead of sitting in a kennel at the shelter.

You can also help spread the word about Adopt a Dog Month and encourage local friends and family to check out the shelter, especially if they have been considering getting a new pet. Adopt a Dog Month also comes with some adoption events that you can volunteer to help organize or run.

woman choosing a dog for adoption from animal shelter
Image Credit: encierro, Shutterstock

Shelter Dog Statistics

If you don’t feel strongly about animal shelters or if you have always gotten your dogs from breeders or puppy stores, here are some statistics to help illuminate why Adopt a Dog Day is important and championed by multiple organizations.

  • Approximately 6.5 million animals enter shelters each year in the United States. (ASPCA)
  • 3.1 million dogs enter animal shelters each year in the United States. (ASPCA)
  • Only 2 million dogs are adopted from shelters each year, leaving 1.1 million dogs homeless. (ASPCA)
  • Roughly 390,000 dogs are euthanized every year in animal shelters due to overcrowding and other issues. (ASPCA)

With millions of dogs in shelters each year and thousands being euthanized or put into bad situations, it is important to help your local animal shelter by adopting, volunteering, and spreading the word during the month of October.


Is a Shelter Dog Right for You?

Shelter dogs are not the right choice for everyone. You should not feel pressured to adopt a dog if you do not think it will be a good fit. A dog in the wrong situation or a bad situation is no better than being in a shelter. Sometimes, it can be worse because it deprives the dog of a chance to end up in a good home or the right situation.

Shelter dogs often have some quirks that make them different from puppies that you get from a breeder. Shelter dogs can be possessive, anxious, and lonely. They can also have unknown health issues due to their hidden history. On the plus side, they are usually very grateful to their new owners. They are affordable to adopt, and you could be saving a life with your choice to adopt.

If you are not sure if a shelter dog is right for you, you can always foster a dog to try them out. Fostering is very helpful to shelters and rescue groups, and it can help connect you to the perfect shelter dog.



Adopt a Dog Month takes place every October. Each year, people around the country come together to try and empty the shelters by pairing shelter dogs with willing adopters. Animal shelters are often overcrowded and low on funding, so the awareness and recognition that Adopt a Dog Month brings each October is critically important to their mission. This October, consider helping out your local animal shelter in celebration of Adopt a Dog Month.

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Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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