Today is National Rescue Dog Day

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Today is National Rescue Dog Day, aka, the perfect excuse to celebrate the rescued dog(s) in your life!

This holiday, which is celebrated every year on May 20, was founded by Tails That Teach, Inc., to raise awareness about all of the perfectly adoptable dogs living in U.S. animal shelters. It’s also an occasion to remind people to spay/neuter their pets, which helps reduce the intake of homeless animals packed into shelters across the country, and teach kids how to play nicely with animals, helping them grow into kind and responsible pet owners.

This special day was inspired by Cooper, a rescued dog who has grown into the main character in the TTT’s children book series since he was adopted in 2009. Since then Cooper (and other shelter pets in the series) have helped model special lessons for young ones, namely the importance of caring, kindness, empathy, and perseverance, which rescued dogs (who’ve had to overcome hardships including homelessness and abuse) often possess in limitless supply.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate animal adoption today, especially if circumstances allow you to open your home to a shelter dog in need. Fostering is another excellent way to commemorate the occasion, because many homeless pups just need a break from the noisy shelter environment and a chance to practice their socialization. This arrangement works out rather well for the foster parents, too, because many people have credited their pets with helping them navigate the mental and emotional challenges of life in quarantine.

Meanwhile, animal shelters are always in need of donations, especially as COVID-19 has forced them to make do with limited numbers of volunteers and staffing. In the meantime, we can (safely) celebrate our rescued dogs on social media, which is an excellent way to champion your shelter pet and spread the word about animal rescue. Spread the word!

How has your rescued dog changed your life? Tell us about them in the comments!

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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