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Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Each year, about 6.5 million animals go into animal shelters in the United States—roughly half of them are cats and half of them are dogs. Although animal shelter adoptions began increasing in 2011, millions of animals remain in shelters. On Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, awareness is raised for pets that are in shelters and still waiting for adoption. When people adopt, they are not only giving an animal a forever home, they are opening up another spot in a shelter for a stray or abandoned animal to stay while they wait for their own home. But, the ultimate goal is to get those animals out of shelters and into forever homes as well, as many animals are also euthanized at shelters.

How to Observe

If you have been thinking about adopting a pet, today is the day to do it! Stop at a local shelter to find a cat, dog, or another type of animal. Before going in, it is a good idea to make sure you are prepared. Think about the type of pet that would be the most suitable for you. If you are more active it is wise to bring home a more active pet, but if you are more sedentary, it is wise to adopt a pet of a similar nature. Older pets are worth considering adopting. They are often overlooked, but they are usually more laid back as well as house-trained and may be a good fit for you.

There are a few more things you should consider before adopting a pet. Make sure your home is prepared and you have picked up supplies like leashes, toys, water and food bowls, and food. Some of these items may depend on what type of pet you adopt, but you should make sure you aren't bringing a pet to a home that isn't ready for it. Picking out a veterinarian before adopting is another wise thing to do, as is making sure family members know what their responsibilities with the pet will be.

If you aren't quite ready to adopt, you could still stop at an animal shelter and take a look at the animals and talk to someone about adoption. If adopting a pet isn't for you, you can still help out animals in need by supporting Best Friends, a group that promotes pet adoption, or by supporting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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