Thursday, September 24, 2009

Become a Superhero: Celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month(R) This October

/PRNewswire/ -- You can become a hero to a dog this October by observing and celebrating the American Humane Association's Adopt-A-Dog Month(R) event. Millions of dogs in shelters are facing an uncertain fate, and many more are joining them each day due to the effects of the recession on pet owners. But there are simple steps each of us can take to make a difference in these dogs' lives.

Save the day for a homeless dog -- and find a faithful companion who will be at your side for all of life's adventures -- by adopting a dog from a shelter or breed-rescue group during October. It's the perfect time to visit the shelter, meet potential sidekicks and discover how much fun and happiness a dog can add to your life.

Companionship, improved physical and emotional health, social interaction and devoted love are just a few of the super-size benefits of having a dog. Dogs also encourage people to exercise, enhance family and social relationships, promote laughter and act as a nonjudgmental audience and sounding board.

Bringing a dog into your home is a lifetime commitment (the dog's lifetime, that is) and can require immense lifestyle adjustments for everyone in the family. If you aren't ready to adopt, but still want to make a difference for homeless dogs, here are some other ways to celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month:

Volunteer: Shelters and rescue groups are always looking for dependable people who can help in almost any way. Are you good at taking pictures or working on websites? Offer to take appealing photos of adoptable dogs and post them on the organization's website. Do you have a way with words? Volunteer your time to help edit the organization's newsletter or website. We all have something to offer; we just need to ask how we can help!

Support: While financial support is always welcome, your donation of blankets, toys, dog food and volunteer time are just a few of the things you can offer homeless dogs in your community. You can also make contributions to help fund grants that are available to community shelters and rescue groups through American Humane's Second Chance Fund and its Foreclosure Pets Grant. These grants help abused, neglected, abandoned or relinquished pets and are funded entirely by donations, so your support goes directly to help these animals get the care they need to survive.

"Right now there is a greater need than ever for people to go to a shelter and find their new best friend," said Marie Belew Wheatley, American Humane president and CEO. "The nation's economy is negatively impacting community shelters and rescue organizations, filling them to capacity many times over. This October, we hope people will renew their commitment to help these animals that are so in need of forever homes."

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