National Rescue Dog Day-May 20

Posted by Tamera Young on

shelter dog Last Wednesday was May 20, 2020. It was designated as National Rescue Dog Day. I wanted to highlight this day and its purpose. I also would like to thank the humans who have a heart to change the life of an animal that is in a shelter or rescue organization. Thank you for your compassion and thank you for all that you do for the shelter and rescue dogs. 

The Humane Society ( have reported that 6-8 million animals have ended up in animal shelters each year. They have further stated that half of the animals will probably not be adopted. Global animal, an online news magazine about animals, stated that over 3 million of the abandoned and abused animals are dogs who entered animal shelters each year. Many people don't realize that 25% of the dogs are pure breeds. There are many rescue groups that specialize in a particular breed of dog. To many, rescue dogs make great pets.

Rescue dogs have been misunderstood with the reputation of being bad dogs.  Many of the dogs have been abandoned where they have been victims of family tragedy, unlikely circumstances, and homelessness.  The top reason of homelessness for the pets are results of their owners moving and/or having landlord issues.  Sadly, many rescue dogs have endured abusive treatment and environments.

Animal shelters and rescue groups offer many positive benefits to the rescue dogs, to foster dog parents, and to prospective dog owners. Many shelters are having excessive burdens of not having everything they need to care for the animals. They mainly depend on volunteers and donations. They are often in need of cages, food, outdoor space, and other dog and animal supplies. Beyond the things that they lack, the shelters work hard and endlessly to provide a rescue experience for the animals so that they can be provided with all their necessities of life.

Animal shelters offer many perks for future dog parents. First of all, the adoption price for the dogs are often lower than buying the dog from a breeder. Animal shelter and rescue groups play a huge part in assisting in the adoption and screening process and matching the right fit for the right family and situation. They have volunteers who will follow up after the adoption to make sure the rescue dog is adjusting well in his new home. They offer dog training tips and other advice to help in the relationship with the owner(s) and the dog. Many shelters and rescue groups do thorough behavioral analyses for each pet to make sure the dog is right for the family. They collect information about the dog in regards to the dog's temperament and personality, and they can find out other factors such as whether the dog is good with children, potty trained, how loud they are and information of their medical history.

Also, many rescue organizations and shelter homes utilize foster homes to get the dogs ready to be adopted by a family permanently. The foster homes are useful in that many socialize the dogs with children and other dogs and cats. The dogs also learn necessary obedience training. The foster homes help out with the transition to the permanent family and home for both the pet and the family.

A biggie for the animal shelters and rescue organizations is that they help with medical costs in caring for an animal. The pets are almost always provided with all their vaccinations. If the dog came to the shelter with any health problems, the shelter will have at least started with the treatment. Many of the organizations include a microchip and spaying or neutering. These benefits help with the low cost of adoption.

The rescue dogs have a lot to offer their owners. Beyond looking at the big picture of the owners and the animal organizations saving their rescue dogs' lives, the dogs have a lot to give. Rescue dogs appreciate their new life and they are extremely loyal. They make great guard dogs where they are very protective. Within this experience and act of compassion extended to them, the owners can watch the dog grow and to heal, not only physically but also mentally.

Rescue dogs are helpful in relieving anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Rescue dogs can serve as service and emotional support dogs for elderly and those with disabilities, with extra training.

Rescue dogs can teach selfishness because the new dog parent give a lot more of himself and of his time. The rescue dog demands his parent to put the dog's needs over the needs of the parent. The selfishness can then turn the parent into a kinder person.

The overall adoption process provides life lessons for kids of all ages. It gives children personal responsibility by feeding and caring for the dog's routine needs. Dogs are helpful for children as they learn how to read because reading to a dog helps to make the child feel comfortable. In addition, children with dogs show an improvement in their impulse control, social skills and self-esteem.


In observance of National Rescue Dog Day, we all can help rescue dogs and the shelter homes by:

  1. Volunteering at your local shelter. There is always something that you can do to help.
  2. Donating to animal shelters and rescue organizations such as money, blankets, toys, treats, leashes, bleach, other supplies and time.
  3. Consider adopting a rescue dog.
  4. Consider being a foster parent to a rescue dog.

Many people are fostering and adopting pets during this COVID-19 pandemic to provide homes with loving furry companions and to relieve shelters while they care for the animals at this most difficult time.






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