October is national adopt a shelter dog month

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Created through Canva, shows an image of a scared dog in a dark room with the shadow of bars cast upon the dog’s face.

The month of October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. In the United States, there are approximately 3,500 shelters. Out of those 3,500 shelters, 52% of them will euthanize unloved dogs no one wants. When converting that percentage to a number, that is about 400,000 dogs every year. Those statistics would not be as high if more dogs were adopted. 

Each state has a different set of rules when it comes to the euthanization of dogs. Depending on the state, some dogs may get put down within 48 hours of arriving at a shelter. In the state of North Carolina, the minimum length of the holding period is 72 hours. North Carolina is also the fourth-ranked state for the highest number of animals put down in shelters, reaching approximately 62,000 animals per year. Texas is ranked the highest, with approximately 125,000 animals put down each year. 

Shelters still use gas chambers to kill dogs. Although this is a cheaper method, there is no doubt this is a painful way to kill any soul. Four states in the United States use this method commonly: Missouri, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming. 

A common reason dogs appear in shelters is due to domestic violence. If a pet owner has a partner who they abuse, this increases the probability of the owner also abusing the pet by a significant amount, nearly a 90% probability increase. 

Adopting a dog from a shelter is cheaper than getting one from a breeder. The price of the individual dog can be several thousand dollars cheaper than a breeder. At a shelter, it is common that they will include things such as a wellness exam, a heartworm test, prevention of heartworm, several disease-preventing vaccines, spraying, neutering, tick-borne disease panel and various other services. These added options will differ depending on the shelter but most shelters offer at least a few of the options listed above. 

“When you adopt a shelter dog, you don’t have to worry about getting their shots and vaccinations and other paperwork, the shelter would have already done that for the dog. Plus, adopting a shelter dog is a whole lot less expensive,” said Mackenzie Dixon, junior, owner of multiple shelter dogs. 

Correlating with National Adopt a Shelter Dog month, Petsmart, a common pet store around America, has its National Adoption Week from Nov. 7, to Nov. 13, 2022. On the Petsmart website, they help navigate customers through the adoption process and help them find a local store. Their adoption event is sponsored by two companies: Hills (transforming lives) and Dr. Elseys.

There is no short supply of dogs. Even in no-kill shelters, only 9 out of 10 get saved. This is due to overcrowding. There are too many dogs to maintain; this is even more reason for an individual to adopt from a shelter. Breeders can stop breeding; shelters can not control the number of dogs that go through their doors. 

National Adopt a Shelter Dog month is about raising awareness for dogs who are stuck in shelters, waiting until it is their turn to either be saved or killed. 

“I have a soft spot for dogs and no dog should have to put through that… when you go to a shelter, you’re rescuing a dog, it isn’t the same concept with breeders,” said Nay Hoyek, junior, owner of a shelter dog.