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Adopt a Dog Month

So many adoptable dogs are in need of new homes!
Elisabeth Schifter (Graaspurv)
So many adoptable dogs are in need of new homes!

Hurricane Ian struck Florida two weeks ago, and clean-up, salvage and rescue efforts are still underway.  Animal welfare organizations are conducting search and rescue operations for pets and other animals, like cattle and horses.  The decision to move many Florida shelter animals out of state before Ian hit, to shelters and groups all across the country, made room for pets rescued after the storm to find safety, shelter and care.  But rescued pets are not the only new residents in Florida animal shelters.

     A new wave of animals is being surrendered by their owners, people who are suddenly homeless and jobless, and find themselves with no way to keep or care for their beloved pets.  And the prospects for the future are grim, with so much housing damaged or destroyed, and so many businesses unable to reopen any time soon. So animal shelters are filling up again.  Air lifts are taking found and surrendered pets from Florida animal shelters and relocating them to places like Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Oregon, to make room for the expected influx of more pets.

     October is Adopt a Dog Month, but this year it takes on a whole new meaning.  Adopting a dog from your local shelter or rescue group makes room for another pet to have a chance at finding a new home.  But what does it do for you?

     It turns out that having a dog in your life is good for you.  It helps reduce your stress and makes you feel better about life.  Having a dog is good for your health - dog owners often have stronger immune systems and recover faster from illness.  They tend to be more active, and make friends easier, so having a dog is also good for your mental health and social life. 

     So do yourself a favor, and adopt a dog.  It will make your new dog happy, it will give another dog a chance, and it will benefit you as an owner.  Everybody wins – when you’re speaking of pets!