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National Rescue Dog Day

Mel is Retriever/Lab/Terrier mix, waiting to be adopted from Metro Animal Shelter in Tuscaloosa!
Metro Animal Shelter, Tuscaloosa
Mel is Retriever/Lab/Terrier mix, waiting to be adopted from Metro Animal Shelter in Tuscaloosa!

I have a friend who is a “dog” person – she loves all kinds of dogs – big ones, little ones, shaggy ones.  As you might imagine, she has a few dogs of her own, four at the moment.  She had five but Bitsy the three-legged shaggy mixed breed went home with her cousin.  She is convinced that a rescue dog is the best kind, probably because it knows that life can be not-so-great sometimes.  So a rescue dog can really appreciate a dry place to sleep, a good meal and a tender touch from the hand of someone who cares.

     Today is especially for folks like my friend, because this is National Rescue Dog Day.  It is a time to recognize the countless number of dogs that are rescued every year, to encourage folks to adopt a rescue dog of their own, or maybe to let people know that they can help by volunteering at a shelter or by fostering a dog for a short time. 

     Dogs need to have foster homes for several reasons.  It may be that there just is not enough room at the shelter, so fostering means that dog will have a chance to be adopted when shelter space becomes available. 

     Or it may be that the dog has been neglected and needs some one-on-one attention to let it become accustomed to living in a home where it will be fed and cared for, and even maybe trained to walk on a leash.  Or it may be injured and needs some T-L-C to help it become healthy and strong, and adoptable.

     Other ways you can help include volunteering your time at your local shelter or rescue group, or making a monetary donation to help the cause.  And one of the best ways won’t cost you a dime – share pictures of adoptable dogs on your social media.  Who knows – someone might find their new best friend because of your post!

     And remember to be part of the solution by making sure your own pet is spayed or neutered.  The main reason shelters exist is because of overpopulation, when you’re speaking of pets.

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.