October is national adopt a shelter dog month

Each October, national humane groups observe adopt a shelter dog month across the United States to shine a light on the millions of dogs in shelters and rescue centers across the country that need homes.

An estimated 3 to 4 million pets are euthanized each year. All treatable and adoptable pets from shelters could be saved with just two more pets being adopted from each shelter every day, according to Maddie’s Fund, a national pet rescue foundation.

Adding a canine companion to your family has many benefits. Dog owners tend to exercise more than non-pet owners and children growing up in a household with pets tend to be well adjusted and learn the importance of caring for another living being. The right pet can also be a companion for a senior citizen.

Shelter pets are often inaccurately portrayed as damaged goods, but most shelter pets are examined by a veterinarian and undergo behavioral testing before being put up for adoption. Many shelter pets were relinquished because of owner issues, not animal issues.

Take time to research and visit the shelters and rescues.

Don’t forget to use your veterinarian as a good resource when deciding on a new pet. He or she may know the reputation of local shelters and rescues and, of course, can also help you understand the unique personalities or health issues of many dog breeds.

For more information, visit the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association’s website at or call (802) 878-6888.

—Observer staff report