by Anna Fletcher
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
- Josh Billings
About 20% of all owned dogs were adopted from an animal shelter. It can be rewarding to know that when you adopt a shelter dog, you are saving their life and giving them a loving, caring home. At the same time, you’re supporting adoption centers, helping them to keep caring for homeless animals. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so let’s take a second to appreciate animal rescue shelters and all the good they do for animals in need. Maybe this is the month to even adopt one??
In the 19th century, the very first dog shelter was created in Britain by 22 philanthropists who all shared a love for animals. In 1824, they started a nonprofit called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), originally intended to pass laws preventing the abuse of carriage horses. America’s own humane organization, the ASPCA, opened in 1866. Founded by Henry Bergh, it was the first animal rescue organization in the Western Hemisphere and began sheltering dogs and cats in 1894. The American Humane Society formed in 1877 along with many more animal rescue organizations.
Interested in adopting??
If you decide that you want to adopt, take your time with the process. When you go to the shelter, walk through all the kennels a couple times to meet every dog. It’s important to go in without the mindset that you’re going to be taking a dog home that day. Oftentimes, you don’t find one that is a good match for you until your second or third visit. If you don’t find one that you love, never fear! Shelters take in new dogs all the time. Don’t make any hasty decisions and ask lots of questions!
Currently, there are about 5,000 animal shelters across the nation. Visit your local ASPCA or Humane Society; and check out online animal rescue organizations like Petfinder.com or AdoptAPet.com. These sites have pictures and bios about the animals available for adoption, including information like their behavior, likes and dislikes. You can even specify your search to bring up a certain breed, sex, age, color or size. But it’s definitely a better idea to go visit the dogs at a local shelter – that’s the best way to find one that “clicks” with you. A fabulous animal rescue and shelter in Asheville is Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, the largest No Kill rescue and adoption center in western North Carolina! Ch-ch-check it out!