Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

October Celebration

Adopt A (Shelter) Dog Month

October is the month the American Humane Society has designated to promote the need to find abandoned dogs a permanent “Forever” home.


Many countries, including the United States, have an overpopulation of pets. In the US it is estimated there are some 5 – 8 million stray or unwanted pets abandoned each year, mostly cats and dogs. As a result, between 3 – 4 million have to be euthanized, as homes cannot be found for them. These pets are given up, by prior owners, due to varying reasons – the main ones include:

(a) Housing difficulties;

(b) Behavioral issues;

(c) Incompatibility; and

(d) Not meeting the owner’s expectations.

While it is easy to point the finger, it frequently (although not always) comes down to the owners irresponsibility and inability, and has very little to do with the animal in question! No matter what the root cause, the result is: an animal that needs a new, safe, happy home with loving and caring owner(s).

What Can We Do?

Obviously, the fundamental answer is: Adopt a shelter dog! However, this is not practicable for everyone, so we have divided this into two categories: 1. Adoption (for those thinking about or who wish to get a dog); and 2. Non-Adoption Help (a list of ideas and suggestions to aid the work shelters throughout the country are doing everyday). Read on to find out more…

1. Adoption

Before you get a dog make sure you can be a responsible dog owner, read our article: Why Have a Dog?

Rather than buying from commercial breeders or a pet store, look at obtaining a dog from a shelter. If you’re not convinced as to why you should consider this, here is our list of reasons:

1. You are saving an animal, which might otherwise be euthanized.

2. You may be providing a home to a previously abused and mistreated animal that really needs and deserves a much better life, something you can give.

3. Many adoptive owners believe their pet knows they have been saved and thus have a much closer affinity and greater bond because of this.

4. These animals simply deserve a loving and happy home (not to be kept in a shelter) and you could provide just that. Note: Shelter life can be stressful so keep this in mind when you are looking.

5. There is a common misconception that shelters only contain “mutts”, or mixed breeds. This is not the case. You might be surprised at what you may find, as approximately 25% are purebreds. If you do have a specific breed in mind, be prepared to play the waiting game and look regularly. By the way, what is wrong with a mutt? We believe the answer is simple: nothing!

2. Non-Adoptive Help

1. Use any and all social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.) to share the message – “Save a life: Adopt a dog!” Also add a link to a site such as The Humane Society, Petfinder etc. – See Contacts below. If you have your own website, add a web banner to promote dog adoption.

2. Many shelters have flyers available to print/download. Use these to post around the neighborhood, office etc.

3. Ensure future generations to come are aware, by talking to all the children you know, about animal shelters and the importance of pet adoption. There is a fun board game (for 2 - 4 players, ages 8+) called “Fur-Ever Home: The Animal Rescue Game” to help teach people about Pet adoption. Available from Petsapalooza, for $30, a proportion of each sale goes to help animal rescue groups!

4. Already have an adopted dog? As you already know, people will come to pet your dog! So be an ambassador, spread the word and tell them all about shelters and adopting. Also share the story of your adoption online, The Humane Society’s website have a section for you to do just this (see Contacts below).

5. Know someone who wishes to get a dog? Tell them about animal shelters, even direct them to this page or the contact websites below. Remind them that whilst there will be a fee to pay to adopt, this is often significantly less than buying a dog from a breeder or pet store.

6. Donate money to a shelter. Consider donating a regular amount (e.g. monthly) as this helps the shelter budget more effectively. Also consider making a donation from your estate upon your death.

7. Donate materials to a shelter. Consumables such as towels, bedding, food etc. are needed all the time. Contact your local shelter to see what they need.

8. Volunteer at a shelter. Not sure what you can do? Just ask: It could be a regular commitment (such as walking dogs, playing with them etc.) or a one off activity (such as manning a promotional stand at a fair etc.). Are you good at photography, or a budding amateur needing to improve your skills? Shelters need quality (and cute) pictures to upload onto their website, they may even be uploaded onto to other sites such as Adopt A Dog. Do you have specific (canine based) skills: Able to train dogs? Qualified as a veterinary, assistant or nurse? Give your expertise and time for free. Do you have another specific (non-canine based) skill (e.g. electrician, plumber, roofer etc.)? Also give your expertise and time for free!

9. Foster a dog. If you already have a dog (or more) or you have some spare time (e.g. summer if a student/teacher, on paternity leave etc.) this may prove to be an ideal time to foster. Worried that you might get too attached? This is possible but when you consider that you are taking them out of the stresses of being in a shelter and helping its future adjustment to a permanent home - this temporary arrangement takes on it’s own purpose and value, making it much easier for someone else to adopt in the near future.


There are two well-known national organizations providing care for rescued animals - see if they have a shelter near you:

The American Humane Society

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

There are around 6,000 animal shelters in the USA and besides the national ones above, there are other smaller and/or specialized shelters you could contact. The websites: Petfinder and Adopt a Pet are effective tools for locating a shelter and/or for finding adoptable dogs throughout the USA.


Animal Shelters are responsible for reuniting around 0.75 million owners with their lost pets each year. We offer a big thank you to all rescue groups not just for this great work, but all that they do.

Our Rescue Dogs

We got "Ciao" in 2011, a purebred Golden Labrador (although mostly white) - seen here sporting a "thunder vest" to help calm her. Abandoned as a youngster, her skin was in poor condition due to sleeping in her own excrement. In this picture her coat had only just regained its natural condition with just one, almost unnoticeable, scar in memory of her ordeal.

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