Thousands of sweet dogs land at animal shelters until they can find forever homes. If you’ve ever visited a shelter, you know the heart-wrenching looks on their faces. But there’s always hope. Back in 2008, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, North Shore Animal League America, chose August 1 (or “DOGust 1st) as the universal birthday for all shelter dogs, or as it refers to them, “mutt-i-grees.” This date inspires all of us to consider their plight. Join us this summer by sharing your love for these precious creatures. Shelters across America join North Shore Animal League on this day by making an extra effort to facilitate adoptions. Read on to learn how you can help.
DOGust 1st: Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs timeline
An idea takes shape
American diplomat Henry Bergh, on assignment in Russia, stopped a carriage driver from abusing his fallen horse. He would soon devote all of his time to preventing animal cruelty.
A big leap for animal protection
Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). At the time, the U.S. was not a friendly place for animals.
- The 2000s
ASPCA increased efforts
The organization led the fight against battle puppy mills, dog fighting and other forms of cruelty. It also sent staff to the Gulf Coast to assist following Hurricane Katrina.
ASPCA on the prowl
An ASPCA partnership with the NYPD results in a 200% increase in the number of animal cruelty arrests throughout New York City.
DOGust 1st: Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs Activities
Donate your time to a shelter
While monetary donations are helpful, shelters always need more volunteers. This DOGust, contact your local shelter for information on ways to help.
Pamper your adopted canine
If you have an adopted dog, pamper him/her more than you usually do. A plush bed or a longer-than-usual day at the park. Anything that your furry friend likes.
Make it a Complete Dog Day
It's summer. Time for an all-day dog picnic. They'll love you for it!
3 More Reasons To Love Your Dog
Your dog misses you when you're gone
Dogs know our routines and habits. They also know how much time has passed. Dogs respond differently to being left alone for varying amounts of time.
Dogs know when something's wrong
Dogs have the ability to smell certain organic compounds in the body. These can signal the onset of a disease, including cancer and diabetes.
Dogs are smarter than you might think
When trained right, dogs can actually understand up to 200 words and commands. They can even perform rudimentary mathematical calculations.
Why We Love DOGust 1st: Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs
This day encourages adoptions
Adopted dogs provide us with an unlimited supply of love and affection. It's a life-affirming and life-changing relationship.
Shelter dogs have their day
DOGust celebrates the less privileged canines out there — with a nod to all the people who actively work for animal welfare.
It's one big party
A birthday bash for millions of adopted dogs all on the same day? That's a lot of cake and ice cream — and dog treats, of course.