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TueMay 20

National Rescue Dog Day – May 20, 2025

The National Rescue Dog Day on May 20 brings with it a promise of love, friendship, and kindness. Each year, millions of animals, specifically dogs, are abandoned by their owners and end up on the streets. Many of these animals are used to a sheltered life, and this, in turn, makes it difficult for them to fend for themselves out in the world. Food sources are hard to come by. Moreover, humans and other animals also pose a threat to these abandoned animals. Animal welfare organizations step in to help by providing a shelter, home, etc. Many of these organizations also encourage people to adopt the dogs, so that they get a new home and to create more space for other dogs in the shelters. Adopting, or even just fostering, helps people and the animals in the long run.

History of National Rescue Dog Day

The National Rescue Dog Day on May 20 was founded by Lisa Wiehebrink. She is an author as well as the founder of “Tails That Teach.” Much of Wiehebrink’s works center around humans and their connection with animals. Her books, whose target audience is children, talk about the value of kindness, unconditional love, patience, empathy, etc. She believes that instilling children with said virtues towards animals will help them later on in life when they deal with humans in adulthood. Wiehebrink came up with the concept of the day after she rescued her dog Cooper and several others in 2009.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which is a nonprofit organization established in 1866, more than three million dogs enter shelter homes every year. Many of these dogs are also a result of overpopulation due to dogs not being spayed or neutered. Dogs face a lot of difficulties when on the streets. They do not have proper access to food, shelter, and safety. Furthermore, they are subjected to human cruelty in the form of maltreatment by humans and being run over by vehicles. However, once these dogs are rescued and provided with care and love, they can be adopted/fostered. Rescue dogs can prove to be great friends, teachers, and helpers, especially as service dogs. They can also provide emotional support to those suffering from mental issues relating to depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. Additionally, young kids can learn to provide care, love, and affection to other living beings through caring for rescue dogs, as is the aim of Wiehebrink’s campaign regarding this day.

National Rescue Dog Day timeline

Britain’s Rescue Dog Organization

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is established in Britain to provide welfare services to abandoned dogs.

ASPCA Dog Surgery

The veterinarians at ASPCA perform the first open-heart surgery on a dog.

ASPCA Partners with the NYPD

The ASPCA partners with the NYPD to answer calls relating to animal cruelty in the city.

“Tails That Teach”’s Reach

More than 70,000 of Lisa Wiehebrink’s “Tails That Teach'' books reach more kids all over the U.S.

National Rescue Dog Day FAQs

When is National Rescue Dog Day?

National Rescue Dog Day takes place on May 20 every year.

Is October 22 National Dog Day?

National Pet Day is April 11, although, if you’re a pet owner, you know there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t celebrate your animal companion!

Is today National Hug Your Dog Day?

April 10 is National Hug Your Dog Day. Not only does a good tight squeeze strengthen your bond, but it also shows your pet that you care. So grab your dog and give them an extra cuddle today!

How To Observe National Rescue Dog Day

  1. Adopt/foster a dog

    This is your sign to adopt a furry friend. One of the best ways to celebrate the day is by adopting or fostering a rescue dog. You will be providing a safe place filled with love and kindness to the animal and, in return, you will receive friendship and unconditional love.

  2. Volunteer at a shelter

    Volunteer your services and time at a rescue dog shelter. This is the second-best way to celebrate the day. You can shower dogs with love and care by taking them out for walks, or playing a game or two of fetch with them, or feeding them during their mealtimes, and so forth.

  3. Spread awareness

    Use the internet to spread awareness about the day. Use hashtags like #NationalRescueDogDay on social media platforms. Start a conversation about the campaign with others.

5 Facts About Animal Cruelty That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Dogs are the most abused

    Of all animals facing abuse and neglect, 65% are dogs, making them the most abused animals.

  2. Domestic violence and animal abuse

    Animal abuse often goes hand in hand with domestic violence as 71% of the domestic violence cases also involve animal abuse.

  3. Three million mink murders

    In the U.S., three million minks are killed for their fur every year.

  4. Animal hoarding victims

    One of the worst forms of animal abuse is animal hoarding and, each year, around 250,000 animals are victims of animal hoarding in the U.S.

  5. Sloths death due to tourism

    A majority of sloths, caught for tourism, often die within six months of being kept in captivity.

Why We Love National Rescue Dog Day

  1. It’s a celebration of dogs

    Pop culture often talks about the loyalty of dogs. Apart from this, dogs are also quite popular for their friendly and loving nature. These qualities and much more call for a celebration of dogs and what they symbolize.

  2. It’s a celebration of animal-human friendship

    One of the main aims of the day is to encourage and foster friendship between humans and animals. By becoming friends with animals, humans can learn the meaning of patience and unconditional love.

  3. It’s a celebration of empathy

    Empathy is a much-needed, timeless quality. Understanding somebody’s struggle and pain in life, and just being there for them is one of the greatest gifts humans can give to others. This is why, whether you choose to adopt, or foster, or volunteer your time for a rescue dog, you will be doing a great deal for the emotional wellbeing of that animal.

National Rescue Dog Day dates

2025May 20Tuesday
2026May 20Wednesday
2027May 20Thursday
2028May 20Saturday
2029May 20Sunday

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