Thursday, October 2, 2008

October is Adopt A Dog Month

October is national "Adopt A Dog Month." Why do we need a special adoption month for dogs (and for cats, in June)? Why do we, as a society, ever designate special months or days? I think simply it because we tend to forget or ignore those groups/people/pets on the rest of the days and months. So, we set aside a special time to highlight and remember, in hopes that we won't forget. "Adopt A Dog Month" is not just about adopting a dog in October, but about remembering adoption for the other 11 months of the year. It gives those of us as an animal welfare community a chance to collectively promote adoption together for a solid month, in hopes that the message will sink in, ESPECIALLY as we get close to the holidays. We all know the mythology of the puppy or kitten in the basket under the tree (which is bad for a lot of reasons - click here to find out why). But I hope that in some way, a month of focusing on adoption will mean that fewer of those living presents will be bought from back yard breeders and puppy mills.

We at AARF are celebrating "Adopt A Dog Month" by giving away a weekend stay at a Savannah B&B. We want people do adopt for the love of the dog. But if the chance at a weekend getaway encourages more people to at least consider the idea of adopting rather than buying, then it becomes effective marketing. The breeders and pet shops market, why shouldn't we? We need to be creative about how we make people aware of the wonderful possibilities of rescuing, fostering and adopting.

So, if you are thinking about adopting, now is the time. You might even win a chance to get away for the weekend. If AARF doesn't have the dog you are looking for, don't stop looking. On any given day, there are AT LEAST 2000 dogs in the metro Atlanta area looking for a home.

Visit the AARF site first. Then, visit the Not One More site. Then the Atlanta Pets site (run by Lifeline Animal Project). Then Petfinder. Your new dog is out there, waiting for you. Let's make October 2008 the best "Adopt A Dog Month" that the homeless dogs of Atlanta have ever seen.

If you do adopt, send me an update. On November 1, I'll list every single adoption that you send me, and we'll see what a difference we can make together.

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