National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

Howard Baker - RN BSN

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is celebrated yearly on April 30; created to bring awareness to the tens of thousands of animals waiting for adoption in shelters. Hobo the Wonder Dog is a rescue dog in the truest sense of the word. I rescued Hobo from the Sevier County Humane Society where he now serves as an Ambassador. The relationship you forge with a shelter animal is like no other in its strength and acceptance. Often people who rescue an animal will wonder whether they rescued the animal or did the animal rescue them — the bond is often that strong.

Few relationships in life are as strong and unconditional as the bond with our pets. Our pets accept us unconditionally even if we are fat, skinny, sick, healthy, or moody, and bring us joy through thick and thin in the best and worst of times. Because of our pet’s strong unconditional bond, they become a significant extension of our family and our health.

The devoted unconditional companionship we build with our pets is only the beginning of the benefits we reap from a human animal bond. According to Mayo Clinic cancer specialist, Dr. Edward Creagan, “seniors with pets have twenty-one percent fewer physician visits, lower blood pressure and better coping skills.” The U S Department of Health concluded pets increased survival rates of heart attack victims by 28 percent to only 6 percent for non-pet owners. Other health benefits of pet ownership include: decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the feelings of loneliness while increasing opportunities for exercise, socialization and outdoor activities.

Clearly, there are many personal benefits of adopting a shelter pet but, what if you cannot have a pet of your own at this point in your life. Then Hobo the Wonder Dog and I encourage you to please consider making National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day into Adopt a Shelter Day. Animal shelters are often stretched for resources, time, money, with no shortage of animals to walk, feed, love, and clean-up after. Adopting a Shelter and getting involved may offer the same health benefits as owning a pet. One thing is for sure the animals and workers alike will enjoy seeing you and appreciate your support. There are opportunities for everyone you could volunteer, donate a bag of food or a box of treats, or make a financial contribution. Seemingly small gifts can make a huge difference in the life of a shelter pet.

Please help celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet on April 30th by adopting a pet of your own. If adopting a pet is out of the question then please consider making this April 30th National Adopt a Shelter Day, by giving the gift of time, supplies, or by making a financial contribution to your local shelter.

Help celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day by sharing pictures of your adopted pet on social media using #adoptashelterpetday. Hobo and I ask you to share a picture of an adoptable pet in your local shelter on your Facebook page. You never know — the picture you share might spark love at first sight between a friend and a shelter pet — wow what a gift.

Please consider adopting a shelter pet or shelter this April.

Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]

Howard Baker


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