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International Homeless Animals Day

The number of homeless animals in this world is completely overwhelming. International Homeless Animals Day was set into motion in 1992 by the International Society for Animal Rights. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness regarding animal overpopulation and all of the factors that contribute to it.

Why Are There So Many Homeless Animals?

1. Failing to spay or neuter your pets: This is probably one of the biggest factors of animal overpopulation. It is a major responsibility of pet owners to have their pet spayed or neutered as soon as possible, and this responsibility is all too often ignored. Pet owners fail to do this and then allow their pets to roam the neighborhood streets, leading to accidental impregnation and ultimately more homeless pets roaming the streets. Adopting from a local shelter is always the best option as they don’t allow animals to be adopted out without first being spayed or neutered. Overpopulation is a serious issue and spaying and neutering is a simple answer.

2. Buying pets rather than adopting them: People often feel that pets that come from animal shelters are damaged in some way, which is just not true. People choose to buy their pets from breeders, or worse, puppy mills rather than adopting a pet from a local shelter. They think that if they have a specific breed of dog in mind, that means they have to buy from a breeder, but in reality there are shelters all over the country that are dedicated to rescuing breed-specific dogs, or cats for that matter.

  • If there is no room for more animals in the shelter, that leads to more homeless animals roaming the streets.
  • When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter you are saving two lives – the life of the pet you are bringing home and the life of the animal that will be able to take its place.

3. Surrendering your loyal pet: This is truly a devastating situation and it is all too common. Over half of the animals that are brought into shelters each year come from owner surrenders. People sometimes blindly enter into owning a pet without fully considering the responsibility that comes with it, and then when the cute puppy or kitten phase is over or when things get a little bit tough, they just drop them off at the shelter.

  • It is very important, especially when adopting a dog, to consider all aspects of the responsibility. If you have children, bring them to meet the dog before making a final decision. If you have other pets, explain to the shelter volunteers that you need a dog that will get along well with other pets.
  • If you can’t fully commit to owning a pet then don’t adopt. It takes a huge toll on an animal when they are rescued and then abandoned by surrendering them back to the shelter. This can cause separation anxiety and depression – all things that will make it difficult for a pet to find another home.

The Hard Truth

  • According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters around the country each year – 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats.
  • Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are euthanized each year – 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats.
  • The estimates of stray, homeless cats in the United States can range up to 70 million, and it is nearly impossible to get an estimate for dogs.

One of the best things that you can do to help is to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. It could be as simple as sharing this article on social media. There is no overnight solution, but there are small ways that we can all contribute day by day.

Failing to spay and neuter your pets.
This is probably one of the biggest factors of animal overpopulation. It is a major responsibility of pet owners to have their pet spayed or neutered as soon as possible, and this responsibility is all too often ignored. Pet owners fail to do this and then allow their pets to roam the neighborhood streets, leading to accidental impregnation and ultimately more homeless pets roaming the streets. Adopting from a local shelter is always the best option as they don’t allow animals to be adopted out without first being spayed or neutered. Overpopulation is a serious issue and spaying and neutering is a simple answer.  Buying pets rather than adopting them.
People often feel that pets that come from animal shelters are damaged in some way, which is just not true. People choose to buy their pets from breeders, or worse, puppy mills rather than adopting a pet from a local shelter. They think that if they have a specific breed of dog in mind, that means they have to buy from a breeder, but in reality there are shelters all over the country that are dedicated to rescuing breed-specific dogs, or cats for that matter.
If there is no room for more animals in the shelter, that leads to more homeless animals roaming the streets and likely becoming pregnant and adding even more to the problem of overpopulation.
When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter you are saving two lives – the life of the pet you are bringing home and the life of the animal that will be able to take its place. Surrendering your loyal pet.
This is truly a devastating situation and it is all too common. Over half of the animals that are brought into shelters each year come from owner surrenders. People sometimes blindly enter into owning a pet without fully considering the responsibility that comes with it, and then when the cute puppy or kitten phase is over or when things get a little bit tough, they just drop them off at the shelter.
It is very important, especially when adopting a dog, to consider all aspects of the responsibility. If you have children, bring them to meet the dog before making a final decision. If you have other pets, explain to the shelter volunteers that you need a dog that will get along well with other pets.
If you can’t fully commit to owning a pet then don’t adopt. It takes a huge toll on an animal when they are rescued and then abandoned by surrendering them back to the shelter. This can cause separation anxiety and depression – all things that will make it difficult for a pet to find another home.

National Mutt Day

A hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, the four-legged prince (or princess) among thieves – the mutt has found its place in the dog world. What used to be thought of as a derogatory term, the “mutt” is now something to be celebrated. Shelters around the country harbor many of these gems – sitting undiscovered, waiting to pick their perfect human family.

The Best Kept Secret: Why You Should Rescue a Mutt

The real question to be asked is, “Why would you not rescue a mutt?” Animal shelters are known for harboring the mutts of the dog world, the diamonds in the rough.

  • No one expected that the dog in the third kennel down on the right, that looks to be the perfect mix between a Corgi and a Jack Russell Terrier, would bring life into the home of a husband and wife struggling with conception.
  • Who would have thought that the Golden Retriever and Border Collie mix with bright blue eyes, would be the missing puzzle piece of motivation for his new owner with dreams of running a marathon?
  • The Pit Bull mix that sat quietly in the corner, in the very last kennel on the left: her owners would tell you that she is the most loyal dog to ever enter their home, and that taking a chance on her was one of the greatest decisions they have ever made.

There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”
Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”  Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

This Mutt’s For You

No matter the breed, making the decision to bring a dog into your life and home is not one to be taken lightly. There is indeed a perfect mutt for your family, but there are things that deserve your careful consideration. Lifestyle, space in your home, and breed characteristics are all things that factor into finding your ideal four-legged companion.

What does your Saturday morning look like?

  • Do you wake up, eat clean and jump on your mountain bike, or maybe pound the pavement in an early morning run? There is a Labrador and Boxer mix somewhere, dreaming of the day he can join you.
  • Do you like to curl up on the couch with your coffee and a good book, or even indulge in one of those guilty pleasure television shows? There is a Shih Tzu and Poodle mix somewhere that would love nothing more than to make a cozy spot right next to you. That’s one of the good things about dogs: they won’t tell anyone how much you love The Real Housewives.

A Happy Home

  • Larger breed dogs with a high energy level are not going to be happiest cooped up in a one bedroom apartment in the city, unless maybe you have them trained to do your Starbucks coffee run each day. . .multiple times a day.
  • On the other hand, a dog with a lower energy level will be happy with a more low-maintenance, leisurely schedule: even if that schedule consists of hours of mindless television in your one bedroom apartment.

The dog that you bring into your home should be a direct reflection of your lifestyle, and your home should appropriately accommodate his or her needs.

Breed Characteristics

Animal shelters are filled with mixed-breeds of many kinds, and the beauty of the mixed-breed dog is even better odds of finding the perfect mutt for you. Mixed-breed equals a broader gene pool, and once you discover what characteristics fit best into your life, the shelter is the right place to begin your search.

  • For example, any breed mixed with a poodle would be a good fit for someone with a mild pet dander allergy, as poodles tend to be hypo-allergenic.
  • Likewise, a dog that appears to be a mix of Labrador and Border Collie, may have the friendly disposition of the first and the whip-smart agility of the second.

No one is trying to take anything away from the purebreds of the world. However, it is time for them to scoot over and make a sunny spot for their equally adorable furry friend, the mutt, because all dogs deserve their day in the sun.

National Puppy Day

Since 2006, March 23rd has been celebrated as National Puppy Day. This day was founded not only as a celebration of the unconditional love that puppies bring into our lives, but also as a day to save the lives of homeless puppies sitting in animals shelters and to bring awareness to the horrific reality of puppy mills across the globe. Here are some ways that you can celebrate the true meaning behind National Puppy Day!

10 Ways to Celebrate National Puppy Day

1. Adopt – If you have been teetering on the edge of the decision to bring a new puppy into your home, this would be the perfect day to take the plunge! Adopting from your local shelter has become much easier with the help of social media. Most shelters use social media sites such as Facebook to post photos of all of their animals that are currently up for adoption. Adopt from your local shelter or animal rescue.

2. Donate to the Cause – Maybe you already have the perfect puppy in your life and you get to celebrate that unconditional love day in and day out – great! Another way that you can celebrate the meaning of National Puppy Day is to DONATE!

  • Donate your time by volunteering at a local shelter
  • Donate money and/or supplies to a local shelter
  • Make a donation to an animal welfare organization that fights to end puppy mill cruelty

3. Spread the Knowledge – Not everyone is aware of the dangers and cruelty involved with puppy mills. What is a puppy mill? Do your research and share the knowledge to bring awareness to this important issue.

4. Share the Puppy Love – We get to experience the unconditional love from our puppies each day, so National Puppy Day is a great opportunity for us to share that love with others. Take your puppy to a local elderly community to visit with the residents and put a big smile on all of their faces – your puppy will be smiling too from all of the extra love and attention.

5. Capture the Moment – They don’t stay puppies forever! Hire a photographer to take some photos of you and your puppy to savor the sweetness of the puppy phase. You will love looking back on those in the years to come!

6. Puppy Training 101 – Sign you and your puppy up for an obedience training course to get a jumpstart on the basics. You will be well on your way to having the smartest puppy on the block!

7. Puppy’s Day Out – Plan a special outing for you and your puppy. Whether it is a trip to the Dog Park or “Bring Your Puppy to Work Day,” introducing your puppy to new social environments is one of the best things you can do for them.

8. Take Action – Write to your congressman to ask that he or she support the ban of puppy mills in your state.

9. Get a Healthy Start – It’s never too soon for your puppy to get a healthy start. Make sure that you are giving your puppy food and treats that are made with all natural ingredients and vow to give him the proper daily exercise to keep him healthy and happy!

10. Be Present for your Puppy – The puppy phase will be over before you know it! Spend as much quality time with your puppy as you can, not only today, but every day. Raising a puppy is a big responsibility and the decisions that you make now will shape them into the dog that they will grow up to be.

National Puppy Day is a great time to celebrate the unconditional love that our furry friends bring to our lives and have fun while doing it! However, this day is also about shedding some light on some of the harsh realities of the world that some of the more unfortunate puppies are forced to live in. Choose to take some time today to help bring awareness to the importance of adopting shelter puppies as well as the fight against puppy mills – be the voice for puppies everywhere!

Why Adopt a Senior Dog?

When you adopt a Senior dog, you get all the benefits of a sweet, doggie companion without any of the headaches of potty training, chewing and mess-making so common to puppydom. Your senior adoptee will likely be well-mannered and will make an easy transition to your home.

In honor of Senior Dog Month, Wellness shares three good reasons to consider saving a senior pup:

1-      Their maturity makes them easy to train and they’ll settle in quickly.

Senior dogs have years of experience living with humans and many of them can easily adapt to a new environment—including one with kids and other pets. Many of them are already housebroken so you can skip that phase.

2-      They like to lounge – A senior dog will not require the hours of exercise a puppy needs. A few short walks a day and your senior is good. The rest of the time, he’ll be happy to lounge in a comfy spot.

3-      What you see is what you get – You already know how large the dog is and the temperament is easy to size up. There will be no surprises later.

Soon to be empty nesters, those with a less active lifestyle and dog lovers who’d simply enjoy having a dog lay by their feet can all benefit from adopting a dog entering his or her golden years.

At What Age are Dogs Seniors?

Veterinarians say 7 years old is the standard, however, there is a bit of leeway depending on the breed/size of the dog. Smaller dogs are considered “senior” at an older age while large breeds could be “seniors” at age 6.

Why Do Great Dogs End Up at the Shelter?

Pet shelter staff say many of the reasons pets end up there have nothing to do with the dog. Rather, dogs sometimes end up at the shelter due to a life change experienced by the pet owner. Pet owners may move or take another job and they don’t think they have time for the dog anymore. Pet guardians may also become unable to care for a pet as they get older or fall ill. There are multiple reasons a dog may be up for adoption that have nothing to do with the dog’s disposition.

Many senior dogs have a lot of life and love to give. Check out these adorable senior dogs, up for adoption.

How to Celebrate National Dog Week

Every Dog Has His Day (Or Week)

You can’t have too many opportunities to celebrate those who love us unconditionally. It’s even better when there’s a special day—or week—given especially for that occasion.

National Dog Week is the last week of September. According to one source, it was founded in 1928 by Captain William Lewis Judy to promote responsible dog ownership.

We like to think of it as another opportunity to celebrate and share the love of dogs.

Puppy kisses, happy greetings and lots of tail waggin’ fun bring smiles to our faces throughout the year. Plus, the weather is getting cooler and that makes it a perfect opportunity to get outside with your favorite furry canine.

Here are three ideas for celebrating National Dog Week:

Hold a Dog Party

Don’t have a good yard for several doggies to play? Enlist a friend who does. Invite 3-5 dogs (and their humans) over for a play date. The humans can take turns throwing balls and Frisbees and the dogs can catch them. Many dogs also love a great game of chase. They can run in circles chasing one another for at least 10 minutes.

Don’t have dogs who play chase or catch Frisbees? That’s ok. They’ll still enjoy the social opportunity. If you work long hours away from home, your pets may not get enough companionship. Just make sure the invitees all get along and enjoy one another. Then, everyone can leave happy and tired.

Get Involved in Doggie Events

Lots of animal shelters hold fundraisers throughout the year to support their mission of saving animals. They always need volunteers and can be a great way to help dozens of dogs without adopting more than your house can hold.

You could even organize a “Mutt Strutt” to benefit the shelter or for veterinarians to help families in need. Many veterinarians keep a special fund to help pet-loving families who find themselves in a financial crisis when it comes to caring for their pet.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

After Labor Day, many beaches become pet friendly again.

Enjoy a romp in the sand and surf. Make clean up easy on yourself by stopping by a “doggie wash” on the way out.They’ll feel happy after a good outing. They’ll be over the moon after a great outing and a good bath.

Is the beach too far? Take a hike in the woods or at a nearby State Park.

Whatever you choose to do, your best friend will enjoy being with you. How will you celebrate National Dog Week?

Happy National Mutt Day!

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any pure bred pooch.
Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created Mutt’s Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.
Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded Mutt’s Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of overpopulation.
What Can You Do?
Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.
Get your pet spayed or neutered for population control.
Donate old towels and bed linens to a shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.
If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!
Benefit of Mutts
In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breeds have an advantage over pure bred pooches.  Studies show they often live longer, healthier lives thanks to a lack of inbreeding.
They’re devoted. Some people even say rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.
Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt
Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs deserve loving homes where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.
Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.
Long live mutts!
Who’s your favorite mixed breed? We’d love to hear about him/her in the comments below.

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short-furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any purebred pooch.

Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created National Mutt Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.

Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded National Mutt Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of pet overpopulation.

Browse adoptable dogs like Gatsby here

Click the photo to view adoptable dogs like Gatsby

What Can You Do?

Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.

Get your pet spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Donate old towels and bed linens to an animal shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.

If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Benefit of Mutts

-In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breed dogs have an advantage over purebred pooches.  Studies show they can often live longer, healthier lives.

-They’re devoted. Many people believe that rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.

Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt

Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs each deserve a  loving home where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.

Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Long live mutts!

Is your pet a mutt? Share your photos on our Facebook page!

Wellness Adopt a Cat Month Giveaway & Donation

It’s National Adopt a Cat Month! You can read more about cat adoption here. In honor of this special month, we’re hosting a giveaway and donation to an animal welfare organization. To enter, simply comment on this Wellness Natural Pet Food Facebook Post and share your cat adoption story. On June 30th we’ll be announcing a winner who will receive a Wellness Cat Prize Pack! In addition to receiving a prize pack, Wellness will make a donation of $250 to the animal charity of the winner’s choice. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about pet adoption and to help raise money for an organization that you’re passionate about.

Comment here to enter!

Celebrate Adopt a Cat Month

June is Adopt a Cat Month. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a new kitty, June is a good time to choose from frisky kittens to older, more relaxed cats.

Shelter cats are often well socialized because they’re around other animals and the staff. They’re used to being handled and petted which can translate into being good housecats.

Photo credit: Sun Sentinel

Photo credit: Sun Sentinel

Are you open to adopting a cat with special needs? Sometimes, all that means is that kitty needs a dose of medicine in the morning, a special food or a little extra attention. Your new kitty may have a broken tail or may be missing an eye, but he’ll love you just the same! To ensure a good match when choosing your cat, focus on personality rather than looks. Before you go into the shelter, take a moment to think about what type of cat may fit your lifestyle. Are you looking for a high-energy, playful young cat, or a middle-aged snuggle-bug? Which cats do you “click” with? Oftentimes, you’ll find that you don’t pick a cat, your cat picks you.

How a One-Eyed Cat Found a “Forever” Home

The white cat had been adopted and returned to the shelter twice. It seems cleaning out his eye was too unsavory for many people. The cat reached out to a passing man who stopped to investigate and asked the shelter staff if he could hold him. After multiple visits, he and his girlfriend decided to adopt the pirate kitty who’s grown into a sweet belly rub lover.

A Military Deployment Leads to a New Home

In another instance, a woman adopted “Kirby”, then found out she was being deployed. Heartbroken, she felt she had no choice but to return Kirby knowing she’d be gone for months. A family of four met Kirby at the shelter shortly after she returned him and fell in love. Now the kitty joins two dogs and another cat to make a happy home.

Some towns have special “cat only” shelters with a variety of available kitties. The staff at these shelters are especially well-versed in all things cat. Of course, no matter the pet shelter, the staff will take care to make a good match. They’ll ask you questions and help you choose a cat with the right temperament to fit into your household.

What’s your inspiring cat adoption tale? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.

Celebrate National Specially-Abled Pets Day

National Specially-Abled Pets Day is on May 3. It’s a day to honor the amazing pets who’ve braved challenges such blindness, deafness and paralysis, and to bring awareness to the specially-abled pets in need of loving homes.

If you’re thinking of adopting, a specially-abled pet may be the perfect fit for you.  Sadly, specially-abled pets are often overlooked at the shelter based on the assumption that they’ll require too much care, but so many of these pets have a lot of love to give and an opportunity for a happy life with their new pet parent.

Thinking of Adopting a Specially-Abled Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know

The key is to ask questions before you adopt. Find out if the pet needs special medication or surgery or has other ongoing medical expenses. For example, if the condition is expected to worsen and require expensive medical treatment, you’d want to know this so you can be prepared.

You’ll also want to learn what type of “pet-proofing” you’ll need to do before bringing home your new pet. For example, a dog in a wheelchair will need ramps to get up stairs. A blind dog may need gates to block off stairs and prevent falls.

Can They Play?

If you’re considering adopting a dog in a wheelchair, you might wonder how they get around and if they do the things “regular” dogs do like go for walks and play fetch. The answer is “Yes!” Dogs in wheelchairs will love going for walks, playing with other dogs and chase balls as much as any dog.

Likewise, blind or deaf dogs can enjoy runs and even agility training just as much as dogs with great vision. With their strong sense of smell, dogs quickly “map” their landscape and learn where the obstacles are and how to navigate them. Blind dogs can learn certain commands like “step up” to help them maneuver in the world while deaf dogs can learn hand signals.

Specially-abled cats can also make great companions.

As with any successful adoption, the key is learning about the pet’s temperament and needs and matching it with yours. You may find specially-abled pets at your local shelter though there are also special rescue groups devoted to finding homes for these special pets. You can check out Pets With Disabilities for listings of specially-abled pets in many areas.

What’s your experience with a specially-abled pet? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page!

National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

It’s National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day! Wellness fans were asked to define their pet adoption experience with One Word & One Photo–here are their responses.


Awesome



Bliss


Destiny


Family2


Forever


Friend


Fun


Healing


life-changing


Love3


Miracle


Natural


Treasure