Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

Expert reveals how to choose the best shelter dog for your family.


| October 15, 2010



Take your pet to the beach for play time.

Take your dog to the beach for play time.

iStockphoto.com/Fred De Bailliencourt

Dr. Diane Pomerance wants to show everyone how to make your family happier – and save a life at the same time – in October. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) sponsors October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month to encourage Americans to turn their houses into homes by adopting a shelter dog. Each year, millions of dogs enter our nation's shelters, yet of the almost 59 million owned dogs in this country, fewer than 20 percent are shelter adoptees. 

Pomerance, an activist who has owned more than 40 shelter dogs in her lifetime, thinks it’s a shame that more people don’t adopt from a shelter, because the most faithful, healthy and loving dogs are waiting there for new homes. 

 “People sometimes don’t go to animal shelters to adopt a dog, because they have a lot of misinformation about these animals,” said Pomerance, author of seven books about pets, including Our Rescue Dog Family Album. “They think, ‘I don’t want to inherit someone else’s problem,’ or they simply think all the dogs there are abused or hard to train, or that they won’t be able to find the breed that they want. All of those notions couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, up to nearly 60 percent of dogs in shelters are not strays, but pets whose families had to give them up because of a loss of income or a change in location. These are faithful, loving dogs who just need a home and some love.” 

The key is to know how to choose the right pet for your family, and Dr. Pomerance offered these tips to help families do just that: 

Breed – Check online about the different breeds, their temperament, health and physical characteristics. Find out all you can about the specific animal from shelter workers and volunteers.  





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