Did you know October celebrates “Adopt-a-Dog Month,” sponsored by the American Humane Association, and “Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month,” sponsored by the ASPCA? And did you know 75% of the dogs in shelters are mixed-breeds, or mutts? In honor of those precious mutts waiting for their furr-ever families, here’s a list of reasons why mixed-breeds are truly mutt-tastic!
1. They come in all sizes, with short, long, curly or wiry coats in every color; they have small ears that stand straight up, big floppy ears that wave in the wind, droopy ears that drag the ground; some have short legs, long legs, big fluffy tails, long tails, or no tail at all. Whatever you’re looking for in a canine companion, the mutts have it!
2. Perhaps you’re looking for a very social dog who can help you meet new people, or one who is security conscious and has a flare for barking when he hears a knock on the door. Want a four-legged walking partner, or a lap dog who enjoys long petting sessions on the couch? Whatever your lifestyle, there’s a mutt out there who will fit right in.
3. Animal shelter adoption fees are much more affordable than the cost of a purebred dog. But, keep in mind, every dog requires a financial commitment in order to ensure a happy and healthy addition to your family. All breeds, whether pure or mixed, require a nutritious diet, routine vet visits, grooming supplies, bedding, toys, various other odds and ends, and most importantly, love, affection and dedication.
4. Mutts are just as trainable as purebreds; many are even great athletes! Looking for a four-legged family friend? One that will obey commands, play with your kids, maybe even compete in dog agility contests? A mutt can do all these things and more!
5. While this isn’t a characteristic of a mutt itself, welcoming one into your family means you are saving a life. Adopting a magnificent mutt means there’s one less animal languishing in the system.
They may be mixed breeds… mutts… mongrels… Heinz 57… but no matter what nickname you give them, mutts are no less wonderful for their unknown ancestry. And there’s likely one waiting just for you, ready to be your perfect canine companion!
Can’t adopt right now? Well, there are other ways you can help the mutts and homeless animals out there in our nation’s shelters. Here are some simple ways to help:
1. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer you can post around your neighborhood, office, health club, etc. They may be holding special events for Adopt-a-Dog Month / Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
2. Sign up to be a foster parent or shelter volunteer.
3. Donate funds to your local shelter in honor of Adopt-a-Dog Month / Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.
4. Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, your friends’ kids and young family members about animal shelters and why pet adoption is important.
With so many great options in shelters all over America, a mixed breed dog is a great choice for your next furry family member.