October is Adopt-A-Dog month. Check out four ways to recognize and celebrate adoptable dogs this month.

American Humane Association established Adopt-A-Dog Month in October 1981 to encourage people to save lives and enhance their own lives by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group.

Whether you are ready to welcome a new pet into your home or not you can celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month this year:

1. Adopt from a shelter or rescue group
When you’re ready to open your heart and home to a new pooch, consider adopting from your local animal shelter or rescue group. Talk with shelter staff to find the perfect dog for you and your lifestyle, and remember that older dogs make excellent pets too.

2. Spay or neuter your dog
The best way to combat pet overpopulation is to have your dog spayed or neutered, thus preventing the possibility of unexpected, and potentially unwanted, puppies. Spayed and neutered animals have been shown to lead longer, healthier lives and tend to avoid having certain behavioral problems common in animals that have not been spayed or neutered.

3. ID your pet
By putting identification on your dog, either in the form of a tag, a microchip or both, you will reduce the possibility that your pet will become one of the presumably “homeless” dogs that end up at your local shelter. Only about 15 percent of dogs who enter a shelter are reunited with their owners. Make sure your dog is one of the fortunate few by outfitting him with proper identification!

4. Support your local shelter
Show the pets at your local shelter or rescue group that you care by donating time, money or supplies like pet food, leashes, beds and toys. Call the shelter to see what supplies or services are needed most. Even the smallest effort can make a difference.

“If you haven’t yet experienced that remarkable power of the human-animal bond, American Humane Association encourages you to consider adopting a dog and finding out just how life-changing it can be,” says Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., American Humane Association president and CEO.

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