Contributed by Adeena Ramos, Bergen County Veterinary Center
"Tails That Teach” founded National Rescue Dog Day on May 20th to raise awareness of the millions of dogs existing in shelters and inspire people to get involved with rescue organizations. But every day is a good day for you to consider ways for rescue dogs to become an integral part of your human family. There is no requirement to actually adopt a dog to be involved and support the many organizations that dedicate all of their time and money to saving and helping dogs in shelters. Here are a few ways you can help!
Volunteer at your local shelter or for a local rescue organization. Volunteering can involve so many different things; whether it’s taking dogs for walks, grooming them, or simply giving them the love and attention they are missing. All of this, in turn, creates a more socialized dog and one that has a better chance at getting adopted.
Donations are the way these organizations survive. Yes, monetary donations are always wonderful but there are many other things that one can donate to help. Most shelters and rescue organizations need food, blankets, towels, toys, cleaning supplies, leashes and much more. Most organizations have lists of the things they need most. Consider fostering if your life and home allow for it. Many rescue organizations rely on foster families in order to save more dogs as they do not always have a facility where the dogs can reside. Even the shelters who do have facilities often need fosters to help with dogs who have medical needs or who might benefit from being in a home environment before being permanently placed with a family.
Adopt! All dogs deserve a loving family but that doesn’t mean all families have the room and time to adopt a pet. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help in another very valuable way as mentioned above.
Last but definitely not least, spay and neuter your pets as overpopulation is the number one reason we have so many animals in our shelters and without homes.
There are infinite personal rescue stories we could share with you in honor of National Rescue Dog Day but one very special guy, Buster, stayed with us for a week waiting for his forever family to come and find him through Real Dog Rescue. Buster’s gentle heart, loving ways, and special healing spirit touched everyone at BCVC, including each and every client who was lucky enough to meet him. Buster’s family lost their home in the flooding down south and had no choice but to give him up at twelve and a half years old. One would think Buster’s trust and faith in humankind would be tainted, if not lost completely. However, Buster is one of the most loving, trusting, kind and gentle dogs we have ever met.
We hope you can find it in your heart to figure out even just a small way to support a shelter/rescue near you. There is no doubt the rewards and fulfillment you will feel if you do will make you do it over again and again.