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Home > General > National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day 2024: When It Is & How It’s Celebrated

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day 2024: When It Is & How It’s Celebrated

man adopted two puppies

Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only are you saving that animal from possible euthanization and providing it with a welcoming and loving home, but you’re enhancing your own life, too. It’s truly a win-win scenario for both of you.

Unfortunately, millions of animals are sitting in shelters worldwide, waiting for their forever home. It’s so important for people to be aware of the reality these animals face, which is why April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

Keep reading to learn more about this special day and what you can do to observe it.


Why Is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day Important?

Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is important as it raises awareness about shelter animals that need loving homes. According to the ASPCA, around 6.3 million animals enter American shelters annually.1 Of these, about 3.1 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats. While these numbers are declining, shelters still euthanize approximately 920,000 animals yearly.

Adopting an animal from a shelter frees up resources so the next animal will have somewhere to be until it can find its forever home. Most shelter pets have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and dewormed. In addition, they’ll have undergone examinations by a veterinarian to confirm they’re healthy for adoption, so you know you’re getting a healthy pet.

woman adopting a dog from shelter
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

There are several ways you can observe this day.
  • Adopt a pet. The best way to commemorate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is to do just that – adopt a shelter pet.
  • Spay or neuter your pets. Do your part in reducing how many animals enter shelters by spaying or neutering your pets.
  • Make a donation to a local shelter. Show your local animal shelter you appreciate their work by donating money or pet essentials like food or blankets.
  • Volunteer. Animal shelters rely on volunteers to help out around the facility, so spend the day playing and socializing with some adorable animals.
  • Become a foster. If you don’t have the time or money to adopt a pet right now, consider fostering instead. You’ll get to spend some time with an adoptable animal while it waits for its forever home.


Welcoming Home a Shelter Pet

If you’ve decided to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day by adopting an animal, there are several things you’ll need to do in preparation for the adoption and your new pet’s arrival home.

Consider a senior pet.

Older pets in shelters are often overlooked as many adopters want to get a young pet. While adopting a senior animal doesn’t come without challenges, it’s the right choice for some families.

Older pets are less rambunctious than their younger counterparts and often come pre-trained, so you won’t need to do all the dirty work regarding training and socializing.

Check the bylaws in your community.

If you live in an apartment or condominium or are part of a homeowner’s association, read the fine print on your agreement before choosing to adopt a pet. Some facilities have rules about how many pets are permitted and what types of pets are allowed.

Some communities also have caps on how many pets you are allowed, so if you already have a few animals at home, it doesn’t hurt to check your local bylaws to make sure it’s ok for you to add to your family.

family adopting dog
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Gather your supplies.

Before you bring your new pet home, ensure your home is ready for its arrival. You’ll need supplies such as food and water bowls, toys, food, and animal-specific items like leashes and collars for dogs and scratching posts for cats.

Be sure to ask the adoption agency about your new pet’s current diet. You don’t want to switch them to a new food without first transitioning them to it, so you’ll need to buy a bag of its current food to bring home with you.

Prepare to do a slow introduction.

If you already have pets, you’ll need to introduce them slowly to the new family member. Check out our blogs on introducing two cats and introducing cats and dogs for more tips.

adopting a pet
Image Credit: Piqsels


Final Thoughts

Adopting from a shelter can be a lengthy process full of paperwork and background checks, but the reward is more than worth it. If you’ve been considering adding to your fur family, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is the perfect time to do so. Mark April 30th down in your calendars as a reminder to observe this worthwhile cause.

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Featured Image Credit: Angyalosi Beata, Shutterstock

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