By Chris Nelson
La Plata County Humane Society
I bet you didn’t know that October is National Adopt-A-Shelter Dog month. This is a monthlong push by shelters across the country to highlight homeless dogs and get them adopted to their forever homes. The reason for the big push in October is simply a matter of too many dogs and not enough space to hold them all.
The reason animal shelters, including La Plata County Humane Society, are so full in October is twofold. First, it’s the end of a long summer, where shelters across the country typically receive more than one-third of their total intake for the year. For an example, our shelter received a total of 432 dogs over the summer months.
The second reason is Mother Nature. This time of year is puppy season. In the last two weeks, we have received more than two dozen puppies. While these adorable little guys will all get adopted quickly, it means more adopters will pass up on the older dogs, instead opting to adopt a cute little puppy. Sadly, most of these older dogs, 1-year-olds to seniors, will spend a lot more days in our kennel.
While adopting a puppy is much appreciated, adopting an older dog means so much more to our staff and volunteers, as well as the dog. We get to know and love the older dogs because they stay with us for an average of 16 days; some even stay with us for months. The relief and joy when these dogs get adopted resonates throughout the building.
So if you’re thinking of adding a new dog to your family this fall, please consider passing on those cute little pups and take some time to meet an adult dog. You won’t have to deal with the chewed-up shoes, pee on the carpet or waking up at 3 a.m. to take the puppy out to go potty.
Instead, you will have a new dog who is probably housebroken, a ready-made hiking companion, a ball-fetching machine or, just simply, a cuddle bug.
So come see us this October and be a part of National Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month. You can be the difference in a homeless dog’s life, and they can make a difference in yours.
Check out lpchumanesociety.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for information about our organization and all the wonderful pets we have available for adoption.
Chris Nelson is director of animal services at La Plata County Humane Society. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.