What better way to celebrate National Dog Day (on August 26) than to save a life! It’s no secret that San Joaquin County is fighting overpopulation, as thousands of dogs are euthanized throughout the year. Adopting a shelter dog not only aids a community epidemic, but it may also make your heart grow three sizes. Don’t believe it? Google ‘Shelter dog gets adopted’. Are you crying yet?
The life of a shelter dog is grim. He’s either been abandoned by family, born on the street, or has lost his way. His days are spent in a small kennel on a cold cement floor. He spends most of his time alone, yet is surrounded by howls and cries from hundreds of other dogs just like him. He spends just mere minutes a day outside, removed from the loud, chaotic, and frightening shelter atmosphere. And sometimes, a hand reaches through his chain link door to gently pat his head. If he’s lucky, one day a hand will reach in and stay—saving him from becoming a part of the 20 percent of shelter inhabitants that are put to death.
For an animal capable of experiencing a rich emotional life, this is no way to live. There can be no denying the effects shelter life has on an animal’s emotional and physical well-being—and it will become apparent if you walk the aisles, passing hundreds of dogs excitedly wagging their tail in hopes of love, while others face the wall and shiver in fear.
Local shelters are tirelessly fighting to find forever homes for their current residents, and to stress the root of the problem—spay and neuter. Adopting a shelter dog supports this fight on both ends, as each adoptable dog is spayed or neutered, microchipped, and up to date on all shots. Stockton Animal Shelter has even waived adoption fees through their Stockton Adopt-A-Bulls program that aims to improve the lives of a breed highly ranked in both shelter population and euthanasia statistics nationwide.
So, the next time you get the feels from a Buzzfeed article, imagine living it. Transformational stories, photos, and videos go viral for good reason. It’s powerful.