It’s Dog Day Sunday and National Mutt Day!
National Mutt Day (also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day), was established in 2005 by Colleen Paige, a celebrity pet & family lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate. The day is celebrated on July 31 as well as December 2 (bonus!) as part of an effort to raise public awareness about the surplus of mixed-breed dogs in shelters across the country, many of whom will sadly be euthanized due to over crowding.
But there is hope yet for these unwanted, lovable mutts…
Adoption is an excellent way to give a dog a new leash on life, and if the cool stylings of Sarah Mclachlan (as seen above) doesn’t convince you otherwise, maybe these five reasons will:
1. You’ll be saving a life
According to the ASPCA, only 35% of shelter dogs are adopted, and another 31% are destined to be euthanized. To put that in raw numbers, an average of 1.2 million shelter dogs are euthanized each year.
So by choosing to adopt, rather than shop, you get a new best friend and save the life of a helpless dog.
2. You’ll help put puppy mills out of business
See that cute, fluffy little puppy in the local pet store window? He was most likely born in a puppy mill.
A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where dogs are treated like products, not best friends.
These facilities are often crowded, and it’s not uncommon to see dogs and puppies stacked on top of one another like warehouse products. Puppy mill facilities are often extremely unsanitary, with no proper vet care, food, water, or basic socialization available to the dogs who call the factory “home.”
Female dogs are bred as soon as they are mature enough to (and sometimes earlier) and are given little-to-no recovery time between litters. Puppies are ripped from their mothers prematurely and are sold to consumers in pet shops and online marketplaces.
As a result of these shady and unsanitary breeding tactics, puppies born in mills are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions, such as heart disease and blood and respiratory disorders.
There are two ways to put puppy mills out of business once and for all: purchase a puppy from a certified breeder or adopt.
3. Purebred dogs are plagued with genetic disorders
On the outside, purebred dogs are the perfect choice for dog shows and keeping up with the Jones’ in uppity social circles, but on the inside, they are genetically inbred monsters.
“I’m willing to go on record and say that I generally observe at least one genetic disease in nine out of 10 purebred patients during their first examination with me,” says Dr. Patty Khuly VMD in an op-ed piece for Vetstreet.
“We can chalk a lot of this up to line breeding, the failure to adequately test parents for genetic diseases and the trend among show breeders toward increasingly exaggerated features. Case in point: The English Bulldog of the 1930s bears little resemblance to the flat-faced modern varietal.”
So how can you help ensure that your best friend is free of any major health issues? Truthfully, nothing.
But Dr. Patty does have one big suggestion for would-be dog owners that might help: adopt.
“I know it’s not a popular position to advocate against purebred ownership, but when you consider the genetic disease and animal welfare problems it raises, it makes sense for me to urge my clients to consider mixed breed dogs.”
4. Adoption will save you a fortune
Depending on the dog’s breed and pedigree, purchasing your new best friend from a breeder can cost you thousands of dollars.
Adoption, on the other hand, is extremely inexpensive and sometimes even totally free!
Adopting a dog from a shelter requires only a big heart and a small adoption fee, the latter which helps to support and maintain the shelter’s facilities.
5. You’ll unwittingly become an activist for the cause
Mutts are as unique as snowflakes, and because of this, people will never stop asking you what kind of dog you have.
This provides you with the perfect opportunity to explain to your peers and random admiring strangers the benefits of owning a mutt, and how adopting one helps save the life of an animal in need.
By sharing your story and message, you might just save yet another life.