National Rescue Dog Day

Next Tuesday, 20 May 2025

National Rescue Dog Day is observed on May 20, and it aims at encouraging people to adopt dogs from shelters and rescues.

It also focuses on educating children about animals and their benefits, and raising awareness to the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. 

The ASPCA estimates that around 3.3 million dogs arrive at shelters every year, either because they were abandoned, abused or rescued. National Rescue Dog Day highlights the fact that all these dogs need and deserve a forever home.

This day is not to be confused with National Dog Day, which happens on August 26.

Photo of a dog staring innocently

Origin of National Rescue Dog Day

National Rescue Dog Day was created by Tails That Teach, a non-profit whose goal is to teach children about kindness by teaching them to care for pets, through educational programs and books. 

Its founder, Lisa Wienhebrink, was inspired to create this holiday and write the book “Love Me Gently; A Kid’s Guide for Man’s Best Friend”, after she adopted her rescue dog Cooper.

National Rescue Dog Day has been an official annual celebration since 2018.

Rescue Dogs Overcoming Obstacles and Spreading Love

Rescue dogs end up homeless for various reasons. Some are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them, while others are found wandering the streets. Additionally, some may be part of a litter born in a shelter.

Rescue dogs, despite past traumas, can overcome them with love and care to become loyal and loving pets.

Rescue dogs are smart enough to be trained as service animals, providing comfort and help to the elderly, people with physical impairments, and as emotional support animals. 

They will forever be grateful to the families who have taken them in, who are in for years of cuddling, playing and love as a reward for adopting a rescue. 

Initial Behavioral Expectations From A Rescue Dog

  • Shyness, hiding, or timidity
  • Barking for reasons not immediately clear to humans
  • Marking territory
  • Separation anxiety
  • Forgetting previous house training skills
  • Possessiveness towards you, toys, or the house
  • Leash aggression
  • Nervousness around strangers

How to Observe 

If you can't adopt a dog, there are still many ways to help shelters, especially on National Rescue Dog Day. One way is fostering. Foster families take care of dogs temporarily, providing them with a home environment to recover from medical procedures or get the socialization they need.

Shelters always appreciate volunteers. Volunteers can help by walking, feeding, and grooming the dogs. It's a great way to spend time with the dogs and make a difference in their lives.

Another way to support shelters is by donating items like food, blankets, and toys. These things help make the dogs' lives more comfortable while they wait for their forever homes. National Rescue Dog Day is the perfect opportunity to give back to these furry friends in need.

National Rescue Dog Day
National Rescue Dog Day

National Rescue Dog Day - Next years

Wednesday, 20 May 2026

Thursday, 20 May 2027

Saturday, 20 May 2028

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