National Rescue Dog Day

The National Rescue Dog Day on May 20 brings with it a promise of love, friendship, and kindness. Each year, millions of animals, specifically dogs, are abandoned by their owners and end up on the streets. Many of these animals are used to a sheltered life, and this, in turn, makes it difficult for them to fend for themselves out in the world. Food sources are hard to come by. Moreover, humans and other animals also pose a threat to these abandoned animals. Animal welfare organizations step in to help by providing a shelter, home, etc. Many of these organizations also encourage people to adopt the dogs, so that they get a new home and to create more space for other dogs in the shelters. Adopting, or even just fostering, helps people and the animals in the long run.


The National Rescue Dog Day on May 20 was founded by Lisa Wiehebrink. She is an author as well as the founder of “Tails That Teach.” Much of Wiehebrink’s works center around humans and their connection with animals. Her books, whose target audience is children, talk about the value of kindness, unconditional love, patience, empathy, etc. She believes that instilling children with said virtues towards animals will help them later on in life when they deal with humans in adulthood. Wiehebrink came up with the concept of the day after she rescued her dog Cooper and several others in 2009.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which is a nonprofit organization established in 1866, more than three million dogs enter shelter homes every year. Many of these dogs are also a result of overpopulation due to dogs not being spayed or neutered. Dogs face a lot of difficulties when on the streets. They do not have proper access to food, shelter, and safety. Furthermore, they are subjected to human cruelty in the form of maltreatment by humans and being run over by vehicles. However, once these dogs are rescued and provided with care and love, they can be adopted/fostered. Rescue dogs can prove to be great friends, teachers, and helpers, especially as service dogs. They can also provide emotional support to those suffering from mental issues relating to depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. Additionally, young kids can learn to provide care, love, and affection to other living beings through caring for rescue dogs, as is the aim of Wiehebrink’s campaign regarding this day.


  1. Adopt/foster a dog

    This is your sign to adopt a furry friend. One of the best ways to celebrate the day is by adopting or fostering a rescue dog. You will be providing a safe place filled with love and kindness to the animal and, in return, you will receive friendship and unconditional love.

  2. Volunteer at a shelter

    Volunteer your services and time at a rescue dog shelter. This is the second-best way to celebrate the day. You can shower dogs with love and care by taking them out for walks, or playing a game or two of fetch with them, or feeding them during their mealtimes, and so forth.

  3. Spread awareness

    Use the internet to spread awareness about the day. Use hashtags like #NationalRescueDogDay on social media platforms. Start a conversation about the campaign with others. 

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