[Contest] Share your pet’s adoption story – win $100 PetMeds Bucks

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month


Facts and tips about Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Every October, dog lovers and rescuers celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. This month was started by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to raise public awareness of the millions of dogs awaiting homes in shelters.

The ASPCA commissioned a poll* in 2012 which revealed that pet owners who adopted their dogs from shelters are more likely to be happy with their experience than those owners who purchased their dogs from pet stores. In addition, shelter dog adopters are twice as likely** as pet store dog buyers to recommend the organization in which they got their pet compared to others.

According to the ASPCA, only 20 to 30 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescue groups; the rest are purchased from breeders and pet stores. There are also 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide, and 25 percent of these dogs are purebred. Groups such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society encourage people to adopt, not shop, when looking for a new, furry family member.

We at 1-800-PetMeds support pet adoption and encourage new would-be pet owners to check out their local rescue groups and animal shelters before heading to the pet store. As the ASPCA research shows, a quarter of the dogs in shelters are purebred dogs, and there are many breed-specific rescues. Pet parents looking for a specific breed have many alternatives to breeders and pet stores.

Adopting a shelter dog

If you’re considering adopting a new dog this October, you’ll want to prepare your home and stock up on some important pet supplies. First, talk to your family about the type of dog you all want, discussing qualities such as activity level, grooming requirements and personality. This will help narrow down your choices when you visit a rescue group, and it will help the volunteers match your family with the right dog.

Then, make sure your home is ready for a dog. If you’re looking to adopt an active dog that requires hours of play, a fenced backyard is a must. If your family wants an inquisitive puppy, you’ll have to take steps to ensure your home is puppy-safe. To do this, you may need to move cleaning products and chemicals to a higher shelf or possibly install a pet gate at the bottom of a steep set of stairs.

You’ll also need to stock up on supplies for your new dog. A crate, bed, dog bowl, collar and leash are only the beginning. You’ll want to purchase basic grooming items, such as nail clippers a brush, and a variety of fun toys, including chew toys and toys your dog can chase. Other items such as training treats, a pet first aid kit and flea preventatives. View our pet supplies checklist for a list of useful items.

Finally, find a veterinarian in the area that you can take your dog to. Even if your pet is healthy when you adopt him/her, it’s a good idea to visit a vet and establish a relationship between the doctor and your pet. The veterinarian will be able to evaluate your new dog and alert you to any potential health problems or requirements. He/she will also be able to recommend a high-quality dog food to feed your new dog, based on your pet’s weight, age and general health.

Win $100 PetMeds® Bucks by sharing your dog adoption story

Did you adopt a dog into your family? Share your story with us and you could be 1 of 3 lucky winners to win $100 to spend on future orders at 1-800-PetMeds. Deadline for entries is 10/31/14.

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  1. My adoption story is special. My husband and I had been looking and looking for a german shepard. My friend had put me in touch with someone down in Miami who work with a few rescues that pulled from miami dade which is a high kill shelter. I seen a picture of one shepard and wanted to rescue her, unfortunately another rescue already put a hold on her. I tried going after another one who was a stray but the day they were going to lift the stray hold the owner picked her up. I was starting to lose hope. About a week passed and I kept seeing this one young dog by the name of shadow. He was sick so i was very hesitant. After talking to the rescue they grabbed his information and he was scheduled to be euthanized. He had what the rescue described as a puppy cold but he had been there so long they were going to put him down. She offered to pull him and get him to the vet for medicine. I jumped on it, shadow was pulled from the shelter and placed into boarding until he was feeling better. About a week later they arranged transport to drive him 6 hours north to us. We drove 2 hours south to pick up our new family member. Shadow was about to lose his life but we saved him and hes been the best dog a family could ask for. Shadow is our daughters best friend. He was meant for our family and I’ve always been a firm believer in things happeb for a reason. We were meant to save shadow and not get one of thw other puppies we had looked at. He has found his furever home with us and we couldnt be happier.

  2. My Grandson Carson was born deaf but now hears with cochlear implants.. Carson showed an absolute love for animals so I adopted an incredible dog from Paws Rescue. Tinkerbell and Carson turned out to be a perfect match. Carson just turned 5 and has demonstrated responsibility by taking her for \potty walks\. The communication and interactions between them is absolutely priceless.

  3. We had been talking about getting another dog since my Siberian Husky passed last summer at age 14. My husband wanted a puppy. Already having 3 and 4 yr old kids and a non walking infant I was very against a puppy. He wanted to buy a puppy I wanted to rescue a young dog (hoping they would already be potty trained). The conversation went round and round for a couple months until he finally came around to my side. The day we made the decision to look for a rescue dog there was a party at church. My husband approach the leader of a rescue organization (who usually do cats) and told them to keep their eyes out for a dog and listed 3 or 4 breed types adding “or a boxer” (one we hand’t discussed). I arrived 20 minutes later to “do you want to see a picture of your dog?” They had heard about a boxer less than an hour before my husband talked to them. Of course they went through the process of temperament testing and she had to have heart-worm treatment, but a month later she came into our home and has to be one of the best dog’s I ever know. She is a great protector and playmate for the kids.She knows which kid needs more grace due to age and is always giving kisses to anyone who gets their face with in reach.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Please be sure to submit your story to the contest to be entered to win! The contest can be found here: https://offerpop.com/campaign/678145

  5. I rescued my girl when she was 7 years old, oh my she was a difficult dog, she had a real problem w/ sudden noises, doors, and barked alot. She is still a little crazy now at 14 but I wouldn’t trade her for anything, I love her and she loves me, we worked hard on her getting relaxed and it still is a work in progress always, but she is a Pomeranian and they are high maintenance but Ashi is my baby and we love her.

  6. My step-daughter got Bruiser for her mother as a birthday present. He was part of an “oops” litter with a Boston female and Rat Terrier male. And the smallest of the litter. Bruiser was rescued from s lady who had tried to get rid of him, but was at the point of sending him to the pound because she didn’t want him. We guess he was about 6 weeks old at the time. We had no idea what to name him at first until he had into a scrap with our older dog Sophie. She was a mix we rescued and mean at time. Sophie would bite Bruiser on the head when he annioned her. The poor little guy had a swollen head for a week after that, and kept getting after Sophie. He kept getting bruised but kept going back for more. Today at age 8, he still wants to play with the big dogs rather than the ones his size. He and his two kids we kept make some of the best watch dogs I ever had. NO BODY gets near the house without us being warned.

  7. Gurley came into our lives five years ago on Thanksgiving Day. She was with another dog and they were clearly lost. We put them in the fenced yard but somehow they got out. The next day we were leaving for A rival football game at the University of South Carolina and my mom let me know Gurley showed back up. We had two dogs but told the shelter we would foster her. She had heartworms but otherwise seemed fine. Long story short she also lost her vision. Heartworm free but blind she has been nothing but a blessing in our lives. What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day gift for our family.

  8. Blitz was just rescued from having a broken leg and was going to be put to sleep with the heart stick but he is safe a happy puppy now he’s all fixed and running all around very happy puppy He was 2 monthes at the time now he a happy 5 month old puppy . Crystal was rescued 3years ago tied to a tree left for dead she is safe now and very happy Baby. And Shiva we rescued 4 years ago from being in a cage all day and night no more cage for her she is a happy Little girl Spoiled little ones the love of my life.

  9. My dog’s name is Ruby. I adopted her when she was only 5 weeks old. I already had her sister from a previous litter, and she was 4 months old then. Lady, seemed bored at home when I was at work, so when I heard that they had another litter of pups, I decided to get one, mostly for company for Lady, and being half sisters too. When adopting Lady, she was already 4 months old, the guy brought her to my work, she was the last of the pups to be sold. I had a Rottweiler previously, but had to have him put to sleep, mainly because of his age, and being unable to stand up on his hind legs. Jake was 12 1/2 yrs. old. I really didn’t want another dog, but as time went by, and this guy brought Lady around, well, I bought her and took her home. Then as I mentioned, brought home Ruby for companionship for Lady. Ruby was the third or fourth pup that I was looking at. As all puppies are, so cute and adorable, Ruby basically chose me. As I put her down from my lap, as I was sitting down on the floor playing with all the pups, she grabbed my blouse sleeve, and started to pull me. That said a lot to me, she was the one for me. Unfortunately, Lady developed stomach cancer in 2010, and had to be put to sleep. She was only 6 years old. Ruby now is going on 9 this March 13th, 2015.
    We go for walks everyday, all though she is slowing down.
    Loves to fetch her tennis balls, and loves to go for rides in the car with me, doing my errands. She’s a very sweet dog, I love her very much, as I have all my pets.

  10. Shadow was adopted from our local S.P.C.A. 16+years ago. She was 6months old and had previously been given up for adoption on two previous occasions and came with a requirement that no families with children under 12 could adopt her. My daughter went with her father to pick out a dog for her 12th Birthday and she chose and renamed her “Shadow”. Surprisingly, even though the S.P.C.A. was in a neighboring (20+ miles away), much larger town, both previous owners were from our small town and used our family vet.

    Shadow was a perfect fit for our family and a good companion to our other previously adopted dog, Jasmine. Shadow was a spunky pup that loves water and getting in the pool along with everyone and also “helping” us wash cars.

    Shadow’s dog-companion Jasmine has since departed some 3yrs ago and she is now much slower now with a few ailments that prevent her from swimming in the pool, but she still gets on the first step of the pool to cool-off. Now that our children have all grown up and moved out, Shadow is still with us “retired folks” living a comfortable life.

  11. i got fancy in march 2007 from union county animal Shelton she was nine week and now she is 7 year old and I got her though heartworm she live in the mud room and she hate firework but she love traveling from WV to NC

  12. Boots was given to my brother by my niece as a small kitten. He is now 10 years old and is very much a part of the family.

  13. Last summer, my husband and I lost our 12 year old little boy and, in February of this year, lost our 16 yr old little girl. Both were rescues and we WONDERFUL pets. We loved every minute we had with them and were heartbroken and lost without them. In August of this year, I began searching rescue sites not really knowing what I was looking for. I came across a beautiful little airedale mix at “Dogs Deserve Better” that I could not get out of my mind. We live in PA and she was in Virginia. My husband could not understand why I had to have this dog and, frankly, I could not explain it. After a lot of pleading on my part, we made the trip to meet “Lily”. I knew immediately that she was the one for me! We are working through some issues as everything in life seems to scare her. She has already made great progress and I know she is happy with us. We cold not love her more. I will always miss my previous dogs but Lily has helped to ease the pain somewhat.

  14. Yes, absolutely! There was now question about it. After loosing our beloved Rocky, It took me a year to get ready for another dog. Rocky was my buddy. So…long story short, we went the the local shelter. In our case it was ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) founded by Tony La Russa when he was the Manager of the Oakland A’s. It is a wonderful shelter that rescues adoptable dogs and cats from death row in Kill Shelter in the Northern California Valley. She is our girl. A real sweetheart. Part (we think) Australian Shepherd, and part Husky. She has the most beautiful red merle/white coat and the most amazing ice blue eyes surrounded in black. She is our girl and is not happy if one of us leaves to run an errand. She just sits by the door and pines, until the”pack” is back together. Then she is at peace. If one of us is under the weather, she will not leave our side until all is right with the world. When we adopted her she just had a litter and her teets were extended. ARF had shaved two patches on her back for heart worm shots. Yes, she was a mess. When we brought her home, she had to be on a leash for 8 weeks because of the heart worm. But now…..She is the most loving, loyal, pet and we are proud to share our home with her.

  15. Addendum to my previous comment. My adopted dog is Shiloh and she was approximately 3 years old when she came into our lives.

  16. hi my name is Lisa. We have had two blessings in our family… both at the request of each of my daughters. 5 years ago, after 3 years of pleading and a full written report on what dogs would be good for our family because of my youngest child is asthmatic, my oldest daughter got her dream come true getting a dog. We rescued Lady ( who looks just like Lady from Lady and the Tramp) from North Shore Animal League in New York. I can’t say we picked her because she picked us. Lady was a mess when we first got her. She had just had eye surgery for cherry eye, and matted ears from wearing a cone to protect her from scratching her eyes. She looked sad and immediately bonded with us from the first minute we saw her.We didn’t even get a chance to look at any other dogs because we knew immediately she was the one. Five years later she still brings us more joy than anything else and has become our furbaby. we just had a scare last week when she ate something she shouldn’t have, and bringing her to the ER was not even a second thought. Thank God she is okay today, but put into perspective just how much we love her. No amount of money could have stopped us from bringing her to be taken care of. This past July we also rescued our newest fur baby. My youngest daughter turned 18 and her birthday wish was for a kitten. We had just moved down to Florida, but she got her wish. Again Riley chose us and not the other way around. From climbing up the side of the cage to meowing if we even looked away from him, he commanded our attention. Today he brings us much joy and laughter with his silly antics and cuddling and purrs. We LOVE our fur babies and can’t wait to rescue again one day !!

  17. My name is Tyler. In 2002, as a high school senior, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. It had been coming on for several years, but became unbearable for me during that year. It was a scary time, as I felt isolated and depressed. It seemed I had no future except for what I was experiencing at the time.
    Then, in the spring of 2004, my parents brought home a Black Lab/Border Collie mix puppy for me. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted a puppy, and if I did, I thought I would have liked to pick out my own and have a certain breed, rather than a rescued mutt. But she persisted in winning my heart, being my constant companion, whether I liked it or not.
    I decided she needed a name, so I searched dog names on the Internet for several days until I settled on June. She seemed to like it and so did I! In a couple weeks, I enrolled her in puppy obedience school. This would be difficult for me, because of the number of people and the fact that I had not been in a social situation outside of my family for more than 2 years. But, her exuberance and affection gave me confidence and we both passed the test!
    Having accomplished this, June gave me the confidence to venture out and do more things in my community. The two of us went hiking, shopping, and I even felt good enough to re-establish my driver’s license and start driving again. Gradually, I felt I was getting my life back and June was a constant in my day-to-day. She gave me encouragement when I was unsure of myself or felt like I didn’t want to do something, go somewhere, or even get up in the morning. Through our daily walks, we met people and their dogs and struck up conversations and friendships. I began going places without June, too- taking short vacations and other adventures I would never have done before. I knew that when I got home, she would be waiting excitedly for me, ready for a long walk or swim in the lake.
    Not long afterwards, I felt motivated to accomplish something productive and began an online business venture. This required my contact with other people in the community to procure products, something that had been highly uncomfortable for me in the past. My parents, my brothers, and other family members could easily see I was coming back from the distant and dark place I had been.
    Although I have a family, fine psychiatrist and medication that have provided the help I needed to improve, I don’t believe those would have been enough to bring me where I am today had I not had June in my life. Her unconditional love, her cold, wet prodding nose under my arm, and her unwillingness to give up on me made all the difference in my life. In fact, she gave me my life, for sure. Who rescued who, you might ask.

  18. My dog, Dillon, came to live with my family on February 1, 2003. I’ll never forget that day because it was the day of the space shuttle Columbia disaster. As we were driving to North Texas we could see the smoke and debris falling. As we were driving all I could think of was “adopting Dillon on this day is the best thing that can come of it.”

    Dillon’s story is by no means unique as every pet parent who adopts a shelter dog or cat is experiencing a unique situation, but because of how Dillon came to us is what makes him my hero. Dillon was born in May, 2002 (we suspect without knowing an exact date). At the tender age of approximately 6 months his original owners took him to get neutered and during the process found out he was heart worm positive. Instead of caring for him post-op, his owners decided they didn’t want to deal with a dog with heart worms and ended up picking him up from the vet’s office and dumping him in a shelter in Houston, TX. Poor Dillon was still loopy from the anesthesia and sore from the procedure and stitches and didn’t understand why he was taken from a warm bed that morning, cut on, and then dumped in a cold, creepy kennel along with other scared, barking dogs. Dillon was left at the kennel on a Thursday and was scheduled to be euthanized that Saturday. By the grace of a watchful eye, a woman from a Houston dog rescue group immediately claimed Dillon and took him in as a foster until she could place him with a forever home. This woman advertised Dillon on a few rescue sites and a woman in North Texas offered to foster Dillon and take him away from the bad memories of Houston, TX. This woman named Kim drove to Houston and took Dillon home with her. She was his 2nd foster parent and allowed Dillon to heal emotionally and physically. She removed his stitches and gave him love but knew she could only keep him for a short period of time. In the meantime while this was going on in North Texas my mother and the rest of my family (in Central Texas) decided we wanted a rescue dog and found Dillon’s sweet face on the Lone Star South Texas Lab Rescue website. As I studied his sweet face and expressive eyes I knew he was ours. I immediately called about him and was told he was still still available for adoption and went through the whole application process. Lo’ and behold, the minute I was approved I made plans to travel and bring him home. Then on February 1, 2003, his life began with us. Once we got Dillon home I made immediate arrangements for his heart worm treatment which was a complete success…and believe me, keeping a young Labrador Retriever calm for 6 weeks was no easy task, but with constant love, attention and affection, we all made it through.

    That was 11 years ago and Dillon is still with us today. While I don’t know if he’s ever forgotten where he began (which I hope he has), he knows he has the most loving and warm home any dog could ever want. From his original owners who left him in a shelter because they didn’t want to deal with his health problems, to a woman with a rescue group, to a foster parent, and then, to us…and through all of that, his character and demeanor never stopped being happy, loving and upbeat, is what makes Dillon my hero !

  19. Waffle was adopted when he was 1 1/2 years old, He was a rescue dog from Mary Roberts Rescue in Riverside Ca. He is a mix 1/2 Toy Fox Terrier, 1/4 West Highland White Terrier (Westy) and traces of American Hound, Jindo, Tibetan Spaniel. He is about 13.5 inches tall, at the withers, and weights 14 pounds. his highlight is being walked by his people owners, He has a lot of energy and is will loved. My wife and I are retired, and have an empty nest, so he has brought a lot of humar and enjoyment to our lifes.

  20. My story is very near and dear to my heart. I always loved cats and wanted a cat, but my husband never wanted pets. In June, we were looking for places to take pictures for our upcoming wedding in July. On my birthday, after brunch, I suggested we go look at one of the parks in our area. After walking around we went to the office to get information about permits etc. I was ringing the office doorbell when a gust of wind blew a tarp off of a cage. My husband gasped and told me to look. When I looked over I saw a sweet little kitten starring back at me. We found out the cat was up for adoption (he was a rescue). I played every card on my husband from begging, to it’s my birthday, to isn’t this just faith how we ended up here at this point in time, how the wind blew the tarp etc. After my husband played with him for an hour and the kitten took to us, he said “okay we can adopt him”. Turns out we were the first couple on this long adoption list. We ended up taking our wedding pictures at the park and we named him Tangles after Tanglewood Preserves (the park we adopted him from). He has touched our hearts and changed our lives ever since we brought him home. I am thankful that I finally got to see this sweet, nurturing, fatherly side of my husband.

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