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National Rescue Dog Day

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


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 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.


  • Adopt/foster a dog

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.

  • Volunteer at a non-profit animal rescue (or with Pawtastic Friends)

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.

  • Donate to a local animal rescue/support group

There are many ways to support Pawtastic Friends:

Sponsor a Dog, Monetary Donations, Amazon Wishlist, Heroes of the Heart, Memorial Brick and PF Retail

  • Spread awareness

Use Social Media to spread awareness about the day. Use hashtags on social media platforms. Start a conversation about the campaign with others.



"You can't help everyone, but you can help at least one dog."

- Candice Bergen


  1. Dogs are the most abused - Of all animals facing abuse and neglect, 65% are dogs, making them the most abused animals.

  2. Domestic violence and animal abuse - Animal abuse often goes hand in hand with domestic violence as 71% of the domestic violence cases also involve animal abuse.

  3. Animal hoarding - One of the worst forms of animal abuse is animal hoarding. Each year around 250,000 animals are victims of animal hoarding in the U.S.



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