Who doesn’t love baby animals? Especially plump rollicking warm furry puppies with big soulful eyes that seem to say, “Take me home!” Although cat videos seem to get all the attention on YouTube, it’s pretty hard to tear our gaze away from these adorable puppy pictures and videos.
National Puppy Day on March 23 was created “to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives,” as well as “to promote adoptions from animal shelters, humane societies and rescue groups, rather than purchasing from pet stores,” according to Animal Miracle Network founder and creator of National Puppy Day, Colleen Paige, a self-described “pet lifestyle expert, animal behaviorist and author.” She initially wanted to raise public awareness about the horrific conditions of puppy mills, and although these sad stories have become less frequent in the news, there always seems to be one more unscrupulous breeder selling puppies that have been raised in shockingly inhumane conditions.
Why adopt instead of shop?
There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 puppy mills in the United Sates, and pet stores that sell puppies “are the number one reason that so many puppy mills exist today,” according to Paige.
“The tragedy of puppy mills is that they don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold. Most of these animals live in crammed cages with no room to move, in complete and utter squalor. Many puppies are sick and never given true health exams, necessary vaccines or proper health care. The puppies are always taken way too early from their mothers, so they’re denied the basic social skills they need to behave well in the home, thus, resulting in many dogs later being abandoned at the shelter.”
Top five ways to celebrate National Puppy Day
1. Visit an animal shelter
Get out and visit some puppies awaiting adoption. Get your face licked, inhale that puppy breath and enjoy some puppy love. Warning: you may end up with a new friend!
2. Support your local animal shelter or humane society
Non-profit organizations can always use your support, whether it’s money, supplies, or volunteer time. Call them up and ask what they need.
3. Spay or neuter your dog
As wonderful as puppies are, there are simply more puppies than there are homes. Spaying or neutering just one dog can keep hundreds of puppies from being sent to shelters.
4. Raise money for animal charities
Free social media game Joy Kingdom helps real animals in need by donating 50 per cent of profits to your choice of animal charities – so get your friends playing, too!
5. Take a stroll down memory lane
Go through your old puppy pictures and remember your dog when they were an adorable warm furry bundle of love. Appreciate all the good times you’ve shared – you’d do it all over again, wouldn’t you?
Do you have the world’s most adorable puppy?
This is a call-out to all proud new puppy parents: As part of National Puppy Day, you could win bragging rights to “The World’s Most Adorable Puppy Contest.”
All you have to do is nominate your dog on the National Puppy Day Facebook page. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org up to five photos with your puppy’s name, age, breed(s), where you got your puppy and your contact information.
The winner will be announced on National Puppy Day and receive an official winner’s certificate, $100 Petsmart gift card, and gift box of items with a retail value of $250. Best of all, your puppy’s adorable little furry face will grace the homepage of NationalPuppyDay.com for one year. The deadline is midnight PST on March 22, so you’d better hurry!