October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October 1st, 2021

As we enter spooky season and the weather cools, why not add a warm, furry friend to cuddle up with when things get scary or cold? Since 1981, October has been Adopt-A-Dog Month to promote shelter dog adoptions. Puppies were popular during quarantine, and many shelters actually ran out of dogs! But the shelters always fill back up and there are plenty of dogs in need of a loving home. If you can’t adopt a dog, you can help the cause by donating, fundraising or volunteering.

Adopt-A-Dog Month

For 40 years, the ASPCA has been celebrating Adopt-A-Dog Month in October to promote rescuing a dog from an animal shelter vs. buying a dog from the pet store or breeder. Save on adoption fees and feel better knowing you are supporting your local shelter and saving a life when you rescue a dog vs. buying one.


Shelters often need helpers to clean the kennels, feed the dogs, take them for walks or volunteer for adoption days. You can teach shelter pups commands and socialize them to help make them more adoptable. Tech-savvy? Consider offering your services to help your shelter have a greater online presence through a new website or social media. Have a legal or accounting background? Shelters often need help with keeping records, submitting forms and other professional services. Contact your local animal shelter to see if they are in need of volunteers.


Organize within your community to help raise money for your local shelter or a national organization like the SPCA or the American Humane Society. See below for links to get started.


If you can’t adopt, donate! Animal shelters take cash or supplies – blankets, food, toys, bowls. Donate directly to the shelter, or give to a larger organization. Get creative and add a donation option to your wedding registry or party favors, memorial or birthday gifts, you can even donate your car. Most donations are also tax-deductible!

Adopt! – or Foster

Adopt A Dog Month is a perfect time to rescue a lovable pooch. Whether you have no pets and have been thinking about a dog or wonder if your current pup is getting lonely while you are back at work, adopting a shelter pet offers many perks from companionship to health benefits. Shelters will conduct interviews to ensure that your situation is a good fit for the dog you choose. Find a shelter dog in your local area here.

If you can’t commit to 10-15 years with a new pup, you may still make a great foster parent. Animal shelters use fostering to help socialize dogs so that they are ready to adopt and to help ease overcrowding. Commitments range from weeks to months, or more depending on the situation. But beware! You may get tempted to keep your foster dog(s)!

Smooth Transition

Whether you are adopting your first dog or adding to the pack, ensure a successful transition with help from the professionals at Happy Hound in Oakland. Our award-winning Dog Training courses will help your new addition learn the ropes and dust off their bag of tricks. Or can help with any socialization or aggression issues.

Once your new dog is trained and ready for fun, you can utilize Happy Hound Doggy Daycare and Dog Walking services to help care for your pet while you are at work or otherwise occupied. Our professional Dog Walkers explore the Oakland and Berkeley Hills, visit various dog parks and switch it up daily to keep every pup stimulated and entertained. Happy Hound offers a pick-up/drop-off service so your pup can join even if you aren’t home.

Happy Hound Doggy Daycare features five different playrooms for every type of dog. Puppies under 8 weeks play in Puppy Park, and seniors can laze about in Lounge Town. The big dogs head to Big Hound Town while the small ones trot over to Little Hound Town. And those with tons of energy get to enjoy Middle Hound Town and come home all tuckered out. Happy Hound also offers enhanced care for dogs needing extra medical attention, dogs not spayed/neutered (all dogs from shelters will be spayed/neutered, FYI), or dogs with behavioral needs. Every playroom features indoor and outdoor spaces, top-of-the-line doggie beds, toys and play structures, plus tons of pets and attention from our specially trained staff.

Adopting a shelter dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences an animal lover can have. You not only save a life, but you help support your local community and gain a best friend. This Adopt-A-Dog Month, consider adopting your own shelter pet or make an effort to donate your time, talent or money to a very worthy organization. Happy Hound in Oakland, California, is here to help you and your new dog acclimate with professional Dog Training, accessible Dog Walking and Dog Daycare that accommodates all kinds. Our friendly team is here for any questions you may have.

Discover More Ways to Help or Adopt a Rescue Dog


Oakland Animal Services
Berkeley Humane
East Bay SPCA
FAAS (Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter)


ASPCA – Adopt A Pet
American Humane