National Dog Day is Monday, Aug. 26, and advocacy groups want dog owners to refocus their attention on their pet’s health, while the creator of the day called on non-owners to adopt an animal from a local pet shelter.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said in a release that “there are examples of the interconnection between dog and human health, and what happens when dog health is ignored.”
This includes a “lack of vaccination against infectious diseases, inadequate and inappropriate nutrition, insufficient exercise, boredom, deprived social environments, unmanaged reproductive activity and behavior problems,” said IFAW.
And pet advocates called on non-dog owners to adopt a pet.
“Dogs are really doing everything that we wished we could do for each other,” pet advocate Colleen Paige, who created National Dog Day in 2004, told CBS News. “They love unconditionally and we really can’t love each other unconditionally…we’re just not made like that. I think it’s such a travesty that dogs are so abused and neglected when they are one of the most wonderful creatures on this earth.”
Paige said she started up the day following the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks to show that dogs who helped in the rescue attempt after the terrorist attack received little-to-no attention.
She said, “There just was not any kind of recognition that those dogs worked so hard and so selflessly and so bravely to recover victims and bodies. I felt like dogs really needed a day. I started thinking about all of the things that they do to protect us and guide us, love us and comfort us.”
According to Patch.com, Paige said that the day has helped rescue 100,000 dogs, and her efforts are spreading across the world.