While we all love adorable photos of puppies every day of the year, they are extra-special on March 23. Today marks National Puppy Day, which helps raise awareness for puppy adoption. The holiday was founded in 2006 by Colleen Page, a lover of all pets and aa prolific holiday inventor.
Here’s what you need to know about this special day.
1. National Puppy Day Was Founded to Raise Awareness for the Need to Adopt Puppies, Instead of Buying Them at a Store
The main purpose for National Puppy Day is to make the public aware of how important it is to adopt puppies instead of buying them at retail. As the holiday’s site explains, pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills, who “don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold.” They raise their puppies in cramped quarters and are usually taken from their mother far too early.
“After a female dog’s fertility wanes, she is often killed, abandoned or sent to another mill that will attempt make her produce one more litter. Puppy mills and backyard breeders are the number one reason we have an overpopulation of dogs in this country…that and a lack of spaying and neutering,” a statement on the site reads.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund also fights against puppy mills. The organization has filed lawsuits in Illinois, California and Pennsylvania and helped Oregon prosecute a man convicted of 43 counts of felony animal neglect.
In January 2017, Rolling Stone published an expose on puppy mills, telling the story of breeder Patricia Yates, who was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.
2. Founder Colleen Page Also Founded Cat Day, Pet Day & Wildlife Day
Colleen Page is the founder of National Puppy Day. She also founded National Cay Day, National Dog Day and National Wildlife Day. She’s a pet lifestyle and safety expert with over 4,000 followers on Twitter.
According to Page’s website, she’s also the author of The Good Behavior Book for Dogs. She’s also contributed to OK! Celebrity Magazine and DogTime.com.
Paige said she created National Dog Day, which is on August 26, after she was disappointed by the lack of attention rescue dogs got after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
“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,” Paige told CBS Chicago in 2013 when asked why she created National Dog Day. “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.”
3. 5 Out of 10 Dogs Are Destroyed in Shelters Because No One Adopts Them
According to Animals Abused & Abandoned, the ASPCA estimates that five out of 10 dogs in shelters are destroyed just because no one has adopted them. Seven out of 10 cats are also destroyed because no one adopts them. An estimated 5 to 9 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters across the country.
That’s why it’s important to adopt, but also important to address pet overpopulation. According to Animals Abused & Abandoned, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. every day, but only 10,000 humans are born each day. This is why having your pet spay or neurtered is important. According to the Humane Society, it can help reduce pet homelessness. It also helps your pet live longer, healthier lives and can curb bad behavior.
4. the Labrador Retriever Is the Most Popular Dog Breed in the U.S.
In March 2017, The American Kennel Club announced that the Labrador Retriever was the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for the 26th year in a row.
“The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said in a statement. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.”
The No. 2 most popular dog breed in the U.S. is the German Shepherd. The Golden Retriever, Bulldog and Beagle rounded out the Top 5.
5. The Most Popular Dog Names for 2016 Were Max & Bella
Rover.com released its list of the most popular dog names in the U.S. for 2016 in December. The most popular name for male dogs was Max, while Bella was the top name for female dogs.
The other top names for male dogs were Charlie, Buddy, Cooper and Jack. The top female dog names were Lucy, Daisy, Lola and Luna.
You can click here for the list of Top 100 male and female dog names in the U.S. for 2016.