Annual National Dog Day is being celebrated and observed Friday across America in order to boost public awareness of animal cruelty.
Founded in 2004 by Colleen Paige, National Dog Day brings to light the vast number of dogs that need rescue each year. Paige, who is a pet lifestyle expert and author, hopes that the holiday will improve living conditions for dogs. She has also founded national holidays such as National Cat Day and Kids & Pets Day, among others, and is a main contributor to the Animal Miracle Network.
National Dog Day also encourages people to seek canine companions, and for those searching to look beyond purebred dogs. The holiday is against “breeding bans,” where certain species are killed or unloved based on their breeding background.
On top of promoting animal adoption, the holiday urges people to avoid pet stores, newspapers, back-yard breeders, and puppy mills, and to adopt from shelters and rescue centers instead.
The National Dog Day website points out the many services humans derive from dogs, such as law enforcement’s use of canines for bomb and drug detection, and the blind using seeing-eye dogs. The holiday recognizes the “dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe, and bring comfort.”
Friday marks the 8th anniversary of National Dog Day, and pet owners are honoring their dogs with special treats, longer walks, and extra love. Veterinarian and owner to a 7-year-old Rottweiler, Nancy Voytosh of Virginia, told CP that she and many of her clients have observed the holiday in the past. She says today people are showing extra appreciation for man’s best friend.
“Well, everyday is National Dog Day for Xerox,” Voytosh says of her dog. “But today she gets cheese with her breakfast.”