May 20th

National Rescue Dog Day -

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National Rescue Dog Day is a globally acknowledged event, held annually on May 20th. The day aims to bring attention to the numerous dogs in shelters across the world who require a permanent caring home. It allows us to focus on the many advantages of adopting a rescue dog and to celebrate the success stories. Our objective on this day is to highlight the need for responsible pet care and the fact that every dog deserves a second chance for a better life.

Whether a dog comes from a risky environment or is abandoned, National Rescue Dog Day honors these animals and the individuals who devote their time to saving them. Regardless of their breed, every dog has the right to live in a loving home.

History of National Rescue Dog Day

The inception of National Rescue Dog Day dates back to May 20, 2018, and the credit goes to Tails That Teach, Inc., an organization committed to advocating for compassion and humane treatment towards pets, particularly dogs. This special day was crafted in tribute to Cooper, a rescued puppy that had tremendously influenced the life of his adoptive family, inspiring them to educate people about emotional support, empathy, and the deep bond shared between humans and dogs.

May 20 was picked by Tails That Teach, Inc. to serve as an annual gentle reminder to everyone regarding the countless lovable dogs at shelters who yearn for a warm home. The day promotes the significant message of responsible pet ownership among young ones and enlightens them about the importance of spaying or neutering pets.

This initiative encourages people to adopt dogs and create a nurturing environment for them from dog shelters as against purchasing them from pet stores that often rely on the distressing puppy mills.

Every year on this day, people from all over the United States and beyond, who have shown compassion by rescuing dogs and offered them new beginnings, join together to celebrate. The objective is to stress the unfortunate circumstances of several dogs who land in shelters due to careless, negligent and irresponsible pet owners. This day promotes the adoption of these innocent canine friends into caring homes.

National Rescue Dog Day Timeline

Domestication of Wolves

Archaeological evidence in Siberia showing the remains of a boy and his dog, suggesting that wolves were being tamed by humans as early as this time.

Dogs used in Search and Rescue by Monks

Monks at the St. Bernard Pass in the Alps used dogs to help them find and rescue travellers.

National Rescue Dog Day was established

National Rescue Dog Day was established by Tails That Teach, Inc. to raise awareness about the many dogs waiting for their forever homes in shelters.

Pet adoptions increase

Adoptions increased, largely due to the awareness raised by National Rescue Dog Day celebrations and initiatives.

Current National Rescue Dog Day

Continued celebration of National Rescue Dog Day emphasizes the need for dog adoption and educating the public about safe pet ownership.

Ideas to Celebrate National Rescue Dog Day

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Donate to an Animal Shelter

Honor the day by making a monetary donation or preparing care packages of food, blankets, and toys to local shelters. Reach out to them beforehand to find out what they need.

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Adopt a Rescue Dog

If you've been thinking about getting a pet, then National Rescue Dog Day could be the perfect day to bring a new companion into your home. Visit your local animal shelter and give a stray a forever home.

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Foster a Dog

If you are not ready for a long-term commitment, fostering a dog is a great option. It can provide a shelter dog with a loving home and give them higher chances of getting permanently adopted.

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Organize a Fundraiser

Raise money for an animal shelter or rescue organization by putting together a community fundraiser. This could be a bake sale, car wash, or even a sponsored walk.

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Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Spend the day helping out at your local shelter where you could walk the dogs, help clean or spend time socializing with the animals.

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Promote Adoption on Social Media

Use your social media platforms to raise awareness about the importance of adopting rescue dogs. Perhaps share photos or success stories of rescue dogs you know.

6 Interesting Facts About Rescue Dogs


Rescue Dogs can be Celebrities

Some rescue dogs have gained fame and recognition, such as Hooch, who won the American Humane Association's Hero Dog of the Year award in 2016. Hooch, once a rescue dog, now works to help abused and special-needs children.


Rescue Dogs Come in All Shapes and Sizes

From tiny Chihuahuas and Dachshunds to massive Saint Bernards and Mastiffs, you can find virtually any breed in a shelter or rescue organization. Many shelters also have a significant number of mixed breed dogs.


Not All Rescue Dogs Have Tragic Backstories

While there are many rescue dogs that come from abusive or neglectful environments, many others were simply lost, abandoned, or surrendered for reasons like allergies or a family's inability to care for them. It's a misconception that all rescue dogs have behavioral problems or traumatic pasts.


Rescue Dogs can be Trained for Various Tasks

Many rescue dogs have been trained to perform important jobs, ranging from search and rescue missions to serving as therapy or service animals. Their ability to please and work with humans makes them excellent candidates for these roles.


Adopting a Rescue Dog can Save a Life

Each year in the United States, millions of dogs are euthanized simply because there's not enough room for them in shelters. By adopting a rescue dog, you're potentially saving a life and giving a deserving dog a second chance.


Rescue Dogs can Improve Your Health and Happiness

Many studies have shown that having a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve physical and mental health. This applies just as much to rescue dogs as it does to any other dog.

National Rescue Dog Day FAQs

Next National Rescue Dog Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 20th Saturday
2024 May 20th Monday
2025 May 20th Tuesday
2026 May 20th Wednesday
2027 May 20th Thursday
What is the pattern? Every May 20th

National Rescue Dog Day Word Search

  • Adoption
  • Rescue
  • Shelter
  • Canine
  • Donate
  • Affection