October Is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month: What You Need to Know

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Oct. 13 2022, Published 4:22 p.m. ET

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
Source: Getty Images

Every year, the month of October marks Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. The holiday aims to encourage people to adopt a new furry friend from their local shelter, rather than buy one from a breeder or puppy mill.

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If you’ve ever considered welcoming a shelter dog into your family, there's no better time than the present. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Adopt a Shelter Dog Month — including how much it costs to adopt a shelter dog.

Shelter Dog
Source: Getty Images
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Every October marks Adopt a Shelter Dog Month — here's how to get involved.

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is observed by various animal organizations across the U.S. — and, hopefully, by numerous people around the country, too!

According to National Today, the ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) sponsors Adopt a Shelter Dog Month each October. Every year, the animal welfare organization encourages people to adopt an animal from an ASPCA shelter or other local shelter.

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The ASPCA is also urging people to consider fostering a dog, especially a large dog, as large dogs are much less likely to be chosen in shelters. You can then take your fostering to the next level by becoming an ASPCA “Adoption Ambassador,” which essentially means acting as a “talent agent” for the pets you foster, and helping find them forever homes.

The ASPCA is also observing Pit Bull Awareness Month this October.

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And in honor of Shelter Dog Month, New York-based organization Voters For Animal Rights is asking New Yorkers to urge Governor Kathy Hochul to sign bill S.1130/A.4283, which would end the puppy mill pipeline in New York.

Click here to fill out a form that will send Gov. Hochul your message.

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Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is known as Adopt-a-Dog Month by American Humane, who has been observing the holiday every October since 1981. The organization celebrates the holiday in order to inspire people around the world to adopt millions of dogs waiting in shelters.

“Be a hero this month and adopt a dog from your local shelter or rescue group,” American Humane writes. “You’ll be saving his or her life and greatly improving your own as dogs are amazing, supportive and heroic companions.”

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How much does it cost to adopt a shelter dog?

Not only does adopting a shelter dog save that dog’s life, make more space in the shelter for another dog to be rescued, and give you a forever friend, but it is also far more affordable than buying a dog from a breeder.

The money you’ll spend at a dog shelter is not to be confused with a price tag for buying a dog — rather, it’s an adoption fee. Shelters generally use these fees for necessary things for your dog, including vaccines; spaying and neutering; treatments like deworming or removing fleas and ticks; pet food; a collar and ID tag; medical tests; microchipping; and administration, as per BeChewy and the Animal Humane Society of Minnesota.

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The dog adoption fee at each shelter can vary widely. According to BeChewy, it usually ranges from $50 to $350; Minnesota’s Animal Humane Society says its adoption fee for dogs and puppies ranges $129 to $767.

This fee is typically dependent on things like the dog’s age, the city where the shelter is located, and the time of year, as December often brings discounts on adoption fees at shelters.

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