Today is National Puppy Day. Yes, an entire holiday dedicated to the most adorable creatures on earth.
But as much as we need pictures of cute puppies to help get us through the boredom that comes with social distancing, puppies in animal shelters across the country are in need of foster parents now more than ever.
As the coronavirus pandemic forces people to stay indoors and limit any gatherings, animal shelters have had to cancel adoption events. Shelters may even struggle to keep operations running as they face staffing shortages due to employees becoming sick.
"Sadly, some shelters and rescues will never be able to reopen their doors due to lost revenue (from) a lack of adoptions," said Colleen Paige, a lifestyle expert who created National Puppy Day, as well as National Dog Day and Cat Day.
"They'll be forced to euthanize many more animals if they can't find foster homes or adopters. Thus, it's vital that people are willing to foster, even if they can't make the long-term commitment of giving a permanent home," Paige said.
Raising a puppy isn’t easy
Indeed, it's important to remember that puppies require plenty of care and training.
Don't take them for granted:
- Give them time and effort. You’ll have to housebreak them, teach them to respond to your cues and stay away from your shoes.
- Get them socialized. Expose them to other people and dogs.
- Spay or neuter your pet.
A new friend
Alas, puppies do grow up. A number of puppies are surrendered to the Humane Society around the 5-month mark because they've outgrown the cute stage.
But don't worry: if you're ready for a puppy, no doubt there's one ready for you. On National Puppy Day, drop by your local shelter and see if you can find a friend.
Because nothing beats social distancing than with a puppy by your side.