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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 21, 2006

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month

DENVER Clifford the Big Red Dog is using his considerable crimson presence to help millions of homeless dogs throughout October as the official "spokesdog" for American Humane's Adopt-A-Dog Month, American Humane has announced.

The month-long event is observed every year to encourage people to help homeless animals by opening their hearts and homes to dogs in need.

"There is a great need for people to go to a shelter and find their new best friend," said Marie Belew Wheatley, American Humane Association president and CEO. "With Clifford's help, more people will recognize that by adopting a dog from a shelter, they're saving the lives of these precious animals and giving them much-needed, loving homes while also enriching their own lives."

American Humane and CliffordR, will be encouraging animal shelters and local PBS TV stations to join forces to host Adopt-A-Dog Month events across the country during October. Clifford will also mark this month with a special TV theme week, "Clifford's Mission: Paw-ssible," on PBS KIDS Oct. 9 to 13 (check local listings) featuring episodes highlighting pet care and responsible pet ownership.

In addition, a new episode of "Clifford's Puppy Days," the spin-off series chronicling Clifford's puppyhood, will premiere Oct. 11 on PBS KIDS.

"Clifford has always been a dog with a huge heart who exemplifies the values of sharing, gratitude and kindness towards others," said Deborah Forte, president of Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic. "By working with the American Humane Association for Adopt-A-Dog Month, we hope to give a strong voice to this special cause and help others realize the importance of helping all those in need."

If you're looking for companionship and unconditional love (not to mention moonlit strolls), look no further than your local shelter. By sharing your heart and home with a homeless animal, you're not just saving a dog's life, you'll be improving your own. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, an increasing number of dog owners are citing "good for health/helps us live longer" and "walking, jogging and exercise" as top benefits of having dogs in their lives.

Show the dogs in your life that you care.

  • Equip all pets with a reliable form of ID. Only about 15 to 20 percent of dogs who end up in animal shelters are ever reunited with their families. Don't let your dog be one of them. Make sure your pet's ID tag is readable and updated with accurate contact information. Multiple forms of ID such as a tag and a microchip are most effective.

  • Spay or neuter your dog so you aren't adding to the homeless pet problem. There are already too many animals and not enough love to go around. Besides, you'll be helping your pet live longer. Early neutering nearly eliminates breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine and testicular cancer.

  • Donate to your local shelter or breed-placement group. Besides financial support, blankets, toys, dog treats and volunteer help are just a few of the things you can offer homeless dogs in your community.

    Visit www.americanhumane.org for more information on Adopt-A-Dog Month.