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National Dog Day: All dogs should live a safe, happy life

Each year on August 26, National Dog Day (NDD) is recognized worldwide as a time to raise awareness about adopting dogs who are currently in shelters. 

The holiday was first established in 2004 by pet advocate Colleen Paige. August 26th is a significant date – when Colleen’s family adopted her first dog “Sheltie” from the local animal shelter.

A recent study from Utrecht University revealed that shelter dogs have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

“Dogs can suffer from chronic stress in environments that are sub-optimal to their needs, such as in many kennel environments,” wrote the study authors. “Chronic stress may exceed the animals’ adaptive capacity and thus, threaten its welfare state.”

“Chronic stress may even elicit medical and behavioral problems in the long term. Therefore, to improve canine welfare, reliable and feasible non-invasive indicators of long-term stress levels need to be evaluated.”

According to lead researcher Janneke Van der Laan, even if a shelter is organized in the best possible way, there are still stress factors, such as crowds of other dogs and not being able to go outside as often as usual.

Fortunately, the researchers found that when dogs were adopted into new homes, their cortisol and stress levels rapidly returned to normal. 

“National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure. Our mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort,” says NDD.

“Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for personal protection, for law enforcement, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage, now they’re detecting cancer and seizures – things even humans cannot do.”

National Dog Day is against laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds. “Dogs should not have to lose their lives because of the atrocities they have been forced to endure at the hands of man”, says Colleen Paige.

If you would like to join the National Dog Day family and become a rescue partner, you can find more information here.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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