August 1st is also known as Dogust 1st, the universal birthday for shelter dogs who don’t have an official record of birth.
The ASPCA reports that more than 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year, including 1.6 million dogs. That’s not counting the 620,000 dogs who are brought to a shelter and returned home. If you ask us, there’s a lot to celebrate about that!
Many shelter pets are strays (or the puppies and kittens of strays) with no birth records or other documentation. Dogust 1st is a celebration of those pooches and the love they add to their pet parents’ lives. It’s also meant to highlight the vital work that pet shelters do to find fur-ever homes for loving pets. Here’s our recap on this fun event.
Why Dogust 1st matters to shelter pets
Dogust 1st is an opportunity for shelters across the nation to give a little extra birthday love to their furry residents—and to raise adoption awareness so even more pets find their fur-ever homes. For pet parents of adopted shelter pets, it’s a fun way to celebrate their four-legged favorites with the larger rescue pet adoption community.
Every candle on a pet-safe treat or birthday hat (that stays on for ten seconds, at most) is part of a larger story about pet placement success—and one that breaks ugly, false stigmas against adopting pets from shelters.
Meet some friends who shared their Dogust 1st stories:
"My Chance! He is super shy, but loves being with us. We rescued him from the side of a busy highway when he was only six weeks old."
"I got Kaiser in early 2017 from a local organization that I had gotten another rescue dog from ... At the time Kaiser wasn't even a full two years old. His rescue mom had told me that Kaiser was an escape artist, so I passed him by at one of the Meet & Greets. About a month later she brought him by my office for a visit. Within that first hour he bonded with me like I'd never had a dog bond with me before! It was amazing. He's been with me ever since; the rescue mom somehow knew this would work. I call him my little velcro-dog, he sticks by me constantly! He's also the most affectionate dog I've had, loves his lap time, cuddles and yes, hugs."
"Happy Gotcha Day and Happy 6th Birthday Maverick! You've come so far in 1 year! It's amazing what love can do!"
"I rescued this beauty, Rosa, 13 years ago. She was found next to a dumpster. She is the love of my life!"
Rosemary and Stella
"Rosemary and Stella are both rescues. Stella was returned to the shelter by her previous adopter. She was meant to be part of our family."
"Some lady found her in the middle of an intersection ... when she was found, I was a foster fail. I didn't return her, I kept her as you can see. Who could give back this dog to the shelter?"
Share the fun with Nationwide®
Did you miss the big day? Not to worry! It’s never too late to share your pet love (or your belated Dogust birthday story) with us. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a belated birthday photo of your pet with our new filter on Facebook or Instagram
- Download a Certificate of Paw-doption for your good boy or good girl to make them an officially official part of your family
- Share your story with us on social using #OnYourSideMoments for a chance to be featured!