National Puppy Day highlights local shelter adoptions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  Social media went to the dogs today in celebration of National Puppy Day.

You can find some of our viewer-submitted photos here.

But the holiday’s true aim is to encourage people to adopt their pups from shelters, rather than breeders or puppy mills.

Here in Indy, there are hundreds of shelter dogs who are still looking for a family of their own.

“I’m looking for something small, less maintenance, definitely looking for adopting to save animals. So what better day to come out and look than ‘Puppy Day’?” said Tammy Campbell, who is looking for a pet for her mother.

And here at the Southside Animal Shelter, there are plenty of puppies ready to say hello,

National Puppy Day and other shelter-awareness efforts are credited to guide people to a new perspective of pet adoption.

“I think we’ve gotten a huge turnaround in how people will come to adopt a shelter pet. It’s kind of the cool thing to do now rather than going and getting one from a breeder,” said Sara Breining, an adoption counselor at Southside.

But even with more people adopting rescue dogs, regretful owners continue to leave their dogs at these shelters. And this year, cages are more often filled with abandoned puppies than in years past.

“We’ve been bursting at the seams trying to find places for puppies to be able to grow up enough to get fixed and go to new homes,” said Breining.

Crowded shelters are a well-established problem. According to the Humane Society, there are more than 83 million pet dogs in the United States. Only about 20% of those come from shelters.

But adoption counselors here say that people can find the perfect pet for them if they give shelters a chance.

“So if you’re looking for a dog if you just have a little bit of patience and you just keep searching, I think you will find it in rescue,” said Breining.

Check out these resources for adopting your next shelter pet:Humane Society of IndianapolisIndianapolis Animal Care and ControlPet FinderSouthside Animal Shelter