Clear the shelters

Happy DOGust First, the Birthday of Shelter Pets

How to celebrate this poignant occasion? Consider adopting an animal in need of a home.

Jin Chu / EyeEm

What to Know

  • DOGust 1st, or the first day of August, is the shared birthday of all shelter pets
  • Some shelters will present special goodies to the shelter animals on Aug. 1
  • People are encouraged on Aug. 1, and every day, to consider adopting a rescue animal

Choosing your shelter animal's birthday?

That's a multi-layered, intensely emotional process. Plenty of people pick the day that the adoption was completed as their beastie's birthday, while other families will select another significant day, perhaps an anniversary that is especially meaningful.

And if your dog just looks like a spring baby or your feline has a wintry appearance? Those considerations might also guide you when deciding when you'll break out the birthday songs and pet-safe goodies.

But humans seeking the ideal birthday for their shelter pets often look to the first day of August, or DOGust, if you prefer.

For that's when many shelters celebrate their residents' unknown dates of birth, in one festive and fell swoop.

If your shelter-discovered dog or cat hasn't yet told you her birthday, though ask them that particular question, you might often do, you might also consider breaking out a treat on DOGust 1.

Think of this acknowledgment as a way to honor shelter pets everywhere, as well as the shelter staffers and rescue group volunteers who do so much for so many animals.

North Shore Animal League America landed on DOGust 1 as the shared birthday for all shelter dogs and cats over a decade ago, and several organizations have since embraced the moving occasion.

Where to find (and fall in love with) a Fido or feline on DOGust 1 or any day you choose?

LA Animal Services, which just hosted a well-attended adoption fair at Dodger Stadium on July 30, is an excellent place to seek out a sweetheart, but Southern California is home to hundreds of animal-saving groups.

So a very happy DOGust 1 to everyone who diligently and devotedly works to help these animals, and a joyful birthday to shelter pets everywhere.

We'll likely never know the exact date when a shelter pet entered the world, but we do know, without a doubt, that they did.

So taking a meaningful moment to celebrate that happy fact, whether on Aug. 1 or another time, feels like a moment of grace, a show of gratitude made to an animal that brings our home so much joy, on DOGust 1 and every day of the year.

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